Community Events

Donations Needed for OVE

TBI partners with the Jewish Federation of Lane County to help provide much needed donations for Opportunity Village (OVE) residents. OVE  provides tiny houses for people transitioning from homelessness.  There is no electricity or heat, so items that provide warmth are especially important. Please bring donations to the barrel in front of the office. Click here for a full list of needs.

Please let everyone at Temple Beth Israel  know that Opportunity Village is ever so thankful for the donations. We are so appreciative of all that your members do for the village. The blankets are especially appreciated as we have many new villagers who came in with little bedding and now that it is getting so cold they will stay warm.

Alice Gentry
Opportunity Village Council

Modern Jewish Philosophy: From Spinoza to Reb Zalman Schacter-Shalomi
with Rabbi Jonathan Seidel 

Six weeks: Mondays at 6:00 pm, beginning January 22nd at TBI

In this class we look first and foremost at what we mean by “modernity” and Judaism and examine  the spiritual and the intellectual descendants of Spinoza and the various streams of modern Jewish thought from the radical thought of Benedict Spinoza. Our class touches on the basic thinking of Moses Mendellsohn, Herman Cohen, Martin Buber, Franz Rosensweig and a sampling of post Holocaust thinkers (such as Emil Fackenheim, Arthur Cohen, Zalman Schacter Shalomi)   and examine their philosophy of Religion and their thinking  about and with  God,  Reason, Mind, Torah, Covenant, “Chosenness”  and the Renewal of Jewish Life and Spirit. We will also read these philosophers through the critical prism of “Race” “Gender” and “Class”. Handouts provided for  each class as well as a suggested bibliography

$60.00 – no one turned away for lack of funds. Please bring your tuition to class the first day, or send a check to PO Box 5582 Eugene, OR 97405

The Dead Seas Scrolls in Historical and Literary Perspective
with Rabbi Jonathan Seidel

7 weeks: Mondays at 7:00 pm, beginning January 22nd at TBI

Join Rabbi Seidel in looking at key themes in these sectarian documents: the organization of the community, their self concept as the Priestly elite, their apocalyptic, end of the world discourse, concepts of “ angelic” liturgy, laws concerning vessels and purity, ascetic and water practices, as well as psalmic prayers and other non – Biblical documents such as commentaries on the prophet and coded mystical documents astrological references and exorcisms. No Hebrew required, though the original documents will be accessed and referenced throughout our mini course

$70.00 – no one turned away for lack of funds. Please bring your tuition to class the first day, or send a check to PO Box 5582 Eugene, OR 97405

Rabbi Jonathan Seidel PhD, first studied the Dead Sea Scrolls under the famed Israeli archaeologist and General Yigal (Sukenik) Yadin,  with Harry Thomas Frank, and finally with Jacob Milgrom (all of blessed memory). He has taught several Hebrew text classes in the Scrolls over the years and returns with new insight and materials in this iteration. Dr. Seidel holds a PhD in Judaic and Near Eastern Studies from UC Berkeley and Rabbinic Ordination from ALEPH, the Alliance for Jewish Renewal. He has taught Religion and Judaic Studies for over 35 years at the University, College and Adult level. He served as Rabbinic Asst. at TBI from 2001-2003. 

Live Webinar – Judaism, #MeToo, and Ethical Leadership: Perspectives from the Created Equal Project

Wednesday, January 24th, 9:00 am Pacific

A series on how Jewish ideas can inform the current discourse on power, privilege, and sexual assault with Elana Stein Hain, Director of Leadership Education at Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. Click here to register for this webinar.

Screening of Documentaries: A Soldier’s Home Grounds for Resistance

January 24th, 5:30-8:30 pm
145 Straub Hall on the University of Oregon

Please join us for the screening of two documentaries: A Soldier’s Home by U.S. Army veteran Andrew McLaughlin, and Grounds for Resistance by Lisa Gilman. The documentaries in conversation with one another shed light on the impact of war for U.S.veterans who fought in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both directors will be present for Q & A. For questions, please email  Lisa Gilman. For more information about the films, please click here.

First Place Family Center Needs a Volunteer Driver

FPFC is a day center providing families in transition with access to services, resources, food, showers and laundry 365 days/year. During the school year FPFC partners with more than a dozen faith communities in the Eugene/Springfield area to provide overnight shelter for families with children, commonly known as the Interfaith Night Shelter.

Every evening at 5pm (7 days/week during the 4J school year), with the help of one or more amazing volunteers, the families are transported from FPFC to the that week’s designated church. In the morning at 7:30am the families are transported back to FPFC to continue with the day’s activities. Each leg of this transport requires about 90 min of a volunteer’s time and FPFC provides a fueled up vehicle to conduct the transport.

If you are interested in learning more about this volunteer role please contact Ashely Hensley (541.743.7147) as soon as possible. This position requires a serious commitment to the role, a valid driver’s license, proof of insurance and the ability to pass a background / dmv check.

Spots Remaining for Hevruta Gap Year Program

There are still a few spots remaining for graduating high school seniors interested in visiting Jerusalem next school year for the Hevruta Gap Year Program. Currently in its fourth year, Hevruta, a collaborative project of the Shalom Hartman Institute and Hebrew College in Boston, is the first fully integrated and balanced gap-year program for North American and Israeli student leaders from a diverse range of Jewish backgrounds.

The nine-month program takes place at the Shalom Hartman Institute campus in Jerusalem and is based on three main tenets: intensive learning, impactful community service, and Jewish leadership training. An unparalleled pluralistic learning experience, Hevruta provides 30 North American and 30 Israeli students with an opportunity to use Israel as a living laboratory, encountering the people and places that make it so vibrant, complex, and compelling. Participants interact first-hand with some of the leading scholars and community figures of our generation. Click here for more info.


Reconstructionist Movement Israel Mission
Trip Dates: March 7-15, 2018

Reconstructionist Judaism has long viewed Israel as an essential element of Jewish peoplehood. Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan supported a Zionism grounded in three core values: Jewish survival, Jewish cultural and religious renaissance, and Jewish ethical nationhood. Watch this video for more information.  We hope you will join us!

We offer these Weekly Torah Commentaries from JRF contributors and, a weekly cartoon about the story Jews are reading in the Torah right now. (Click the icons)