Shabbat HaGadol & Pesach

April 7, 2017


Announcements for Ki Tisa (March 18, 2017)

March 16, 2017

Beit Midrash Bio’s

December 1, 2016

Calev Ben-Dor made Aliya from London in December 2005. He is Director of Research at BICOM, and has previously worked as an analyst in the Policy Planning Department of Israel‘s Foreign Ministry and in the Reut Institute. In his spare time he teaches and lectures on Jewish and Zionist thought to a variety of audiences and is a member of the David Cardozo Academy’s Jerusalem Think Tank, a forum of Jewish thinkers, educators and leaders which explores a wide range of Jewish topics.

Yishai Fleisher is the International Spokesperson for the Jewish community of Hebron. He is also Contributing Editor at com and a broadcaster on the Yishai is a frequent columnist for major English language news and analysis websites in Israel including Breitbart Jerusalem, Jerusalem Post, Israel HaYom, and has been featured on CNN, Al Jazeera, Fox, Vice, BBC, and more. He is the founder and director of Kumah, a nonprofit organization in Israel and the United States that works to enhance the world’s connection to Israel and strengthen Israel’s national character.

Born in Haifa to Russian refusenik scientists who escaped to Israel in the 1970s, Yishai’s childhood was spent speaking Russian at home, and Hebrew and Arabic while playing, in daycare, or at school. After his IDF active duty, Yishai returned to the US to pursue post-secondary education. He completed an undergraduate degree in Political Science at Yeshiva University and received his Juris Doctorate from the Cardozo School of Law with a focus on international law. Later, in Jerusalem, Yishai received rabbinic ordination from Kollel Agudat Achim.

Peta Jones Pellach joined Shir Hadash when she came on Aliyah seven years ago from Australia, where she had a long career in Jewish Education. During her time in Israel as a Jerusalem Fellow, she had the privilege of studying with Nehama Leibowitz, who was the most important influence on her teaching and values. She currently holds a number of professional and teaching positions, including Director of Educational Activities for the Elijah Interfaith Institute, an international forum for dialogue between religious leaders and scholars. She is a competitive Scrabble player and an Israeli folk­dance enthusiast and, most importantly, mother and grandmother.

Rabbi Robert I. Rhodes is a popular teacher of chassidut and Bible in and around Jerusalem with a unique ability to explain things in plain English. He is a graduate of Jews’ College, London and a musmach of Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS). Robert was a congregational rabbi in America and Canada for twenty years. He came  on aliya four years ago with his wife and one out of two adult children and now lives in Mekor Chayim.

Rabbi Sam Shor is the Program Director of the Orthodox Union’s Israel Center in Jerusalem, where he oversees a vast network of classes, tours, and social programming for Jerusalem’s Anglo community. Prior to joining the Israel Center, Rabbi Shor was a popular teacher and mentor to young rabbis at both Isralight and Shir Hadash in Jerusalem. For the past two decades, Rabbi Shor has gained acclaim for his inspirational teaching in Israel and North America. Rabbi Shor lives with his family in Jerusalem’s Katamon neighborhood where he is a popular Torah teacher for the English speaking community .

Rabbi Ariel Tal is an experienced educator, Rabbi and marketing expert, serving in positions in both North America and Israel. Rabbi Tal has a B.Ed from Ohalo College in the Golan Heights, Israel, Rabbinical Semicha from Israel Chief Rabbinate, and is a Personal Coach through Da’at U’Tevuna School in Rechovot, Israel. From 2010 – 2013 Rabbi Tal taught in Toronto at Netivot HaTorah Day School.  There he managed the informal educational department of the Middle School and Elementary school including the tefillah program.

In 2014-2015 Rabbi Tal served as Marketing Director for Livnot U’Lehibanot in Tzfat. Rabbi Tal created a new leadership program and filled both campuses throughout the summer with three programs running simultaneously. The decision to initiate The Tefilla Project stems from his experience and expertise as both an educator and a Personal Life Coach, creating a platform for quality educational consulting and support.

