Episode 36: Hip Hop Meets Feminist Kabbalah w/Victoria Hanna
“Every Letter, Every Vowel Is Its Own Universe.”
Victoria Hanna is a “vocal artist” – not a singer. What does that mean? The Israeli artist has set herself the aim of creating art through the combined use of language, voice and music. And she has achieved that to a most astonishing degree. Victoria Hanna moves between ancient music and contemporary beats, between philosophical and religious texts. Her compositions are shaped by diverse vocal techniques, both sung and spoken. She explores the boundaries of the human voice, plays with letters, recites the Aleph-Bet.
Having grown up in a strictly orthodox tradition (her father an Egyptian rabbi and her mother of Persian descent), Victoria Hanna has liberated herself from the confines of that orthodoxy while at the same time preserving and continuing its cultural heritage, which she has translated into an idiosyncratic and thoroughly contemporary context. She has stuttered since childhood. This inborn speech disability was actually her greatest gift, and what led her to explore the boundaries of sound and diction. She embarked on an inner journey to explore “the mouth” as creator, which became the inspirational and emotional journey of her life.
Episode 35: Poetry: The Anti-Obituary w/Mark Yakich
“Dispel the notion that reading poetry is going to dramatically change your life. Your life is continually changing; most of the time you’re simply too busy to pay enough attention to it. Poems ask you to pay attention—that’s all.”
Episode 34: The Forgotten History of Cooperation and the Horrors of the Kishinev Pogrom w/Steven Zipperstein
So shattering were the aftereffects of Kishinev, the rampage that broke out in late-Tsarist Russia in April 1903, that one historian remarked that it was “nothing less than a prototype for the Holocaust itself.”
In three days of violence, 49 Jews were killed and 600 raped or wounded, while more than 1,000 Jewish-owned houses and stores were ransacked and destroyed. Recounted in lurid detail by newspapers throughout the Western world, and covered sensationally by America’s Hearst press, the pre-Easter attacks seized the imagination of an international public, quickly becoming the prototype for what would become known as a “pogrom.”
Episode 33: A Spirit of Generosity Revolution w/Rabbi Art Green
“It is customary to blame secular science and anti-religious philosophy for the eclipse of religion in modern society. It would be more honest to blame religion for its own defeats. Religion declined not because it was refuted, but because it became irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid. When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendor of the past; when faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living fountain; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion–its message becomes meaningless.”
Episode 32: Islam, Feminism, and Interfaith Dialogue w/Dr. Celene Ibrahim
“Those who look for seashells will find seashells; those who open them will find pearls.”
Dr. Celene Ibrahim is an accomplished scholar, chaplain, and consultant. She has been published in numerous media outlets from The New York Times to BBC Persian. Her recently published book is One Nation, Indivisible: Seeking Liberty and Justice from the Pulpit to the Streets, an anthology of inter-religious voices on the transformative power of ecumenism in America. Her current book project examines female figures in the Qur’an (forthcoming in 2020 from Oxford University Press).
Dr. Ibrahim is a public voice on issues of religious pluralism and civic engagement. She teaches religious studies and philosophy on the faculty of Groton School and served as the Muslim Chaplain at Tufts University. Previously, she held a joint faculty appointment as Islamic Studies Scholar-in-Residence at Hebrew College and Andover Newton Theological School where she co-directed the Center for Inter-Religious and Communal Leadership Education (CIRCLE).
Episode 31: A Godly Bible Filled with Errors? w/Zev Farber
“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson on the notion that a great person does not have to think consistently from one day to the next. This remark comes from the essay “Self-Reliance”.
Zev Farber writes, teaches and edits for a living. He holds an M.A. from Hebrew University (Jewish History), a Ph.D. from Emory University (Jewish Studies/Hebrew Bible), and ordination (yoreh yoreh) and advanced ordination (yadin yadin) from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT) Rabbinical School. He currently holds a fellowship at Project TABS and writes/edits for their website, TheTorah.com. He is a founding member of the International Rabbinic Fellowship (IRF), blogs actively at Morethodoxy, and answers questions for Jewish Values Online. He lives in Zikhron Yaakov with his wife, Channie, and their six children.Continue reading “Episode 31: A Godly Bible Filled with Errors? w/Zev Farber”
Episode 29: Patience To Learn And Humility To Lead w/Dr. Erica Brown
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
— African Proverb
Dr. Erica Brown is an associate professor of curriculum and pedagogy at the George Washington University and the director of its Mayberg Center for Jewish Education and Leadership. She is the author of twelve books on the subjects of leadership, the Hebrew Bible and spirituality. Her forthcoming commentary is The Book of Esther: Power, Fate and Fragility in Exile.
The Exonerated Five of the Central Park Jogger Case and the Book of Job
The connection between Netflix’s “When They See Us” and the Hebrew Bible’s Book of Job.
On a mid-August day of this year there will be Jews all around the world avoiding activities that bring them pleasure. It will be the commemoration of Tisha B’Av (the 9th of Av), a holiday that acts as the catch-all day for the many tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people over the past three millennia — it is the date of the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, and the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto to name a few.
Episode 28: The Messy and Beautiful Truth Behind Philanthropy w/Charlene Seidle
“A pious Jew is not one That worries about their neighbor’s soul and their own stomach; rather, a pious Jew is one that worries about their own soul and their neighbor’s stomach.”
— Rabbi Yisrael Salanter
Charlene is the Leichtag Foundation’s Executive Vice President. She has played a key leadership role in the development and implementation of Leichtag Foundation’s strategic framework and oversees grantmaking. She has designed innovative and creative programs such as funder partnerships and consortia, the Jerusalem Model, the International Office for Jerusalem Partnerships, the Hive at Leichtag Commons, and others; and provides overall management and strategy development.