Siegal Lifelong Learning Program at Case Western Reserve University’s “Tribe Talk: New Jewish Conversations” will welcome Oberlin College’s Jewish campus life and Hillel director Rabbi Megan Doherty at 7 p.m. Feb. 27 at Landmark Centre in Beachwood to take part in an informal, interactive discussion on current events of Jewish interest.
Doherty and panelists Alanna Cooper and Brian Amkraut, director and executive director of Siegal, respectively, will speak on current events to engage the audience in a naturally-flowing discussion. Topics likely to be of focus are “What does school choice mean for Ohio’s Jews?” (read the CJN story at bit.ly/Cjn SchooChoice), “Rabbis as activists in the age of Trump” and “Talking about anti-Semitism.” Topics are subject to change based on happenings in the news and the program is in partnership with the Cleveland Jewish News and the Cleveland Jewish News Foundation.
Doherty joined Oberlin at the beginning of the school year in 2016. Her perspective on rabbinical activism is likely to be noteworthy, as she is well acquainted with rabbis who were involved in immigration ban-related protests in recent weeks, some of whom were arrested.
“I read a lot of their writing and was inspired by a lot of what they had to say,” she said.
Doherty said she hopes to discuss Jewish response to the current political climate and how engagement toward activism shapes clergies and congregants.
“One of the modes of response within the Jewish world to kind of the current political situation is this move toward more activism and more nonviolent protests or other kinds of civic engagement,” she said. “Does it inspire people, does it bother people to watch rabbis being arrested wearing a tallit?”
Although there is some renewed interest in activism in light of the 2016 presidential election, Doherty said that even when she was at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote, Pa., from which she graduated in 2007, such issues were discussed.
She said, “In some ways I want to talk about ... when are you wearing your hat that’s in the prophetic tradition, and when are you coming as a counselor, as a pastor, as someone who is holding space for other people’s anxieties or fears or grief?”
Starting with the Feb. 27 program, Tribe Talk will include refreshments and take place in Landmark Centre’s front lounge for a more intimate, discussion-based experience.
To learn more about the topics, attendees can read articles on the Tribe Talk website at
case.edu/lifelonglearning/tribe-talk. Registration is also available on the website. Attendance is free for Siegal members and $5 for nonmembers.