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Kiddush Conversations

Shabbatot, October 26, November 9, December 7, January 4, February 8, March 7, March 21, April 4, May 30, and June 13 After Kiddush, from 12:30 to 1:15 pm (approximately)

Conversations led by members of Temple Aliyah

Join the conversation!  At Kiddush Conversations, a member of the Temple Aliyah community draws upon his or her areas of expertise and leads a Conversation on a topic of his or her choosing.  These Conversations provide an opportunity for our community to explore topics beyond the standard Shabbat fare in a casual environment.  And, we get to savor Shabbat together just a little bit more!  Come learn and join the conversation!


Shabbat, October 26
Alisa Levine, Presenter

Haverim Kol Yisrael: We Come Together in Friendship.

Certainly we all appreciate the value of having close friends in our lives. According to Georgetown University linguistics professor and best-selling author Deborah Tannen, “Friends make you feel less alone in the world, less vulnerable. Feeling that someone cares, connecting with others, is fundamental to humans.” In our Western mobile society, where we often live in closer proximity to friends than family, our friendships have become increasingly important; our closest friends are “like family.” In its infinite wisdom, Judaism demonstrates through its texts and traditions the high value it places on friendship. Join Alisa in our first Kiddush Conversation of 5780 for an uplifting discussion on Temple Aliyah’s theme for this year, Haverim Kol Yisrael, where we will explore Judaism’s special emphasis on the power of coming together in friendship.


Shabbat, November 9
Karen Shapiro, MPH, Esq., Presenter

Commemorating D-Day, 75 Years Later

As we pause to honor our veterans on Tuesday, November 11, this year also marked the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Allied forces’ liberation of Western Europe from Nazi Germany’s control. On June 6, 1944, known as D-Day, approximately 156,000 American, British and Canadian forces arrived on five beaches along the coast of France’s Normandy region. In this Kiddush Conversation on Veterans Day weekend, Karen will share her meaningful experience of visiting England and France for the commemoration of D-Day. She will discuss the contributions of veterans who fought for liberation, and how we can still learn from them. Karen will also explore how Judaism approaches the fight to preserve freedom.


Shabbat, December 7
Fredie Kay, Esq.,Presenter

Women’s Suffrage: Commemorating Adoption of the 19th Amendment – Why did it take 72+ years to achieve?

The Women’s Suffrage Celebration Coalition of Massachusetts (WSCC) is dedicated to highlighting the largely unknown history of the women’s suffrage movement and inspiring more people to appreciate and exercise their vote! In this Kiddush Conversation, Fredie will discuss some of the dramatic history of women’s suffrage, including efforts of Jewish women dating back to the 1800’s, which inspired her to establish the WSCC. She will also share WSCC’s important work with partner organizations throughout the Commonwealth and national organizations to commemorate the centennial, evaluate the progress of women’s rights, educate the public, increase voter participation, and more!


Shabbat, January 4
Stephen Baum, Karen Geggel, Robin Metzger, Presenters, Rabbi Leslie Gordon, Moderator

Finding Judaism: Personal Journeys of Faith and Identity

We each experience our own Jewish journeys, traveling a variety of paths that led us to become part of the Temple Aliyah community. For some, the path to living a Jewish life was to choose Judaism. Please join us for this meaningful Kiddush Conversation during which we will hear from Stephen Baum, Karen Geggel, and Robin Metzger, each of whom made the choice to become a Jew. Rabbi Gordon, who has taught conversion classes for over 20 years as well as classes for the newly Jewish, will moderate the discussion. Come to this unique opportunity to learn from members of our Temple Aliyah family as they share significant experiences or aspects of their respective Jewish journeys.


Shabbat, February 8
Gerry Rovner, Esq., Presenter

Understanding Legal Issues in Immigration

Immigration continues to be the subject of intense national debate. As policies and regulations change, treatment of foreign nationals seeking asylum is dramatically altered. Many agree that immigration policies need to be reformed, but how many of us understand these policies; what is “lawful” and what is not? Join Gerry Rovner, an immigration attorney, for an informative discussion on current policy issues and their implications in the immigration debate.


Shabbat, March 7
Janet Gail Besser, M.P.P., Presenter

Advancing Clean Energy

People are increasingly paying attention to climate change and clean energy in the wake of the Paris Climate Accord and as the costs of clean energy technologies like solar decline. At Temple Aliyah, we have taken steps to reduce our energy use and have installed solar panels on our roof, which not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions but also our electricity bills. How do individual actions related to electricity use affect the overall system and its environmental impacts? Join Janet Gail Besser as she shares her expertise from over 30 years of experience in the electricity industry in an informal conversation about how the electricity system works and how together we can make it more efficient, cleaner and less costly.


Shabbat, March 21
Steven D. Spitz, D.M.D, Presenter

Lions and Tigers and Red Sox, Oh My!: Taking Advantage of Every Opportunity and Following Your Dreams.

Steve will discuss his relationship with the Boston Red Sox, how he became the dentist to the animals in Zoo New England and how his profession opened his door to the world. He will also share how anti-Semitism and discrimination has shaped his year as International President of Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity (AO), an international Jewish dental organization created 112 years ago to support Jewish students working to become dentists in a time of anti-semitism and discrimination, and how AO is currently working internationally to quell the same issues.


Shabbat, April 4
Peter B. Finn, Esq., Presenter

From the Scientific Bench to the Bedside: How is a Drug Developed, Financed and Ultimately Commercialized?

We are constantly bombarded with advertisements for new or improved medicines without realizing that generally 15 or more years are required before a drug can be sold. This Kiddush Conversation will take you through the steps of how a drug is developed and the required related financing with several examples, including drugs for the treatment of ALS and Ovarian Cancer.


Shabbat, May 30
Margie Brodsky and Gil Brodsky, M.D., Presenters

From Strength to Strength: Temple Aliyah, Then and Now

Come to this Kiddush Conversation and let your mind wander back to a time before iPhones, social media, and Google Maps to the Temple Aliyah of almost 20 years ago. What did our community look like, and what were its hopes and dreams for the future? Join Margie and Gil Brodsky, co-presidents of Temple Aliyah from 2001-2003, as they review their first High Holiday appeal speech, dreams past and (then) present. Peer into the past to see how far our synagogue and community have come!


Shabbat, June 13
Rabbi William Kaufman, Presenter

Maimonides’ Perplexity and Ours

Moses Maimonides, born Moses Ben Maimon (1135-1204) and also known by the acronym Rambam, was one of the greatest Jewish thinkers of all time. His major philosophical work was The Guide to the Perplexed, written for his star pupil who was perplexed by the anthropomorphisms, or the attribution of human characteristics to God, in the Torah. This is indeed one of OUR perplexities today. We run into theological problems when we think of God as a magnified human being. How did Maimonides address this perplexity, and might his philosophical approach help us today? Rabbi Kaufman explores Maimonides’ examination of these difficult questions and its impact on our belief systems.

Please click here to see the biographies of all of the instructors in this year's Adult Ed programs.

Friday, April 3 2020 9 Nisan 5780