Recently Completed Classes

DEEP SOUL WRITING Led by KH Member Linda Zelizer

June 7 and 21, 2021.  1:00 – 2:30 PM

An introduction to a writing process that helps to access higher wisdom.

It goes beyond journaling where you may be involved in deep reflection. In Deep Soul Writing you learn to exit the conscious left brain and allow greater wisdom to emerge. The process is a type of dialogue, where you ask about questions that concern you and listen to the wisdom voice respond.

In this class we will write, share, and process together while experiencing the power of group support.

Open to all who are interested and curious. This process is not about how good a writer you may be. I am passionate about this method, having personally experienced its power in the last 9 months in an ongoing group. I also facilitate an ongoing group and love watching the participants open up to the process.

Bio: Linda Zelizer, MS, PD a retired psychotherapist, spiritual director, yoga teacher, reiki master and workshop leader.


THE EVOLUTION OF THE RELIGION OF ISRAEL AND COMPARISON TO OUR COUSIN ISLAM led by KH Member David Steinberg

Mondays on May 3, 10, 24 and June 7 at 11:00 am; 1.5 hrs

  1. Israelite Religion to Judaism: The Evolution of the Religion of Israel
    Yehezkel Kaufmann (1889 – 1963), the Israeli biblical scholar developed a thesis that Israel’s monotheism was not a gradual development from paganism. Kaufmann summed up his position in these words: “Israelite religion was an original creation of the people of Israel. It was absolutely different from anything the pagan world knew; its monotheistic world view has no antecedents in paganism.” In addition, he postulated that “ What idol-worship the Scriptures speak of was only “vestigial fetishistic idolatry,” and not a genuine attachment of the people to such forms of worship, or the influence of foreign culture.” This is clearly in line with traditional Jewish belief. However, archaeology over the last half century has shown that it is overwhelmingly likely that Israelite monotheism did indeed evolve out of Canaanite religion during the period 1200-500 BCE.
    The class will touch on the nature and development of religion in the first Temple period (e.g. formal/national, folk religion, women’s role etc.)
  2. The Origin and Nature of the Samaritans and their Relationship to Second Temple Jewish Sects
    Everyone has heard of the Good Samaritan. This talk will trace the origin of the Samaritans and how they compared to Jewish sects of the late Second Temple period. It will briefly outline their history to the present and their surviving literature.
  3. Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Judaisms – Contrasting Positions on Key Issues
    This will discuss views on the origin of Torah, what, if anything, makes the Halakha binding, study of Talmud, attitude to the Jewish people and Zionism, and attitude to secular education.
  4. Islam and Judiasm Influences Contrasts and Parallels
    One observer has said that Islam is Judaism denationalized. A major study concluded that Islam is equivalent to Judaism minus the homeland but plus the unique concept of Jihad. This talk will look at some of the differences and parallels.

“LEARN TO CHANT, IT’S A MITZVAH”

Mondays at 10:30 am, January 18, 25, 2021; Feb 1,8,15 & 22, 2021

Class will be taught by Gail Buchman. The first time Gail chanted Torah was when she became an adult bat mitzvah in 2006. Gail had learned just enough Hebrew to read the words of her Parsha and although she took a stab at learning the trope, she really learned the melody from a cassette recording that had been made for me. A few

years later, Gail had the good fortune and honor of learning trope from Micha’el Esformes, a learned and musically talented Chazzen, who taught a group of us at the Woodstock Jewish Congregation in Woodstock New York. Since that time, she has taught trope to bar and bat mitzvah students, some with and some without any apparent musical talent! So, if you are interested in learning, Gail would be honored to pass this knowledge on to you, too.

I love the ancient, soulful practice of chanting Torah and am offering to remotely teach a small group who would like to learn how. I will teach you to “read” Trope, which is the musical system used to create the melodies that accompany the particular portion of the Torah being read each Saturday morning, all over the world. Anyone can do it! All you need for this class is a basic ability to read Hebrew.

The class will initially be scheduled to meet for 6 weeks. Depending on the progress of the individuals in the group, it could be extended. Maximum of 6 participants, no minimum.


JOSEPHUS – JEWISH HISTORIAN, GREEK HISTORIAN, ROMAN HISTORIAN – JEWISH GENERAL AND TURNCOAT

Monday, March 1, 2021 @ 2:00 pm, 1 ½ hrs.

