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Effecting Change with Education

01/31/2021 10:39:44 AM


Rabbi Jamie Arnold

In the few months since the last Shofar was issued, there has been some big news in our world.  The Colorado wildfires have been contained.  A new US president and a first female VP were elected – soon to be inaugurated.  And, several vaccines for the novel coronavirus have been approved are in the process of being distributed and offered to the public. 

The effects of a regional drought, the outgoing administration, and the ongoing global pandemic will surely be long-lasting, and the recoveries slow.  Still, the dry soil is ready for winter snows and the seeds of change are in the air.

The word for ‘change’ in Hebrew is shinah.  And we measure change over time by tracking months and years, shanah.  And in Jewish culture, we affirm the capacity as human beings to direct change towards justice and peace by teaching our children through example, mishnah.  It is no accident that these three words and the consonant letters they share, are related.  We measure shinah [change] with each shanah [year] and foster positive change with mishnah [education]. 

Over the next several months, the educational offerings online for all ages through CBE continues to expand exponentially.  Gan and the weekly Religious School continue.  Midday Mussar on Thursday afternoons continues.  The Learners’ Minyan, an experiential introduction to the Shabbat morning prayer service, continues on the 2nd and 3rd Saturdays of each month.  Tuesdays with Morim (7 PM MST seminar on the 1st Tuesday of each month) for adults) continue.  On January 5, the topic with be “Holocaust Education: Does it Make a Difference?

And, thanks to the leadership of volunteers like Jay Kramer and others, the menu is even more robust.  Here’s a sampling:

CBE Book Club.  The book for January and February is “Your Love is Blasting in My Heart” written by our own Marilyn Saltzman, an outgrowth of her experience as a grandmother and a veteran student of mussar at CBE.  There will be a new book selected every other month throughout the year.  Care to start your own book club, let us help.

CBE Film Club.  Two films have been selected about different forms of Jewish resistance during the Nazi Holocaust, including the documentary Defiant Requiem.  Watch the trailer here.

Perspectives on Israel.  A six-session series starting in February, with limited enrolment. Details TBA.

The US Supreme Court (part 2) with Rich Levine, back by popular demand after his first session on the subject in December.

As we mark the changes we’ve both endured and achieved this past year, let us recommit to our own life-long learning, and make the most of these new opportunities for educating ourselves and guiding the changes to come with an informed mind eyeing a more just time.  

With Blessings for the winter season. Rabbi Jamie

Mon, April 12 2021 30 Nisan 5781