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Elul Program Series Registration

Thank you so much for registering for the 2021 Northern Hills Synagogue Elul Program Series!

Each weekday at 9:00 AM throughout the month of Elul (August 9-September 5) a new and exciting program will be presented with NHS. 

Below you will find a list of all of the programs offered throughout the month. Please fill out a form for each person registering.

Please check all of the programs you would like to attend, and if applicable, please note if you will be joining in person or virtually.

You will receive a unique zoom link for all of our Elul programs.

If you have any questions, please contact Rabbi Sam Schapera by email ( or by phone (513-399-6431).

Step into Sacred Space with Ben Pagliaro as we discuss, reflect and share with the intention of "Approach." We'll take some time to relate to one another through the text of our tradition and the text of our lived experience as we begin the journey of approaching High Holy Days.
Presented by Karen Martin - Jewish Foundation Fellow

Talking about Infertility

Karen Martin, TJF Fellow with the Jewish Fertility Foundation will share stories and guidance on how to talk with and support friends, coworkers, and grown children who have experienced or may be experiencing infertility. Learn about infertility in the Jewish community, resources available, and how to navigate this often deeply personal and sensitive subject. 
Presented by Sarah Weiss - CEO and Jodi Elowitz - Director of Education

Intersections of History: How the Nazis were Influenced by American Legal Policy

Learn about the intersections between the Nuremberg Laws in Nazi Germany and Jim Crow practices in the United States in this program. Jodi Elowitz in dialogue with Sarah Weiss, will examine how the Nazis looked to discriminatory legal policies in the United States, including the Jim Crow Laws, as they constructed their own racial policies targeting Jews during the Holocaust. We will also explore how these histories of hate and oppression are linked and have lasting impacts that are still with us today.
Presented by Rabbi Shena Potter Jaffee, Jewish Life and Learning Consultant at Rockwern Academy and Visiting Rabb at Temple B'nai Israel in Monroe, MI

Apologies, Excuses and Atonements - Saying Sorry in 5782 (2021)

Looking at apologies of the famous (Thom Brennaman and others) and the familiar, what makes an apology effective? Who benefits most? What are our opportunities? How do we avoid squandering this time?
Presented by Rabbi Jonathan Hecht - Dean of the Cincinnati Campus

The Talmud on Forgiveness - Is it a word or an emotion?
Presented by Zak Lempert - Senior Manager of Programming and Development

Join ish and Northern Hills in creating a Community Ketubah, an artistic exploration and expression of our Jewish values, hope for the future, and anticipations as we prepare to welcome the New Jewish Year! Learn more about Jewish Artistic Traditions and about ish's work in Cincinnati. 

Just like a Ketubah, art is a common bond that brings people together. Join Ketubah expert, Julie Pentelnik, Northern Hills Education leader Idit Moss, and ish's Zak Lempert for a chutzpah-filled artistic morning.
The Jewish New Year's Day for Animals begins this year on the evening of Sunday August 8th (the first day of the month of Elul). Never heard of it? You may be familiar with the New Year's Day for all of creation (Rosh haShanah) and the New Year's Day for Trees (Tu biShvat). This program will introduce you to the New Year's Day for Animals — Rosh haShanah la-Behemah — its origin and rituals, and its revival in our own day as we prepare mentally and ethically to take responsibility for all of our relationships, beginning with those whose lives we impact with our life choices and who depend upon us for their well-being.
Presented by Abby Schwartz - Director

Inside Israel: The People and the Land in Israeli Modern Art

Israel can be defined by its people and by its land. Explore these themes with Skirball Museum director Abby Schwartz as we look at and discuss works of art by some of Israel's most famous 20th and 21st century artists. An art-making project related to the theme will follow the discussion. 
What's so Jewish about Business Anyway:

Did you know that according to Jewish law a business transaction is not complete until the buyer physically picks up the product after exchanging money? Did you know that if you engage in haggling, that the seller has made a commitment to sell at the first moment that your exchange starts? Our texts and tradition are filled with opportunities to learn about ethical business models. You are invited to join Rabbi Azriel in a fun conversation, filled with dilemmas and disagreements from the days of old until today. 

HaMakom: Finding Ourselves in Elul 

Throughout COVID, Rabbi Romano led weekly sessions of HaMakom, a meditative space for healing. Join Rabbi Romano on August 19th for an Elul themed HaMakom meditation to set the tone for your reflections and preparations for the High Holidays. 
Presented by Frances Kahan - Cultural Arts Manager

Be a part of the art by contributing to the Northern Hills Synagogue community panel for the Mayerson JCC's annual Under One Roof Sukkah Art Exhibit. Participate in the creation of an artwork that will explore this year's theme, Resilience and Renewal. All skills levels welcome. Lend your hand and add your voice to this community project.
Have you ever wanted to read Hebrew?

