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Lishma Jewish Learning Project

Presented by: Annex Shul, BASE, Beth Tzedec Congregation, Holy Blossom Temple, UJA:Genesis and the Miles Nadal JCC

Lishma is a 20s and 30s learning space.

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Wednesdays, 7:00 - 9:00 PM

Semester 3: January 15/22/29, Feb 5/12/19 @ Holy Blossom Temple

Registration Information 

Course Selection

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Course Descriptions: 

Hands-On Track: New Jewish Film
with Aaron Rotenberg

Join Aaron and the Toronto Jewish Film Foundation to discover and analyze new films from around the world. We will watch and discuss brand new short films selected by the TJFF for potential screening at this year's festival. Each week will focus on a different genre or style. Students will be able to hone their critical film analysis skills in a Jewish framework. 

Aaron Rotenberg serves as the Spiritual Leader of Annex Shul in downtown Toronto. In addition to his Jewish community work, Aaron also makes films and videos that explore Jewish themes. His short films have screened at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival, the Washington Jewish Film Festival, the UK Jewish Film Festival, Lund International Architecture Film Festival and Dance Made in Canada Festival. He completed an MFA in Film Production from York University.

Judaism + Modernity Track: Bad@$$ Sheroes with Rabbi Becca Walker

Come meet your soon to be favorite bad@$$ women from Jewish tradition, who were already smashing the patriarchy thousands of years ago! Each session we will pair a shero from Jewish tradition with a modern feminist shero or idea, put them in conversation with one another and with ourselves. If you are looking for a way to incorporate your feminism into your Judaism, this is a course for you. If you are unsure and just looking to explore these ideas, this is also a course for you!

Rabbi Becca Walker is the new Engagement Rabbi at Beth David. Originally hailing from Boston, she has lived all over the US and is excited to give Canada a try. Rabbi Walker was ordained at The Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at American Jewish University in Los Angeles in 2016. Prior to moving to Toronto, she served as the Senior Jewish Educator for Michigan State University Hillel. Rabbi Walker also enjoys outdoor adventures, hosting Shabbat dinners and avid podcast listening.

Text and Context Track: Jewish Couplehood with Yacov Fruchter

All couples are welcome, including dating, committed, same-sex and interfaith partners. Together we will create an inclusive framework to learn about, grapple with and begin to answer some of the most crucial Jewish questions that a couple may want to address while building a meaningful life together. Traditional as well as contemporary approaches to core practices will be explored, and couples should expect to be left with choices rather than one direct path towards building an intentional home.  No previous experience in Jewish learning is required, but past experiences will be built upon and a desire to learn with an open mind is a must.

Yacov Fruchter is a Montreal Jew, and currently the Director of Community Building and Spiritual Engagement at Beth Tzedec Congregation. In Toronto he has been a Jewish educator at Hillel Canada and the Spiritual Leader of the Annex Shul. Yacov recently completed a Master's of Pastoral Studies with a certificate in Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy at Emmanuel College at the University of Toronto.

Looking Ahead
Semester 4: April 22/29 May 6/13/20/27 @ Beth Tzedec Congregation

Hands-On Track: Creative Writing with Tikvah Hecht
Judaism + Modernity: Medical Ethics with Rabbi Steven Wernick
Text and Context: Queering the Torah with Rabbi Andrea Myers

The registration fee helps us cover our costs!  The suggested contribution is $72 ($12/night). There is a minimum of $36 for the semester ($6/night). If you are unable to make any contribution, please be in touch with Suzanne Carson, Lishma Coordinator at 
If you value this offering/program beyond the sliding scale rate, we encourage a larger contribution. Please contribute what you are able.


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