January 20, 2022
Discovering and Sharing our Genetic Information
To view session click HERE.
Who isn’t curious about what our genes can tell us? Jews are among the best customers for direct-to-consumer genetic tests and their packaged analysis. Are they useful, or confusing?
We also have well-studied mutations for certain diseases, owing to our ancestors having lived and married in tight-knit communities.
When is it advisable for us to seek medical genetic testing? What is the genetics counselor’s role? If we do find that we carry a “bad” gene, what’s next? Should we fear the potential for discrimination against us individually and as a people from all this genomic disclosure?
From a wider lens, how do the frontiers of genetic science intersect with bioethics and Jewish standards? And might the discovery of our genetic information and lineage confound our understanding of Jewish identity?
These and other probing questions will be explored by two experts in their respective fields:
Laurie Zoloth, Ph.D., is the Margaret E. Burton Professor of Religion and Ethics and Senior Advisor to the Provost for Social Ethics, at the University of Chicago. She is a bioethicist and co-editor with Rabbi Dr. Elliot N. Dorff, of Jews and Genes: The Genetic Future in Contemporary Jewish Thought.
Faye Shapiro, M.S., Certified Genetics Counselor, is associated with Cooper Hill Hospital, Cherry Hill, NJ., and is a member of the Sisterhood of Congregation Beth El, Camden, N.J.
Contact: Vivian Leber, Chair of Personal Conversations, firstname.lastname@example.org
On November 4, 2021
Creating Your New Community Without a Partner
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Many Jewish women, either through the sudden loss of a partner, or by their own choice, find themselves newly single and are caught off-guard to discover the degree to which the world has been organized for the comfort of couples. The transition may be unsettling, isolating and hurtful.
Two rabbis each will bring her pastoral experience as well as her personal life experience to a conversation that explores this phenomenon and finds solutions:
When you become “uncoupled” — How might you take positive control of your sense of self? How might you maintain your existing connections in a way that best supports you, or build a new community? What are some practical steps to take you forward?
Fran Hildebrandt, WLCJ Chair of Mishpachah, will moderate the discussion. Vivian Leber, Chair of Personal Conversations, will introduce the program and speakers.
Women’s League members are invited to submit in advance (to VLeber@wlcj.org) their own one-page essay in which they share related personal experiences and discoveries that would be helpful to other women. After the program, those essays will be shared with registered participants.
On March 19, 2021
The speakers are:
On January 21, 2021
What’s Good About Aging?
…and at times when it’s not, how can seniors and their families manage the challenges with less stress?
Renee Glazier, a certified Geriatric Care Manager, now retired, presented a program that takes us through the positives that come with aging, along with its challenges.
October 29, 2020
When Someone Close to You Comes Out as LGBTQ, will you be knowledgeable and open-hearted?
With Rabbi Areiella Rosen and Rabbi Becca Walker
September 10, 2020
Keep Family Relationships Emotionally and Spiritually Healthy During Covid-19 and in an Election Year
A Personal Conversation
Speakers: A leader in Pastoral Education/JTS, Rabbi Naomi Kalish, and Psychologist Alison P. Block, Ph.D.
Tuesday, April 28, 2020
A Very Personal Conversation about our Planet: Earth Day 2020:
Fifty Years Later Where Are We and What Should We Do About It? with Rabbi Katy Z. Allen
Thursday, January 16, 2020
Women’s League Personal Conversation: “Neshama: A Conversation About Bringing Breath (the Physical) and Soul (the Spiritual) Together” with Rabbi Jaymee Alpert.
“So often we find ourselves living either in our bodies (at the gym, on a walk around the block) or in our souls (at synagogue, during a moment of prayer). The ancient rabbis understood that in order to be fully functional as human beings, we need to inhabit both parts of our neshama. Over the last few years, I have been exploring ways to bring breath and spirit/soul together by creating opportunities to exercise while we pray. Please join me for a conversation about reconnecting the physical and spiritual sides of ourselves.” – Rabbi Jaymee Alpert
Rabbi Jaymee Alpert joined Congregation Beth David in Saratoga, CA, as Senior Rabbi in the summer of 2018. She is passionate about Jewish life and strives to create a warm, inviting atmosphere, where people from all backgrounds are welcome, and all questions are valid. She cares deeply about interfaith, interdenominational, and community relations and is an active member of the Saratoga Ministerial Association, also serving on the board of the Addison-Penzak JCC.
Rabbi Alpert is interested in the connection between spirituality and physical activity. She has created a Shabbat morning hiking service and is the co-creator of Neshama Body and Soul, a practice that combines exercise with prayer, in order to help participants connect their physical and spiritual lives. Prior to moving to Northern California, Rabbi Alpert had spent a lifetime in the Northeast, most recently serving Congregation Kneses Tifereth Israel in Port Chester, NY. While in Port Chester, she was the chaplain for the local Police and Fire Departments, a member of the Port Chester Board of Ethics, and past President of the Westchester Board of Rabbis. She is also a Rabbis Without Borders fellow.
Rabbi Alpert is a graduate of Brandeis University, holds master’s degrees in Jewish Education and Jewish Women’s Studies, and was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2003. She lives in San Jose with her husband Danny Kischel and their dog Monte. Having grown up in the Boston area, they are loyal Patriots fans.
More Personal Conversations for 2020-2021 will be announced soon. For more information, contact Vivian Leber at email@example.com