Scholar in Residence Weekend May 20-22, 2016 – All the details you need to know!

May 6, 2016
By bethmordecai
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Scholar in Residence Weekend May 20-22, 2016 – All the details you need to know!

Congregation Beth Mordecai 

Presents our FIRST

Scholar in Residence Weekend

May 20 – 22, 2016

From Being Jewish to Doing Jewish: Deepening Our Personal Jewish Identity


 porath - bio picRabbi Jonathan Porath

Scholar, Teacher, Writer, Community Leader


bronwen - bio pic

Cantor Rav Bronwen Mullin

Cantor, Rabbi, Artist, Playwright



7:00 pm – Musical Service featuring Cantor Rav Bronwen Mullin

~ singing             scholar - dancing pic

~ dancing

~ inspirational teachings

~ great music

8:00 pm – Delicious Dairy Potluck Shabbat Dinner with presentation by Scholar in Residence (SIR) Rabbi Jonathan Porath:porath - scholar pic 1

Nurturing Our Jewish Hearts and Jewish Souls: Opening presentation of evocative personal stories with follow up discussion from the community of our own meaningful Jewish experiences.



10:00 am – Our FIRST ever “I DID IT!” Participatory Service featuring: 

cheryl scholar pic~ Cheryl August answering the challenge to read her WHOLE Bat Mitzvah Haftarah portion

~ Members of the congregation reading Torah and leading prayers

~ Celebrating Elliot Rubin’s discovery that he is a Kohen

~ Singing by Cantor Rav Bronwen Mullin

~ Organ Music organist Jon Tyllian

~ Blowout Kiddush luncheon with PRESENTATION by SIR Rabbi Jonathan Porath:

porath scholar pic 2How To Be Even More Jewish in Perth Amboy — a discussion of the contemporary application of Jewish practices, values and Mitzvot in today’s America with practical suggestions on how to be more Jewish. Lots of audience give and take.


8:00 pm –  Patron Dessert Reception for patrons and benefactors of the SIR weekend at home of Rabbi Ari & Rachel Saks with SPECIAL PRESENTATION by SIR Rabbi Jonathan Porath: 

porath scholar pic 3Leaving Home and Coming Home: A Quarter of a Century on Aliyah to Israel a family’s story of leaving the US for Israel and what it is like to live in Jerusalem today.



10:00 am — Brunch and SPECIAL Open to the Public PRESENTATION by SIR Rabbi Jonathan Porath: 

porath scholar pic 4175 Trips to the Jews of Russia — personal experiences, stories and insights from visits to the Soviet Union and Russia since 1965 until the present [WITH special presentation of pictures from trips].




$500 per individual, couple, or family (includes invitation to Saturday night Dessert Reception + Full page on program)


$50 per individual; $100 per couple or family (includes invitation to Saturday night Dessert Reception + name mentioned in program)

All events are FREE to attend but we kindly encourage you to support this program by becoming a benefactor or patron.

Please send payment to Congregation Beth Mordecai no later than May 14th.



porath - bio scholar pic 2RABBI JONATHAN PORATH comes to Beth Mordecai from Israel, where has lived with his family for the past 32 years. He comes from an old Jerusalem family; his father, grandfather and great grandfather were all born in the Holy City. He is an inspiring speaker and educator who makes Jewish texts come alive and teaches Torah and Jewish values with passion.

Born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, he grew up in the Washington D.C. area. Rabbi Porath received his B.A. from Brandeis University, his M.A. from Columbia University, and was ordained as a rabbi by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He served as a campus Hillel rabbi at the Univesity of Oklahoma, as well as a congregational rabbi in the US – at Temple Beth Ohr in Clark, NJ – before making Aliyah with his family to Israel.

He recently completed 15 years as a member of the Senior Staff of the Russian department of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (the foremost international Jewish humanitarian organization; also known as the JDC or the Joint), where he commuted back and forth from Jerusalem to Russia more than 175 times. He first traveled to the then-Soviet Union in 1965, and authored the book Jews in Russia: The Last Four Centuries.

He recently published the memoirs of his late father, Loving Memories of Tzvi: The Life of Rabbi Tzvi H. Porath.

Rabbi Porath has been traveling to the US to teach and speak in communities far and wide, from California and Chicago, to Florida and Perth Amboy. He specializes in conveying Jewish pride and passion; he always speaks from the heart and inspires. He comes by it naturally: he is the 18th generation of rabbis in his family.


bronwen - bio picCANTOR RAV BRONWEN MULLIN is a playwright, composer, educator and rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (ord. 2016). BA 2006 from Sarah Lawrence College in Theater and Religious Studies, Arts Fellow 2008-2011 in musical theater composition at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education. Bronwen has served as a Jewish Educator for the last 15 years throughout the tri-state area. She has been a featured speaker at Limmud NY, Limmud Philly, Nehriim Eastern Conference, and Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center. Bronwen’s work employs a creative and often haunting exegetical entrance into the world of Jewish text. Her recent works include “Hagar and Sarah” (Drisha Arts Fellowship 2008); “Honi the Circle Maker” (Drisha Arts Fellowship 2009); “Sensation/Cessation: 7 Movements for Sabbath” (Drisha Arts Fellowship 2010); “Two Little Lights” (on the tormented life of Rabb Elazar Azikri); “Tzipporah’s True Blood” and “Serach Bat Asher” (Meta-Phys Ed in residency at the Sixth Street Shul April 2012); “The Wedding Funeral of Bat Yiftach: a punk opera” (Meta-Phys Ed at The Jewish Theological Seminary June 2012); and “CHALOM: A Dream Opera” (Hebrew/Aramaic, 2012 International Fringe Festival/FringeNYC). Bronwen has also composed for Mir Productions, Infinite Variety Productions, the Cygnus Ensemble, Storahtelling and 24/6 Theater Company. She is the co-founder of Meta-Phys Ed, with performance artist/director Jesse Freedman. META-PHYS ED is a multi-disciplinary performance-based collaborative, a gymnasia where the mind and body meet and there is only one rule of play: the inseparable relationship between spirituality and creativity. (


organist scholar picJON TYILLIAN, Organist

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