These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

Personal Reflection on the Omer Program 2021

Posted on May 10, 2021 by Judy Kupchan

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This blog was written by Judy Kupchan.  Judy is a recent olah to Israel from Chicago. She is a retired CEO of the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning and a Jewish educator for more than 40 years in the US. She and her husband Marshall Kupchan are Omer series participants.

The Omer series this year was particularly rich with possibilities. It’s only our time that restricts our choices, but the menu of options was impressive. I continued learning with Rachel Korazim, whose breadth and depth of knowledge about Israeli literature is amazing. We are studying poets who are well-known in Israeli culture, but to an olah like me they are just famous names. Rachel not only teaches their poetry as “text” but also inspires us and connects us to the ethos of poetry in Israeli society. I am so grateful to learn the texts, and to learn to love the poets as the icons they were. This class is truly a gift. My husband and I are also taking a class with Calev Ben Dor, who has brought fascinating texts and ideas that challenge us to consider the holidays of the Omer period in new light. Our conversations about the classes continue throughout the week, and of course, we appreciate the opportunity to learn together. As always, Pardes offers us learning experiences that are dynamic and meaningful, and we are forever grateful.