Jewish resources to occupy your family during social distancing – part 16

By Reporter staff 

A variety of Jewish groups are offering online resources – educational and recreational – for those who are not allowed out of the house. Below is a sampling of those. The Reporter will publish additional listings as they become available. 

  • The Berkeley Institute Podcast on “Israel and Jewish Identity in the Age of COVID” can be found at https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/berkeley-institute-for-jewish-law-and-israel-studies/berkeley-institute-live-podcast-series/. The series was recorded and all the half hour talks given from March-May are available.
  • Project Inspire, www.projectinspire.com, offers links to learn more about celebrating Shabbat at home and learning opportunities.
  • The Forverts, a Yiddish newspaper, has its own channel on YouTube, which can be found at www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Forverts, or by going to www.youtube.com and searching for “Forvert.”
  • Yachad On Demand, www.yachad.org/yachadondemand, is offering a variety of social and educational programs for individuals with special needs and their families. Different virtual summer events can be found at www.yachad.org/events.
  • Tikvah Open University is holding a variety of virtual classes during the months of July and August. Some classes include “Menachem Begin” with Daniel Gordis, “American Strategy in the Middle East” with Michael Doran and “It Takes Two” with Martin Kramer. Most classes are three sessions and there is a charge for the classes. For more information or to register, visit https://tikvahfund.org/open/.
  • The TV show “Bubbies Know Best” is now available on YouTube. To view the shows, visit www.youtube.com and search for “Bubbies Know Best TV Show.” 
  • Case Western Reserve University’s Siegal Lifelong Learning is holding a variety of virtual classes, including those with Jewish themes. Courses include “Jews and Revolutions”: “Maimonides and Mitochondria: Jewish Mind, Body, and Spirit”; “Orthodox-Feminism: Conflict or Coexistence?”; “Representing the Holocaust: From Night to Maus”; and more. For a complete listing of course, course descriptions and how to enroll, visit https://case.edu/lifelonglearning/courses.
  • The Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy will hold the virtual tour “Remnants of the Jewish Bronx – A Zoom Talk with Bronx Native and Licensed Tour Guide Susan Birnbaum” on Tuesday, July 28, from 7-8:30 pm. Birnbaum will offer a virtual tour of the Jewish Bronx. Tickets are a minimum of $5 each or a donation of $10 or $18. For more information or to register, visit www.nycjewishtours.org/event-log/bronx-talk-on-zoom.
  • A video of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is available for viewing during the month of July at www.ipo.co.il/en/ipo-global-gala/. The gala with Dame Helen Mirren and maestro Lahav Shani features maestro Zubin Mehta, Pinchas Zukerman, Itzhak Perlman and more.
  • The Shmooze podcast talked with the Yiddish Book Center’s director of translation initiatives, Mindl Cohen, to talk about the 2020 Pakn Treger Digital Translation Issue. This year’s anthology of newly translated work includes memoirs, stories and other works themed to “Yiddish Comes to America.” The podcast can be found at www.yiddishbookcenter.org/language-literature-culture/the-shmooze/260-yiddish-comes-america-collection-newly-translated-work.
  • The Union for Reform Judaism is offering an online concert series “Campfire on Tour.” The shows take place on Sunday nights at 8 pm through August 23. The online concerts are free. For more information, visit https://urj.org/campfire.
  • The 92nd Street Y is offering a variety of virtual events and classes this summer. For more information, visit www.92y.org/events.
  • The ZOA Book Club meeting #14 will feature author Jodie Cohen speaking about her new book about Israeli innovations contributing to the battle against the coronavirus,”Tikkun Olam: Israel vs. COVID 19: How is One of the Planet’s Smallest Countries Helping to Tackle the World’s Biggest Challenge?,” on Wednesday, July 29, at 1 pm. Attendees are not required to have read the book. For more information or to register, visit https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJckcuiprTooG9BJnRhCJhOFpBLenzr_rTJd.
  • Reboot presents a new video series, “Joy of Quarantine,” with comedian Jena Friedman. Teaming up with Reboot Studios, The series features Friedman humorous attempts to concoct dishes of her Eastern European Jewish roots. Episodes can be found at www.rebooters.net/joy-of-quarantine, which also offers a link to the complete series on YouTube.com.
  • The National Council of Jewish Women will hold a town hall with NCJW CEO Sheila Katz on Thursday, July 23, from 5-6 pm. To register for the event, visit https://secure.everyaction.com/CJjvjEg-I02_ALl7D6j8HA2.
  • The J Street organization will offer “J School,” a new virtual study series on the history, dynamics and drivers of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Wednesdays. For more information or to register, visit https://jstreet.org/jstream/j-school/#.XwYI-ud7k4w.
  • Videos of the Rosh Chodesh Virtual Lunch ‘n Learn Series offered by the Orthodox Union’s Women’s Initiative can be found at www.ou.org/women/video/. 
  • The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism will hold a “Summer Book Discussion Series with Park Avenue Synagogue: Houdini: The Elusive American.” The free virtual events will take place on Wednesday, August 12, from noon-1:30 pm. Author Adam Begley will explore the life of Houdini. For more information or to register, visit https://uscj.org/connect/jewish-lives-summer-with-park-avenue-synagogue-houdini-the-elusive-american.
  • The Jewish Lives is a prizewinning series of interpretative biographies that explore Jewish identity. Individual volumes seek to illuminate the imprint of Jewish figures upon literature, religion, philosophy, politics, cultural and economic life, and the arts and sciences. The website offers videos of its authors talking about their books, which can be found at www.jewishlives.org/video.
  • Jewish Book Week will hold the virtual program “The Sanest Guy in the Room: Don Black in conversation with Michael Grade” on Thursday, July 23, from 2-3 pm. Don Black, who is one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s frequent collaborators, has won an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a Tony and an Ivor Novello Award, as well as platinum, gold and silver disks. He will talk to Michael Grade about working with Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Henry Mancini, Lulu and Lloyd Webber. To register for the program, visit https://mailchi.mp/jewishbookweek/the-sanest-guy-in-the-room.
  • Kivunim Online is offering several weeks of classes aimed at “challenging people intellectually, philosophically and spiritually – to face the present armed with the wisdom of the past – and build a future on pillars of critical thought and sustainable coexistence.” Classes are on Mondays and Thursdays at 1 pm. The second week of four weeks of classes takes place July 20-23. For information about specific classes and to register, visit https://www.kivunimonline.org.
  • ALEPH will hold “Erev Shel Kochavim: An Evening of Stars | ALEPH Virtual Cabaret Fundraiser” on Sunday, July 19, at 7 pm. The program fee is “pay what you can.” The event will feature the teachers and performers from the ALEPH Movement.For more information, visit https://aleph.org/virtualcabaret.

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