Reading The Story of Esther: Secular Saga or Sacred Story?
A Four Week Study taught by Rabbi Hirsh
Monday, February 6, 13, 20 & 27 | 10:00 am
The story of Esther is associated with the holiday of Purim. But on Purim, we barely and rarely have the time to read the story in detail.
In this course we will look at the story more closely. Among the questions: How did a book that does not mention God even once make it into the Bible?
How does tradition understand, interpret and explain Esther’s “intermarriage”? Is this a serious story? A farce? And in what possible times and places in Jewish history would such a story have emerged?
LUNCHES WITH THE RABBIS
Lunch with Rabbi Straus
Please join us for some stimulating lunchtime conversation and learning with Rabbi Straus. Bring your lunch and a friend (who need not be an MLRT congregant). Steven and Chuck will supply beverages and dessert and Rabbi Straus will serve up the discussion. RSVP directly to either Steven or Chuck. Even if you do not RSVP, you are still welcome to come.
KING OF PRUSSIA
Learn & Lunch with Rabbi Newburge
JEWISH TRAVEL OPPORTUNITY WITH YOUR MLRT RABBI & FRIENDS
CENTRAL EUROPE--PRAGUE TO BERLIN
with Rabbi Straus and Lynne - April 15-26, 2017
Experience Medieval Prague, one of the great historic cities of Jewish Central Europe. We'll explore Josepov, the old Jewish quarter of Prague, and the many historic sites, and wander through modern Prague, one of the most picturesque cities of Europe. We will tour Terezin, and come to learn about the resurgence of Jewish life in central Europe. We will be in Prague for the last day of Passover, and meet, eat and pray with members of the new Liberal Jewish Community in Prague.
Then we will travel to Berlin, one of the most exciting cities in Europe today. Berlin is a city of so many identities. Carefree, bustling with culture, art, music and more, Berlin is also serious, filled with promise and the memory of dark days. Berlin was where Reform Judaism began. And while Berlin is home to museums and memorials to Jews killed in the Shoah, modern Berlin is an exciting artistic and cultural center and home to tens of thousands of Israelis. We'll travel outside Berlin as well, to Potsdam, visiting the beautiful gardens of Sans Souci, as well as to the villa that hosted the notorious Wansee Conference, where the fate of European Jewry was sealed.
For more information, please call or email Rabbi Straus, 610-649-7800.
FORWARD THINKING: LUNCH & LEARN
Tuesday, February 7 | 12:15 pm
Join Rabbi Straus for a thought-provoking lunchtime discussion of selected articles from The Daily Forward. Bring your own lunch; beverages will be provided.
The Supreme Court and the Electoral Process:
Reflections on the Past and Future of the Court’s Campaign Finance and Voting Rights Holdings
Sunday, February 12 | 9:30 am
There can be little doubt that procedural and structural rules are important determinants of political power and resulting policy. An example is the ongoing controversy over the Electoral College. Not surprisingly, the extent of permitted campaign finance practices and the current reach of federal voting rights laws have both influenced the 2016 presidential campaign and election.
Two cases, one limiting congressional power to regulate money in politics, the other limiting congressional power to prevent racial discrimination in voting, will provide the framework for the discussion. In 2010, the Supreme Court in the case of Citizens United v FEC struck down, on First Amendment grounds, a rule prohibiting corporations from spending money from their general treasuries to influence elections. The decision reversed a long held Supreme Court position, and cut back on Congress’ power to regulate money in politics.
In 2013, the Supreme Court in Shelby County v Holder, invalidated a section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 making it much more difficult for Congress to prevent discrimination in voting. The issues were different but both similarly limited Congressional power over elections. Both decisions were highly controversial, and the election of Donald Trump means that new Supreme Court appointees will remain conservative. These decisions are therefore unlikely to be reversed anytime soon, and so understanding them is therefore important.
In this lecture, Dr. Dubnoff will explain the decisions: the issues, the competing arguments and the likely consequences. Most of the publicity has been about Citizens United, but Dr. Dubnoff will make the case that Shelby County will have the most impact.
Join us for coffee and bagels at 9:30 am; the program begins at 10:00 am. All are welcome.
Caren Dubnoff, an active member of our MLRT community, is a political scientist with a specialty in American Constitutional Law. She received her BA from Bryn Mawr College and her Ph.D. from Columbia University. Caren joined the political science department of the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA in 1973 where she taught courses on constitutional law, judicial behavior, religious liberty, and the interaction of government actions regarding law and politics. Her publications include two recent analyses of early voting rights cases. She has also written on sex discrimination, religion law and free speech.
Conversations (on Current Events)
Monday, February 13 | 7:30 pm
These “conversations” are about important current events taking place in our country and around the world. On February 13, our conversation will be based upon a Face The Nation panel discussion that aired on New Year’s Day, when the following authors sat down for a discussion on their works and how their experiences have impacted their writing:
Isabel Wilkerson, author of The Warmth of Other Suns
J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy
Diane Guerrero, author of In the Country We Love
Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, author of Muslim Girl
This will be an interesting discussion of the minority experience in America. There were no Jewish authors on the panel, but you can expect the group to add the Jewish perspective to the discussion. Attendees may want to review some or all of the books above, though it is not a requirement to attend.
If you have questions, please contact Gordon Fink, 610-664-5174 or David Edman, 610-247-0461. If you are interested, or planning to attend for the first time, please send us your email address so that background materials may be sent to you in advance. All adult members of the MLRT community are welcome.
JEWISH BOOK COUNCIL AUTHOR NETWORK
Main Line Reform Temple is a member of the Jewish Book Council. This marvelous organization makes it possible for us to bring in Jewish writers to highlight their wonderful new books. We hope you will be able to meet and greet these diverse and interesting authors who have written about the many facets of our rich Jewish life.