Online Pesach Offerings
For the past sixteen years, Pesach at Pearlstone has provided a beautiful, Torah observant communal atmosphere, engaging participants of all ages and perspectives with comfort, care, and entertainment. In these unprecedented times we have made the decision to cancel this year’s program, but we are so thrilled that we are able to offer a piece of Pesach at Pearlstone to you in your homes. Four of our scholars who would have taught classes over the eight days of Pesach have offered to teach some of their sessions live through Zoom. Don’t worry if you are unable to catch them live, we will share the recorded videos here on this page afterwards. In addition, please check out our family-friendly experiential activities on the right. We wish you and your families a wonderful Pesach.
None of this would be possible without The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore. Pearlstone, a proud agency of The Associated, is mobilized to respond in times of crisis thanks to the The Associated’s Annual Campaign. Our Associated network needs your support to meet the urgent needs in our community due to the current COVID-19 crisis. Please give generously here.
Hakhanah Le’seder: How can Halachah and Jewish theology make this years seder most meaningful?
See Rabbi Ysoscher Katz's Zoom webinar from Monday April 6 @ 3pm
Emergent Freedom: the Torah of Spring
See Rabbi Psachyah Lichtenstein's free-flowing earth-based Zoom webinar from Tuesday April 7 @ 8pm
Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness: Rabbinic and Psychological Pathways
See Rabbi Aaron Frank's webinar from Sunday, April 12
Based on research from Edward Hallowell, this class will address 3 crucial elements that plant the roots of adult "success." We will look at them both from the point of view of the psychological research and from sources from Chazal.
Why Do Americans Love "Fiddler on the Roof?"
See Laura Frank's webinar from Sunday April 12 @ 3pm
“Fiddler on the Roof” is one of the most beloved American musicals. Opening on Broadway in 1964, it won 9 Tony Awards, was adapted into a highly successful 1971 film, and has since spawned five Broadway revivals and a recent Off-Broadway production in Yiddish. Why would such an intensely ethnic Jewish musical so completely capture the hearts of Americans? We will discuss the story of “Fiddler on the Roof” and explore why a show about an Eastern European shtetl found its way into the heart of America.
Israel and Diaspora Jewry: Can This Relationship Be Saved?
See Laura Frank's webinar from Monday April 13, 2020
The statistics seem bleak. As the years wear on, American Jewish attachment to Israel appears to be waning. And, Israelis, for their part, seem to lack even a basic understanding of what American Jewry is all about. For those of us who care deeply about the relationship between Israel and American Jewry, the picture is quite worrying. How did we get to this place? Is the picture as bad as it seems? What can be done to heal the rift?
Shomei Keoneh: Creating a Community Which Cares and Listens Closely
See Rabbi Ysoscher Katz's webinar from Monday, April 13 @ 3pm HERE SOON
Halakha has certain mechanisms which allow people to preform mitzvot vicariously. One of those mechanisms is Shomei Ke'ona; hearing equals reciting. We will explore the fascinating social and philosophical history of this legal concept.
Counting the Harvest: The Torah of the Omer
See Rabbi Psachyah Lichtenstein's webinar from Monday, April 13 @ 8pm
Leavening, Leather and 876: A Multifaceted Exploration of the Concept of עִנּוּי
See Rabbi Aaron Frank's webinar from Tuesday April 14 @ 1:30 HERE SOON
Whether we like it or not, national suffering is a critical element to the Pesach experience, the holiday experience and our tefilot every day. We will explore the roots of this concept and its meaning both to the national and personal experience as Jews and people.
Surrogacy and Egg Donation: When Halakha Encounters Uncharted Scientific Frontiers
See Rabbi Ysoscher Katz's webinar from Tuesday, April 14 @ 3pm HERE SOON
Breathtaking advances in reproductive science have been a boon to God’s first commandment, “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). They have enabled people who otherwise would be childless to enjoy the gift of parenthood. These revolutionary technologies, meanwhile, have thrown the question of halakhic parenthood into sharp relief, forcing halakhists to revisit first-principle assumptions about fatherhood and motherhood. Let's explore together the philosophical and halakhic issues.
MEET OUR SCHOLARS
Rabbi Ysoscher Katz is the Chair of the Department of Talmud at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School. He received ordination in 1986 from Rabbi Roth, dayan of UTA Satmer. Rabbi Katz studied in Brisk and in Yeshivat Beis Yosef, Navaradok for over ten years. A graduate of the HaSha’ar Program for Jewish Educators, Rabbi Katz has taught at the Ma’ayanot High School for Girls and SAR High School. Rabbi Katz was appointed as Rabbi of the Prospect Heights Shul in Brooklyn, NY and currently holds several positions including Director of the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies and Educational Director of Judaic Studies at Luria Academy in Brooklyn, NY.
Rabbi Aaron Frank is Head of School at Kinneret Day School in Riverdale, NY. Rabbi Frank has also held other positions in education including Associate Principal at SAR High School, and Lower School then High School Principal at Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School in Baltimore. Rabbi Frank serves as a High Holidays rabbi at Beth Sholom Congregation in Potomac, MD. A graduate of the Jerusalem Fellows program at the Mandel Leadership Institute (Jerusalem) and the Principals’ Center at Harvard Graduate School, Rabbi Frank serves on the board of the International Rabbinic Fellowship and on the Rabbinic Advisory Board of Yeshivat Maharat. He served for 4 years as Associate Rabbi of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale under Rabbi Avi Weiss. A musmakh of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, Aaron holds a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Michigan and an M.S. from Columbia Univ. School of Social Work. Rabbi Frank and his wife Laura Shaw Frank have four children: Ateret, Yanniv, Elinadav, and Neri.
Laura Shaw Frank, is the Associate Director of Contemporary Jewish Life at the American Jewish Committee. Prior to taking her position at AJC, Laura served in educational and administrative roles at Yeshivat Maharat and SAR High School in Riverdale and Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community High School in Baltimore. A graduate of Columbia College and Columbia Law School, Laura is receiving her PhD in American Jewish history this semester from University of Maryland. Laura lives in Riverdale with her family.
Rabbi Psachyah Lichtenstein is a teacher, farmer, author and artist. He is the Director of Education at Pearlstone Center in Baltimore MD. Psachyah graduated from the Rabbinical College of America and Pratt institute in NYC. He has served the Jewish community as a mentor and teacher of Jewish mysticism in the US and Israel for over 20 years. As a Rabbi and speaker Psachyah has built trans-denominational relationships across every boundary. He walks the intersection between ecology, technology, and the human spirit. Psachyah homesteads with his family in a restored 1764 log cabin along with their sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits, cats, border collies, plants, and fungi.