We’re giving you outstanding Jewish learning all day long. And we hope you’ll give to JTS to support our mission: creating the best Jewish leaders for the Jewish future.

You’ll have four opportunities to gain new insight into Hanukkah with JTS scholars. You can come to as many half-hour sessions as you’d like, but registration is required.

Rabbi Matt Berkowitz


Director of Israel Programs
10:00 – 10:30 a.m. ET
The Modern Maccabee: Exploring the Heroic Identity of Israel through Art
How did the image of the Maccabee come to inspire and personify modern Israel? And how did Zionism appropriate the heroic inspiration of the Maccabees into its own story? We will delve into this fascinating perspective through the eyes of Israeli art and artists as they reflect and project the heroic journey in the modern era.

Rabbi Jan Uhrbach


Interim Pearl Resnick Dean of the Rabbinical and Cantorial Schools, Director of the Block / Kolker Center for Spiritual Arts
12:00 – 12:30 p.m. ET
“Forgetting” the Torah: Curse or Blessing?
Hanukkah commemorates the successful revolt against the Syrian Greeks, who sought to make the Jews “forget” the Torah. But is forgetting always bad? How might “forgetting” the Torah be the key to its enduring vitality?

Dr. David Kraemer


Joseph J. and Dora Abbell Librarian and Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics
2:00 – 2:30 p.m. ET
Telling the Hanukkah Story
This session will explore the different ways the Hanukkah story has been told, from antiquity to the modern day, using texts from II Maccabees, the Talmud, the prayer book, Zionist lore, and modern America.

Rabbi Gordon Tucker


Vice Chancellor for Religious Life and Engagement
4:00 – 4:30 p.m. ET
I Never Never Turned Aside . . . It Was You Who Covered Up My Face
How do walls appear between us and the divine? And how can we remove them? We will explore this through biblical, rabbinic, and medieval texts; archaeological finds; and through the music and lyrics of Leonard Cohen.