Finally, we had the annual Sukkah Hop, which, for the third year in a row, was held in Irvine. Beach Hillel partnered again with Chabad at University of California, Irvine (UCI) for a great time with students from UCI, CSULB, and other schools, to visit multiple sukkot, ending up in a dinner at a big sukkah with music and dancing.
Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking with dozens of students at University of Redlands in collaboration with their Hillel, followed up with a visit to continue the conversations at a local brewery.
Last night, I spoke on an interfaith panel on the topic of climate change and environmental stewardship, representing the Jewish perspective.
Taking place at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), the panel discussion was put together by the nascent Interfaith Project at CSULB. Questions under consideration for the panel were such as “What attitudes toward climate change do you encounter in your religious context or in the religious tradition you study – skepticism, apathy, concern, activism?” and “What responsibility do humans have, according to your religious tradition, for the care of the environment/[creation]?”
Having been involved with Jewish environmental groups, it was a great opportunity for me to share some of our tradition on this matter.
Some texts that provided a lot of fodder for conversation were the story about Shimon ben Shetah’s hanging of 80 witches in Ashkelon, the criteria for determining who is a witch, and other stories about witchcraft. It was a great evening and opportunity for young adults to engage with these texts from our tradition!
Last week, I visited the new Moishe House of Orange County and spoke about the holiday of Sukkot with young adults. Having spoken at the previous Moishe House of Orange County several times last year and several times the year before, it was my first time at the new location of the Moishe House, which, like the previous location, is also in Costa Mesa.
On Tuesday, I spoke largely about the mitzvah is doing various activities within a sukkah during the holiday, what constitutes a sukkah, why we do it, and more. I also spoke about the four arboreal species that we take, as well.
It was a great time and I look forward to returning to enrich the Jewish lives of young adults in Orange County at the Moishe House!
With “Witches & Brews”, we met at Bootlegger’s Brewery, which has a nice outdoor patio with picnic tables, and discussed various prohibitions in the Torah about witches, followed by a couple of stories about Jewish kings in the rest of the Bible.
Curiosity about later events concerning witches in Judaism has yielded, to popular demand, a follow-up event on Monday night to discuss rabbinic approaches to witches.
For the second time this semester, I had the pleasure of speaking with students at California State University – Fullerton about an upcoming holiday. Yesterday, in collaboration with the Hillel of Orange County, I spoke with students about Yom Kippur.