Podcast Ep #11: Centennial Memoirs
In my own experience professionally here at Hebrew College, I’ve come to appreciate how I think my deep love and sense of fulfillment in the work is a combination of my role, the people I’m working with, and the mission or the project. Thinking about my experience at Prozdor and at Camp Yavneh, in some ways, it’s similar.– Rabbi Daniel Klein
As Hebrew College celebrates its centennial, we remember and tell stories from the past in the form of three memoirs. We highlight these tales not only with the joy of marking 100 years of accomplishment but with the commitment to renew and reimagine our present and our future.
We’ll hear a piece entitled “Shemot” by Hebrew College Rabbi Shayna Rhodes, read by Hebrew College Professor Dr. Judith Kates, Shayna’s former teacher. Hebrew College Dean of Students Rabbi Daniel Klein’s shares his memory piece about his experience as a student at Prozdor, read by former Prozdor and Yavneh Director Margie Berkowitz. And we’ll be regaled with a memoir about lasting friendships, written by Prozdor and Yavneh alumnus and UCLA Professor Emeritus Arnold Band, read by Hebrew College Rector Rabbi Arthur Green.
Tune in this week to celebrate and enjoy stories from 100 years of Hebrew College and Prozdor, bringing together the philosophical, the fun, and the distinctive memories that have shaped the lives and thoughts of the writers.
What You’ll Discover from this Episode:
- Where in her memoir Rabbi Shayna Rhodes alludes to modern philosophical questions through ancient text.
- The example Shayna sets in highly valuing tradition while displaying remarkable independence of mind.
- Why, even generations apart and despite big changes in the school, memories of Prozdor both for Daniel and Margie invoke a sense of rebellion and belonging.
- Rabbi Daniel Klein’s message to today’s teenagers about the value of Jewish Life.
- Dr. Arnold Band’s memories of Prozdor and Yavneh in the 1950s and the influential people he shared his schooling with.
Featured on this Episode:
Rabbi Shayna Rhodes (writer) joined Hebrew College’s Rabbinical School as a beit midrash instructor after earning her rabbinic ordination at Hebrew College. She now divides her time between the classroom and the beit midrash, teaching Talmud, Tanakh (canon of the Hebrew Bible) and halakhah (Jewish law) and facilitating tefilla (prayer). Rhodes combines tradition with feminism, empowering students to discover their own voice in sacred text.
Judith Kates, PhD (reader) is Professor of Jewish Women’s Studies at Hebrew College. She received a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University, where she taught literature for 11 years. She is co-editor (with Gail Twersky Reimer) of Reading Ruth: Contemporary Women Reclaim a Sacred Story (1994) and Beginning Anew: A Woman’s Companion to the High Holy Days (1997). She received the 1998 Keter Torah Award for outstanding educators from the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Boston.
Rabbi Daniel Klein (writer) has been part of Hebrew College for over 20 years. As a teenager, he attended Hebrew College Prozdor, and Camp Yavneh (formely part of Hebrew College.) He earned his BA from The University of Chicago. After teaching middle school and high school social studies at a Jewish Day School in New Jersey, Daniel entered the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College and was ordained in 2010. In addition to being Dean of Students, Daniel serves as the Rabbi-in-Residence of The Boston Synagogue.
Margie Berkowitz (reader) served as the Director of Prozdor of Hebrew College, the Director of Camp Yavneh, and Principal of Temple Beth Avodah in Newton, Temple Israel in Sharon, and Temple Sinai in Brookline. She is also the recipient of an AIPAC award for Outstanding Israel Educator in 2008. She has a BA in Psychology from Boston University, her MJED from Hebrew College, and received a principal’s license from Harvard’s Principal Center.
Arnold Band, PhD (writer) is Professor Emeritus at UCLA. He earned his BA and PhD at Harvard University. His research focuses on the relationship between texts and historical contexts in Jewish Literature of all periods, and specifically in modern Hebrew literature. He founded the UCLA Comparative Literature Program in 1969, was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1981, and was the Director of UCLA’s Jewish Studies Center from 1994- -1996. He is the recipient of a National Endowment of Humanities Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Rabbi Arthur Green (reader) is the founding dean and current rector of the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College and Irving Brudnick Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Religion at Hebrew College. He is Professor Emeritus at Brandeis University, where he occupied the distinguished Philip W. Lown Professorship of Jewish Thought. He is both a historian of Jewish religion and a theologian; his work seeks to form a bridge between these two distinct fields of endeavor.
Rabbi Jeffrey Summit, PhD (host) is Director of the Hebrew College Innovation Lab. He is Research Professor in the Department of Music & Judaic Studies at Tufts University and Senior Consultant for Hillel International. The author of several books, among his many awards are a 2018 Hebrew College honorary degree, a GRAMMY nomination for his CD Abayudaya: Music from the Jewish People of Uganda, the Edgar M. Bronfman Award for Lifetime Accomplishment in Hillel Professional Leadership, and the Tufts Hosea Ballou Medal.
A special thank you for this episode’s musical contributions:
Intro by: Jackson Mercer
Jackson is an Ordination Candidate at the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College in Newton, MA. He grew up at Congregation Rodef Sholom in San Rafael, CA where he cultivated a love of Judaism, embolden with music, spirituality and justice.
Esa Einai (Psalm 121:1)
Music by Jackson Mercer
Guitar and Melody by Jackson Mercer
Harmonies by Cantor Rosalie Will, Ilana Sandberg, Rabbi Micah Shapiro, Rabbi Josh Warshawsky, Noah Diamondstein, Ryan Leszner, Eliana Light.
Rom’mu (feat. Dr. Michael White)
From the Album: “Celebrate! 30 Years of Shabbat Joy”
Composed by Cantor Kevin Margolius
Featuring Cantors Richard Lawrence “14, Vera Broekhuysen `16 and David Wolff `20