In this Yesod Summer Online Jewish Learning Series, diverse examples of contemporary cultural modes and genre including art, sport, music and film will be mined and explored as vehicles for the expression of universal and Jewish values and meaning. Guest presenters will bring examples from a genre in which they have expertise, and match these with Jewish ideas and values contained in classic and contemporary Jewish texts. The end result will be an entertaining and stimulating experience of Jewish learning to inspire your summer evenings.^ Back to top
1) Learn Torah as an Artist
Jacqueline Nicholls, Wednesday 24 June, 20:00 – 21:00 CEST
What does an artist notice that a scholar might not see? When the hands are busy, the mind is thinking differently and the art making process offers new ways to create meaning and engage with sacred text and religious traditions. In this presentation Jacqueline will introduce some fascinating contemporary artists, from around the Jewish world, who are adding their voices to the tradition in their own unique ways.
2) Yalla Hapoel: Finding meaning, humanity (and even God) on the sports field
Jeremy Leigh, Wednesday 1 July, 20:00 – 21:00 CEST
Rightly or wrongly, the stereotype claims that Jews have an uneasy relationship with sport … but is it true? For some, sport explains everything, a remarkable lens through which to understand the world we live in – as Jews, as members of the human race, as people trying to make sense of the world. And anyone trying to explain God… sport has much to offer. As we will discuss in this session, there is much to be said about the matter, searching as we are to find Jewish meaning in this most universal expression of culture. We shall be specifically mentioning the sports of hammer throwing, horse racing, football (?!!) and prayer.
3) Music, Inspiration and Beyond
Nina Tokayer, Wednesday 8 July, 20:00 – 21:00 CEST
An experiential learning and music session with Nina Tokayer (from “Yonina”), exploring music as a form of prayer and spiritual connection in Judaism. With source-based learning, we’ll be addressing some of the following questions and more: What is the connection between music and prophecy? What is the power of a Niggun (a tune without words)? What is it that makes us break out in song? And can we write our own Tehilim (Psalms)? The session will include both traditional Jewish music and modern original songs.
4) Batman verses the Joker as a powerful expression of the eternal message of the Jewish People: LIFE. HAS. PURPOSE.
Rabbi Dr. Raphael Zarum, Wednesday 15 July, 20:00 – 21:00 CEST
Superheroes such as Batman have survived and thrived for decades. First as cheaply printed comics and now as billion-dollar movie franchises. These characters speak to our primal fears and feelings. At the heart of their fantastical exploits are emotions and experiences that we can recognise in our own lives. Not surprising then, elements of these superheroes can be found in Jewish thought too. The eternal battle of Batman vs the Joker, for instance, is reflected in two biblical characters: Isaac and Amalek. We will look at these two and their approaches to humour and how they relate to the Batman mythology. So, put on your masks and get ready for a bumpy ride…^ Back to top
Rabbi Dr. Raphael Zarum
He received rabbinic ordination after studying at the Kollel of the Judith Lady Montefiore College. The semicha was given by Dayan Saadia Amor (Rosh Beth Din of the Sephardi Beth Din UK and Rosh of the Montefiore Kollel), Rabbi Dr Abraham Levy (Emeritus Spiritual Head of the Spanish & Portuguese Jews’ Congregation and Honorary Principal of the Judith Lady Montefiore College), Dayan Ezra Basri (Former Av Bet Din of Yerushalayim) and Emeritus Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (Former President of LSJS).
He completed a PhD in theoretical physics in 1999 and published a number of papers on Quantum Chaos Theory. He is a leading Jewish educator in the UK and teaches at conferences and seminars, synagogues and Jewish community centres across the globe. In 2008 he was ranked 26th in the Jewish Chronicle Power100 list of the most influential people in UK Jewry.^ Back to top
Registration is now closed.^ Back to top