iEngage: Israel’s Milestones and Their Meanings

A Shalom Hartman Institute Lecture and Study Series

Led by Rabbi David Steinberg

Through video lectures, text study, and lively group discussion, we are pleased to bring the world-renowned faculty of the Shalom Hartman Institute into the Temple Israel community during this, the State of Israel’s 70th birthday year.

iEngage: Israel’s Milestones and Their Meanings explores the pivotal events of 1917, 1947, and 1967 as key moments when Zionism unleashed new thinking about the meaning of Jewishness for generations to come. Memory is a central element in defining modern Jewish identity. As we look to Israel’s future, we need to engage anew with our past and explore its meanings and consequences. This iEngage series grapples with the different ideas and values that shape the meaning of modern Israel, Zionism, and Jewish identity today. Together we will engage in a new values-based discourse about Israel, including topics such as: nationhood, land, Sovereignty, Jerusalem, Occupation and Moral Red Lines.

Each session includes text study and discussion led by Rabbi David and video lectures and roundtable discussions with leading Hartman scholars.   The course is free (thanks to a grant from the Union for Reform Judaism) but registration is required.  Please register by contacting Rabbi David Steinberg at or at 218-724-8857

The class will meet on the first Wednesday of each month from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., starting in February 2018 but with a break during the height of the summer.  Please feel free and encouraged to register for the class even if you know you’ll only be able to attend some of the sessions.

The planned session topics include:

Unit 1 (Feb. 7): 1917 - The Balfour Declaration: The Idea of a Homeland for the Jewish People

Unit 2 (Mar. 7): 1947 - The United Nations Partition Plan: The Jews in the World

Unit 3 (Apr. 4): 1967 - The Six Day War: Power, Land and God

Unit 4 (May 2): Judea and Samaria: Occupation or Liberation

Unit 5 (June 6): One State, Two States: Moral Red Lines

Unit 6 (Sept. 5): Jerusalem of God, Prayer and Peoplehood

Unit 7 (Oct. 3): Jerusalem of Responsibility, Loss, and Hope

Unit 8 (Nov. 7): The Jubilee Year and Beyond: Milestones and their Meanings


Posted on January 9, 2018 .

Talmud Study: Masechet Sanhedrin

Join Rabbi David on most Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. for a study of Masechet Sanhedrin, a tractate in the Talmud that deals mainly with how courts would be set up in a Jewish society, how judges are to be qualified, as well as questions of criminal law and the administration of justice.  However, just as in other tractates of the Talmud, there is also a stream of consciousness feel to it, with discussions going off in many directions.

Here are links that you can use to purchase your own copy of the text, whether you prefer the Artscroll-Sonnenstein edition or the Koren-Steinsaltz edition, each of which are available in various formats.  Either version is acceptable, and we’ll certainly plan to consult the explanatory notes in each of these editions as well as adding our own understandings into the mix.

Artscroll-Sonnenstein Edition:

Koren-Steinsaltz edition:

No prior knowledge or experience of Talmud study is required.

If you’d like to participate, please feel free simply to show up.  However, you are also welcome to contact me, Rabbi David Steinberg, with any questions you might have.  The class began in November but anyone is welcome to join in at any point along the way.

Upcoming 2018 Class dates:  3/15, 3/22, 3/29 and subsequent dates to be announced.  (We generally do not meet on the second Thursday of each month which is when the Temple Israel board meeting takes place).  [And we won't be meeting on  March 1st, when Purim Day is just concluding]

Posted on January 9, 2018 .

Learn to Read Hebrew

A beginning Hebrew class for adults is being taught by Susan Rees. The class meets at 5 p.m. Tuesdays. The book being used is Linda Motzkin's Aleph Isn't Tough and can be purchased online. Please leave a message for Susan via the Temple Office, 724-8857, for more information.

Posted on February 12, 2017 .