Jewish online resources by Reporter Staff

By Reporter staff

Editor’s note: The first “Jewish resources to occupy your family during social distancing” article appeared in the March 27, 2020, issue of The Reporter. At that time, we thought it would be a temporary series. However, it’s become clear that even after the pandemic is over, some organizations will continue offering programs on the Internet. This column will now be called “Jewish online resources” to reflect that change. 

A variety of Jewish groups are offering educational and recreational online resources. Below is a sampling of those. The Reporter will publish additional listings as they become available. 

  • The Jewish Book Council will hold a “Virtual Unpacking the BookRachel Bloom and Tovah Feldshuh – A Conversation Between a (Television) Daughter and Mother” on Thursday, April 29, from 7-8 pm. The event will include discussions of Rachel Bloom’s “I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are” and Tovah Feldshuh’s “Lilyville.” It will be moderated by Stephanie Butnick, host of Tablet’s “Unorthodox” podcast. For more information or to register, visit www.jewishbookcouncil.org/events/virtual-unpacking-the-book-rachel-bloom-and-tovah-feldshuh-a-conversation.
  • The Center for Jewish History will host “Family Affairs: Writing Parents’ Stories,” featuring Bernice Lerner and Susan Jacobowitz, on Wednesday, April 7, at 4 pm. Lerner, author of “All the Horrors of War: A Jewish Girl, a British Doctor and the Liberation of Bergen-Belsen,” and Jacobowitz, author of the manuscript “Far from Childhood: A Holocaust Memoir,” discuss with Natalia Aleksiun their parents’ interrupted childhoods during the Holocaust in the Carpathian Mountains. For more information or to register, visit https://programs.cjh.org/event/family-affairs-2021-04-07. 
  • Hazan has launched The Shmita Prizes, which will award artists and creatives – from all levels of experience and age groups – for works of art that bring into focus the relevancy and application of shmita values in the contemporary world. There are five different categories for submissions. For complete information, visit https://shmitaproject.org/about-prizes/.
  • The Jewish Theological Seminary will hold several programs and classes in April, including “All the Horrors of War: A Jewish Girl, a British Doctor, and the Liberation of Bergen-Belsen.” an online conversation with author Dr. Bernice Lerner on Tuesday, April 6, at 7:30 pm (www.jtsa.edu/all-the-horrors-of-war?); “New Perspectives on Abortion and the Jewish Community,” an online mini-course with Dr. Michal Raucher, on Wednesdays, April 7, 14 and 21, from 8-9 pm (www.jtsa.edu/new-perspectives-on-abortion?); and “Cantors, Controversy, and Compassion: Searching for God in Musical Complexity,” an online discussion with Cantor Matthew Austerklein, on Thursday, April 15, at 7:30 pm (www.jtsa.edu/cantors-controversy-compassion-austerklein?).
  • Pardes has new classes beginning in April, including “Opening the Heart with the Tanya – The book of the Tanya as a guide to harmony of body and soul, of earthliness and spirituality”; “Parsha, Midrash and the Rabbinic Imagination”; “Destruction and Rebirth: The Jewish Story from 1938-1948”; “The Long Walk to Freedom: Pesach to Shavuot, Holocaust and Independence Days, through classic and modern sources”; “The Writings and Philosophy of Rabbi Sacks: Arguments for the Sake of Heaven”; “Rabbinic Responses to the Pandemic: Season 2”; “A Time to Work on Ourselves: Loving More, Complaining Less; Wisdom from a Modern Mystic – Rav Kook”; “Jewish Identity Through Modern Art”; and “The Great Hebrew Poets Series: Leah Goldberg and Uri Zvi Greenberg.” For more information or to register, visit www.pardes.org.il/program/community/pardes-community-education/.
  • JScreen, a national public health initiative based out of Emory University School of Medicine’s Department of Human Genetics, announced a new program that will offer at-home testing for more than 60 cancer susceptibility genes associated with hereditary risks for breast, ovarian, prostate, colorectal, skin and many other cancers. To learn more about testing options, visit https://jscreen.org/.
  • The Congress for Jewish Culture will offer a four-meeting course led by Shane Baker exploring the prose works of Avrom Sutzkever, drawn primarily from his collection “Di Nevue fun Shvartsapl” (“Prophecy of the Inner Eye”). The texts will be read aloud in Yiddish and students will be able to follow along in either Yiddish or English translation. The classesw ill take place on Sundays April 11, 18 and 25, and May 2. The class is for intermediate to advanced or intrepid beginners, and the cost to attend if $100. To register or for more information, e-mail kongres@earthlink.net.
  • The Center for Brooklyn History will hold a virtual talk “Jewish Brooklyn: Identity” that will explore how the new and the old Brooklyn Jewish identity spirals back to the Diaspora and forward to the digital. Speaking will be Bruce Feiler, New York Times reporter Joseph Berger, Yiddish performer Eleanor Reissa and Rabbi Matt Green of Congregation Beth Elohim. For more information or to register, visit https://bklynlibrary.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_IU7-tTIWTm-5SZgtevJfKQ?ct=t(January+Programs+Week+2+(01092018)_COPY_01)&goal=0_556fa60cc0-7cc739583b-.