Yael Unterman grew up in Manchester, England, and has lived in Israel since age 18. In addition to her advanced Torah studies, she earned a BA in Psychology/Talmud (Bar-Ilan University), and Masters degrees in Jewish History (Touro College) and Creative Writing (Bar-Ilan University). She is an acclaimed international lecturer and has run 300 Bibliodrama workshops in many locations around the world.
Her first book is Nehama Leibowitz: Teacher and Bible Scholar (Urim Publications), a biography of the legendary Torah teacher and finalist in the 2009 National Jewish Book Awards. Her second book The Hidden of Things: Twelve Stories of Love & Longing (Yotzeret Publishing), a collection of fictional tales of young Jews searching for love, spiritual connection and identity, was a finalist in the 2015 USA Best Book Awards.

Rabbi Menachem Weinberg originally from Toronto, holds a B.Sc in Computer Science and an M.A. in Judaic Studies, was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, and for ten years served as the community Rabbi of Alon, a joint secular and religious town near Jerusalem. For over twenty years he has guided students from around the world in varied educational frameworks, including Yeshivat Har Etzion and Orot College for Women, and currently teaches the advanced Talmud class at Machon Meir. He also ran Jewish identity and conversion preparation programming for new immigrants on Israel’s college campuses, and directed the Hillel Beit Midrash Program at the Hebrew University. A certified ADR mediator (Megasher) and psychotherapist in private practice, he is also an active member of Tzohar Rabbis, officiating at weddings for religious and nonreligious couples. He lives in Tekoa with his wife Gila and four children.

December/Kislev Course Descriptions

December 1, 2016


Course descriptions

Ideas on the Meaning of Being a Jew. Sundays at 10:15 am   Peta Jones Pellach

Four Modern Jewish Ideas on Jewish Identity: Rav Kook, Emil Fackenheim, HaRav Soloveitchik, Emmanuel Levinas, As we approach Chanukah, the festival that celebrates the survival of a distinct Jewish identity, let us examine four great modern ideas on what is means to have a Jewish identity.

Book of Jonah, story & allegory. Sundays at 11:45am   Rabbi Robert I. Rhodes

This is going to be personal. Rabbi Eliyahu ben Shlomo Zalman of Vilna 1720 – 1797, known as HaGra, HaGaon Rabbenu Eliyahu, wrote an amazing commentary to the Book of Jonah. He simplifies the Zohar’s reading of the book and takes us on a journey of self exploration as he reveals who is who on the allegory level in one of the best known Bible stories. Be prepared for a Soul Journey as we reveal the mystical hidden meaning of the Book of Jonah. Please bring a copy of the Book of Jonah with Rashi’s commentary. You can download free from here.


Tefilla – Personal Growth & Deepening Spiritual Connection.

Mondays at 10:15am   Rav Ariel Tal.

A series of four classes cosponsored with Machon Meir

Hebrew Reading Clinic. Mondays at 11:30am   Rabbi Rhodes

Do not be shy. A lot of people never really learned to read Hebrew well and many have forgotten over time. We will start with daily prayers from the siddur and practice. First priority is reading accurately, learning the meaning of the words and a basic grasp of how the Hebrew language works. If you are interested we can use a number of internet resources to deepen our knowledge and understanding of the prayers we say every day.

Please bring your own siddur.


Conversations on Israel: the Challenges of Sovereignty.

Two Wednesdays Dec 7 & 21 at  7pm   Calev Ben-Dor  Studying modern Israeli poets, contemporary philosophers, and traditional Jewish commentators in order to explore different aspects of challenges and dilemmas facing Israel in the 21st Century.

  1. The Four Cubits of Halacha and the Challenge of Sovereignty. Jewish life in exile used to be centered around the private domain (four cubits of Halacha.) But since our return to Israel, these cubits have been expanded to include a vast array of new areas. This Shiur raises a discussion about this challenge, discussing the structural difficulties Halacha has of adapting, and shedding light on why some people might even prefer to flee from this new found responsibility.
  2. 2. Idealism vs. Realism in Foreign Policy. This Shiur focuses on two key events in Jewish history that took place within 65 years of each other – the destruction of the temple by the Romans, and the defeat of the Bar Kochba rebellion which led to the full loss of sovereignty over the Land of Israel for 1800 years. We’ll look at different sources to try and understand their contemporary significance, as well as to understand the secret of political wisdom.

