"My kid didn't have school today, but he still wanted to go to Hebrew School.
He really enjoys it."
Beth Liebeman, member
Scholar in Residence Lecture:
JUDAISM THE FIRST BOOK CENTERED RELIGION
with Professor Aaron Demsky
Wednesday, November 13, 7pm
In 450 BCE, Ezra the Scribe, was challenged to reintroduce a populace newly returned from exile in Babylon to their Jewish heritage. Ezra's innovations to make the Torah text relevant to the people shaped Rabbinic Judaism and ultimately Christianity and Islam.
In this popular lecture, this pivotal period will be illuminated by noted biblical historian Aaron Demsky. For the modern audience it will give added meaning to revelation and religious change while maintaining one's heritage. Learn how Ezra made the Torah an everlasting source of inspiration and instruction for the Jewish people.
Prof. Demsky is retired from Bar Ilan University. He is the founder and director of the Project for The Study of Jewish Names at BIU. He has written on different aspects of Jewish antiquity, including historical geography and biblical genealogies. He is recognized for deciphering various Hebrew and North West Semitic inscriptions.
Demsky is the author of the recently published monograph in Hebrew Literacy in Ancient Israel (Jerusalem: Mossad Bialik, 2012). He edited the five volume series These Are The Names – Studies in Jewish Onomastics (Ramat-Gan; Bar-Ilan Press). In addition, he edited the volume Pleasant are Their Names-Jewish Names in the Sephardi Diaspora .
SFTA Gallery Space
CITY CHARMS AND SEWING STORIES
August 30 - November 30, 2013
Opening Event: Thursday, October 17, Open to the Public.
Viewing Hours: By appointment
The Synagogue for the Arts is pleased to present an exhibition of art works by Heather G. Stoltz and Yona Verwer.
Both artists address New York's vulnerable as a common theme: Verwer looks at the vulnerability of various New York sites, while Stoltz looks at the homeless population. Stoltz's social justice art encourages the viewer to consider the story of one homeless individual at a time. Verwer's tikkun olam project "City Charms" invokes divine protection from acts of destruction on New York downtown buildings, particularly terror-watch-list targets.
Another aspect of their art is informed by traditional Jewish texts and liturgy. Stoltz’s quilted wall hangings and fabric sculptures feature Biblical women, giving voice to these often overlooked characters and Jewish liturgy, capturing the spirit of prayers that can be lost in daily repetition. Verwer's paintings Urim and Tumim – Divine Text Massages refer to gemstones engraved with the names of the Twelve Tribes of Israel and consulted by the Jewish high priest in moments of crisis, when the inscribed letters would be illuminated and rearranged to reveal divine guidance.
Dutch-born Yona Verwer is a New York-based artist and the co-founder / president of the Jewish Art Salon, a global group of artists, curators and critics. Her works explore identity, tikkun olam, and kabbalah. Her installation "Tightrope", at the Y.U. Museum's current exhibit "It's A Thin Line", has been featured in Hadassah Magazine, The Jewish Week and The Jewish Press. Her work can be viewed at yonaverwer.com. Verwer has shown in numerous venues including the Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art, the Mizel Museum, the Reginald Lewis Museum for African-American Art, and the Holocaust Memorial Center. She has been featured in the New York Times, the New Yorker and the Daily News.
Named as one of The Jewish Week’s “36 Under 36″ for 2012, Heather Stoltz is the Co-President of the Women’s Caucus for Art New York Chapter and received a 2011 Manhattan Community Art Funds grant for Temporary Shelter, her installation piece about homeless New Yorkers. Her work has been exhibited nationally and featured in Jewish Threads, Creative Quilting: The Journal Quilt Project and many other publications. She is an educator for the Yeshiva University Museum’s “Re-Imagining Jewish Education Through Art” project, was a Drisha Arts Fellow from 2008‐2010 and was an Artist‐in-Residence at the 2008 National Havurah Committee Summer Institute. Her work can be seen at sewingstories.com</p>
Education takes many forms at Synagogue for the Arts, and is woven into the Synagogue's fabric. We have programs for adults, teens, youth and tots.
We have an excellent Hebrew School for students from pre-K to 7th grade and those ready for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah study with the Rabbi. The Rabbi holds weekly Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) classes for adults, along with Parsha and Hebrew Reading for beginners.
The congregation includes many who had little formal Jewish education prior to joining us. The High Holy Days Learner's Services provide a "way in" for those seeking greater understanding. The Rabbi is available to provide semi-formal sessions for adults looking for a better grounding. There have been crash courses in reading Hebrew.
Scholarly and informative lectures are held as ideas bubble up from the congregation and groups, both formal and informal, sponsor speakers. These have addressed current events and Israel, as well as less expected topics, such as presentations on the Jews of Iraq and the Jews of India. In a congregation as diverse and creative as this, interesting learning opportunities are always emerging. For special event information, see our Calendar.
New Ways to Learn at SFTA!
Torah learning opportunities on Shabbat from
9 - 9:30am and/or from 1 - 1:30pm.
Potential topics could include Chumash and Rashi, Halacha, Musar, Pirkei Avot, etc.