An Evening of Learning and Fun Open to the Community


The When, Who, and What of Beth Hillel-Beth El’s Torathon.

Temple Beth Hillel Beth El presents Torathon XXVI, An Evening of Discovery, on the evening of Saturday, January 21, 2012.

More after the jump.
So Who Goes to the Torathon? If you’ve been to one, you know. If you haven’t yet gone, read on! Is it for those who like to chime in with comments? Yes. And is it for those who want to sit back and just listen? Yep, that too. Is it for artsy folks who like poetry, drama, and music? Absolutely. What about the ones who want serious, scholarly discourse? Of course! Experiential sessions? Got it. Israel? Betach! (That’s Hebrew for “Certainly!) The essential message is that the Torathon is for you, no matter what your interest.

The voices and points of access to our tradition are many – and that’s reflected in the offerings at our yearly Torathon. This is “Torah” writ large – “big tent” Torah that can encompass and draw in all of us.

Cast aside assumptions and feel the camaraderie that comes from sharing the experience of a special event. Put January 21st on the calendar and get someone to commit to coming with you.

The event offers an enticing mix of Jewish Philadelphia’s finest presenters with three 50-minute mini-courses on diverse topics that stimulate the intellect and move the heart and connect participants with Jewish religion, culture and contemporary issues. While the final slate of sessions is subject to change, here’s a glimpse of what’s on tap from more than third presenters:

The Honorable Daniel Kutner, Consul General of Israel to the Mid-Atlantic Region, will be featured at the keynote session. Cantor Eugene Rosner, Prof. Richard Freedman and the TBH-BE Choir are working on an interactive program of choral works that calls for audience impressions and analysis. Rabbi Ethan Franzel will lead an experience of Jewish/Hebrew chanting, while Rabbi Shraga Sherman will explore the key to accessing your mystical self. Rabbi Ben Richman will consider wisdom among the nations as he explores Jewish views on other religions. David Weinstein will look at Jerusalem and explore the city’s status under international law, while Dan Segal examines The New Israel Fund and democracy in Israel. Rabbi Yonah Gross will put Gilad Shalit front and center as he leads a discussion on the obligation to redeem captives. Rob Kitchenoff will keep you rooted as he speaks about rediscovering Jewish genealogy. Rabbi Chaim Galfand invites you to focus on your more immediate family and have your children age 6 through 12 join an interactive Jewish storytelling session where they play a role. (Save yourself the cost of a babysitter and have these same kids stay for ice cream and additional programming until 9 pm!) Dr. Sam Klausner will shed light on Lubavitch’s Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. Rabbi Neil Cooper will bring his talent for text study to bear on familiar items from our liturgy as he focuses on the potentially contradictory descriptions of God found in two two well-known and often recited hymns, “Yigdal” and “An’im Zemirot.” Shulamith Caine and Adena Potok will take poetic license and share insights into the power of verse, as Deborah Baer Mozes guides you in releasing your inner playwright.

With so many different activities occurring simultaneously it is hard to know what to choose. Traditional as well as creative approaches to learning will be offered, so you’re sure to find much that interests you.

The Torathon is open to the community. Admission is $10 per person, $5 for students with ID, and free to children 6 through 12.