My Vodkas-tasting Last Week

???????????????????????????????Last week, I held a vodka-tasting event, which paired up with discussing Jewish angles on vampires.  It was interesting.  Having never taken part let alone running a vodka-tasting, it was a new experience for me.  Having heard a suggestion for this year’s October tasting and discussion to do “Vodkas and Vampires” from a young adult, I decided to run with it.  However, the idea of vampires is not found in traditional Jewish texts (as opposed to last year’s October topic, witches), so I incorporated a discussion of the prohibition of blood-consumption, as was suggested to me by a local professor.  It was an interesting event and I hope those who attended enjoyed.  The next such event will be in December: “Scotches & Separation”.

Some Highlights from This Week’s “Rabbis Without Borders” Sessions

Need the Torah of rabbisThe past couple of days, Clal held the first session of its fifth cohort of its Rabbis Without Borders fellowship.  Having been a past participant of the fellowship, I am always interested to see what is being shared out into the public from the sessions.  Not only simply because I was a past participant, but because the ideas shared are really fascinating (okay, I really enjoy(ed) Rabbi Irwin Kula’s thoughts).  make Jews count

As is typical for the fellowship, there is a fair degree of its participants tweeting highlights of the ideas.  Having found some interesting, I am posting here those tweets that I re-tweeted (or modified re-tweeted).

convo taamei hamizvot
I hope you enjoy!


Sukkot with Beach Hillel

With students in front of Beach Hillel’s on-campus sukkah at CSULB, having finished putting it up

As in years past, I spent many activities with Long Beach Hillel for the holiday of Sukkot, enriching its programs and its students.  Beginning with leading a Beach Hillel staff learning session on Sukkot, it continued with putting up both the off-campus and the on-campus sukkot (and picking up the four aboreal elements).  It continued with MC’ing Beach Hillel’s Shabbat dinner in Beach Hillel’s off-campus sukkah.

Lulav & esrog in Sukkah for staff meeting, in which I explained about the waving of these tree elements
Lulav & esrog in Sukkah for staff meeting, in which I explained about the waving of these tree elements

I then stopped by the on-campus Beach Hillel sukkah on Monday of Sukkot for Beach Hillel’s “Pizza in the Hut” event.  The following day, we had our staff meeting inside the on-campus Sukkah, where I spoke about the four aboreal elements that were featured there.

instagram pic of Sukkah Hop
Students enjoying dinner at the Sukkah Hop

That night, I joined in on the annual Sukkah Hop in Irvine that Beach Hillel has partnered with the Chabad of UCI, which – as always – was a blast, where we visited multiple sukkot and students from CSULB, UCI and other schools got to enjoy meeting other Jewish students in the area.

The following day, along with students, we took down the Beach Hillel on-campus sukkah and, just last week, took down the off-campus sukkah.