This will briefly review Josephus’ life, look at what he was trying to accomplish in his writings and consider his contribution to knowledge of Second Temple Judaism and his contemporary culture.


ERIC MENDELSOHN: SYNAGOGUE ARCHITECT WITH A VISION

Eric Mendelsohn: Between the years 1946 and 1953, the American, German-Jewish architect Eric Mendelsohn built four synagogues in the Midwest. Mendelsohn’s synagogues were the crowning conclusion of his career through tumultuous times. In his book, Eric Mendelsohn’s Synagogues in America, photographer Michael Palmer records in detail these four Mendelsohn synagogues, located in Saint Paul, Saint Louis, Cleveland, and Grand Rapids. Palmer will employ his photographs as the foundation for a discussion about Mendelsohn, his Jewish identity, and his architectural mission. Palmer will also explain how the founding of the State of Israel in 1948 affected Mendelsohn’s plans and how Mendelsohn sought to create radically new architectural solutions for American houses of worship that uniquely met the functional, social, and spiritual demands of their respective, diverse Jewish communities

Led by Michael Craig Palmer. Michael Palmer is a photographer whose work has explored the architectural legacy and relevance of the German Jewish exodus from Germany in the 1920s and 1930s. His first photo book documents previously ignored aspects of 1930s buildings in Tel Aviv’s historic “White City” district, a center for German and other central European refugees in the 1930s. Palmer’s most recent work focuses on the buildings of the noted German Jewish architect Eric Mendelsohn, including Mendelsohn’s breakthrough Einstein Tower near Berlin, synagogues in Saint Louis, Cleveland, Saint Paul and Grand Rapids, as well as his buildings in Israel. Michael began his photography career in 2015 with the Tel Aviv White City project. Previously, he had a career in pharmaceutical industry research and development.

Friday March 12, 2021 @ 11:00 am


PASSOVER: “ON FREEDOM’S PATH” A MEMOIR WRITING WORKSHOP

Class given by Ronni Miller.  This memoir- writing workshop will focus on your personal feelings, memories and experiences related to Passover. Hands-on, simple writing exercises from the Write It Out® program will guide the novice and the advance writer to express your story.

Ronni Miller, award winning author, Founder and Director of Write It Out® a motivational and expressive writing program for individuals of all ages since 1992, and Developmental Editor/ Book midwife, will facilitate the four-week workshop. Ronni has published eight books for adults and children. Her latest Between Lovers is a collection of short stories and is available on Amazon.

Monday’s in March 1, 8,15 & 22, 2021; time: 11:00 AM-12:30


REWRITING THE BIBLE FROM A FEMINIST PERSPECTIVE

In this course, we will re-imagine some of the pivotal stories in the Torah by viewing them through a feminist lens. In the first class, we’ll explore how past generations of Jews re-interpreted the biblical text to make the Torah relevant to their own times. Then we’ll spend the next three classes “re-gendering” several Bible stories of our own choosing, switching male and female roles of the characters, or substituting a daughter for a son, or inserting a new female character to take the lead in a familiar story. How different the Torah could be if women were in charge! All are welcome.

About Dr. Ellen Frankel: Ellen received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Princeton University. She taught writing in a variety of contexts: college, adult education, the workplace, and summer gifted programs. She’s the author of 10 books, including The Five Books of Miriam: A Woman’s Commentary on the Torah and The JPS Illustrated Children’s Bible. She’s also written librettos for several operas and chamber pieces, including several on biblical themes: “Women of Valor,” “Hagar,” “The Mothers of Moses,” and “The Esther Diaries.” She and her husband, Herb Levine, are members of Kol HaNeshama and live in Pelican Cove.

April 5, 12, 19 & 26, 2021; Time: 1-2:30 PM


“IF I’M NOT FOR MYSELF…” MEMOIR WRITING WORKSHOP

Ronni Miller, Founder & Director of Write It Out® since 1992 “a motivational and expressive writing program for individuals of all ages” and Developmental Editor/ Book midwife will offer Congregation Kol HaNeshama a memoir writing workshop which will motivate and inspire you to write the story of how your Jewishness impacted your life.

Hands-on, simple writing exercises from the Write It Out® program will guide the novice and the advanced writer to express your feelings, memories, and experiences.

 

WHERE WE MEET

St. Wilfred’s Episcopal Church Campus, Kol HaNeshama Sanctuary
3773 Wilkinson Road, Sarasota, FL 34233

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