Cain v. Abel: Jewish Courtroom Drama
Rabbi Dan Ornstein
Enter the packed courtroom and take your seat as a juror on the Cain v. Abel trial. Soon, the prosecution and defense attorneys (angels from Jewish legend) will call Cain, Abel, Sin, Adam, Eve, and God to the witness stand to present their perspectives on the world’s first murder. Great Jewish commentators throughout the ages will also offer contradictory testimony on Cain’s emotional, societal, and spiritual influences.
In this class with Rabbi Dan Ornstein, we will look closely at this extremely important Torah story, Cain and Abel. Get ready for some fascinating readings and interpretations of this fatal tale of sibling rivalry and what it can teach us for our own world and lives today. Based upon Rabbi Dan's newly published book, Cain v. Abel: Jewish Courtroom Drama, we will hold lively discussions mixed with skits, guest presentations, and a whole lot more. Prior Hebrew or Torah knowledge is not a requirement, but please be ready to participate in a serious class in which we will dig into some extraordinarily important Jewish ideas.
Science of Happiness
We all want to be happier and feel satisfied with our lives.
However, few of us know how to do it. What does it take to live a truly happy life?
Studies based on the science of happiness proved that a significant percentage of the potential for happiness in our lives is under our control, we can achieve it by changing our ways of thinking and behaving. In this course, you will engage in a series of challenges and tasks designed to increase your own happiness and build habits that are more productive. We will get practical, effective, and friendly tools for changing habits, assimilating new behaviors, and increasing happiness. We will learn how to measure happiness and how to make our routine blessed. The goal of this course is to gain a rich and varied toolbox for improving your happiness and energy through games, exercises, stories, and tasks. Abraham Lincoln said this more than 150 years ago, "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be," and it is as true today as when he first said it.
The 100 Years War: The Arab-Israeli Conflict
Have you ever visited Israel and wondered why there seems to be so many soldiers on the streets? Have your non-Jewish friends ever asked you to explain why Israelis and Palestinians just can’t seem to get along with each other or even challenged you as to why Israel considers itself a Jewish State? (If not, just wait till you get to college!) If you would like to get the “straight-up” on the historical background of the conflict, cut through the opinion and emotions which cloud the story of two peoples struggling for control of one land (a Holy Land, at that) and discuss what’s in store for Israel, the Palestinians and other neighboring Arab countries in the future, this might be the Mifgash class for you! Be prepared to share your thoughts and experiences!
Zooming to an Israeli Culinary Journey - Part 2
Come join me as we discover a variety of foods that characterize the different places in Israel. We will get to know the Land of Israel, the different cities and the places of settlement through the food, from the northern Galilee, we will learn who the Druze are, we will get to know the Bedouin in the south and the food that characterizes each of them. Together we will learn how food ties down and connects the different cultures of Israel.
So if you always wanted to bring Aroma and scent from the Israeli kitchen to your home, if you want to increase your knowledge of spices and flavors? If you ever wanted to surprise your family with a wonderful and delicious dinner?
if you want to enrich your skills and to be the best cook in college, and if you want to do all these things while learning some new words in Hebrew - this class is for you! Let's Zoom and cook together!
Seven Species, Seders, and Sculpture
We will start off the spring semester with inspiration from the holiday Tu’B’Shevat. Using thin gauge copper metal sheets, you will design seven squares of metal from your interpretation of the seven species. Your designs will be etched into the metal using the metalworking technique, repousse, and chasing. The end result will be an attractive wall hanging. When we come out of the winter doldrums, Pesach won’t be far behind and that means time to remember our ancestors escape from Egypt with a seder. What better way to celebrate then with a handmade multicolored mosaic seder plate? You will choose from a variety of shapes, colors, and tile textures to beautify your one-of-a-kind seder plate. The final project will be based on the American artist, Robert Indiana’s famous, LOVE, sculpture which has been translated into Hebrew, Ahava. The Ahava sculpture is at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. For this project we will use wooden blocks for each letter and decorate the blocks.
Jews in the News
COVID…Masks or no masks…A new vaccine…An American nation divided, with the future of its democracy in question… A new President…Protests and extremism at home and abroad…Rising anti-Semitism…The fourth Israeli election in two years…Heck, we’ve only scratched the surface of what the Spring of 2021 might present. Would you enjoy discussing and sharing your views of the news events of the last week in a fun and lively class with your friends at Mifgash? If so, please join our class! Students are always encouraged to suggest topics, to question and even challenge the teacher. After all, that’s the Jewish way of learning!