Chesapeake Day of Learning 2018 | Reconstructing Judaism

Chesapeake Day of Learning 2018

Sunday, April 15, 2018 8:45am – 1:30pm
Adat Shalom Congregation,  7727 Persimmon Tree Ln, 
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Sunday, April 15, 2018

Adat Shalom Congregation, Bethesda, Maryland

The program will begin at 8:45 am with a choice of services, meditation and yoga followed by the keynote, and a choice of workshops presented by local and Reconstructing Judaism leaders. A box lunch will be provided.

The cost for this program is $18 per person. Register now at

Questions? Contact Jackie Land at

Schedule for the Day

8:45-10 a.m. Registration
9-9:45 a.m. Shakharit, Yoga, Meditation
10:00-11:15 a.m Welcome and Keynote
11:15-11:30 a.m.  Box lunch pickup and transition to workshops
11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Workshops (see below for descriptions)

1:10-1:30 p.m.  Concluding Program with Rabbi Deborah Waxman


Program Descriptions:

Shakharit (Hazzan Rabbi Rachel Hersh)

Yoga (Sue Dorfman)

The Sephirat Ha’Omer yoga session will incorporate poses (yoga asanas) that relate to Chesed b’ Tiferet, Loving Kindness in Balance. The Omer count for that day will be incorporated.

Meditation (Fran Zamore)

The 15th day of the Omer is Chesed of Tiferet — Lovingkindness in Compassion. The guide I’m using for counting the Omer has as an exercise for this day: “when helping someone, extend yourself in the fullest way. Offer a smile of a loving gesture.” In concert with this intention, I’ll explain Love Shots and lead us though a guided meditation designed to help us fully receive love, to the point of overflowing so it is inevitable that we extend that love to others.

Keynote Speaker: Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer
Difficult Conversations: Cultivating the Virtues we Need


Would we plan a trek up Kiliminjaro without spending months in the gym preparing? Yet we stumble into fraught conversations across differences — sometimes even with people we love — and find ourselves in trouble all too soon.

In her talk, Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer will describe the work she does in multifaith settings, sharing spiritual practices for the cultivating of character. In the interactive portion of the program, participants will have the opportunity to work on their own most challenging trait — Courage? Equanimity? Clarity? Compassion? — using the Jewish practice of Mussar.


Kindness is Life: Bridging in the Political Divine in 20חי (Susana Issacson, Taryn Wyron, Rabbi Saul Oresky)

Our country is deeply divided around political issues. Each of us connect differently with the role of political engagement in religious and spiritual life. Jewish tradition offers us values and stories, but it is up to us to enact these in our contemporary lives.

In this workshop, Susana Isaacson and Taryn Wyron will share skills for engaging in constructive dialogue with those whose opinions differ from our own. Rabbi Saul Oresky will share Torah teachings on machloket l’shem shamayim and tokhekha to inspire our learning. By speaking and listening from the heart, we strengthen the capacity to connect with people, including those with whom we disagree.

Private Prayers - Public Discourse (Hazzan Rabbi Rachel Hersh)

Our siddur is filled with mindfulness tools for cultivating equanimity, releasing judgment and strengthening our capacity to observe and respond thoughtfully, rather than to react impulsively.  As the tone of our national discourse has been buffeted with increasingly negative intensity in the last two years, we can look no further than our own prayers to help us realign our behavior with our ideals, perhaps enabling us to participate more constructively in the larger conversation.  Join Hazzan Rabbi Rachel Hersh (Adat Shalom) for an exploration of some of the liturgical gems at our disposal and the potential to utilize them to help us build more constructive communal interactions.

Aging In Place — To Move or Not Move (Margi Helsel-Arnold, LCSW-C0

Margi Helsel-Arnold, LCSW-C, an Aging Life Care Manager and member of Adat Shalom, will facilitate a panel on “Aging in Place: To Move or Not Move” along with Pazit Aviv, Montgomery County Village Coordinator, Aging & Disability Services, and Steve Gurney, Publisher, Retirement Living Sourcebook.  Vicki Breman will facilitate a question and answer period after the panel.


Community Program for Yom HaShoah

Following the Day of Learning, there will be an area-wide Yom Hashoah Program sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington. It is titled Hate Speech and the Holocaust, and will be held at at Beth Ami in Rockville.  The following is a link to information about this program:



Movement Activities