Maharat Rory Picker-Neiss has been named scholar-in-residence of the 2023 Elm City Kallah, scheduled to be held October 27 - 29 at a diverse group of synagogues in the greater New Haven area.
Founded in 2014, Elm City Kallah is a collaboration of Westville Synagogue, Beth El-Keser Israel (BEKI), and Congregation B'nai Jacob, who come together to bring exceptional Jewish programming to congregations in the area. The three are noted for hosting scholars of national and international renown to share their ideas and encourage lively dialogue about topics of interest to American Jews at many stages of Jewish education, and political and denominational affiliation.
Rory Picker-Neiss, one of the first graduates of Yeshivat Maharat, a pioneering institution that trains Orthodox Jewish women to be spiritual leaders and halakhic authorities, serves as executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of St Louis, Missouri. She will speak three times at learning sessions held over the course of the weekend at participating synagogues. Members of Elm City Kallah congregations, as well as other interested community members, are encouraged to pray, sing, eat and study together, and to partake in communal Shabbat meals on Friday night and Saturday Kiddush lunch, as well as Sunday breakfast. There is no cost to any events with the exception of the subsidized Friday night Shabbat dinner, when a minimal fee will be charged. RSVPs will be necessary for that dinner.
Accommodations will be made to allow for widespread participation. For example: All Shabbat services, Friday night dinner and Shabbat Kiddush luncheon will be held in Westville, at both BEKI and Westville synagogues, to allow those living in Westville who are shomer Shabbat to easily participate. There is parking available at both locations for those who prefer to drive. B’nai Jacob will host the Sunday morning event, so that all may participate without concerns about driving on Shabbat. Every effort will be made to reach out to the community’s unaffiliated men and women.