NOVEMBER 8, 2020

Please indicate which class for which you would like to RSVP. You may take all three classes if you wish.

Human Dignity 101

9:30-10:30 am
Rabbi Ami Hersh

What does it mean to be made in the image of God? What are our individual and our communal responsibilities toward one another? How do we ultimately understand what we as humans are supposed to be doing in this world? Human Dignity is a concept that is crucial to all mankind. In Judaism, the value of human dignity traces its origin to the story of Creation, when God creates humanity “in the image of God.”

Understanding the concept of Human Dignity

10:45-11:45 am
Rabbi Paul Kurland

As we further explore the meaning of the term Human Dignity, we will better understand what it means to be made in the image of God. From there we will explore our individual and our communal responsibilities toward one another and what we as humans are supposed to be doing in this world. Judaism provides procedures for applying justice as it respects the value of each individual human life.

Marginalized Jews

12:00-1:00 pm
Rabbi Jill Hackell

We are used to thinking of Jewish spaces as welcoming spaces. In this session we will use text study to help us examine the ways in which our Jewish community fails to be welcoming to some groups of Jews and what we can do about it.

Rabbi Ami Hersh serves as the director of Ramah Day Camp in Nyack and a part of the rabbinic team at the Orangetown Jewish Center. Ami was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary with a concentration in Jewish non-profit management. He also received a master's degree in Jewish education from the Davidson School of Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary with a concentration in Israel education. A graduate of the University of Hartford, he holds degrees in Elementary Education and Judaic Studies. 

He is an alumnus of both the Wexner Graduate Fellowship and the iCenter Israel Education Fellowship. Ami sits on the boards of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County and the iCenter for Israel Education. He is married to Loni Hersh and is the father of Micah, Zev, Noa and Yael.


Rabbi Paul Kurland has always been deeply committed to Jewish education.  He received his Master’s degree in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary and served as Educational Director in congregations in Pennsylvania and New York with distinction.  He is also well-known for his active involvement in Camp Ramah in the Berkshire Mountains for decades.

Rabbi Kurland received his ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1991 and has led the Nanuet Hebrew Center since 1997. He and his wife, Gerri, have four sons, Yoni (soon to be married to Kat), Noam, Eytan, and Ami. 

Dr. Rabbi Jill Hackell received her M.D. degree from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and practiced pediatrics for several years. She worked for over 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry, where she did clinical research on new vaccines for children. She was ordained at the Academy for Jewish Religion, a pluralistic rabbinical school.  Rabbi Hackell is the rabbi at the West Clarkstown Jewish Center and has been a member of the faculty of AJR.