OLAM and the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, on its recently-released second season. Dubbed “Global Torah LIVE,” the new season features 7 episodes, each recorded before a live audience in Jerusalem, New York, or Birmingham, England.
Global Torah explores the intersections of Jewish life, values and text with the practice of global service, social justice and international development. Each episode highlights voices of both scholars of Jewish tradition and Jewish professionals working to address global challenges, often in conversation with each other. The result is a dynamic and engaging look into key issues facing the Jewish people as part of a global community.
“The success of the first season showed us that there was a real thirst in our community for deep engagement with global challenges through a Jewish lens,” says Dyonna Ginsburg, OLAM’s Executive Director. “I’m thrilled that Global Torah has set a standard of approaching these conversations with sophistication and integrity.”
The new season, recorded in early June 2017, comes at moment in which many Jewish communities are grappling with increased political polarization and a heightened focus on domestic challenges.The podcast tackles this head-on in its fifth episode, guest-hosted by Lippman-Kanfer Foundation’s Aaron Dorfman, who moderates a thoughtful – and often frankly political – conversation between Caryl M. Stern of UNICEF USA and Rabbi Jennie Rosenn of HIAS about “talking global in 2017.”
Rosenn, whose organization, HIAS, has been active in the Supreme Court case combating US President Trump’s travel ban, expresses cautious optimism. “There are more refugees and displaced people than at any other time in recorded history,” she notes, “but we’re also at a moment where people are awake, and the Jewish community is mobilized and really taking action – and that gives me hope.”
Global Torah LIVE features some veteran voices, as well as fresh insights from giants of the field. Jewish social justice junkies will be thrilled to hear AJWS’s Ruth Messinger featured in Episode 1; for Jewish text lovers, Episode 3 brings a dialogue between Dr. Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg and her son, Yarden, who runs the global Jewish volunteerism organization Project TEN.
Rabbi Dr. Meesh Hammer Kossoy, Director of the Social Justice Track at Pardes, feels such cross-sector conversations between scholars and practitioners are crucial within the Jewish community. “Living Torah is that which speaks to the issues that are most pressing in our world,” she says. “I am inspired and enlightened to hear activists from the field and Torah scholars in dialogue with one another in frank, thoughtful ways. Both Torah and activism are enriched.”
#1 Jews, Justice and Global Giving
Ruth Messinger, AJWS
Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand, JHUB
In a world when we’re confronted by enormous need, how do we prioritize our giving?
#2 The Spiritual Power of Solar
Dyonna Ginsburg, OLAM
Rabbi Yedidya Julian Sinclair, Solar Energy Entrepreneur
How do our conversations about text inform our pursuits as drivers of global justice?
#3 Encountering the Other: A Mother-Son Dialogue
Dr. Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg, MATAN
Yarden Zornberg, Project TEN
What can the book of Ruth teach us about encountering – and feeling like – foreigners?
#4 Disaster Relief and Beyond
Mandie Winston, JDC
Rabbi Micha Odenheimer, Tevel b’Tzedek
Paul Anticoni, World Jewish Relief
As we respond to global crises, can we also help prevent them?
#5 Why is this Year Different from All Other Years? Talking Global in 2017
Caryl Stern, U.S. Funds for UNICEF
Rabbi Jennie Rosenn, HIAS
Guest Host: Aaron Dorfman, Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah
In a moment when communities may be looking inward, how can we stay engaged in global action?
The Boundaries of Our Town
Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavi, Lab/Shul
In a globalized world, what are our “local” Jewish responsibilities?
Be an Upstander
Mark Hanis, United to End Genocide
How can we make “never again” more than an empty promise?