  • Zivug will hold the virtual class “Western Ethics and Jewish Law on the 21st Century’s Hardest Questions” on Tuesdays, April 6, 13, 20 and 27, May 4, 11 and 25, and June 1, from 8-9:30 pm. The cost is $120/person. The class is being offered through Open Circle at Hebrew College. For more information or to register, www.zivugtogether.org/events/conundrums.
  • The Collecting These Times website is connects American Jews to Jewish institutions and other collecting projects that can gather and preserve their experiences of the pandemic. Individuals can find relevant collecting projects through the portal and easily contribute materials such as images, videos, audio recordings, documents, and oral histories to collecting institutions in different parts of the U.S. For more information, visit https://collectingthesetimes.org/s/collecting-these-times/page/home.
  • The National Museum of Jewish American History will hold “The Ninth Annual Freedom Seder Revisited: Stories Through the Years” on Wednesday, March 31, at 8 pm. The event is free with a suggested $10 donation. The communal event will feature commemoration, stories, performances and a community exploration of freedom in America today. The event will be available on the museum’s Facebook page, its NMAJH and, for a limited number on Zoom. (Registration is required to receive the Zoom link, but not for the other viewing options.) For more information, visit www.nmajh.org/events/9th-annual-freedom-seder-revisited/.
  • The Shalom Hartman Institute will offer “Spring Days of Learning.” “Gathering, Meaning, and Memory: New Rituals for Remembrance” will begin on Wednesday, April 7, with a global Hitkansut ceremony and continues throughout the day on Thursday, April 8, with opportunities for text study, conversation and reflection. “Home/Land: Celebrating Israel@73” will explore historic and modern perspectives on the state of Israel on April 14-15. For more information, visit https://spring.hartman.org.il/?mc_cid=91dd4cf099&mc_eid=96085fa8a5.
  • Shoresh Jewish Environmental Programs will hold “Shmitah Text Study,” a six-week text study group on Thursdays, April 8-June 17, from 7-8:30 pm. For more information or to register, visit https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/shmitah-text-study-tickets-141979846543.
  • The Jewish National Fund-USA Breakfast for Israel: “You, me, and Israel at 73!” will be held on Sunday, April 18, from 10:30-11:30 am. Guest speakers will include Tsahi Halevi, who plays Naor on the Neflix series “Fauda,” and Rona-Lee Shimon, who plays Nurit on “Fauda.” For more information or to register, visit www.jnf.org/events-landing-pages/jewish-national-fund-breakfast-for-israel-tri-state-2021?.
  • Professor Ruth Wisse is teaching a class for The Tikvah Fund called “Sholem Aliechem’s Tevye the Dairyman.” There is no charge to watch the eight episodes. For more information or to register, visit https://tikvahfund.org/course/sholem-aleichems-tevye-the-dairyman/?.
  • IAC36 will hold two free programs: Zikaron BaSalon, a Yom Hashoah program, on Wednesday, April 7, at 9 pm (https://iac360.org/event/zikaron/), and an Israel Independence Day celebration on Sunday, April 18, at 10 pm (https://iac360.org/event/celebrate-israels-independence-day-west/).
  • K, The Jews, Europe, the XXIst Century – an online magazine founded by journalists and academics from all over Europe – was scheduled to launch on March 22. It will offer articles, essays and interviews about the current situation of European Jews. It will also publish reactions and essays about current events, as well fiction about the concerns of European Jews. The English version of the text can be found at https://k-larevue.com/en/.
  • Hillel International will hold the Hillel College Fair from April 5-7. The fair will explore Jewish life on more than 200 campuses in the U.S. and Canada. Students, their parents/guardians and anyone who wants to learn about Jewish college life are welcome to attend. For more information or to register, visit https://welcome.hillel.org/virtual-college-fair/?.
  • The Vilna Shul and the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute will offer the virtual program “Taking Over the Crown: Camille Eskell’s ‘The Fez as Storyteller’” on Thursday, April 1, at 2 pm. The program will offer a discussion and behind-the-scenes look at artist Camille Eskell’s new exhibition “The Fez as Storyteller.” The exhibit will be available online. For information about the exhibit, visit https://www.brandeis.edu/hbi/artist-program/exhibition.html. To register for the event, visit https://vilnashul.org/events/event/taking-over-the-crown-camille-eskells-the-fez-as-storyteller.
  • Ritualwell will hold a virtual program “Journeying to Sinai: Seven Workshops for the Omer” on Tuesdays, March 30-May 11, at noon. The weekly workshops will be taught by rabbis, poets and spiritual leaders. Workshops include meditation, poetry writing and spiritual practices connected to the kabbalistic theme of each Omer week. A minimum donation of $36 is suggested to attend the workshop series and gain access to all the recordings. For more information or to register, visit www.tickettailor.com/events/ritualwell/482037?.
  • The Association for Jewish Studies will offer two virtual spring courses, beginning in April: “Jews, Race, and the U.S. Civil Rights Movement” and “Antisemitism and the American Past.”There is a charge for the courses, but Friends of the AJS Benefactors can attend free. For more information or to register, visit https://associationforjewishstudies.org/academy.

For additional resources, see previous issues of The Reporter on its website, www.thereportergroup.org.