LEARNING WITH KOL NEFESH
Lifelong education is essential to us as Masorti Jews. We are proud of our unique programme at Kol Nefesh.
The following list will give you an idea of the learning opportunties we offer. For specific details about events and sessions coming up, see the What's On page.
Study on a theme with Rabbi Joel Levy. After choosing a theme, we follow it throughout the year, often on Shabbat (e.g., on Friday night, Shabbat lunch, or Shabbat afternoon Seudah Shlishit gatherings). These sessions range from close text study to open-ended discussion, and cover the gamut of possible topics. For instance, one year we studied what Shabbat means for us as 21st-century Jews. Another year, we looked at ideas of democracy in Jewish thought.
Talmud Shiur with Rabbi Joel. Friday morning shiurim studying Talmud over brunch at members' homes when Rabbi Joel is here.
Sunday shiur with Rabbi Joel. On Sunday mornings when Rabbi Joel is here, we generally meet around 9am for Shaharit, followed by a shiur over breakfast. These may follow the broad theme for the year, or some other topic. For instance, we spent one year examining how the contemporary Conservative/Masorti movement decides halacha (Jewish law).
Yamim Nora'im (High Holiday) Retreat. This is a ten-day intensive period of study over the Yamim Nora'im, with Rabbi Joel and others. We choose a theme and develop it over the course of the ten days. Most of these sessions take place in the evenings, and all are open to the broader community. For Kol Nefesh, this is one of the highlights of the year.
Tikkun Leyl Shavuot. Another highlight of the year. Rabbi Joel leads us in study through the night, and then we pray the morning service to the break of dawn and the beautiful sound of birdsong.
City Shiur. The City is an unlikely place for a shiur! Nevertheless, it is where a mixed bunch of interested people come on Fridays when Rabbi Joel is here to eat bagels and give their brains a workout. This shiur is unique in being only predominantly Jewish. Regular participants include Muslims and Christians, along with other Masorti and non-Masorti members. The conversations often take unusual tacks and have an openness and fluidity that make the trek into central London worthwhile. Contact for further details.
Torah Chat. Each Wednesday evening, a group of members get together for study and a nosh. We began by discussing the upcoming sedrah, but over the past few years we've moved on to the post-Deuteronomistic books. At present we're working our way through the book of Kings. All are welcome to join us.
Limmud. We can't claim Limmud is a KNM invention, but we love Limmud, and each year twenty or more of us trek to a cold Midlands venue to be re-invigorated by this incredible event. Chazan Jacky is normally there, and Rabbi Joel comes on alternate years. Whether we come as teachers, students, or schmoozers, this is a very special week.