Chevruta on Hanukah: Study Session December 12th

Chevruta on Hanukah!

December 12, 2020 from 9:30 to 12:30 Eastern Time!

The tradition of Jewish study prefers Chevruta, partnership. Study is an action that brings us into connection with beings Divine and human. Study is a spiritual experience, building community, connecting us across time and space, and broadening our perspective. We are excited to bring all of our communities together to learn and connect for this Festival of Light.

You can  us for this Chevruta study experience on this Saturday December 12th.  Between 9:30 am and 12:30 pm, we will offer multiple 45 minute sessions on Zoom.   You are welcome to go to any of the offerings to partake of the learning and discussion.   If you have questions or need additional login information contact Rabbi Birnholz


Below, you can find the biographies and further class descriptions

The Study Sessions:

Starting at 9:30 am

Rabbi Barbara Goldman-Wartell: Jewish Texts on Fair Voting and Just Elections

Every year, T’ruah, Rabbis for Human Rights, partners with over 100 communities across North America to celebrate the deep connections between human rights and Judaism on Human Rights Shabbat. We observe this modern holiday on the Shabbat closest to International Human Rights Day (December 10), which this year is December 11-12 Rabbi Goldman-Wartell biography

Rabbi Joseph Edelheit: Celebrating the Festival of Light During the Summer! Jewish Life in Brazil. Hanukkah in the Southern Hemisphere, Latin American Jews are not filling their dark nights with 8 Nights of Hope! What does the Festival of Lights mean for Jews in Rio de Janeiro in December 2020? Rabbi Edelheit’s website

Rabbi Elizabeth Bahar the History of Hanukkah – an examination of the Book of Maccabees

First and Second Maccabees, books not preserved in the Hebrew Bible, offer a more historical account of the story of Hanukkah.  We will examine those stories which offer varied understanding of Hanukkah.  First Maccabees describes religious persecution by Antiochus Epiphanies and the response of the Maccabees.  The Second account in Second Maccabees describes a group of Jews attracted by Hellenistic ways fighting against the Hasmonean priesthood over control of the Temple.  This is not your childhood versos of Hanukkah!  All texts will be shared on the screen, you just need to bring some coffee!

Rabbi Bahar’s biography


Rabbi Richard Birnholz: Hanukah in the Responsa

Rabbi Richard Birnholz’s biography



Starting at 10:30 am

Rabbi Michael Birnholz 

All the lights of Hanukah: the Hanukiyah and the Moon As we discuss the in’s and out’s, the why’s and wherefores of the Hanukah Menorah, we will consider the way we increase the light in our homes and its connection to the increasing and decreasing lights in this season in nature!

Rabbi Birnholz Biography 

Beth Pennamacoor: Chanukah Around the World

Beth Pennamacoor’s biography

Rabbi Estelle Mills: History and Mystery in the Chanukah Story: The Secrets in the Stanzas of Maoz Tzur and Seduction by Cheese

Chanukah is not just a celebration for young people.  Come uncover the secret messages about Jewish history conveyed in the verses of the song Maoz Tzur and learn about the mysterious Chanukah plot involving a brutal enemy of our people and a Jewish heroine whose thrilling and ingenious scheme of seduction and murder by cheese saved us. 

Rabbi Mills Biography

Rabbi Courtney Berman: Miracles Large and Small: Using Texts from the Siddur to Explore the Constant Miracles that Make Up Our Lives

Hanukkah is a time when we acknowledge the presence of miracles.  We affirm “Nes Gadol Hayah Sham,” a great miracle happened there, with each spin of the dreidel.  This season of miracles can give us an opportunity to consider all the ways smaller miracles permeate our lives as well.  We will explore the constant nature of those miracles through a study of Birkhot Ha’shahar – the morning blessings – and a few other sources from the Siddur.

Rabbi Berman’s biography



Starting at 11:30 am

 Rabbi Bruce Benson: 1-8 or 8-1….

It’s all how you look at things.  A miracle is a miracle.. right? Right! Well, maybe not just right.

Lets take a look at a “familiar miracle” and break it down. It all depends on how you look at it.. Up-down, left-right, forwards-backwards…. ( sounds suspiciously like Sukkot,ey?)

Let’s get enlightened this Chanukah season…

Rabbi Benson’s biography


Cantor Sara Kheel: The Maccabees and Religious Fanaticism

Cantor Kheel’s Biography


Rabbi Matt Durbin: One People, Many Traditions: Come take a tour around the world as we examine and unpack many of the foods and customs that define our culture and people. Let’s learn and explore traditional foods which define our festivals and celebrations and how food binds us as a people throughout the world.

We will examine and unpack the many and varied customs and traditions surrounding the Jewish people, with an emphasis on Channukah

Rabbi Durbin’s biography

Rabbi Emily Losben-Ostrov: Miracle of Miracles- The miracle of Hanukkah and the miracles in our own lives

Rabbi Losben-Ostrov’s biography