We are thrilled to announce this new opportunity for our community to come together with Beth Am Israel, St. Christopher’s, and Beth David for another interfaith series, building relationships and being in dialogue.
Hevruta is the practice of engaging and dialoguing over texts with a friend.
The word hevruta comes from the Aramaic word for ‘tie together’ which gives us in Hebrew the word haver / havera (friend) and havurah (friendship circle). Traditional hevruta study involves two people in a relationship of friendship exploring text together and wrestling with what they find there.
This is not so much an academic pursuit as it is a spiritual practice.
My hevruta experience with a fellow rabbinical seminarian was perhaps the most meaningful experience I had during my seminary years. For my graduation, friends and family, including many of you, donated to a hevruta fund through the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia to honor my hevruta professor who was retiring. The funds from those gifts have gone to establish a pilot program through our church with our Gladwyne interfaith communities to bring the practice of hevruta to congregations. This professor, Bob Robinson, as well as Rabbi Melissa Heller will be leading our hevruta program.
But please let me stress the point that this is not an academic pursuit. You do not even need to have any previous experience with biblical texts, although just by attending services, you already do! The discussions during a hevruta session are about building friendship.
For this five-week series, each Jewish participant will be paired with a Christian participant for our five weeks together. We will be looking at Hebrew biblical texts.
Five Wednesday evenings, beginning Jan 10 and ending Feb 7.
Optional meal together at 6:30.
Hevruta program, 7-8:30.
The program will include an introduction to the text for about 15 minutes.
45 minutes with your partner.
30 minutes back with the whole group and the professors to debrief.
Since you will have the same partner every week, we are asking that you register knowing that you are free for these five weeks. Of course, there may be unforeseen reasons you can’t make it.
Spots are limited. We need to have an equal number of Jewish and Christian participants, and we would like this to be as balanced as possible among the four congregations. So we are hoping for 6 participants from each congregation. For this reason, you will see that your registration is pending until we see how the numbers balance.
I do hope some of you will consider this opportunity. Please submit your registration by clicking on the link below. There is a $25 registration fee. And also let me know if you would like any further information or if you have any questions.