While it is common for Jews to be engaged in social change on some level, either by providing financial support to organizations that do good work or by getting out there ourselves and knocking on some doors, many of us, deep down in our hearts, like our Judaism just the way it is. Praying the way we’ve always prayed and singing the tunes we’ve always sung can be comforting. But sometimes it can be great to shake things up a bit, and next weekend we all have a chance to do just that.
Jay Michaelson, a prominent Jewish writer, scholar and activist, will be a weekend scholar-in-residence at Shir Tikvah in Minneapolis April 22nd and 23rd. During the weekend, Shir Tikvah is presenting Michaelson at three events:
iSpirituality, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the 21st Century:
Friday, April 22nd at 8pm. Michaelson will deliver the fifth annual Robert N. Schlesinger Memorial Lecture during Shabbat services.
Getting “Serious” About Your Meditation Practice: How to Do It, Why to Do It, and Where You Can Go With It:
Saturday April 23rd at 1pm. Jay Michaelson will lead an open meditation session that will be experiential in nature and designed for new and experienced practitioners alike.
The Religious Case for Gay Rights: Why “Gay Rights” Are Everybody’s Business:
Saturday, April 23rd at 7pm. Michaelson will give a talk and engage in conversation during this fundraiser to support Shir Tikvah and its leadership role in advocating for same-sex marriage equality in Minnesota.
All events are open to the public. The Friday evening and Saturday afternoon events will take place at Shir Tikvah, 1360 West Minnehaha Parkway (5000 Girard Ave. South), in Minneapolis. The Saturday evening fundraiser will take place at a private residence. Call (612) 822-1440 for additional information, including the location of the Saturday evening fundraiser.
Jay Michaelson is the author of Everything is God: The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism, as well as two other books and over 200 articles, essays, and works of fiction. He is a columnist for the Forward, the Huffington Post, Tikkun, and Reality. He is also the founding editor of Zeek: A Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture, and a contributor to Slate, The Jerusalem Post, and other publications. In 2009, Michaelson was included in the Forward 50 list of influential Americans leading the Jewish community into the 21st century.
Michaelson is the founding director of Nehirim, the leading national provider of community programming for GLBT Jews, partners, and allies. His advocacy on behalf of GLBT people in religious communities has been featured in a number of scholarly and popular anthologies as well as in the New York Times, CNN, and NPR.
“We are privileged to have a teacher and activist of Jay Michaelson’s stature visiting our community,” said Rabbi Michael Adam Latz, senior rabbi at Shir Tikvah. “His work is broadly accessible, while at the same time his message pushes the envelope of ‘conventional’ religious thought and is adding a new vitality to American Judaism. We look forward to learning with Jay, and we welcome everyone to pray with us on Shabbat and to join us for the other events.”
Come and get your radical on at Shir Tikvah next weekend. The synagogue presents plenty of other learning opportunities for adults of all ages that are worth checking out too.