Are you concerned about the current climate for immigrants and refugees in this country, but don’t know what you can do? Congregation Beth Shalom, Temple Beth Am Immigrant Justice Action Team, and the Jewish Coalition for Immigrant Justice NW invite you to a weekend of learning into action. We will make connections between our Jewish identities and standing in solidarity with the immigrants and refugees in our community.

When you attend, consider bringing a donation for the Alternative Food Bank, either non-perishable foods or Safeway gift cards. The Alternative Food Bank is creating a network of safe food access that can meet the needs of our most vulnerable undocumented neighbors, those impacted by the deportation or detainment of their families primary income provider, while giving individuals an opportunity to develop their own communal power for deportation defense.

Sunday, March 29th

**Snack bar from around the world throughout the afternoon. More details to come on menu.**

1:30pm Welcome from Congregation Beth Shalom’s Rabbi Kurland and Meghan Kelly-Stallings, Citizenship Program and Policy Specialist, Seattle Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs

2:15pm – 4:30pm Selection of Workshops (more information TBA):

  • Representing Immigrant Children + Ethics of Representing Minors
  • Deportation Defense Tools: Bond Fund & Beyond
  • A Taste of Rapid Response and Know Your Rights Training
  • Everything you wanted to know about Accompaniment and Bond Hearing Training too!
  • The Why, How, and Where of Providing Home Hospitality

All events are free and take place at Congregation Beth Shalom. Check out Saturday’s schedule of events here.


Are you concerned about the current climate for immigrants and refugees in this country, but don’t know what you can do? Congregation Beth Shalom, Temple Beth Am Immigrant Justice Action Team, and the Jewish Coalition for Immigrant Justice NW invite you to a weekend of learning into action. We will make connections between our Jewish identities and standing in solidarity with the immigrants and refugees in our community.

When you attend, consider bringing a donation for the Alternative Food Bank, either non-perishable foods or Safeway gift cards. The Alternative Food Bank is creating a network of safe food access that can meet the needs of our most vulnerable undocumented neighbors, those impacted by the deportation or detainment of their families primary income provider, while giving individuals an opportunity to develop their own communal power for deportation defense.  

Shabbat, March 28th

9:30am Shabbat services with special D’var Torah

12:30pm Kiddush lunch with multicultural charoset bar

1:15pm “Living in Limbo: An Intimate Discussion with a Seattle DACA Recipient” with Immigrant Rights Advocate and Community Organizer Graciela Nuñez Pargas

All events are free and take place at Congregation Beth Shalom. Check out Sunday’s schedule of events here.


The spiritual practice of cultivating an “understanding heart”:  bringing thought and feeling in partnership and harmony.

 With Yiscah Smith, spiritual activist, Torah educator and spiritual mentor from Jerusalem.

In the Talmud, tractate Chagigah 3b, the Rabbis teach, “acquire for yourself an understanding heart – לב מבין.” For many, this term conveys an impossible reality, a contradiction and even nonsense.  How can a heart understand?  Isn’t the domain of understanding and reason found in the mind?  The Piaseczner Rebbe, Rabbi Kalonymus Kalmish Shapira, in his book Bnei Machshava Tova, addresses the important spiritual practice of cultivating an understanding heart – ןלב מבי, which actually dates back in our tradition to Biblical times.

Co-sponsored by the Kavana Cooperative, Congregation Beth Shalom, Mercaz Seattle and an anonymous donor. Admission is free for members of co-sponsoring organizations. For all others, admission is $18, payable at the door by check made out to Yiscah Smith or cash.

Yiscah is a spiritual activist, Torah-based educator, mentor, public speaker and podcaster who addresses the spiritual practice of encountering the Divine spark within, the foundation of authentic living.  Most recently she was the subject in the new documentary “I Was Not Born A Mistake”, produced by YesDocu Israel.

She relies on Jewish spiritual teachings to inform and uplift her students and audiences, acting as a compass guiding them to their own authentic paths.  As a spiritual trailblazer, Yiscah exemplifies what it means to carve one’s own path, as she has grappled with the entanglements at the intersection of her spirituality, Jewish tradition and passionate desire to live a life of authenticity.  Encouraging, ennobling and empowering others to carve their own paths and to cultivate the integrity to remain faithful to their unique paths is indeed her passion and inner calling. 

Yiscah teaches Jewish contemplative practice and spiritual texts at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and in her home in Jerusalem, as well as having earned a reputation as a sought-after inspiring international public speaker.


We are excited to welcome Dr. Marjorie Lehman, associate professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at The Jewish Theological Seminary.

Her research in the field of Talmud and Rabbinics centers on four areas: Talmudic Aggadah, through a study of the 16th-century Ottoman collection of aggadic material, the En Yaaqov; Jewish gender studies, through an examination of Tractate Yoma using the lens of gender and a study of depictions of mothers in Jewish culture; the history of the Hebrew book as the co-director of a digital humanities project, Footprints; and the scholarship of teaching, through a focused study of how students learn to read and critically analyze rabbinic texts.

6:00pm Kabbalat Shabbat Services

7:00pm Shabbat Dinner $25/person. Meal is catered by Madison Park Catering. Dinner reservations must be made (below) by 3/16.

8:30pm Lecture by Dr. Lehman – You Never Call, You Never Write!’: Examining the Relationship between Mothers and their Priest Sons

All events take place at Congregation Beth Shalom. Learning is free and open to the public. See below for $25 for dinner registration or $180 to be a Pillar of the Scholar in Residence program.

See the details of the Saturday scholar-in-residence programming here.


Iraqis in Pajamas fuses ancient Iraqi Jewish prayers with original punk rock and personal storytelling. Front woman Loolwa Khazzoom (who has been a leader of our Sephardic Kabbalat Shabbat services) belts out tunes in Judeo-Arabic, Hebrew, and English, on themes of healing and transformation – addressing topics as varied as cancer, domestic violence, national exile, and street harassment. Whatever our particular challenge, the songs explore, how can we express our rage, our pain, and our despair, without getting stuck in it? Better yet, how can we use those energies, channeling them for our own personal transformation and that of the world around us? The band recently received a grant to produce the song, “Cancer Is My Engine,” about healing from cancer through music – which will release on March 1. In addition to performing this song, the band will offer a sneak peek at songs from their forthcoming debut album, Punk iRock – including songs that integrate four Iraqi prayers for Purim and Pesah.

Tickets for purchase below: $15 in advance/$20 at the door/$8 student

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