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JETI Talks

Jewish Education, Theology & Information

In July, 2020, we began a new weekly series of virtual talks where we host a guest speaker from the community to talk about their expertise or interest in a short talk.  The Zoom talks have been well received and we continue to learn from our community peers.  

If you are interested in being a featured as a guest speaker, please contact the Beth El office to let us know!  Also, if you would like to attend our live JETI Talks on Zoom, please contact the Beth El office to request the Zoom link.  

All of our JETI Talks have been recorded and can be viewed on our

YouTube channel.

Our first JETI Talk was given by Bruce Levine.  Bruce recounted the travel adventure he went on in 2003 as he retraced the journey John Steinbeck experienced with his dog, Charley, in 1960.  Steinbeck wrote of his and Charley’s travels in his book, Travels with Charley in Search of America, and Bruce used Steinbeck’s book as his guide during his journey.  Bruce presented a slideshow of the photos he took along the way, as well as read some of his journal entries. 

Next to give a JETI Talk was Jerry Fischer who discussed the beginnings of Zionism, the development of the pre-State Jewish settlement in Palestine, and then went through the founding of the State, the post-founding wars (he was there for the Six Day War, armed with a Czech bolt action rifle), and the current situation, as reflected in David Makovsky and Dennis Ross's new book, Be Strong and of Good Courage.

The following talk was given by our Rabbi Emiritus, Rabbi Carl Astor who spoke on “Readings from the Midrash; Family Matters.”  Rabbi Astor led a discussion of selected midrashim dealing with family issues, such as marital relations, parenting, tragedy, alcoholism and addiction.  The rabbis had great insight about matters that very much concern us today and the midrash was their most effective way of expressing that wisdom.  The chosen selections were based on a course that was taught by the Israeli scholar Avigdor Shinan of the Hebrew University.

After Rabbi Astor, we again heard from Bruce Levine who gave a talk on "The Jewish Calendar."

On Wednesday, October 14th, we heard a talk on "The Jews of New London" which was given by Stan Solinsky.  Stan will give another talk the following Wednesday, October 21st entitled "A Virtual Tour of Bank Street from a Jewish Standpoint."

Mon, October 26 2020 8 Cheshvan 5781