He Fought Polar Bears And Nazis And Was Called ‘The Most Unique Jew Alive’
Talya Zax for The Forward
On December 20, 1934, the New York Jewish Daily Bulletin’s Michel Kraike published an article about one Peter Freuchen: “Eight feet tall, weighing close to 330 pounds, with a head like a grizzly bear’s and a thick, square red beard.”
Born in Denmark, Freuchen held a series of professions that, to modern ears, might sound unlikely: He was an Arctic explorer who traded goods with the Eskimos, a novelist who accidentally starred in a Hollywood adaptation of his book “Eskimo,” an amateur-surgeon-by-necessity — suffering from frostbite during his time with the Eskimos, he amputated several of his own toes before eventually having his leg amputated — and a onetime governor of a Greenland colony.
DNA and the Origin of the Jews
Prof. Steven J. Weitzman for TheTorah.com
Is there a genetic marker for cohanim (priests)? Are Ashkenazi Jews descended from Khazars? Why is there such a close genetic connection between Samaritans and Jews, especially cohanim? A look at what genetic testing can tell us about Jews.
In premodern times, the question of where Jews come from had an obvious answer: The Bible tells the story of Israel’s origins beginning with the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, moving on to Moses and the exodus from Egypt, and continuing on the conquest of Canaan, the judges, the monarchy, the exile, and so on. Modern scholars have come to challenge that narrative, however, just as scientists began to challenge the creation story in Genesis, looking beyond the biblical account for an explanation for how the Jews came to be.
Abraham Joshua Heschel: A Prophet’s Prophet
BY ROBERT M. SELTZER for myjewishlearning.com
Heschel aimed, through his writing and teaching, to shock modern people out of complacency and into a spiritual dimension
Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972), a descendant of two important Hasidic dynasties, was born in Warsaw. After receiving a thorough Jewish education in Poland, Heschel entered the University of Berlin, where in 1934 he received his doctorate for a study of the biblical prophets… . In 1937 Heschel became Martin Buber’s successor at the Judisches Lehrhaus in Frankfurt and head of adult Jewish education in Germany, but the following year, he and other Polish Jews were deported by the Nazis. [Martin Buber (1878-1965) was a German-Jewish social and religious philosopher. The Frankfurt Lehrhaus, an experimental center for adult Jewish education, aimed to teach marginal, acculturated Jews about Judaism.]
BY RABBI ELISA KLAPHECK for myjewishlearning.com
The first female rabbi and how she was almost forgotten.
If I confess what motivated me, a woman, to become a rabbi, two things come to mind. My belief in God’s calling and my love of humans. God planted in our heart skills and a vocation without asking about gender. Therefore, it is the duty of men and women alike to work and create according to the skills given by God. — Regina Jonas, C.-V.-Zeitung, June 23, 1938.
Regina Jonas, the first woman to be ordained as a rabbi, was killed in Auschwitz in October 1944. From 1942-1944 she performed rabbinical functions in Theresienstadt (also known as Terezin). She would probably have been completely forgotten, had she not left traces both in Theresienstadt and in her native city, Berlin. None of her male colleagues, among them Rabbi Leo Baeck (1873-1956) and the psychoanalyst Viktor Frankl (1905-1997), ever mentioned her after the Holocaust.
The Kurdish Immigrants Who Built Israel
By Lauren S. Marcus for The Forward
In Israel, there is often a singular narrative told about immigration and the creation of the Jewish state: Ashkenazi pioneers came from Eastern Europe at the end of the 19th century and built the country. They established kibbutzim, moshavim, and cities like Rishon LeTzion, and created pre-IDF militias. Streets in every city in Israel bear their names: Jabotinsky, Trumpeldor, Weizmann.
The Mizrahim came later, the narrative explains, in massive waves in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Refugees arriving long after the establishment of the state, they languished in ma’abarot and development towns.
But the story of one Kurdish Jewish family disrupts this narrative.
Our congregation has begun the process of searching for and hiring a new rabbi. For information and updates on our process please visit our Rabbinic Search Information page.
Come meet our Rabbinic Candidates
Rabbi Jaymee Alpert will be with us between February 23 and 25.
Rabbi Nadav Caine with be with us between March 2 and 4.
Caring Connections and More
I Care, We Care, TEC Cares!
For more information and to be a part of Caring Connections visit our page.
Volunteer opportunity: The ALS Association is looking for volunteers to visit home-bound people with ALS once a week. Teens would be welcome. Please contact with Barbara Porush: 818-429-5686; b[email protected]
Bereavement Support Group Open to the Community: Our Bereavement group will meet every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month.
Al-Anon meets every Wednesday at TEC, 7:00-8:15PM.
Be Involved - Click here for a calendar of upcoming events.
Refuah Shelamah Requests - Can't make it to shul for a friend or loved one in need of a prayer for healing? Send in any name you would like read at services (Shabbat, minyan or other) and a dedicated Temple congregant will stand and read the name. Just email your request to refuah.[email protected] with the details of the individual in need of healing. It is that easy and simple! Because No one should be without a voice.
Scholar-in-Residence Weekend-February 9th-11th-For more information and the schedule of events click here.
Parent and Me Classes - Wednesdays, 9:15 AM -10:30 AM. Storytime, art, music, Jewish traditions, crafts, and so much more.
Be The Change - USY Tzedakah campaign - Are you ready to be the change? Suggested donation of $5.
Summer Smash: Enroll Today! Space is Limited! 10% Discount if Enrolled by April 1st! See our Summer Smash Information Page for details. Don't miss it.
Argentenors Concert - There were lots of rehearsals, lots of email blasts, but it all came together when we saw our very own Hazzan Pablo Duek perform with his fellow Cantors at the Argentenors Concert! If you weren't able to attend, we've got your back.
Jvillage, our website host and content provider, has constructed an informative guide filled with useful information, recipes and crafts.
Women of TEC Judaica Shop
Visit the Women of TEC Judaica Shop at Temple Etz Chaim! We carry a wide selection of Judaica gifts for every occasion. Visit the Women of TEC Judaica Shop web page for hours and featured items!
Infant Care Now Registering!
Infant Care Now Registering!
Now Offering Full-time Infant Care from 3 months on.
Small caretaker - child ratio.
Full Time Monday to Friday 7:30am - 6:00pm.
Space fills up fast, plan ahead and reserve your spot! To schedule a tour please contact the pre-school office at (805) 497-6852 or email us at [email protected].
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Agoura Hills Hand Car Wash "Wash Bucks" Program
Find out here how you can help support TEC every time you wash your car or shop at Agoura Hills Hand Car Wash.
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