New Course on the Miracle-Working Early Prophets and Jewish Social Conscience

Instructor Rabbi Rachel Adler PhD, Ellenson Professor of Modern Jewish Thought at Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles

This course will run six sessions on Tuesday evenings at 7:30, beginning May 15, at BCC.

We tend to assume that the prophets who formed the Jewish social conscience were the latter literary prophets such as Jeremiah, Isaiah, Micah and Amos. However the charismatic miracle workers Elijah and Elisha also had an important and formative critique of power and social justice. We will study the Elijah and Elisha narratives in the two books of Kings to examine these questions of charisma, characterization, and social ethics. We will also look at the role gender plays in these narratives and ask why women are often the recipients of miracles. We will be using the Jewish Publication Society Tanakh and some handout sheets from the instructor. Here’s an overview.

Session 1: What is a navi?  What makes the early charismatic nevi’im different from the later literary nevi’im? What is the historical context of the earlier nevi’im, Eliyahu and Elisha? What is Sefer Melakhim 1&2 and how does it fit into the canon of Tanakh?

Session 2 1 Kings 16:23-17:24. The Miracles of Eliyahu: Personal Encounters with the Poor

Session 3 1 Kings 18 The Miracles of Eliyahu: Nation and Drought

Session 4 1 Kings 19 and 21, 2 Kings 1-2.  The Death of Eliyahu and the succession of Elisha.

Session 5 2 Kings 3 and 4. The Miracles of Elisha

Session 6 2 Kings 5 to 8:15 The Miracles of Elisha

Teaching Bridge in Seven Weeks

Adam Barron

Most of my activity as BCC’s Adult Education Coordinator involves scheduling and publicizing classes taught by others, but recently I gave lessons in a game that I am passionate about, contract bridge. Graciously hosted by former BCC Vice President Hannah Theile at her home, we gathered five students including two BCC members, and I donated the tuition to BCC.

The first day, as I carried my 3 x 4 foot white board into Hannah’s kitchen, I faced the nervousness and uncertainty of my students. Their introductions revealed their hope for good chemistry — four were active in synagogues (two in BCC), a different four were gay or lesbian, and there was one married couple. Some hoped to play with visiting family members, others sought a new source of friends and activities. All were determined to give it a good college try.

Teaching beginning bridge in seven weeks means there is a lot to cover, but through experiential learning and modern methods, it is not overwhelming. I moved back and forth from visual aids to pre-dealt bridge hands, using the structure of a premier text. Our participants offered many questions, and the discussions were a great help. One of them stands out.

I was explaining bidding (one of two phases of the game) and someone said their head was about to explode, and then some laughter came to the rescue. I said, “a two heart bid is mildly invitational to game” – and someone quipped “it’s like come to my party if you’ve got nothing else to do, and bring your own booze.” I followed up “a three heart bid is strongly invitational to game” – another interjected, “it’s like please come, you’ll love it, even if you have to break a date.” You have to have been there, but the humor sure helped the learning to go down smoothly.

After several weeks, students began bidding and playing actual hands. I could see their delight as the concepts began to make sense. Players began making independent decisions, though I was always available. Now, four are progressing towards advanced beginner lessons. I can say for sure everyone had fun, though honestly I don’t know who had more, they or I.

I will be happy to teach some more, and donate tuition to BCC. This works best if a member hosts at their home. If you would like to learn the game, and you can find a group of four, please contact me at education@bcc-la.org.

 

Seeking B’nai Mitzvah Partners 

 

I grew up Jewish but never had a bat mitzvah and would like to do so next year.  I’m sure there are others in our community who have never celebrated this milestone of full membership in the Jewish people, including some who embraced the covenant as adults. This important journey is best undertaken with the support of a group of fellow travelers.  Rabbi Lisa and Cantor Juval have agreed to teach a b’nai mitzvah course, with the aim of having our ceremony or ceremonies in the spring of 2019.

If you are at all interested in joining me on this adventure, please contact me at rwexler@mac.com or by phone or text at 818 259-3473.  The sooner we begin, the better prepared we will be!

Ronnie Wexler 

 

BCC Baby Kibbutz + Ohr Chayim + Teen Lag B’Omer Bonfire 5/5

Saturday 3pm-7pm, BCC Baby Kibbutz, Ohr Chayim, and all BCCers who would like to join in, gather at a location TBD for a bonfire (yes, we know it is Cinco de Mayo as well!). We are thinking about Dockweiler beach, but are open to other locations as well. Let Rabbi Miller know if you have a location to offer up.Families enjoy a picnic. Clergy will provide teachings and music! Contact Rabbi Heather.

Teen Beach Cleanup

Beach Clean-up Teen Trek for Post-B’nai Mitzvah Students, 2pm-5pm. Calling all Post-B’nai Mitzvah Students: Join us for fun around Los Angeles to eat, discuss, do and be Jewish! Bring friends! Meet us for a Beach Clean-up at the carousel on the pier, 1624 Ocean Front Walk, Santa Monica, CA 90401.

Ohr Chayim 5/12

Saturday morning, 10am-12:30pm, Ohr Chayim gathers.
Jezi’s family is bringing snack
Musical Shabbat and Parent Learning led by Cantor Juval
Jackie and Rae and Rabbi Heather teach the Silver and Green Teams- THANK YOU ALL!

BCC’s BABY KIBBUTZ PLAYDATE 5/19

Parents and babies enjoy Jewish community through songs, storyboards, and schmoozing, 10am-12pm.
Contact Rabbi Miller for home location.

Ohr Chayim 6/2

Saturday morning, 10am-12:30pm, Ohr Chayim gathers.
Please let us know if your family can bring snack
Musical Shabbat led by Cantor Juval
Parent Learning led by Rabbi Lisa
Jackie and Rae and Rabbi Heather teach the Silver and Green Teams- THANK YOU ALL!

JCC Maccabi Games & ArtsFest

The JCC invites Jewish teens who love sports and arts to meet others from around the world who do as well! Check out their Maccabi Games & ArtsFest programs. Make memories to last a lifetime!
For information about tryouts and Auditions, check here: http://www.westsidejcc.org/teens/jcc-maccabi-games-information-and-sport-offerings/  

Ohr Chayim Siyyum 6/9

Saturday morning, 10am-12:30pm, Ohr Chayim gathers.
This is our last Ohr Chayim Session for the year– celebrate the culmination of our learning as a community.
We are looking for a location for this celebration– please let us know if you’d like to offer up an idea or location.  We can also do this at BCC.
Musical Shabbat and Parent Learning led by Cantor Juval
Jackie and Rae and Rabbi Heather teach the Silver and Green Teams- THANK YOU ALL FOR A GREAT YEAR!

BCC’s BABY KIBBUTZ PLAYDATE 6/16

Parents and babies enjoy Jewish community through songs, storyboards, and schmoozing, 10am-12pm.
Contact Rabbi Miller for home location.

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