Join Pardes North America as we explore modern and traditional understandings of this momentous day in our Jewish history. This event is in memory of Pardes students Marla Bennett, Ben Blutstein, Sara Duker, and Matt Eisenfeld ז”ל.
Date: Sunday, July 18 (Tisha B’Av)
9:00 am-1:00 pm PDT
12:00 pm-4:00 pm EDT
For more Tisha B’Av content – see 9 days. 9 podcasts. Your Guide to Tisha B’Av with Pardes North America.
All source sheets for this event will be sent out via email 1 day in advance.
Should Eicha be Canceled? A Contemporary Lens to a Traditional Text
9-10:15 am PDT / 12-1:15 pm EDT
Can a text which is written by men that utilizes disturbing imagery around women’s pain as a literary device hold up to our modern-day sensibilities? Is there a way to reclaim this complicated text? Join us for a lively panel discussion featuring Rabbi Dianne Cohler Esses, Tamar Biala, Rabbi Megan GoldMarche, and Rabba Shani Gross, and moderated by Rabbi Mike Uram.
Text and Context: Making Sense of Megillat Eicha
10:30-11:30 am PDT / 1:30-2:30 pm EDT
Utilize the tools of close reading and literary analysis to explore Megillat Eicha with Pardes alumna, Professor Ziva Hassenfeld.
Is There Such A Thing As Too Much Mourning?
11:45 am-12:45 pm PDT / 2:45-3:45 pm EDT
Between mourning too much and mourning too little, getting so stuck you can’t move forward and pretending like it never happened. How do we aspire to rebuild what we had while keeping the lessons we learned along the way? Featuring Rabbi Zvi Hirschfieldand and Rabba Shani Gross.
Rabbi Mike Uram is the Chief Vision and Education Officer for Pardes North America. Before that, he served as the Executive Director and Campus Rabbi at Penn Hillel for over 16 years. He is the author of the best-selling book entitled, Next Generation Judaism: How College Students and Hillel Can Help Reinvent Jewish Organizations, which won a National Jewish Book Award in 2016. He is a sought-after speaker and consultant on the changing nature of the American Jewish community, Jewish innovation, cutting-edge engagement and how legacy organizations can reinvent themselves in the age of millennials. Check out these recent articles about how his book is changing the way Jewish organizations work: Putting Mike Uram’s Next Generation Judaism To The Test, From San Francisco to Synagogue: Can Startup Culture Invigorate Jewish Organizations?
Rabba Shani Gross is the Director of North American Programs at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. Shani most recently served as Pardes’s Assistant Director of Education NA. Shani earned rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Maharat, is a Wexner Graduate Fellow/Davidson Scholar (Class 29), and a former Hillel Fellow for Rabbinic Entrepreneurship (OOI). Before Rabbinical school, Shani served as the Director of the Silicon Valley Beit Midrash, a center of learning on the West Coast.
Rabbi Zvi Hirschfield teaches Talmud, Halakha and Jewish Thought at Pardes. In addition, Zvi is a faculty member of the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators and has been training and mentoring Jewish Educators for over ten years in Tefilah in educational settings, critical issues in modern Jewish thought, and Israel education. Zvi holds a B.A. in History from Columbia University and did graduate work at Harvard University in Medieval and Modern Jewish Thought. He studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Israel and has rabbinic ordination from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. He was the director of Judaica at the JCC of Cleveland and an instructor at the Cleveland College of Jewish Studies for many years. He also serves as a curriculum writer and is involved in staff training for the Nesiya Institute. His wife, Dina, is a faculty member of the Hebrew University School of Public Health, and they have four children.
Rabbi Dianne Cohler-Esses was the first woman from the Syrian Jewish community to be ordained as a Rabbi. She graduated from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1995 and has served as an educator, scholar-in-residence, and administrator for multiple organizations in the Jewish world, including CLAL, the Bronfman Youth Fellowship, The Curriculum Initiative and UJA Federation. In 2007 she was named one of fifty top rabbis by the Washington Post online. Besides serving as the Associate Rabbi and Director of Lifelong Learning at Romemu, she co-teaches the Arts Beit Midrash at the Skirball Institute with Tobi Kahn, teaches courses at UJA Federation and writes and speaks regularly on Torah, Jewish values and family life, Jewish ethnicity and Judaism and disabilities. She is also a Pardes alumna.
Tamar Biala earned her Master’s Degree in Women’s and Jewish Studies from the Schechter Institute in Jerusalem. She taught at the Shalom Hartman Institute, trained teachers and IDF army officers. She co-edited volume I of Dirshuni: Women’s Midrash, a women’s midrashic commentary on the Bible, with Nehama Weingarten-Mintz, (Yediot Aharonot/Jewish Agency for Israel, 2009) and, in 2018, published volume II (Yediot Aharonot). She has recently completed an English edition of Dirshuni, to be published by Brandeis University Press. She teaches in various batei midrash, rabbinical schools, and adult education programs in the US and Israel.
Rabbi Megan GoldMarche is the Rabbi at Base in Andersonville and a rabbi of Metro Chicago Hillel. She and her wife Paige have been with Base in Chicago since 2016 when they opened the first Chicago Base location. Megan was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2014. She also received an MA in Jewish Gender and Women’s Studies and a certificate in Pastoral Care and Counseling. Megan is an alumna of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship and has a passion for travel and outdoor adventure which has led her to forty-eight of the fifty states in the US. Megan is also a proud Pardes alumna, having spent two summers and most of the 2008-9 year there!
Professor Ziva R. Hassenfeld is the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Assistant Professor in Jewish Education at Brandeis University. Ziva has taught Tanakh/Bible in a variety of settings, including Hillels, Jewish day schools, congregations, and Batei Midrash across the country. She earned her doctorate in Jewish Studies and Education from Stanford University. She is a Wexner Fellow and Davidson Scholar and most importantly, a proud Pardes alumna.