By Rabbi Ora Nitkin Kaner
You’ve probably heard the saying ‘two Jews, three opinions.’ It contains a kernel of truth: the idea that Jews thrive on arguing and sharing our opinions and beliefs with one another! But the phrase also reflects the diversity of perspectives, histories, cultures, and experiences present in Jewish communities; for as much as we might have in common (attending High Holiday services, or observing Shabbat in some fashion), we also have a lot of differences (what kashrut means to us, or what kind of God we believe in, or what our favorite Jewish food is).
This Shavuot, we have the opportunity to learn about and from our differences! The theme of this year’s Tikkun Leil Shavuot is ‘How Do YOU Do Jewish’? The evening’s learning will focus on the practical side of doing and being Jewish, and offer a window into how different community members express themselves Jewishly.
Members have the opportunity to teach (for 5, 10, or 15 minute time slots) on “How I Do Jewish.” This can be interpreted very broadly, and could range from “How I Bake My Favorite Cheesecake” to “My Most Meaningful Prayer Experience” and anywhere in between. Rabbi Ora will offer an hour-long class focused on the ‘doing’ aspect of ‘Doing Jewish’: “How To Create and Lead a Meaningful Shabbat Service.”
Do you, does your family, or did your ancestors ‘Do Jewish’ in a particular way? We want to learn about it! If you’re willing to present, please email Rabbi Ora with your topic and how long you’d like to teach for. We look forward to learning from you!
Shavuot will be held at the JCC of Ann Arbor on June 4th, 7pm-10pm. We will participate in an evening of learning and then go outside for an al fresco dairy desert potluck. Please RSVP here.
Schedule of Events:
Shavuot 2022: How Do You Do Jewish?
7:00-8:15 pm: How To Create and Lead a Meaningful Shabbat Service with Rabbi Ora
Have you ever wanted to lead a Shabbat service for AARC but haven’t known where to start? Or are you looking to level up your skills? In this interactive, creative, and practical session, you’ll think about how to choose a theme, create flow, craft a dvar Torah, and make the most of your creative and musical skills!
8:20-8:35 pm: Seeing, Finding, Showing My Jewish Self in Games with Hannah Davis
It’s natural to want to see ourselves in the stories we consume. I play video and tabletop games a lot, and I look for Jewish content and themes in them. And if there isn’t much to find, I start making my own! Here are some Jewish stories I’ve found – or made – in games.
8:40-8:55 pm: Teaching Religion Responsibly with Lauren Zinn
9:00-9:25 pm: Edot of Ruth: On ‘Doing Jewish’ and Doing the Heavy Work of the Divine with Marcy Epstein
After a brief drash about mitzvot (Jewish doing; מִצְוֹתַי) in the Book of Ruth, we shall study a connection to edot (testament) to the chukim (divine decrees) at Sinai. We’ll then discuss the reconstruction of edot as “difficult witnessing” in the here and now. There’s a hands-on challenge to this session: while we talk, participants may explore sketching a small edot (by way of emblem or picturing the witness/witnessing) in charcoal on paper, something to bring home as a minhag mitzvah of decorating our Jewish homes for this holy day. Supplies provided!
9:30-10:00 pm: Outdoor Shmoozing, Cheesecake, and Havdallah!