Monday, November 8, 2010

(NEWS) Foster City Participates In International Jewish Event

"Jewish communities from the mid-Peninsula to Havana and Mumbai, India, shared in an international celebration on Sunday.

They are among 400 communities in 49 countries across six continents that banded together for the first-ever Global Day of Jewish Learning, which was organized to start an interdenominational dialogue among all Jews.

As events got under way Sunday from Israel to Istanbul, the Peninsula Jewish Community Center in Foster City hosted a program aimed at teaching people of all ages and beliefs about the Talmud, which today is the main text used in the study of Judaism.

Michael Chernick, a professor at Hebrew Union College in New York City, offered his opinion on 'why the Talmud is a must-read for every Jew' as the event's keynote speaker.

A rabbi and scholar, Chernick led a workshop about self-knowledge and self-acceptance.

Ellen Saliman, the PJCC's adult program coordinator, said Chernick comes from an Orthodox background but has a close connection with the Reform community, a special attribute that dovetails with the welcoming spirit of Sunday's event.

'That's one of the goals of the Jewish day,' she said. 'You don't have to be religious or highly affiliated.'

People were encouraged to show up to the events and simply learn through experience. 'Attendees don't have to be Jewish students to participate', Saliman said.

The Global Day of Jewish Learning was created in part to celebrate the 45-year effort of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz to translate the Talmud in full. He was expected to complete the process via a live broadcast in Israel that will be shown at many of the celebrations worldwide.

Officials say the translation is meant to appeal to modern Jews, including women, who used to be discouraged from Talmudic studies.

The day was sponsored by the Aleph Society in cooperation with various local Jewish organizations." (source)

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