7 Reasons Why You Should Spend Your Lunchtime at Genesis Forum

Rabbi Elyse Winick, Senior Director, Learning and Education, in the Harry Kraft Center for Jewish Education.

Part of CJP’s mission is to inspire and build learning communities. One way we accomplish that is through Genesis Forum: a series of fascinating, free discussions organized by Rabbi Elyse Winick, Senior Director, Learning and Education.

We’re getting ready to kick off this year’s Genesis Forum Downtown Series* (held at the Kraft Family Building,126 High Street, in the heart of the Financial District), where we’ll look back on dreams from the Jewish past to create our own dreams for the Jewish present.

Sound like that’s up your alley? Here are seven reasons why you should join us.

1. Each discussion is relevant to issues we’re facing today.   

To craft topics for upcoming sessions, Rabbi Winick and Rabbi Benjamin Samuels, our Genesis Forum Scholar, focus on questions people are asking in their day-to-day lives.

“That leads us to think about what Judaism has to say on the topic and decide whether the theme will be compelling,” Rabbi Winick said. “I’m very excited for the entire series, but I’ll say that, in particular, approaching the question from a literary perspective is new for us and I’m looking forward to seeing that conversation in action.”

View entire schedule, dates, and topics here.

2. Sessions are open to everybody — and they’re 100 percent free.

Regardless of your faith, age, or level of education, there is a place for you at Genesis Forum.

“We’re pleased to offer Genesis Forum at no charge to the community,” Rabbi Winick said. “It’s a reflection of just how important a priority learning is for CJP and how much we care about creating access to learning. The programs are sophisticated in their thinking and still highly accessible, no matter your background.”

“Young adults, retirees, and anyone whose day brings them near one of our locations at lunchtime will find themselves with an unparalleled opportunity for meaning-making through the intersection of the wisdom of the ages and the contemporary questions we encounter every day.” -Rabbi Elyse Winick

3. It’s a great way to build new relationships.

“Learning with a partner or in a group always has the potential to build community,” Rabbi Winick said. “As a series, Genesis Forum brings a consistent core of learners who are in community with one another, as well as folks who are new to learning.  Because it is an inspiring and nuanced experience, it also serves as an entry point into the myriad of Jewish learning opportunities in our community.”

4. If you work in the city, getting there will be a breeze.

Held in the heart of the financial district and a short walk from the Red, Orange, and Green Lines, our Downtown Series at CJP headquarters (Kraft Family Building, 126 High Street) is highly accessible for people who work in Boston. 

Interested in more learning experiences? Check out our wide array of opportunities for people of all life stages.

5. Our teachers know their stuff.

The educators scheduled to teach at this year’s sessions—from rabbis and agency executives to college professors—bring a wide range of wisdom and experience to Genesis Forum.

“CJP has a national reputation for supporting and cultivating high-quality learning,” Rabbi Winick said. “We’re grateful to have a rich pool of educators from which to draw and that they are enthusiastic about being our partners in building a learning and learned community.”

6. We’ll pick up lunch.

Don’t worry about packing a brown bag or rushing to grab a salad on the go. Use these instructions to purchase a delicious lunch from Clover Food Lab, and it'll be waiting for you at CJP. Complimentary coffee and tea will be available, as well.

7. *Can’t make it to the downtown series? Don’t sweat it — you’ve got more options.

Last year, we piloted Genesis Forum West, a four-week series at Temple Emanuel in Newton. We’re heading back to Temple Emanuel in March, and in May, we’re piloting Genesis Forum Cambridge: a three-week series in Harvard Square. Genesis Forum West will focus on Being Jewish in America in 2020; Genesis Forum Cambridge will offer Jewish perspectives on civil discourse. Stay tuned for details.