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Adult learning recordings

We invite you to view our archive of community conversations and discussions with field experts and scholars.

"In Every Generation": The Development of the Seder and Us

Led by Rabbi, Scholar, and Author Dalia Marx



Rabbi, scholar, and author, Dalia Marx led this class and dove into lesser-known Passover texts in an attempt to find new insight into the holiday.

The Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Lecture:

Recovering a Jewish Jesus: An Imperative for the Church

Featuring Dr. Mary C. Boys, Skinner and McAlpin Professor of Practical Theology at Union Theological Seminary














This lecture explores how and why early followers of Jesus lost sight of his Jewish identity and analyze the historical consequences of this loss for both Christians and Jews. In continuity with Cardinal Bernardin’s 1995 Jerusalem Lecture on antisemitism, it then examines the necessity in our time of recovering a Jewish Jesus, including the obligation of Christians to learn anew about Judaism from Jews.


This lecture is jointly sponsored by: The Archdiocese of Chicago, AJC-Chicago, Anti-Defamation League, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago Board of Rabbis, DePaul University, JUF/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, and the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership.

Churchill and the Jews with Lee Pollock, a conversation led by Michael GrantChurchill and the Jews with Lee Pollock

A conversation led by Micheal Grant


In this conversation, we listened to acclaimed historian and public speaker Lee Pollock as he explored how Churchill’s relationship with the Jewish people helped to define his remarkable life and career, and how his decisions impacted their fate. Winston Churchill is an icon of the 20th century. From his first election to Parliament in 1900 to his retirement as Prime Minister in 1955, he towered over the world stage, influencing almost every significant issue of his time. The arc of Churchill’s career intersects with the most significant events in the history of the Jewish people: Zionism and the Balfour Declaration, the rise of Hitler and the catastrophe of the Holocaust, the creation of the State of Israel, and the lasting divisions that affect the Middle East today. 


Click here to view the recording. (Due to a corrupted file download and technological error, this recording was cut short. However, the bulk of the event is still available for your learning and enjoyment.)

Women Who Would Be Rabbis and Their Biblical Role Models
In this program, Rabbi Andrea L. Weiss, PhD, uncovers the extraordinary history of the women who wanted to be rabbis before Rabbi Sally Priesand became the first woman to be ordained by a seminary on June 3, 1972, and studies a few of the biblical women who inspired them in their pursuit of the rabbinate.


Click here to view the recording and here for the text sheet.

The Origins and Impact of Minoru Yamasaki’s Landmark North Shore Congregation Israel

It has been almost 60 years since NSCI dedicated its current home on the lake. The striking building was unlike any other synagogue and was immediately embraced as a bold landmark of modern design. In this richly illustrated talk, Dr. Samuel D. Gruber takes a close look at the Minoru Yamasaki–designed sanctuary, placing it within a long tradition of religion and building, but also seeing it as something still fresh and new that continues after more than a half-century to inspire (and sometimes perplex) the worshiper and the visitor.


Click here to view the recording.

By the Grace of the Game: Virtual Book Talk with Dan Grunfeld

By the Grace of the Game is a multi-generational family epic detailing history’s only known journey from Auschwitz to the NBA. This recording features author Dan Grunfeld with sportswriter Ed Sherman and Rabbi Ryan Daniels.


Click here to view the recording.

Remix Judaism: Preserving Tradition in a Diverse World

Rabbi Greene in conversation with Professor Roberta Rosenthal Kwall


Remix Judaism brings a thoughtful, personal perspective to Jewish meaning that invites us to consider what we do and how we choose in our own Jewish practice. 


Click here to view the recording.

First Reform Rabbi to Serve in the Knesset, Gilad Kariv, on American Jewry and Israel

Hear from Rabbi Gilad Kariv, the first Reform rabbi to serve in the Knesset. MK Kariv spoke about the current state of the relationship between American Jewry and Israel.


Click here to view the recording.

The Aftermath of the Shoah: Life in Poland Today

With Professor Paul Liptz

As we prepared for Yom Ha’Shoah, we studied with a great scholar and accessible teacher, Professor Paul Liptz. He joined us the day before this important observance to deepen our learning and meaning for it.


View the recording here.

Community Conversation with Richard Rothstein on The Color of Law

Presented by the Glencoe Clergy Association 

Racial segregation in the U.S.: a history and conversation on the future. Recorded: January 18, 2021.


View the recording here.

Why Judaism Really Matters: Three-part Series 

With Rabbi Rami Shapiro, 2020 Bernice and Seymour Nordenberg Memorial Scholar in Residence


Part 1     Part 2     Part 3


Caring for Loved Ones & Ourselves, Now

A panel conversation with Elizabeth Ury, JCFS Director of Jewish Community Engagement, and Julie Fohrman, Gerontologist & Principal of North Shore Geriatric Care Management, moderated by Rabbi Lisa Greene on caring for seniors and ourselves during COVID-19. 


