Here you will find an extensive sampling of the teachings and experiences that Rabbi Jonathan can offer to your community. These subjects can be presented in many different formats — as lectures, interactive classes, or intensive workshops; as part of a Shabbat service or Shabbaton; incorporating musical performance and joyous group singing; with large groups or small. Rabbi Jonathan will work with you both to tailor the topics and to organize the programs to fit your community’s needs and schedule. Many additional teaching topics are available. Contact Rabbi Jonathan about your particular interests.

Turn It and Turn It

Uncovering the Treasures of the Weekly Torah Portion

When we learn how to study Torah in the Jewish way, by looking at its every facet and layer, we enter into a 3,000-year-long conversation on how to live a life of purpose and meaning

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Living in Joy

A Great Mitzvah

There are two kinds of joy, our sages teach. There is joy that is contingent on a particular outcome: getting what you want, winning a contest, or seeing a rainbow. This wonderful feeling is dependent on things going our way. There is also joy that is not contingent on anything other than being alive. This experience of joy can abide within us regardless of external events.

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Whither Zionism?

Past, Present and Future

Avodah She’balev

An Experimental Guide to Uplifting Jewish Prayer

One of the terms that the Sages gave for prayer is Avodah She’balev, which means “the service of the heart”, or more aptly, “Heart Work.” Prayer is meant to awaken us emotionally and move us spiritually. However, that rarely happens unless we also let prayer touch and open our hearts.

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Seven Is the Magic Number

The cycle of seven is the organizing principle of the Torah, hence of Judaism. The seventh day, the seventh month and the seventh year all point us toward restoring a right relationship between ourselves and each other, and between the human community and the earth.

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Progressive Judaism in the 21st Century

The landscape of the American Jewish landscape has changed dramatically over the past generation.

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Listening for the Aleph

How do we hear God’s voice? Or in non-theistic language, how do we become aware of and listen for the deepest wisdom and guidance available to us?

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All My Bones Shall Praise

Praying through Movement, Song and Dance

Do you long to move, to fill your lungs, to sing out, to more fully express the life that flows through you? Full-bodied, full-hearted, full-throated expression: this is a good way to pray.

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The Joys of Jewishing: An Introduction

Have you always wished you could join into Jewish life, but felt too uninformed or insecure to try? Would you like a refresher course in what makes Judaism tick? Does the word “religion” or “God” give you the creeps, but you still feel curious to know and understand? This might be the workshop for you.

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Healing the Jewish Self

It’s good to be a Jew – really! Not necessarily easy or problem-free, but fundamentally, life-affirming-ly, soul-enriching-ly good.

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Spiritual Autobiography

Writing the Torah of Our Lives

I Am My Beloved’s, and My Beloved Is Mine

Turning Toward Love

The centerpiece of the Jewish worldview is that no matter how far or how long we may have strayed from the path of connection, kindness and love, we can always return. And as we turn towards forgiveness and love, forgiveness and love turn to greet us, with open arms. It is never too late to turn.

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The Torah Is a Visionary Text

Torah, the Hebrew name for the Bible, literally means “Teaching” or “Guidance”. First and foremost Torah is teaching us about our relationship to the Cosmos, our spiritual quest. We will learn how to look at Torah as Sacred Myth, shining light on the human journey towards greater awareness.

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God Is a Verb

The Meaning and Purpose of the Hebrew Name of God

How can human language define the Infinite? As soon as we give a name to the Infinite we have failed. The Jewish solution to this dilemma is to give the Infinite a name that is a verb, Being itself, limitless, dynamic, and ever-changing.

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Pirkei Avot

A Jewish Spiritual Guidebook

Pirkei Avot – The Wisdom of the Sages – is a carefully constructed collection of spiritual aphorisms from the 2nd Century CE. Our ancient rabbis were teaching us not only how to lead ethical lives, but also how to awaken to the presence of God within and all around us.

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The Teachings of Abraham Joshua Heschel

Rabbi Dr. Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972) was both a mystic and an activist, and he combined his passions in ways that can inspire all to link our inner and outer lives.

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3,000 Years of Hebrew Poetry

It is fair to say that Hebrew poetry is unique among the world’s literary traditions, for it covers 3,000 years, and is as alive today as in ancient Israel.

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The Torah of Human Rights

We Are All Made In God’s Image

The International Declaration of Human Rights was ratified by the United Nations on December 10, 1948. This was the first time in human history that a global body agreed that all human beings are deserving of the same basic dignity and freedoms.

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The Torah of Human Liberation

The Story of Passover

The Jewish People tell a story every year about how we came to be: we were slaves, and now we are free.

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A Treasury of Hasidic Teaching

In the mid 18th century, a charismatic rabbi named Israel Ba’al Shem Tov and his disciples transformed the spiritual landscape of Eastern European Jewry with a teaching of simple joy, enthusiasm and love of God and fellow human beings.

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The Sacred Cycle of the Jewish Calendar

An Introduction

One fabulous way to approach the wisdom of the Jewish tradition is to study the annual cycle of holidays and sacred seasons. Each time of the year is assigned a spiritual purpose that aligns with the cycles of nature.

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Blacks and Jews: Finding Our Common Ground

(with Kim and Reggie Harris)

African Americans and Jews share an inspiring and ancient story of the struggle against oppression and slavery, and the abiding possibility of liberation: the story of the Exodus from Egypt.

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The Art of Blessing

Jewish practice is filled with blessings, for almost every possible occasion or activity. We also bless one another. Blessings carry genuine power, and transmitting the energy of blessings makes one into a channel of awareness and goodness.

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