Lunch & Learn: The Italian Renaissance Meets the Synagogue

Date: October 22, 2020Time: 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm Phone: 203-552-1818Email:

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PLEASE NOTE: Beginning Thursday, April 30, Lunch & Learn is going virtual! Please register for Zoom link AND password.


Lunch & Learn is a weekly program, every Thursday from 12:30 – 1:30 pm. The Lunch & Learn program is generously sponsored by Rita Edelston.  


October 22

The Italian Renaissance Meets the Synagogue

Rabbi Prof. Jeffrey Woolf 

We’ve all heard of the Italian Renaissance. But few know that the great Italian artists and composers had a direct impact on Jewish life. We’ll look at some surprising examples,

such as when Michelangelo became an object of a Shabbat walk.


October 29

The Rabbis on Thanksgiving

Rabbi Eric Hoffman

As we approach the American season of Thanksgiving, let us examine and discuss Rabbinic thought in the Talmud and Midrash about what thanksgiving ought to be.


November 5

The Effects of Human Behavior on Jewish Law

Rabbanit Michelle Cohen Farber

Today’s Daf Yomi, Eruvin 88, is our lens for retrogazing the 2020 international Siyum HaShas for Women and what inspired it. That landmark event in Jerusalem was the first, though by no means the last, major celebration of women’s achievements in Talmud learning. 


November 12

Priestly Blessing 

Rabbi Menachem Liebtag

There’s no obvious reason why the utterance of a few special words by a member of the priestly clan could facilitate a blessing from God. Let’s explore its Biblical logic. 


November 19

Between a Deed and Its Goal -- What Counts?

Rabbi Avital Hochstein 

To evaluate a deed, should we consider its purpose or its outcome? The effort behind it or its final effect? Let’s probe the criteria for criteria through the classic dispute between Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Shimon. 


Thursday, November 26 - Thanksgiving, no class


December 3

Zero to Hero

Rabbanit Devorah Evron

Gender roles in the story of Hanukkah.


December 10

Chanukah - Finding Light After Much Darkness

Rabbi Shaul Robinson

The ancient story of Chanukah is about faith, resilience, adaptability -- and most of all hope. We will examine some classic and contemporary stories to find much light after a very difficult year.


December 17

Plague and Pandemic in Jewish History

Rabbi Dr. Henry Abramson

Over the course of their millennial, diasporic history, Jews encountered virtually every contagion known to humanity. From the Hebrew Scriptures to the Talmud, from Maimonides to modern medicine, the Jews responded to the medical and social upheavals occasioned by pandemics, developing strategies that inform the present Covid-19 condition.


Thursday, December 24, no class


Thursday, December 31, no class