Wednesday Dec 21 at 8:30pm  

A very special opportunity to learn Torah with Yishai Fleisher


Spontaneous Midrash (Bibliodrama): Joseph in Technicolour

Thursdays at 10:15am   Yael Unterman

Through the wonderful of technique of Bibliodrama (invented by Harvard professor Dr. Peter Pitzele), which has been amazing people worldwide for decades, we’ll delve deep into the Joseph story. We’ll locate moving and surprising “spontaneous midrashic” narratives of what might have been going on there, and along the way discover which characters we hold in our hearts and what it means to us personally. Then we’ll connect it back to our traditional commentaries. No acting required – this is an experiential study technique. Shy people welcome.

Pirkei avot, the Rabbis on Relationships. Thursdays at 11:45am  

Rav Menachem Weinberg.

A series of four classes cosponsored with Machon Meir

Thursday Dec 22 at 7pm   Channukah – Embracing our Inner Light. Rabbi Sam Shor.

A  monthly shiur cosponsored with the Orthodox Union


Community Beit Midrash – December 2016

November 24, 2016

Janglo Shir Hadash Community Beit Midrash

Four weeks of learning in Kislev – December

Shir Hadash is a dedicated to inspiring Jewish identity through study and action that is joyous and passionate. Our Community Beit Midrash for English speaking adults welcomes active and engaged participants of every level of Jewish learning. We are happy to welcome new teachers and students through our partnership with Janglo, Jerusalem’s largest online community for English speakers.


Sundays (Mornings)

  • 10:15 – 11:30am   Ideas on the Meaning of Being a Jew. Peta Jones Pellach
  • 11:45am – 1pm     Book of Jonah, story & allegory. Rabbi Robert I. Rhodes

Mondays (Mornings)

  • 10:15 – 11:15am  Tefilla – Personal Growth & Deepening Spiritual Connection.     Rav Ariel Tal. A series of four classes cosponsored with Machon Meir
  • 11:30am – 12:30 pm  Hebrew Reading Clinic. Rabbi Rhodes

Wednesdays (Evening)

  • Dec 7 & 21 at  7 – 8:15pm   Conversations on Israel: the Challenges of Sovereignty. Calev Ben-Dor
  • Dec 21 at 8:30pm  Yishai Fleisher

Thursdays (Mornings & One Evening)

  • 10:15 – 11:30am Spontaneous Midrash (Bibliodrama): Joseph in Technicolour.   Yael Unterman
  • 11:45am – 12:45pm  Pirkei avot, the Rabbis on Relationships. Rav Menachem Weinberg. A series of four classes cosponsored with Machon Meir
  • Dec 22 at 7:45pm  Channukah – Embracing our Inner Light. Rav Sam Shor. A monthly shiur cosponsored with the Orthodox Union (No charge)


The suggested donation is 20 shekels per class.

All morning classes continue through Channukah.

Sponsorships are available for these and future programs, classes and events.

