Tikvat Israel Congregation

A Conservative Synagogue in Rockville, MD

Year of Science 2017-18

Throughout the year, the Adult Education Committee is collaborating
with other committees and synagogue leadership to support Tikvat Israel’s Year of Science programming. Over the next nine to 15 months, TI will host a series of events exploring the relationship between Judaism and science.

Sci-Fi Book Club Forming: 
As part of our synagogue’s Year of Science in 2017-18, a Science Fiction Book Club is being launched. Contact Hope Levy Kott at hkott@aol.com if interested. 

December 2017

December 16 —Year of Science will cover the calendar year 2018.  Our first event is a D’var Torah by Debby Berlyne (a member of the Year of Science Committee) who will speak about Mitketz on December 16 and its relationship to one of the following—economics, allocation of scarce resources, energy, and the physics of light.

December 24—Celebrate Year of Science Kick-Off with Dinner and a Movie.  The program will include play time for families with young children at 5 pm; a Dinner of burgers and dogs (vegetarian option available) at 6:30 pm in the Social Hall and movies for three age groups starting at 7:30 pm.  Movie for younger children—Wall-E; Movie for Teens—Back to the Future (subject to change); Movie for Adults—Gattaca.  Popcorn and snacks will be available during the film.  Program ends at 9 pm.  Reservations will be required and cost to be determined.

February 25 — Tikvat Israel University (Tikvat Israel U), a day of learning featuring congregants “teaching” topics of interest and will feature a Science Track.  Program currently scheduled to start at 10 am.

March 2018

March 9-11 — Year of Science Scholars Weekend featuring Rabbi Geoff Mitelman, Founding Director of Sinai and Synapses based at The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership in New York.  The weekend will probably involve a Friday night program (Shabbat Dinner with speaker; a Shabbat Kiddush (with speaker) and possibly a Saturday night or Sunday event featuring the speaker.  Topics under consideration for presentation include “How Do We Talk About Science and Religion?” “There are Places I Remember: How Memory Works and How it Doesn’t;” “Is Neuroscience Undercutting Moral Responsibility?” and “Are We Using Technology or Is It Using Us?”  Program will include some fees and reservations.

April 2018

April 18 — In honor of Yom HaAtzmaut, Irv Ellenberg, US Representative from Technion University in Israel will present on the latest technological innovations at Technion.  The program is under development and may feature a meal and family activities.  If so, reservations will be required.

May 2018

May 6 — Blues Band Bad Influence, featuring TI congregant David Thaler will play a concert at TI.  Prior to the concert a local brewery (Flying Dog, 7 Locks Brewing Company and Dog Fishhead Beer are under consideration) will deliver a talk about the science of brewing beer.  Program is still under development but it will likely feature a beer tasting at around 6:30 with the concert starting at 8.  Beer will be available for sale during the concert.  (Snacks will also be available.)  Program will require reservations and involve a fee.

Additional Year of Science Projects:

Ma’aseh Moments —Tikvat Israel will feature an electronic display of nature photography on the flat screen in the lobby on a rotating basis.  Larry Levine is curating the photographs.

Divrei Torah — We are looking for Congregants to deliver Devrei Torah on topics related to science.  Here is a list of what we are looking for:

  • Jan. 6  Shemot (engineering, Construction of storehouses from mud and straw; the physics of combustion/the burning bush; speech pathology/Moses impaired speech)
  • Jan. 13  Va-era (Ecological disasters; climate change and the plagues; biological warfare and anthrax; the plague of dever or cattle disease)
  • Jan. 20  Bo (solar eclipse and the plague of darkness; plague of locust and entomology; science of logistics and moving Israelites out of Egypt)
  • Jan. 27  B’Shalach (study of tides; oceanography; splitting of the sea; military science and the use of chariots by Egyptians; water purification and sweetening bitter waters)
  • Feb. 10 Mishpatim, case pf the goring ox and veterinarian science; not charging interest on a loan to a fellow Jew and the economics of capitalism
  • Feb. 17 Teruman (metallurgy and the fashioning of the mishkan from gold, silver and copper; terumah means “donations” and the science of fundraising)
  • Feb. 24 Tetzaveh/Shabbat Zachor (mathematics; geometry and the design of garments for the kohanim; Memory and the study of the human brain)
  • March 3    Ki Tissa (the half-shekel tax and the economics of capitalist financing, Census taking and the counting of The Israelites)

Volunteers wanted: The Adult Education Committee and Year of Science Committee are looking for volunteers to support their program plans. Contact Sally Kram at Kram@Consortium.org to help.

Questions? Contact Sally Kram at Kram@Consortium.org