2023-24 Lecture Series

The Building Bridges Speaker Series returns on Sunday, November 5, 12023 

Building Bridges is Kolot Mayim Reform Temples annual 6-part series of free lectures offered on scheduled Sunday mornings from November to April. The highly successful and well-attended series is presented via Zoom. Last year, we welcomed over 400 unique participants locally, nationally and internationally. 

Our theme for Building Bridges 23/24 is ‘L’dor V’dor: From Generation to Generation’. Six dynamic leaders from across the North American Jewish community will be highlighting the importance of transmitting Jewish cultural values and traditions that strengthen inter-generational understanding and communication. 

L’dor Vdor generally emphasizes the passing on of knowledge and experience from older to younger generations. Our series will expand the concept of LDor V’dor as a reciprocal relationship where learning can also be passed from younger generations to elders. Our speakers will highlight the Jewish experience of resilience, survival and renewal across generations. 

Nov. 5, 2023 – Dr. Joshua Grayson, ‘In Search of Lost Roots’  

Want to know more about your Jewish roots? Join us for genealogist Dr. Joshua Grayson’s talk ‘In Search of Lost Roots: How One Researcher Traced His Family Across Three and a Half Centuries’. Inspired by the search for his own ancestry, Dr. Grayson is the founder and director of Lost Roots Family History, a website and search service for those who want to explore their Jewish roots. View Dr. Grayson’s talk here.

December 3, 2023 – Dr. Jennifer Caplan, ‘The Generation(s) of Jewish Humour from the Silent Generation to Millennials’

If you’re a fan of Jewish humour, you won’t want to miss Dr. Jennifer Caplan’s presentation ‘Jewish Humour from the Silent Generation to Millennials’. Her talk will explore how Jews have used and continue to use humour as a cultural touchstone. Dr. Caplan is Associate Professor and Chair of Judaic Studies at the University of Cincinnati. She is the author of the recently published ‘Funny, You Dont Look Funny.’  View Dr. Caplan’s talk here.

Jan 14, 2024 – Rabbi Dr. Tirzah Firestone, ‘Healing Intergenerational Jewish Trauma’. 

Rabbi Dr. Tirzah Firestone is the author of the recent best seller, ‘Wounds Into Wisdom’, a call to action to transform our family trauma legacies.  Rabbi Tirzah is a Jungian psychotherapist and leader in the international Jewish Renewal Movement. As a second-generation Holocaust survivor, Rabbi Tirzah will weave her personal story with testimonies of recovery. She will integrate neuroscience, psychology and relevant Jewish teachings to help us understand and heal collective and intergenerational Jewish trauma. View Rabbi Firestone’s talk here.

Feb. 4, 2024 – Rabbi Mike Uram, ‘Next Generation Judaism: What We Can Learn from Millennials’

Rabbi Mike Uram is passionate about young people and the future of Judaism.  The former Executive Director of Penn Hillel, Rabbi Mike is the author of “Next Generation Judaism: How College Students and Hillel Can Help Reinvent Jewish Organizations.  Rabbi is also the first ever Chief Learning Officer for Jewish Federations of North America. Join us for this inspiring talk. View Rabbi Uram’s talk here.

March 3, 2024 Rabbi Dr. Nachshon Siritsky, ‘Our Evolving Jewish understanding of G!d and Gender’

Join Rabbi Nachshon Siritsky as they reflect upon ancient and contemporary understandings of G!d and gender, from biblical days to our own time. How can our shifting understanding of gender and cultural norms draw upon Judaism’s traditional teachings? Rabbi Nachshon is the spiritual leader of the Reform Jewish Community of Atlantic Canada. Ordained by Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion, Rabbi Nachshon identifies as transgender and nonbinary and is a passionate educator and advocate for 2SLGBTQIA+ justice: Part I on YouTube, Part II on YouTube.

April 7, 2024 – Bonnie Stern and Anna Rupert, ‘Don’t Worry Just Cook:  A Delicious Dialogue on Intergenerational Jewish Cuisine’ 

Bonnie Stern is one of Canada’s best known culinary experts and the author of many best-selling cookbooks. For her latest book, she has teamed up with her daughter Anna who as Bonnie says, “knows how the next generation thinks about food and cooking.” Don’t miss this fascinating mother-daughter conversation about intergenerational Jewish cooking.