Click here to watch the recording and click here for resources.

Walking Boldly Into the Future Together

A Conversation Between Rabbi Geffen and Bishop and Pastor Fitzpatrick of the Stone Temple Church
Rabbi Geffen in conversation with our friends Bishop Derrick Fitzpatrick and Pastor Reshorna Fitzpatrick from the Historic Stone Temple Church in Lawndale to discuss how we might move forward to best address racial injustice and create a better future together.


View the recording  here.

Interview with Dan Lidawer

Led by Rabbi Lisa Greene



Dan Lidawer shares his experiences volunteering for one month with Israel Food Rescue, a program designed to help Israel remain food-independent during wartime. As a way to feel less hopeless and helpless after October 7th, Dan decided to volunteer as a farmer to replace the many foreign workers who left Israel due to the war. He discussed the meaningful impact of this time both on himself and on the Israelis he met. 

Rabbi Geffen and Rabbi Greene in Conversation with Dara Horn

This conversation explores a provocative and timely book, People Love Dead Jews, about history, memory, and the future of Jewish life and living. Through stories of loss and grief, bravery and love, author Dara Horn confronts ancient and historical violence against Jews and the upswing of modern antisemitism, wrestling with the idea that the way we remember is inextricably tied to the way we relate to current events.


Click here to view the recording.

On the Ground Conversations about lsrael

With renowned Israel educator Mike Hollander

The first two sessions look at how, in its early years, the State of Israel created sacred space on Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem as well as a series of three Holy Days to commemorate and remember the Shoah (Yom HaShoah ve'ha'Gevurah), the heavy price of our fallen soldiers (Yom HaZikaron), and to celebrate independence (Yom Ha'Atzmaut). The third session explores the Israeli political system is a fool-proof explanation of how the complicated, but different, Israeli political system works. The fourth session explores how, in ancient times, our prophets engaged in the four "W’s” warning our ancestors. Today’s "prophets" create street art to communicate society’s issues. This virtual tour will explore some of the neighborhoods of south Tel Aviv–Jaffa to explore the street art and gain an understanding of the issues in Israeli society.


Recordings: Session 1 Session 2 Session 3 Session 4

What is Lost : Poems by Rabbi Yehiel Poupko

Rabbi Yehiel Poupko & Dr. Jill Baumgaertner read and discuss the exquisite poems in What is Lost, Rabbi Poupko’s newly published collection of poems in a conversation moderated by Rabbi Lisa Greene.


Click here to view the recording.

From Exile to Start-Up Nation: A Six-Part History of Zionism and Israel

With renowned Israel educator Mike Hollander

This series is based on the premise that “Zionism is the most successful revolution of the twentieth century.” It begins with the precursors of Zionism in the second half of the nineteenth century, continues through the founding of Political Zionism at the First Zionist Congress in 1897, and then looks at the 50 years of building the pre-state Jewish community (Yishuv) in Palestine. The remaining sessions explore the major challenges, successes and failures, wars and governments of Israel through its 73 years of independence.


Recordings: Part 1  Part 2  Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6

The War of Return: How Western Indulgence of the Palestinian Dream Has Obstructed the Path to Peace

Rabbi Greene in conversation with Dr. Einat Wilf

Listen to Rabbi Greene in conversation with Dr. Einat Wilf on her groundbreaking book The War of Return, a bestseller in Israel that is now out in English. 


Click here to view the recording.

Jews in Space

A conversation with Rabbi Ryan Daniels and NSCI’s own Alana Lidawer, Engineering Camera Payload Uplink Lead in NASA’s ongoing Perseverance Mars rover mission. Recorded June 6, 2021.


View the recording here.

Jews in Sports

Rabbi Ryan Daniels joins long-time sportswriter and author Ed Sherman for an inside look at Jews in sports, sharing the inspiring stories of perseverance in overcoming extreme challenges in the pursuit of greatness. Ed Sherman was a long-time sportswriter for the Chicago Tribune. He is the author of four books, including the recently published This is B1G,: A History of the Big Ten


Part 1    Part 2    Part 3

Dr. Bernice A. King in Conversation with Rabbi Geffen on Black-Jewish Relations

A conversation between Dr. Bernice A. King and NSCI's Rabbi Wendi Geffen on the journey of black-jewish relations. Recorded January 26, 2021, in partnership with the AJC.


View the recording here. See a Chicago Tribune article about this event here.

Clergy in Conversation

Join Rabbis Daniels, Geffen, Greene, and Cantor Goldstein as they discuss compelling topics of our time.


November 4       November 18       December 2

December 16     January 13           January 27

                                                  February 10        February 24         March 10

                                                  March 24            April 28                

Grief is the Word

Rabbi Wendi Geffen of North Shore Congregation Israel in conversation with Rebecca Soffer, founder of Modern Loss, about navigating individual and shared grief in 2020.


Recorded: November 30, 2020.


View the recording here.


Fri, June 21 2024 15 Sivan 5784