Tikshoret Connections

About Tikshoret

ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal is proud to present Tikshoret, an online adult education initiative. We aim to offer adults an opportunity to dive deeply into the spiritual and educational gifts of Jewish Renewal. Tikshoret tuition is intentionally low to welcome a diverse group of learners.

The Hebrew word Tikshoret comes from the root for “deep connection,” and that’s what these classes are designed to be: an opportunity to connect with the riches of our tradition. These exciting classes are taught by teachers and rabbis from across the Jewish Renewal world. Through this highly accessible online platform, we seek to inspire, engage, challenge, and explore the mysteries of the past with an eye towards contemporary spiritual practice and creating personally meaningful Jewish experiences.

We hope that you will join us on this sacred journey! See below for our current classes.

Questions about Tikshoret or the classes, please email tikshoret@aleph.org.

Program Instructors



Upcoming Tikshoret Programs


Reb Deb's Divine Discussions: Exploring Faith In Our Lives | 
Discussion of In Good Faith: Exploring Religion and Atheism

Session One | Tuesday, April 30
Time: 1 pm - 2 pm EST, 10 am - 11 am PST

Session Two | Tuesday, May 7
Time: 1 pm - 2 pm EST, 10 am - 11 am PST

Session Three | Tuesday, May 21
Time: 1 pm - 2 pm EST, 10 am - 11 am PST 

Session Four | Tuesday, May 28 
Time: 1 pm - 2 pm EST, 10 am - 11 am PST

Cost: $25 per session. Must register for a minimum of two sessions to receive a complimentary hardcover copy of In Good Faith: Exploring Religion and Atheism (valued at $35)

Description: Tikshoret is proud to launch Reb Deb’s Divine Discussions: Exploring Faith in Our Lives, a new virtual reading discussion group to explore and discuss the topic of Faith. This discussion group will be led by Rabbi Debra Smith, a member of the Tikshoret faculty who created and co-leads the Muslim/Jewish Leadership Training Program. 
 
Through guided questions and facilitated discussion on a variety of books, the group will explore the subject of Faith. The group will be ongoing and participants can attend any or all sessions. Each meeting will last one hour. 
 
To kick off Reb Deb’s Divine Discussions, we will begin with a conversation about the brand new book, In Good Faith: Exploring Religion and Atheism by Scott Shay. Complimentary copies of this brand-new hardcover book, published by Post Hill Press and valued at $35, will be mailed for free to the first 25 people who sign up for this series. In Good Faith will be the topic for the first 4 sessions of Reb Deb’s Divine Discussions. 

ABOUT THE FIRST BOOK, IN GOOD FAITH: EXPLORING RELIGION AND ATHEISM, AND ITS AUTHOR, SCOTT SHAY: 

"Religion can be both inspiring and distressing. And many critiques of it are simultaneously compelling and dubious. Shay examines atheist arguments with a refreshing modern eye in this comprehensive look at our most fundamental questions about faith and reason. This book explores the most common atheist critiques of the Bible and religion, incorporating Jewish, Christian, and Muslim voices. The result is a fresh, modern re-evaluation of religion and of atheism."

Scott Shay is a co-Founder and Chairman of Signature Bank and a longstanding Jewish community activist. Shay started a Hebrew school, an adult educational program and chaired several Jewish educational programs. He is the author of Getting Our Groove Back: How to Energize American Jewry. Scott has been thinking about religion, reason and modernity, since wondering why his parents sent him to Hebrew school. 

Books under consideration for future sessions of Reb Deb's Divine Discussions may include but will not be limited to: Act of Faith by Eboo Patel; The Lemon Tree by Bhira Backhaus; The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho; Speaking of Faith by Krista Tippett; A Case for G-d by Karen Armstrong; and Dancing Arabs by Sayed Kashua.


Exploring Jewish Views of the Afterlife: Traditional and Contemporary Perspectives

Session One | Tuesday, May 7
Time: 4 pm - 5:30 pm EST, 1 pm - 2:30 pm PST

Session Two | Tuesday, May 14
Time: 4 pm - 5:30 pm EST, 1 pm - 2:30 pm PST

Session Three | Tuesday, May 21
Time: 4 pm - 5:30 pm EST, 1 pm - 2:30 pm PST

Cost: $75 for all three sessions. NOTE: It is possible to register for individual classes if preferred

Description: An exploration of Jewish afterlife texts spanning three millennia of history. As travelers through time, we shall enter the worlds of Torah,Talmud, Midrash, Zohar and Hasidic tales investigating diverse ways Jews have understood the enigmatic mystery of death and the world beyond. 

Searching for spiritual renewal of traditional teachings, we shall use these texts for reflection and discussion discovering practical guidelines for responding to the human encounter with death - personally, and in our families and communities. 
 
Suggested Reading:
Simcha Raphael, Jewish Views of the Afterlife, Rowman and Littlefield, 2019

Simcha Raphael, Living and Dying in Ancient Times - Death, Burial and Mourning in Biblical Tradition, Albion-Andalus Books, 2015 

Simcha Raphael, May the Angels Carry You - Jewish Prayers and Meditations for the Deathbed Albion-Andalus Books, 2016 

Simcha Raphael, The Grief Journey and the Afterlife - Jewish Pastoral Care for Bereavement, Albion-Andalus Books, 2014


Valley Beit Midrash | Jewish Thought in Three Acts: Creation, Revelation, Redemption

Tuesday, April 2
Time: 4 pm - 5 pm EST, 1 pm - 2 pm MST
Half-hour post-event discussion immediately following 

Cost: $18 

(FREE for AOP Students--please email Stephanie at tikshoret@aleph.org to register)

Description: How do we ask our most serious questions about the meaning of life and our place in the world? According to tradition, we look through our three primary stories of how we came to be (creation), who we are (leaving Egypt), and why (receiving Torah). Through these narratives, we can begin to see our way to awareness, responsibility and hope — as well as confront the darkness that arises and can be overcome in those same pivotal moments.

About the speaker: Rabbi Noa Kushner founded The Kitchen in 2011 in response to friends who were looking for an informal, transformative shabbat experience that they couldn’t find. Along the way, she crashed head first into what has now been well documented as a generational trend away from many established religious institutions. The Kitchen quickly grew from a local shabbat experiment into an active doorway for San Francisco’s Gen X and Millenials looking for serious Jewish life. Through an emphasis on first-hand experience and “doing jewish” over pedigree, The Kitchen has become an international resource, growing to serve thousands of modern families annually in seven years. In working with IDEO and by emphasizing design + communications, The Kitchen has also changed the ways religion is perceived and integrated into daily life. 

After graduating with a degree in Religious Studies at Brown, Kushner was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1998. She then served as a Hillel Rabbi for both Sarah Lawrence College and Stanford University. 
 
The Kitchen has been featured internationally in Ha’aretz, Tablet, The Forward, and Medium. Kushner has been profiled in SF Magazine’s Power Issue and the final Newsweek / Daily Beast: Rabbis to Watch list. Her written work appears in many publications including, The Torah: A Women’s Commentary, and the Prayers of Awe series. 
 
Noa is married to Michael Lezak, the Rabbi at GLIDE. Together they have three daughters: Zella, Bluma and Minna.