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“For Jews, education is not just what we know. It’s who we are.”
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Jewish learning isn’t about accumulating facts and figures; it’s not about mastering the content of Jewish wisdom. It’s about learning to live it. 

While Jewish intellectual thought is rich and deep, the purpose of immersing ourselves in it is to be transformed by it in the way we choose to live our lives, as Jews and as human beings. Towards that end, learning at Sha’ar challenges the mind and rouses the soul and is designed to lead towards active engagement with the world around us.

Sha’ar’s wide array of educational offerings engage with texts ancient and modern, with Jewish voices and those from different traditions, and invite robust and respectful discussion honoring the manifold views that enrich our communities.

Sha'ar Justice Beit Midrash 2020/2021   


See below for past Justice Beit Midrash Guests

Every Wednesday evening Sha’ar would gather to explore texts and teachings -- ancient and modern, Jewish and general -- that engage us in these questions and in the moral and ethical foundation for our activism. In the traditional style of a Beit Midrash (House of Study), we combined wrestling with sources together with guided teachings focused on a range of societal issues: civic responsibility, democracy, leadership, race, immigration, healthcare, income inequality, climate, and more. Each unit was capped by a visit with a leading activist or advocacy organization to build the bridge between learning and doing, and to catalyze the transformational impact of our study.

Past Justice Beit Midrash Guests 

The Answer to the Question is Tzedek (Justice), Tzedakah (Righteous Giving) and Gemillut Hasadim (Acts of Lovingkindness)

With Special Guest Danny Siegel 

Danny Siegel is a well-known author, lecturer, and poet who has spoken in more than 300 North American Jewish communities on Tzedakah and Jewish values. He is the author of 28 1/2 books on topics of Mitzvah heroes and practical and personalized Tzedakah, and has produced an anthology of 500 selections of Talmudic quotes about living the Jewish life well called Where Heaven and Earth Touch.

 Watch the recording here.

Healthcare Equity

With Special Guest Dr. Shami Feinglass

Dr. Shami Feinglass is one of the country's foremost experts on healthcare equity. She engaged with Sha'ar in a deep and informative conversation about its many dimensions including economics, politics, culture, and bias. We explored the foundations of healthcare equity — access and outcomes — and how and why they either succeed or struggle in different systems around the world. 


Watch the recording HERE.



The Lifecycle of Economic Justice: The Picture Today & The Possibilities for Tomorrow

With Special Guest Bobbie Sackman

Bobbie Sackman was the Director of Public Policy with LiveOn NY from 1989-2017. In a career spanning 40 years, she has earned a reputation as a tenacious and passionate advocate on behalf of older adults. 

Watch the recording HERE.



Not Free to Desist: Reimagining the Jewish Commitment to Racial Justice

With Special Guest Lindsey Newman


 Lindsey Newman is the Director of Community Engagement at Be’chol Lashon. She has over a decade of experience working to advance racial justice in the Jewish community and in the fields of women’s rights advocacy and early childhood education. 

Watch the recording HERE.



Listening Our Way Home: Restoring Civility in Civil Discourse

With Special Guest Adrienne Evans

Previously we had an extraordinary session with relational organizer Adrienne Evans from Idaho. Her presentation was filled with warmth, compassion, courage and commitment, and left us feeling both inspired and empowered to do the hard work of healing the divisions tearing at our families, friendships, communities and our nation. We are proud to share this recording of the session with you.

Watch the recording HERE.


Watch previous session with Dr. Tamara Mann Tweel HERE.

Sun, September 26 2021 20 Tishrei 5782