The Hebrew language and the ability to read Hebrew is one of the most important connections between Jewish people around the world. Being able to read the prayers in the Siddur would further enhance one's connection with Jews in other countries, including Israel, as our prayers are the same around the world.

This one-hour course will give you the opportunity to take your first step. The class will cover the methodology and building blocks of reading Hebrew. You will be introduced to the Hebrew letters, final letters, and vowels.
Prayer, Love, and Covenant: How We Can Approach Our Spiritual and Daily Lives with New and Meaningful Insight

In this session, we'll weave together the insights of three scholars, Rabbi Yitz Greenberg, Rabbi Shai Held, and Rabbi Elie Kaunfer, based on classes they have presented and writings they have published over the last several months. We'll focus on the theme of love in our Jewish tradition - in particular G_d's love of the Jewish people and the ramifications of the nature of that love as it plays out in our covenantal relationship and the tasks it commands and inspires us to perform.
Presented by Liat Alon, Director of Community Activities and Education

In the first half of the 20th century Egypt was one of the most important cultural centers in the Middle East. Among the most prominent artists, performers, singers and writers were many of the Jewish community.

One of these internationally acclaimed singer was Laila Murad, a Karaite Jew. Her Piut (liturgy) for Yom Kippur, El Nora Alila, was well known across the Jewish middle eastern world. We will discuss her, the piut, the role of women during the high holiday prayers and rituals as well as the connection between Yom Kippur and Muslim traditions and customs. 
The Shofar
We blow the Shofar to signal the start of the new year. But what does our tradition teach about the Shofar?

Come study text sources with Rabbi Ferro and learn more about this mitzvah - how the Shofar is made, how we use it, and more.
Torah Tour

Take a tour of the entire Torah, from Breishit to Deuteronomy. Read the Torah portion summaries, enjoy beautiful artwork, and take part in creating a modern day Talmud discussion throughout the Torah cycle!

This tour is self-guided throughout the day, but feel free to join by zoom or in person at 9:00!
A unique Israeli experience, including Israeli stories, music, and an atmosphere of a true "Israeli morning" to welcome Shabbat. This community sing-along followed by a presentation with the song's lyrics combined with wonderful pictures of Israel sights. Suitable for all ages ... Come and sing with us!
While wine gets the majority of attention throughout our tradition, generally, and the Bible, in particular, it's not the only special beverage in our tradition. Join Rabbi Drew Kaplan for a textual exploration of beer (yes, beer) in the Bible. How does beer appear in the most foundational texts of our people, and what wisdom does our tradition have to offer around this also special beverage?
Baseball and Jews are intimately linked. Since baseball took hold in the 1860s, Jewish athletes have participated in the sport. Over the years, Jewish baseball players dealt with antisemitism, bigotry, and discrimination, as did most immigrants. Gradually, as Jews migrated to America, they assimilated, counteracting their stereotyping as cerebral and non-athletic. However, baseball players are seen by the public in a love-hate relationship - ripe for bigotry and antisemitism.

The movie Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story deals with these issues and more.
One of the special features of the extended High Holiday season, from the beginning of the month of Elul through the end of Sukkot, is the recitation of Psalm 27 at morning and evening services. In this program, Rabbi George Barnard will speak about the psalm from both scholarly and personal points of view.
The Jewish Community Relations Council of Cincinnati invites you to participate in a discussion on the current state of antisemitism in the US and its implications on American Jewry. As we know, antisemitic incidents are at the highest level ever recorded in the US and it is imperative that we meet those concerning statistics head on, as a collective Jewish community. Join your fellow congregants for learning and meaningful dialogue, where together we will share what's challenging us in the moment as it relates to antisemitism and talk about how we might overcome this age old hatred with useful strategies and resources.
Presented by Dana Herman - Managing Editor of Publications

In this session, we will examine the Jewish poetry of Emma Lazarus (1849-1887), best known for her poem "The New Colossus" with its line inscribed on the Statue of Liberty.
Screening of Orchestra of Exiles

Some stories get lost in the turmoil of their times. It is often only in retrospect that we can discover the true shapers of history. One such man is the prodigious Polish violinist Bronislaw Huberman. Orchestra of Exiles explores this great man's 4-year odyssey, which culminates in the founding of the orchestra that would become the Israel Philharmonic. [...] During the darkest days of a Europe being torn apart by antisemitism and Nazi aggression, Huberman's extraordinary efforts saved hundreds of Jewish families from the approaching Holocaust and his achievements changed the landscape of cultural history."
Rosh HaShanah begins tomorrow, and we have one more day to prepare our bodies, minds, and souls for the High Holy Days.

Join Rabbi Schapera as we process the last month and look forward to the next year.
Wed, October 5 2022 10 Tishrei 5783