Elul Events

Sweet & Sacred Elul 2021 Header

Sweet & Sacred Series 

Elul is the Hebrew month leading up to the High Holy Days. During this month we are encouraged to take a deep look inwards at how we have responded to the blessings and challenges of the past year. 

It is a time of self-reflection, forgiveness, and exploration. Join our new Senior Rabbi Stephanie Kramer as she teams up with our B’nai Jehudah staff for a month of in-person learning, hands-on experiences, and spiritual offerings that will help you reflect, explore, and contemplate as you head into Jewish New Year 5782. Events are free of charge and will follow B’nai Jehudah’s current COVID protocols. Some events will be held outside, others in the building. Elul Boot Camp will meet via Zoom.

Please register at least two days prior to each class so we can have the appropriate materials on hand for you! Register online below or call our office at 913.663.4050.

Scroll down to learn more about and register for each Sweet & Sacred event.

Living Elul with the Klein Collection August 11 | 1:00 pm | ages 13+

Join Rabbi Kramer and Klein Collection Educator/Curator Abby Magariel in an exploration of objects from the Klein Collection, celebrating and thinking about the ways we prepare for the High Holidays and the year ahead during the month of Elul.

Havdalah for the Heart August 14 | 7:00 pm | all ages

Experience Havdalah with your senses! Join Rabbi Kramer, Rabbi Smiley and Michelle Cox for an intergenerational Havdalah. We’ll create an art project, listen to music, and enjoy a tasty treat. Weather permitting, we’ll do all of this outside on B’nai Jehudah grounds!

Elul Boot Camp August 18, 25 & September 1 | 10:00-11:30 am | ages 18+

Join three special guest teachers on Wednesdays, August 18, 25 and September 1 during our usual Torah Study time. Please register to join us for any or all of these wonderful learning opportunities to help us prepare ourselves for the High Holidays. Read below for detailed Elul Boot Camp information.
Elul Boot Camp will be led exclusively by the guest teachers (no B’nai Jehudah clergy will teach).

Power of Preparation August 19 | noon | ages 13+

“On Rosh Hashanah it is written, on Yom Kippur it is sealed.” Come explore the meaning of some of our central prayers of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur with Rabbi Kramer and Michelle Cox. Music and a light lunch included!

Behind the Memory Murals August 19 | 7:00 pm | ages 18+ | virtual only

The Michael Klein Collection will take us behind the scenes with artist F. Scott Hess, the creator of B’nai Jehudah’s “Memory Murals.” Hess will explore his process for creating the murals that surround B’nai Jehudah’s Commons area, and will touch on a new set of panels he is now working on for the Klein Collection, focusing on the Prophets.

Creating Sacred Space: Challah Braiding Workshop August 22 | 4:30 pm | all ages

Become a challah-braiding expert! Join Rabbi Kramer and Jennifer Green Baer for an intergenerational challah baking and braiding course. We will teach some tricks and tips about Round Challah designs and share insights about preparing your home spiritually and physically for the Jewish New Year. This will be an excellent opportunity to shmooze!

Kesher Connection with Emily: The Sweet Taste of Mussar August 25 | 7:00 pm | ages 13+

Craving some balance in your life? Explore the popular spiritual practice of Mussar with Rabbi Kramer and Emily Williams and sweeten your outlook on life with middot and sugar. Snacks included!

Breaking Sweet Bowls and Making Them Sacred August 29 | 10:00 am | all ages

Join Rabbi Kramer and Dayna Gershon in a process of physically and metaphorically restoring something broken and creating something new. This project will help prepare us for the High Holidays using a combination of the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery, called Kintsugi, and a look at reflective and restorative text from our tradition. This project is appropriate for all ages, little hands will need assistance. Please bring a towel, a hammer, and – if you have one – a bowl you would like to break.

**There will be no Sunday morning Religious School program on August 29. All Religious School families are invited to join us to create your own family memories!

Blasting into the New Year September 1 | 2:00 pm | all ages

Join Rabbi Kramer and Rabbi Leighton for an exploration into the Shofar, its sounds, and rituals surrounding it. Together we will gain new insights into the role that Shofar plays in our tradition, the lessons it can teach us, and what its calls can inspire us to do in our world. We will then turn those insights into tangible, visual pieces to help inspire us all year.

Elul Boot Camp

We have three special guest teachers to help us welcome in 5782. Join them August 18, 25 and September 1, during our usual Torah Study time: 10:00-11:30 am. Please register in advance for any (or all!) Elul Boot Camp discussions. 

All three Elul Boot Camp sessions are virtual only, via Zoom. These three classes will be led exclusively by the guest teachers (no B’nai Jehudah clergy will teach).

“Ki Anu Amecha – We are Your people and You are our ____________:”
August 18 | 10:00-11:30 am | with Rabbi Larry Karol | via Zoom

What is the relationship between God and the Jewish community? By examining the metaphors found in High Holiday prayers and songs we will explore this multifaceted relationship and the ways we see it manifested in our lives.

Self-awareness as Prerequisite for Holding Oneself Accountable
August 25 | 10:00-11:30 am | with Rabbi Jonathan Rudnick | via Zoom

Self-awareness, or intra-personal intelligence, is a way of relating to and getting at Cheshbon Hanefesh – the accounting of the soul that our tradition teaches us to do in preparation for, as well as during, the High Holidays. In this session we will look at three episodes from Torah as guides and catalysts for a discussion on how we can hold ourselves accountable for missing the mark with respect to who we are and strive to be, righting our wrongs, and our noticing ourselves for the year to come.

GUILT!!! WHY DO WE ACCEPT IT? WHY DO WE IMPOSE IT? HOW CAN WE HANDLE IT?
September 1 | 10:00-11:30 am | with Rabbi Stephen Karol | via Zoom

“Jewish Guilt” is an overblown, mischaracterized cultural phenomenon. “True” Jewish Guilt dates back to the Torah, but there is an inherent commitment to forgiveness. There is good guilt and bad guilt, and it can keep us on the right path of behavior or convince us that we are bad people not worthy of being forgiven. It is up to us to decide if we have no choice but to feel guilty, if we have to use it to get other people to do what we want, and if we can turn it from a liability into an asset.