Kolot Mayim Reform Temple in Victoria is presenting a new season of its Building Bridges speakers series. The 2022/23 lineup will highlight the theme of Hineini: Answering the Call to Heal the World.
The Hebrew word Hineini can be translated as “Here I Am.” The series of six talks includes local, national and international speakers who have each in their own way stood up to create positive change in the world from a uniquely Jewish perspective. The monthly talks are offered free of charge and held on select Sundays from November to April on Zoom.
Beginning Nov. 6, 11 a.m. PST, the first speaker will be Rabbi Allan Finkel. Finkel is a Reform rabbi at Temple Shalom in Winnipeg. He will address the topic of Addiction in the Jewish Community and Jewish-based Recovery.
On Dec. 4, Elissa Bemporad, a widely published historian and professor at Queens College and the Graduate Centre – City University of New York, will speak on History is Not Destiny: Thoughts about the Russian War Against Ukraine and the Jewish Past in the Region.
Starting off the 2023 portion of the season will be Sari Shernofsky, a retired community chaplain from the Calgary Jewish community. On Jan. 6, Shernofsky will speak about Stories from the Narrow Bridge: Meeting People in their Time of Need. She will discuss her journey to chaplaincy, the patients she traveled with, spirituality and aging, and medical assistance in dying (MAiD).
Morton Weinfeld, professor of sociology and chair of Canadian ethnic studies at McGill University, recently published an updated edition of his book Like Everyone Else But Different. His Feb. 5 talk is titled Like Everyone Else But Different: The Jewish Glass is Half Full.
Pat Johnson, writer, organizer, entrepreneur and Jewish Independent editorial board member, will highlight his work with Upstanders Canada, an organization he founded to mobilize non-Jewish Canadians to stand up against antisemitism and anti-Zionism. His March 5 talk, Standing Up to Antisemitism, will explain coordinated steps anyone can follow to create a positive difference.
Rabbi Suzanne Singer, a former journalist and a Reform rabbi from Temple Beth El in California, will wrap up the series on April 6. With a history of leadership at Kolot Mayim, Singer will talk about Hope: How Do We Find Hope in a World with Unending Problems?
The word Hineini occurs 17 times in Hebrew scripture and is said at pivotal moments when profound change is about to take place. Kolot Mayim Reform Temple is an inclusive, welcoming congregation led by Rabbi Lynn Greenhough, who reminds us that, “Our world today cries out for responsive and responsible change; each of us can do our part in helping with that healing and transformative change.”
To register for any or all of the six talks that comprise the 2022/23 Building Bridges series, visit kolotmayimreformtemple.com.