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Yom Kippur Afternoon Study Sessions

Monday, September 28, 2020, 1:30 – 2:45 pm

Links to study sessions can be found at holyblossom.org/hhd/


“Redemption on the Street: Insights from the Newly Translated Poems of Toronto Streetcar Conductor, Shimon Nepom” with Miriam Borden and Professor Adam Sol

Miriam Borden is a doctoral student in Yiddish Studies the University of Toronto. She is a Yiddish translator and teacher, and a curator of exhibitions on Yiddish language and culture. Since 2017, she has guided the Ontario Jewish Archives’ walking tour of Kensington Market. Through that tour, she discovered the work of the poet Shimon Nepom.



Adam Sol’s most recent book is How a Poem Moves: A Field Guide for Readers of Poetry (ECW Press, 2019)He is also the author of four books of poetry, with one on the way from ECW Press in 2021. He teaches at the University of Toronto’s Victoria College where he is the Coordinator of the Program for Creative Expression & Society.



*“The Great Organ Caper:  Music and Reform at Holy Blossom Temple” with Susan Cohen and Michael Cole, together with the HBT Archives Committee

The history of music at Holy Blossom Temple is a window into the evolution of our storied congregation.  Archival documents and musical recordings reveal how the pendulum swings in rhythm with the ages for Toronto’s first synagogue from 1856 until today.


“Let’s Talk about Faith” with Rabbi Ilyse Glickman

When you hear the word “faith” what ideas or experiences do you think of?  Does faith have to include God? And how do life experiences inform our faith?

We will open the session with a “Jewish Food for Thought” video on faith and will discuss faith in the Jewish tradition, globally, and finally for each of us in our everyday lives.

Rabbi Ilyse Glickman recently moved back to Toronto following a position as Director of Congregational Learning at Scarsdale Synagogue Temples Tremont and Emanu-El in Westchester, NY. She received rabbinic smicha from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, New York campus and has Masters Degrees in Jewish Literature and Jewish Education. She has previously worked at Am Shalom Congregation in Barrie, the Canadian Council for Reform Judaism, [email protected], and Shaaray Tefila in Manhattan. Rabbi Glickman is married to Cantor David Rosen and is delighted to be a part of the Holy Blossom family.


“The Convent and the Church, Patmos and Thomas Merton: How the Catholics Brought Me to Believe in God. A St. Louis and Greek Islands Story” with Rabbi John Moscowitz

Holy Blossom’s Rabbi Emeritus, John Moscowitz served  the congregation for twenty five years, including twelve as Senior Rabbi. He is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, and is the author of “Evolution of an Unorthodox Rabbi.” Rabbi Moscowitz is currently writing a book about his days as a young radical in Venice, California.



**“Hillel’s Three Questions:  Some Updated Reflections” with The Honourable Bob Rae, Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations

In the first century, Hillel, the Mishnaic Sage asked “If I am not for myself, who will be for me?  If I am only for myself, what am I?  And if not now, when?”  These three questions still press us to discover the secret to a life of meaning and purpose.  In the midst of a global pandemic, how does this ancient wisdom guide us to see ourselves and our world more clearly?

Bob Rae was elected eleven times to the House of Commons and the Ontario legislature between 1978 and 2013.  He was Ontario’s 21st Premier from 1990 to 1995, and served as interim leader of the Liberal Party of Canada from 2011 to 2013.

He is a lawyer, negotiator, mediator, and arbitrator, with a particular focus on first nations, aboriginal, and governance issues.  He also teaches at the University of Toronto School of Governance and Public Policy, and is a widely respected writer and commentator.

Author of five books and many studies and reports, Bob Rae is a Privy Councillor, a Companion of the Order of Canada, a member of the Order of Ontario, and has numerous awards and honorary degrees from institutions in Canada and around the world.


“The Wolfsberg Machzor of 1944” with Rabbi Bill Tepper

Naftali Stern was a Hungarian-Jewish prisoner in the Wolfsberg, German labour camp. In 1944, using the stub of a pencil and scraps of cement sacking, he recorded from memory the liturgy of the High Holy Day Machzor.  Following the war, Stern retained and continued to use these writings.   Shortly before his death in 1989 he donated them to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

Our program will explore the experiences of Naftali Stern, the text of his machzor, and the ordeal of the German labour camps.  Selected visual material will supplement our learning.

Rabbi Bill S. Tepper, a Toronto native, was ordained at the Cincinnati campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2008.  For eight years he served Mizpah Congregation of Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Since 2016, Rabbi Tepper has been a Guest Rabbi and Jewish Studies Teacher with congregations throughout the Greater Toronto Area as well as guiding for three years – on a commute basis – Temple Shalom in Winnipeg.   A former high school Dramatic Arts and English teacher, Rabbi Tepper resides in Toronto with his wife Deborah and son Max.



“Contemplative Music for the Days of Awe” – Local and International Artists

If you’d like music to accompany your own private study and meditation, enjoy this collection curated by Cantor David Rosen.



*These three sessions will kick off our year-long celebration of Holy Blossom’s Centennial Anniversary as a Reform congregation.

**These two sessions will be Livestreamed.  All other sessions will be on Zoom.



September 28
1:30 pm - 2:45 pm
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