BEKI Presents Pirkei Avot Discussion Series

In the months ahead, Beth El – Keser Israel will present a series of discussions about Pirkei Avot, The Wisdom of our Sages, celebrating the newly published “Pirkei Avot Lev Shalem,” translated and edited by Rabbi Martin S. Cohen, whose prior books include an edition of Psalms and a prayer book for the house of mourning. All events are free and open to the public.

The text is surrounded by the voices of two commentators, Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum, founder of ZION: An Eretz Israeli Congregation in Jerusalem, and Rabbi Gordon Tucker, Senior Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Israel Center in White Plains, NY.

The “Lev Shalem” series, published by the Rabbinical Assembly, carries that name because each volume approaches the text with a “full heart,” committed to understanding the text in its ancient setting while transmitting a living “Torah of the heart” to each generation.

The opening event on Sunday, November 4, at 10 a.m. will feature a brunch, remarks by Rabbi Cohen, and a panel discussion about Pirkei Avot with Rabbi Fred Hyman of the Westville Synagogue in New Haven, Rabbi Rona Shapiro of Congregation B’nai Jacob in Woodbridge, and Rabbi Jon-Jay Tilsen of Beth El – Keser Israel, moderated by BEKI members Jay Sokolow and Mark Oppenheimer. Reservations would be appreciated to (203)389-2108 or

Programs on each chapter, opportunities for deeper study, will be led by some of the retired rabbis affiliated with BEKI:

  • Chapter One with Rabbi Alan Lovins on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 1 p.m.
  • Chapter Two with Rabbi Carl Astor on Saturday, Nov. 17, at 1 p.m.
  • Chapter Three with Rabbi Eric Silver on Sunday, Nov. 18, at 11 a.m.
  • Chapter Four with Rabbi Richard Eisenberg on Sunday, Dec. 2, at 11 a.m.
  • Chapter Five with Rabbi Murray Levine on Sunday, Dec. 9, at 11 a.m.
  • Chapter Six with Rabbi Jon-Jay Tilsen on Sunday, Dec. 16, at 11 a.m.

Copies of Pirkei Avot Lev Shalem will be available for purchase on Nov. 4 and at Sunday study sessions.

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