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Northern Hills Elul Program Series
August 21 - September 17, 2020

11:00 AM

Program Descriptions

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Elul Registration Form.pdf

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Elul Presenter Bios

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Friday August 21 - Opening Day:
Join Rabbi Sam Schapera as we kick off a month of intellectual and spiritual growth. A short meditation will be followed by sharing our intentions for the upcoming Shabbat, weeks, and year as we begin our preparations for the High Holy Days

Yoga (8/23, 8/30, 9/6, 9/13):​
Take time to move your body, breath, and set intentions for the upcoming Jewish new year. This one hour gentle vinyasa yoga class will move through a series of poses and breathing exercises leaving you feeling refreshed and centered. All levels are welcome.
*You will need a mat, pillow, and an optional chair*

Ben Pagliaro (8/24): ​
Turning of the World: To begin this meaningful month of Elul programming, we are taking a moment to reflect on the turning of our lives. It is easy to be caught up by what's happening outside, and that can be very unsettling, but together we will begin the process of looking inwards to discover the ways in which we have turned our own lives towards healing, meaning and beauty.

Rabbi Sam Schapera (8/25): ​
What is Elul? Rabbi Sam Schapera will lead a study of texts related to the month of Elul. We will look in depth at Psalm 27, the psalm recited every day throughout the month, and rabbinic texts surrounding the custom of sounding the shofar.

NAMI (8/26): ​
NAMI's In Our Own Voice presentation changes attitudes, assumptions and stereotypes about people with mental health conditions. The presentations combine a video in three parts along with two NAMI trained presenters who talk about their mental health journey. It provides a personal perspective of mental illness, as presenters with lived experience talk openly about what it's like to live with a mental health condition. Our presenters humanize the misunderstood, highly stigmatized topic of mental illness by showing that it's possible—and common—to live well with a mental health condition.

Sarah Weiss, Holocaust and Humanities Center (HHC) (8/27):
​Maintaining Faith in a World Turned Upside Down – Join Sarah Weiss, director of the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center of lesser known stories of faith and resilience from the Holocaust. Resistance took many forms during the Holocaust, one of which was Jews struggle to maintain customs in unimaginable circumstances. Drawing from testimonies of survivors, this program will feature moving stories of individual and collective acts of resistance to maintain faith.

Lior Zoref (8/28):
​A unique Israeli experience, including Israeli stories, music, and an atmosphere of a true "Israeli morning" to welcome shabbat. This is a community sing-along followed by a presentation with the song's lyrics combined with wonderful pictures of Israel sights. Suitable for all ages... Come and sing with us!

We want to meet your fuzziest co-workers - your pets! We see them in the background of zoom calls, and now it's their time to shine! Bring your pets on zoom and introduce them to the rest of the community, all while presenting them with a gift from Northern Hills Synagogue. Registration is required because we will drop off a special treat for your pets! Treats will be available for pick up or drop off beginning Sunday, August 30.

Skirball Museum (9/1):
​Mark Podwal: "Drawing" from the Skirball Museum's Collections, In 2017, world-renowned Jewish artist Mark Podwal created 18 acrylic and colored pencil drawings inspired by Judaica from the Skirball Museum. See these deceivingly whimsical drawings and the ritual objects that inspired them and learn about both the original works and the profound and nuanced commentary on Jewish customs and history that Podwal brings to his work.

Rabbi Bailey Romano (9/2):​
"Who by Fire and Who by Water: Yellow Fever Epidemics and their Impact on American Jewish History," Rabbi Romano will explicate how Yellow Fever epidemics shaped the American Jewish experience as well as the disaster responses of rabbis and community leaders.

Rabbi Sam Schapera (9/3):​
History of Jewish care for the elderly: Institutional Jewish care for the elderly began in the early 1800s and has continued until today. In her rabbinic thesis, Rabbi Schapera developed four distinct stages to institutional Jewish care for the elderly. As many facilities transitions into the fourth stage, she will explore the adaptations that they are undergoing to remain afloat during the changes to the American healthcare system.

JCC (Rebecca Benoff) (9/4):
​Join this Elul study session on poetry. Elul is a time of reflection, where we focus on our growth and place in the community. One way to approach reflection is through creative and contemplative writing. Together, we will read some works by Jewish poets then have time to write our own poetry.

Klau Library (Jason Schapera) (9/7): ​
Join Jason Schapera, digitization specialist at the Klau Library, for a tour of the Hebrew Union College's Klau Library virtual manuscript collection. The items in this collection, dating back to the 12t​ h​ century, include texts from around the world. They touch on a variety of topics including Bible, halachah, liturgy, and music.

Rabbi Noah Ferro (9/8, 9/15): ​
Why is this prayer book different from all the other prayer books? Take a tour through the Mahzor and learn how key elements of our regular weekday, Shabbat, and Yom Tov prayer services change for Rosh ha-Shanah and Yom Kippur. Special attention will be given to the extra services added to the structure of the prayers, the various poetic compositions we recite, and the special collections of biblical verses we read.

Don Hordes (9/9):
​Don will trace the long and convoluted evolution of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was enacted ostensibly to prohibit workplace discrimination based on race and sex, and later expanded to prohibit workplace harassment—or bullying-- based on sex and other protected attributes. The presentation will end with a special focus on ​Bostock v. Clayton County​, the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision granting Civil Rights Act protected status to LGBTQ employees.

Sandy Spitz (9/10):
​Join Sandy Spitz on a heartwarming educational and virtual journey to the world of our closest living DNA relatives, the Great Apes. We will learn about the lives of these amazingly special primates, specifically orangutans, and their urgent need for man's protection.

​Ingredients for baking a challah will be available for pick up or delivery to your home beginning Sunday, September 7. Follow the recipe included or use your own recipe to braid and bake a challah for Shabbat. During our program, you'll have a chance to share the challah you made and your hopes for this coming Shabbat, the last before Rosh HaShanah.

JCRC (Justin Kirschner and Ross Levy) (9/14): ​
As we approach the Jewish high holidays and ready ourselves for the rituals of reflection, forgiveness and covenant, we also must renew our consideration of what it means to be Jewish in unprecedented, polarizing times like these. Join the Cincinnati JCRC for an interactive and thoughtful workshop on the intersections of antisemitism, racism and hate and explore the history of these intersections and how we as Jews might learn from our past to make this new year more promising and just for all.

Ish (Julie Staller-Pentelnik) (9/16):
More information coming soon.

Thursday September 17 - Closing Day:
Join Rabbi Sam Schapera as we conclude a month of intellectual and spiritual growth. A short meditation will be followed by reflecting on what we've learned over the past month and sharing our thoughts and hopes for the upcoming holidays.



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