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Year in Review 2022–23: Beit Midrash—House of Study

06/01/2023 01:20:56 PM


As a beit midrash (house of study), TBE offers lifelong education for children and adults, from Religious and Hebrew School to lectures, courses, and events.
In 2022–23, we celebrated the b’nai mitzvah of 19 students, learned from Madison’s women rabbis at our Swarsensky Memorial Weekend, welcomed an average of 18 participants per session to our weekly Torah Study, raised over $2,000 for youth programs and scholarships at a disco-themed pasta dinner and dessert auction, and so much more! Read on for some notable numbers. 

Check out the other sections of our Year in Review 2022–23 to read about our worship, community events, and social action activities.

Our Religious School community celebrated Hanukkah with an all-school shira, a song session led by Cantor Jacob Niemi and the music team.

The annual pasta dinner and dessert auction run by our teen youth group was disco themed this year. The teens raised over $2,000 for youth programs and scholarships by auctioning donated desserts.

Congregational Education

The Swarsensky Memorial Weekend in November 2022 focused on the history of women in the rabbinate and featured Madison’s women rabbis, who shared their perspectives on the challenges we face in the American Jewish community.
The featured speaker at the Blockstein Memorial Lecture in February was Francesca Hong, Wisconsin’s first Asian American state legislator.

Kesher Israel Committee

On June 7, 2022,  Gadeer Kamal-Mreeh, the first Israeli Druze woman elected to the Knesset, gave a 30-minute presentation regarding her time as a Cabinet minister and her experiences growing up in the Druze village of Daliyat al-Karmel.

Our Kesher Spotlight newsletter in Spring 2023 included, among other items, a piece by Rabbi Biatch titled “The Challenges of the 25th Knesset: Theirs and Ours,” Israel-themed artwork by Ellen Meyer, an overview of the Reform movement’s expansion in Israel, and a portion of a poem by Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai titled “Abraham’s Sons.”

In March and April 2023, Rabbi Biatch and Madison's Israeli shlichim (emissaries) spoke on “Israel: The Present and Future Reality,” both for those traveling to Israel with TBE in 2023 and for all who are interested and concerned about Israel at this important moment in history.

The Union for Reform Judaism’s Israel Leadership Network (ILN), led by Rabbi Josh Weinberg, meets monthly to learn from experts and discuss ways to help Israel in these difficult times. Kesher Israel Committee chair Joanna Berke is the TBE representative, although others are encouraged to join. Joanna sends updates to keep people informed as protests against the current Israeli Knesset continue.

Led by the Kesher Israel Committee as part of TBE’s congregational Mitzvah Day in April 2023, Religious School students wrote notes to kids at our sister congregation in Israel, Kehilat Shir Chadash.
September 26, 2023 11 Tishrei 5784