Emek Refaim Branch Membership

October 30, 2016

Yom Kippur Seating

October 10, 2016


Laurie Tamres 1
Faye Jablinowitz 2
Sandy Lerner 3
 Kohlhagen 4
Kohlhagen 5
Kohlhagen 6
Rachel Alexander 7
Kohlhagen 8
Arlene Kushner 9
Elaine Mandel 10
Linda Levy 11
Hannah Gershon 12
Catherine Lyssy 13
Tzilia Sacharow 14
Sara Miller 15
Rosemary Suttner 16
Chavi Lee 17
Adrienne Alexander 18
Lori Lurie 19
Lori Lurie 20
Lori Lurie 21
Nancy Bechor 22
Devora Rose 23
Devora Rose 24
Tamara Okun 25
Bryna Gloria Franklin 26
Chavi Lee 27
Nancy Bechor 28
Tamara Okun 29
Simone Abedee 30
Peter Pellach 31
Rivka Fogel 32
Alice Weisz 32a
Tikvah Juni 33
Ruth Hirsch 34
Julia Bayer 35
Blima Rhodes 36
Blima Rhodes 37
Hennie Shor 38
Heddie Rashba 39
Heddie Rashba 40
Heddie Rashba 41
Heddie Rashba 42
Jenny Sternlicht 43
Jenny Sternlicht 44
Jenny Sternlicht 45
Sarah Freitag 46
Sarah Freitag 47
Danielle Grusko 48
Anna Berge 49
Sara Stub 50
50a Miriam  Feder 50a
50b Miriam  Feder 50b
50c Susan Elster 50c
Heidi Lawrence 51
Heidi Lawrence 52
Sharon Abrams 53
Lily Ayoun 54
Lily Ayoun 55
Louis Feinerman 56
Nadine Synett 57a, 57b
Ann Saban 57c, 57d
Mimi Borowich 57e
Raissa Hacohen 57f
Rachel Bardach 57
Rachel Bardach 58
Robert Koppel 59
Avia Farber 60
Tzvi Strauss 61
Barbara Shaw 62
Olamit Wolf 63
Abby Margulies 64
Abby Margulies 65
Olamit Wolf 66
Laurie Koppel 67
Susan Somerville 68
Arlene Groner 69
Rochelle Daube 70
Rachel Bardach 71
Tamara Okun 72
Tamara Okun 73
Tamara Okun 74
Cathy Lawrence 75
Dina Kraus 76
Dina Kraus 77
Rachel Elrom 78
Merle Brenner 79
Sabine Widen 80
Sharon Brown 81
Sharon Brown 82
Sharon Brown 83
Sharon Brown 84
Sharon Brown 85
Miriam Goldman 86
Dena Katz 87
Susi Preston 88
Susi Preston 89
Ruth Green 90
Susie Kaplan 91
Susie Kaplan 91a
Danya Kaplan 91b
Chaya Passow 92
Shoshana Honikman 93
Rachel Schuchalter 94
Rachel Schuchalter 95
Rachel Schuchalter 96
Orna Parker 97
Wendy Moses 98
Chaia Zipporah Zucker 99
Rachel Pear 100
Rachel Pear 101
Rachel Pear 102
Rachel Pear 103
Avital Rosenfeld 104
Elana Botwinick 105
Debbie Berkowitz 106
Shelley Seif 107
Mari Mordfin 108
Ari Abramson 109
Ari Abramson 110
Ari Abramson 201
Ari Abramson 202
David Kilimnick 203
Robert D. Kohlhagen 205
Robert D. Kohlhagen 206
Robert D. Kohlhagen 207
Jeffrey Rashba 208
Daniel Okun 208a
Rabbi Sam Shor 209
Kenny Lerner 210
John Pilkington 211
212a  Michael Alexander 212a
212b David Fialkoff 212b
212c Adrian Mandel 212c
212 & 213 Daniel Haberman 212 & 213
Ted Rose 214
Ted Rose 215
Rabbi Ian Pear 216
Rabbi Ian Pear 217
Yona Engel 218
Aharon Goldberg 219
David Preston 219a
David Preston 219b
Alan Schuchalter 220
Alan Schuchalter 221
Graham Hessleberg 222
John Edmund 223
Alan Nussbaum 224
David Ilan 225
Craig Preston 226
Jonathan Parker 228
Benjamin Katz 229
Heskel Balas 230
Daniel Farber 231
Daniel Farber 232
Daniel Farber 233
Lily Ayoun 234
Moishe Fogel 235
Simon Synett 235 ,c,d,e
Marc Rosenberg 235g
Debbie Berkowitz 235f
Uzi Hacohen 236
Tzvi Strauss 237
Chaim Bardach 238
Eli Varenberg 239
Jonathan Suttner 241
Ian Miller 242
Jeff Daube 243
Sean Goldman 244
Ezra Grushko 245
Zev Grushko 246
Avi Maderer 247
Yonathan Silver 249
Yaacov Freitag 250
Peter Lyssy 251
Barry Schechter 254
Eli Passow 255
Danya Kaplan 256
Nochum Zucker 257
Nochum Zucker 258
Zev Stub 259
Edward Margolis 260
Scott Lawrence 262
Scott Lawrence 263
Scott Lawrence 264
Scott Lawrence 265
Micahel Feinerman 266
Michael Margulies 266a
Marco Kain 266b
Baruch Serenge 270
Baruch Widen 271
Baruch Widen 272
Baruch Widen 273
Ezra Franken 274
Naftali Sternlicht 275
Naftali Sternlicht 276
Naftali Sternlicht 277
278a, 278 b
Yonathan Green 279
Michael Green 282
Yoel Barnathan 283
Robert Koppel 284
Yeshaya Grossman 286
Yochanan Elrom 287
Alan Lurie 288
Alan Lurie 289
Alan Lurie 290
Shmuli Kraus 292
Leslie Kraus 293
Leslie Kraus 294
Leslie Kraus 295
Alan Lurie 296