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Fall 2023 Adult Ed Mini Series

Wednesdays, October 11, 18, and 25 at 7:00 PM
In person at Brith Shalom and on YouTube.

Rabbi Steven Morgen – October 11
The Many “Faces” of god; Variety of Paths to Understanding God for Modern Jews (Using Traditional Texts).
In this discussion we will look at a variety of traditional Jewish sources and modern Jewish philosophers which can help us develop a personal approach to God.

Bio: Rabbi Morgen is an associate rabbi at Congregation Beth Yeshurun. There he coordinates adult learning opportunities and runs a program for those interested in joining the Jewish faith and people. His community involvement includes outreach in interfaith activities, teaching in Jewish and non-Jewish venues, and serving as board member of the regional boards of the ADL and the AJC. He is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute.

Rabbi Morgen graduated from UCLA School of Law in 1983 and practiced corporate and securities law in Los Angeles for over nine years. He began rabbinical school in 1993 in Los Angeles (at the time it was called the University of Judaism) and was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (in New York) in 1998. Upon graduation, he moved to Houston to serve as a rabbi at Congregation Beth Yeshurun and has happily remained there for over 25 years.

Dr. Mattias Henze – October 18
Title: The Book of Ezra 4

The text of Ezra 4 is attributed to the Biblical Ezra, but it was actually written during the first century CE.  It never became part of the Jewish Bible or rabbinic literature, despite having much in common with these writings. 

Bio: Dr. Matthias Henze was born and raised in Hanover, Germany. In 1992 he earned a Master of Divinity from the University of Heidelberg, Germany, and moved to the United States to pursue a Ph.D. in Harvard’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. After completing his doctorate in 1997, Dr. Henze joined Rice’s department of religion, where he is now the Isla Carroll and Percy E. Turner Professor of Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism.

His areas of interest include the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Jewish literature and thought at the time of the Second Temple, apocalyptic literature, and the Qumran fragments. In particular, Dr. Henze focuses on those early texts that never became part of the Jewish Bible - often subsumed under the labels ‘Apocrypha’ and ‘Pseudepigrapha’ – and what we can learn when these texts.

Rabbi Ari Vernon - October 25
Title: Ivri, Yisrael, Yehudi

There are three traditional labels which Jews have used – Ivri, Yisrael, and Yehudi. Rabbi Vernon will lead a discussion about what each of these labels say about us and what we are broadcasting about ourselves when we use each name.

Bio: Since 2009, Rabbi Vernon currently has served as the Judaic Studies Department chair and as a teacher in the Upper School Judaic Studies at Emery Weiner School, here in Houston. We, at Brith Shalom, have had the opportunity to learn from Rabbi Vernon as he has delivered numerous sermons in our sanctuary.

Rabbi Vernon earned his B.A. from the University of Judaism in Los Angeles and was then ordained after studying at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.

Mon, September 25 2023 10 Tishrei 5784