By Nancy B. Greer
President & CEO
When I have conversations with community members about helping more people find connections to Jewish life, a theme that I hear often is that there is a strong interest in and appreciation for accessible learning opportunities.
Your Federation’s partnership with the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, made possible by our many generous donors, has been a rewarding collaboration that has expanded learning in Jewish Puget Sound. In the past few months, our Hartman lecture series has enabled community members to hear from Yossi Klein Halevi and Dr. Tal Becker, scholars who shared with us penetrating insights that are the product of years spent reflecting on and writing about big Jewish questions.
We invite you to join us for our next virtual event in the Hartman lecture series: For Heaven’s Sake! A Conversation with Dr. Elana Stein Hain, taking place Sunday, April 25, at 10 am. Launched in 2020, For Heaven’s Sake! is a biweekly Hartman Institute podcast that draws its name from the concept of Machloket l’shem shemayim, “Disagreeing for the sake of heaven.” With her learned guests, Dr. Stein Hain explores the lost art of Jewish debate for the sake of illuminating a topic, not sowing division.
Dr. Stein Hain will bring to our community her passion for connecting deep rabbinic thought to everyday issues of contemporary life in Israel and the Jewish world. An author as well as a podcaster, Dr. Stein Hain is Director of Faculty and a Senior Fellow at the Hartman Institute, and leads the Created Equal Research Seminar, which considers relationships between gender consciousness and Jewish thought.
What is so engaging about the Hartman lectures is that they’re not a one-way street where attendees listen passively. They are active, two-way learning experiences. As Rabbi Samuel Klein, Federation’s Director of Jewish Engagement says about the series, “Each person can be their own teacher. You don’t need an expert; you need someone to ignite and fuel the process of discovery. Our speakers are guides to our own lifelong learning.”
Learning is ingrained in Jewish tradition, but for many, Jewish learning is put aside after their b’nei mitzvahs. The Hartman lecture series offers our community an accessible path to learning. Through learning together, we strengthen our mutual connections. Through Hitlamdut, our shared Jewish value of openness to learning, we are building a stronger community.
Please join us next Sunday, April 25, for an enlightening conversation with Dr. Elana Stein Hain. We hope to see you for what I know will be an inspiring experience!