Yom Kippur Afternoon Study Sessions | Congregation Beth Am

Yom Kippur Afternoon Study Sessions

Led by Beth Am Congregants

As is our custom on Yom Kippur afternoon, Beth Am members will be offering learning sessions on a variety of Jewish topics. Enrich your Yom Kippur observance by learning something new! We need volunteers to help direct people to the sessions that afternoon, so if you're interested in helping out, please contact Rabbi Sarah.

Session 1 -- 1:30-2:15 PM

  1. Climate Change and Judaism
  2. Naked Torah: Leviticus 18, Intimate Boundaries, and Yom Kippur
  3. “A Knock On The Door” - Mishpachot Mufradot - Familias Separadas
  • Climate Change and Judaism - Green Room
    Is climate change real? How is it a Jewish issue? What should we do about it?
    -- Howard Hoffman (MS Stanford, BS MIT) spent more than 33 years as an environmental engineer, planning and designing water, water pollution control, water recycling, and energy projects for municipal and industrial clients. He currently is a member of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby and its Jewish Action Team.
  • Naked Torah: Leviticus 18, Intimate Boundaries, and Yom Kippur - Blue Room
    Leviticus 18, the traditional reading for Yom Kippur afternoon, is a catalog of forbidden sexual relationships known collectively as gilui arayot — literally, uncovering nakedness(es) — including, among other things, some forms of incest and (infamously) some sort of specific sexual act involving two males.  While as modern Reform Jews we reject some of these prohibitions and retain others, the text should still provoke us into thinking about appropriate sexual boundaries and how to honor the sacred in our most intimate relationships.  In this session, we’ll get a head start on exploring Beth Am's adult education theme for the year (sex and gender in Judaism) by diving into the text just as it is — Torah, unadorned — and let it serve as the foundation for a conversation about nakedness, vulnerability, dignity, Yom Kippur, covering(s), and what it means to say, in the words of Rabbi Arthur Waskow, "your bed is Torah."
    -- Lorri Ford serves the Beth Am community as a member of the Library Committee and as a musician in various capacities. After 20 years as a technology lawyer, Lorri is now a second-year graduate student in counseling psychology at Santa Clara University (and in the fourth year of a seriously addictive avocation: studying Judaism and Hebrew).  
  • “A Knock On The Door” - Mishpachot Mufradot - Familias Separadas - Yellow Room
    Someone knocks unexpectedly at the door and demands entry. You and your parents are taken by the authorities - to separate places.  You are alone, afraid, with no knowledge of when you will see your mom or dad. Is this 1942 Germany or 2018 USA? Join us for this important discussion.  Saul Wasserman, and Elizabeth Eastman will describe what Jewish children experienced during the Holocaust and how immigrant children are being affected now. What can we do about it? Sponsored by EqualStart.
    -- Saul Wasserman is a child psychiatrist with extensive experience in the area of childhood trauma and disrupted attachments. For the last five years he has been the child psychiatrist for the Refugee Foster Care Program of Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County.
    -- Elizabeth Eastman is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and an Instructor of English for immigrant adults in East San Jose.  She recently returned from a trip to McAllen, TX, where she worked with immigrant families who had just been released by ICE. Elizabeth and her husband, Ben, are parents of teenage twin boys, and also provide respite care to Refugee Foster Care youth.

    -- Dana Weintraub is a clinical associate professor of pediatrics at Stanford University and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Co-Founder and Co-Medical Director for the Peninsula Family Advocacy Program, a Medical-Legal Partnership between the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County and a Congregation Beth Am member. She is a national leader in the development of medical-legal partnerships, and works with low-income and immigrant communities.

Session 2 -- 2:30-3:15 PM

  1. Judaism & #MeToo: How Adults Can Help Young People Navigate Relationships
  2. Hungry? Nourishment Through Self-Care
  3. Tales from Behind the Stove
  • Judaism & #MeToo: How Adults Can Help Young People Navigate Relationships - Green Room
    In the era of #MeToo, what, if anything, can we take away from the Torah’s teachings about intimate relationships, power, and gender? For parents, how can this inform, or not, how we talk to our children about things like consent, relationships, intimacy, and communication? We’ll explore these ideas through modern day scenarios and create our own “rules to live by” for the young people in our lives.
    -- Abi Karlin-Resnick is the Executive Director of Health Connected, a Bay Area-based nonprofit organization which is one of the leading providers of sexual health education in California.
  • Hungry? Nourishment Through Self-Care - Blue Room
    Join members of Beth Am's Caring Committee to discuss the importance of self-care and the obstacles we all encounter that prevent us from taking care of ourselves. Together we will come up with strategies to help overcome those obstacles and also learn about the resources that Beth Am has to offer, including Tikvah Peer Support.
    -- Margit David, a retired Licensed Clinical Social Worker, is a long time member of Congregation Beth Am and coordinates the Mitzvah Meals program.
    -- Ann DeHovitz, Caring Committee Co-chair, teaches at Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School and is a long time member of Congregation Beth Am.
    -- Marla Holtzman, a long time member of Congregation Beth Am, is a member of the Tikvah team and professionally a Registered Nurse at a Women's Health Clinic in Redwood City.

    -- Chris Taich, LCSW, Director of Clinical Support Services at Pathways Home Health and Hospice, is a Caring Committee Co-chair and has been a member of Beth Am for the past 31 years.
  • Tales from Behind the Stove - Yellow Room
    In over 2000 years of expulsions and wanderings, as well as periods of security and safety, we have been exposed to and absorbed  not only the Talmudic and Mishnaic explanations of demons and angels, but also the beliefs, superstitions, and stories of all the countries we have inhabited: how to protect women in childbirth; why it’s dangerous to walk home alone after the Sabbath; medicines and herbs; dream interpretations; the infinite uses of amulets; the powers of good; and some really wonderful curses. Today we will get to explore some of these; if you have any from you own families there will be time to share some of them.
    -- Joyce Moser earned a Ph.D. in English and humanities from Stanford and a law degree at UCLA; she returned to Stanford in 1990. Her areas of interest are: American Jewish literature, detective fiction, law and popular culture and film noir.  She is the Associate Director of Stanford Introductory Studies.

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Congregation Beth Am
  • 26790 Arastradero Rd., Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
  • (650) 493-4661 Contact Us

We strive to live as a holy community whose study and practice of Judaism inspires and challenges us to "do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with our God" (Micah 6:8).