A Study Kallah with the Toronto Board of Rabbis

To mark the second anniversary of when we first went into lockdown and to celebrate the first day of spring and how far we have come, the Toronto Board of Rabbis is pleased to invite you to an afternoon of study and reflection. Our community has endured a lot. We have lost and learned, grieved and grown. We have been creative and courageous. Now it is time to look back on our shared experiences and take up insight, so we can plan well for the future. All are welcome! Please spread the word.

We will begin all together, then everyone will choose from among seven simultaneous study sessions (see list below), which showcase the range of roles our rabbis play across the city. Each session will be recorded and posted on the website of the Toronto Board of Rabbis, so you can enjoy them all!

There is no ticket price, but this Study Kallah is a fundraiser for the Toronto Board of Rabbis. Please be generous and consider making a donation. Every contribution is a gift and a meaningful way of honouring Toronto’s Rabbinic leadership.

Click here to Donate

Click here to Register

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Study Sessions:

“Humanity, Healing, and Hope: Textual Responses to the Challenges of COVID” with Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl (Congregation Beth Tzedec) and Rabbi Elyse Goldstein (City Shul)

We will explore traditional Jewish texts on how people of faith or struggling with faith might respond to COVID with both theological and personal fortitude.


“Decontamination: Our Responsibility to Humanity and the Planet” with Rabbi Shalom Schachter (ISARC – Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition) and Rabbi Bill Tepper (Holy Blossom Temple)

Based on this week’s special Torah portion, we’ll explore the spiritual decontamination process, which enabled the affected to still join in the communal Pesach rituals.  Based on this week’s Haftarah, which chastises B’nai Yisrael for defiling the land, we’ll discuss Jewish responses to climate change. These themes are particularly relevant given our pandemic experiences and this year of Shmitah.


“Psalms as a Prism to Process the Pandemic” with Rabbi Ed Elkin (First Narayever Congregation) and Rabbi Tina Grimberg (Congregation Darchei Noam) and

Together we will reflect on poetic passages from Sefer Tehilim (the biblical Book of Psalms) which offer opportunities for insight and comfort as we commemorate the second anniversary of the pandemic.


“Jewish Spiritual Practice for Challenging Times” with Rabbi Noam Katz (Leo Baeck Day School) and Rabbi Miriam Margles (Danforth Jewish Circle)

The pandemic has brought us into an intimate relationship with uncertainty and fear, isolation, illness and death. In this session, we will explore practices of nigun (wordless melody), song, prayer, and meditative silence as important tools for these challenging times.  We will cultivate our relationship with unconditional Compassion, sacred aliveness, stable Presence, and profound connection.


“COVID on Campus and in Young Adulthood: How Jewish Life Has Evolved, Adapted, and (sometimes even) Thrived” with Rabbi Zachary Goodman (Holy Blossom Temple) and Rabbi Seth Goren (Hillel Ontario)

Mental health crises, dissipation of social capital, and obstacles to forging new relationships have been particularly challenging for young adults.  We’ll study the pandemic’s impact on the next generation and how organizations are working to support them in this ever-changing environment.


“Spiritual Care on the Frontline: Pastoral Approaches and Care During the Covid-19 Pandemic” with Rabbi David Abeles (Baycrest) and Rabbi Rena Arshinoff (Baycrest)

The Covid pandemic has introduced major challenges to healthcare systems worldwide.  When loved ones were not allowed to visit the sick and the dying, spiritual care became even more critical.  In addition to tending to patients, family members and health care workers needed extra support.  Two chaplains will share case studies, rabbinic texts, as well as their own spiritual insights learned while serving on the frontlines of this pandemic.


“The Future of Synagogue” with Rabbi Julia Appel (CLAL – The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership) and Rabbi Steve Wernick (Congregation Beth Tzedec)

The pandemic exacerbated Jewish communal trends that were already there – disaffiliation, financial stress, generational shift, inaccessibility, focus on continuity at the expense of caring.  Together we’ll consider:  What is the future of synagogue? What has changed and what is here to stay? What is the value of a local synagogue community, as opposed to live-streamed services from elsewhere? Why shouldn’t we go back to the way things were? And what do we need to do in order to leave the pandemic behind?