Scholar in Residence at Washington Square Minyan

Please join Washington Square Minyan on March 2-3 as we host a dynamic shabbat with Scholar in Residence, Dr. Elisha Russ-Fishbane. Elisha is an historian of Jewish life and culture in the Islamic world. He currently teaches at Princeton University as a Tikvah Postdoctoral Fellow and will be joining the faculty of Wesleyan University in the Department of Religion in the coming fall. Elisha received his doctorate from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University. His dissertation, Between Politics and Piety: Abraham Maimonides and his Times (July, 2009), an historical portrait of medieval Egyptian Jewish society and spirituality, was a recipient of the John Templeton Award for Theological Promise from the University of Heidelberg for a doctoral dissertation on the topic of religion and spirituality. Elisha researches the socio-economic, religious, and intellectual intersections of medieval Judaism and Islam. His current work explores the history of Jewish-Sufism in medieval Egypt and the quest for prophetic illumination in the medieval Jewish and Islamic traditions. --There are multiple opportunities for you to participate in the weekend, all detailed below. We hope you'll join us! --New to the area? Join us! We can't wait to meet you! --Babysitting will be provided during services, as well as during Dr. Russ-Fishbane's talk, on Shabbat day, March 3. --There is no cost to join us for any part of the weekend. However, please consider making a donation to Washington Square Minyan to support the many services that we offer. Your contribution for any amount will go a long way toward helping us fund this and future community programs. -- If you have any questions, please contact Meira Russ at This program is supported in part by a Young Adult Community Grant from Combined Jewish Philanthropies.
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Join us on Friday, March 2 for small dinners at community members' homes. The small dinners will be followed by a communal oneg and talk by our Scholar in Residence, Dr. Elisha Russ-Fishbane, and will take place at the home of Shira Fischer and Gad Marshall, 50 Summit Ave, #1. Here's the way it works: Meals will be finished in time for the ONEG at 8:15pm. Meals will be cooked before Shabbat in a kosher kitchen. Ingredients will have a heksher. Whether you are new to the Boston area, new to WSM, or have been coming to WSM for years, this is an excellent chance to meet and spend time with new people over a delicious Shabbat meal.

FRIDAY NIGHT ONEG- March 2- 8:15pm

"Islamic Anti-Semitism Today: Separating Fact from Fiction." Join us on Friday, March 2 at 8:15pm for a community-wide oneg. You do not have to participate in the meal matching program to attend the oneg. All are welcome. Dr. Elisha Russ-Fishbane will speak on the following topic: In the tragic breakdown of political reconciliation between Israel and the Palestinians, it is easy to overlook the religious and ethnic hatred that continues to embroil Jews and Muslims today. Of particular concern for our generation is the growing problem of Islamic anti-Semitism throughout the Muslim world and Europe. What are the roots of this hatred and what are its repercussions? What is the line between fact and fiction as we come to terms with this reality?


We will meet Shabbat morning, March 3, Parashat Tetzaveh / Shabbat Zachor, at 9:15am in the community room of Hebrew Senior Life, 1550 Beacon Street in Brookline. Please enter through the plaza entrance, which is to the left of the main entrance if you are on Beacon Street. Walk up two flights of stairs to the community area. We estimate that the informal lunch will be served at 12:15pm,with the talk starting at 12:30pm. You are welcome to eat during the learning, and babysitting services will be provided. Dr. Russ-Fishbane will speak on the following topic: "Between Synagogue and Mosque: The Prayer Reforms of Maimonides and His Son": Prayer and ritual are the most intimate expression of a religious community and are often the most resistant to outside influence. Yet, from talmudic to modern times, Jews have regarded the rites of others with curiosity and even genuine interest. We will study the prayer reforms of two giants of our tradition, Moses Maimonides (d. 1204) and his son, Abraham (d. 1237), each of whom sought to renew Jewish worship and synagogue ritual along the model of the mosque. (Dr. Russ-Fishbane will also deliver a brief word of Torah during services.)

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