Global Day of Jewish Learning Offers Love of Learning, Connection and Jewish Pride
Penninah Schram and Gerard Ederly, a.k.a. The Maggid and The Minstrel, perform at Congregation Agudas Achim during Global Day of Jewish Learning.
By Rachel Stern
On Nov. 11, Shalom Austin joined in the Global Day of Jewish Learning. Global Day is a program sponsored by the Aleph Society and unifies Jewish communities all over the world through committing to a day celebrating Jewish learning. The goals of Global Day are to empower people to claim our inheritance, to spark a love of Jewish learning, to build community locally, to engage diverse groups, and to connect worldwide communities.
Each year there is a theme, suggested texts and lesson plans. This year’s theme was “Extraordinary Passages: Texts and Travels.” Shalom Austin staff formed a committee and planned out a program reaching learners of all ages and offered programming throughout the day and throughout the city.
The program included lesson plans shared with local religious schools, a Beit Midrash (house of study) which was a series of small group sessions, a special program hosted by the staff of the Early Childhood Program designed for young families exploring their family histories, a singing circle, a sampling of films from the Austin Jewish Film Festival, and a meal hosted by the teens of BBYO.
The day concluded with a featured program showcasing renowned storyteller Penninah Schram, international musician Gerard Edery and their performance entitled “Who Will Carry Whom? The Maggid and The Mistrel”.
The impact of the day was not just felt in Austin, but was literally felt in every corner of the world. A day set aside for learning brought together Jews of all beliefs and backgrounds in a variety of settings and for all kinds of learners. There were many moments of learning, community and exploring which made for a wonderful day. Shalom Austin leaders and staff look forward to planning a new community day of learning in the future. ■