Bronfman Divrei Torah

For the past several years, we've invited Bronfman alumni to write and share divrei torah with the Bronfman community.  These pieces have taken both traditional and non-traditional forms, and they demonstrate the zeal for intellectual exploration common among Bronfmanim. We're pleased to share some of these pieces with you here.

(Divrei torah are arranged in chronological order, from newest to oldest. If we are missing something, please contact us.)


Rena Yehuda Newman ('15), "Holding the Tension with Both Hands," Ki Tetze (August 24, 2018)

Danielle Bella Ellison ('10), “Self-Awareness, Transparency, and Deterrence”, Shoftim (August 16, 2018)

Hannah Kapnik Ashar ('04, Faculty and Manager of Fellowship Year Experience), The Aliveness of Lament”, D’varim/Tisha b'Av (July 22, 2018)

Dr. Jon Levisohn (Faculty), Promises, Promises,” Mattot-Massei (July 12, 2018) 

Rabbi Yehuda Sarna (Faculty), Abraham, Balaam, and Living a Life of Agency,” Balak (June 28, 2018).

Becki Marcus ('15), Crossing Borders with Tzedakah and Sadaqah, Shelach Lecha (June 7, 2018)

Shira Telushkin ('08), Words of Wisdom from a Jewish Advice Columnist,” Naso (May 24, 2018)

Adam Hoffman (‘17), My Bronfman 'Sinai Experience' Inspired a Day of Unity for Texas Teens”, Bamidbar/Shavuot (May 17, 2018)

Lauren Roth ('87),Safaris, Scuba-Diving, Mother-in-Laws, and Building Bonds,”  Acharei Mot-Kedoshim (April 27, 2018)

Aaron Steinberg (Deputy Director), “Tzara’at and the #MeToo Movement”, Tazria-Metzora (April 19, 2018)

Ilana Kurshan (‘95), “Writing Torah for Ourselves ”, Shemini (April 12, 2018)

Harry Wexner (’12), The Illuminating Nature of Holy Objects ”, Tetzaveh (February 23, 2018)

Elisheva Goldberg ('05), The New Life of the Second Commandment in the Internet Age , Yitro (February 1, 2018)

Sammy Potter (‘17), Secular Religion: My Judaism in 21st-Century Maine, Vayigash (December 21, 2017)

Rabbi Larry Edwards (Faculty), Not Your Grandmother’s Chumash, 30th Anniversary (December 8, 2017)

Zev Mishell ('16),Being a Jew: What It Means To Wrestle With God, Vayishlach (November 30, 2017)

Rabbi Mishael Zion (Educator) and Moses Sternstein (‘00), The Story of Akavia: The Limits of Pluralism, 30th Anniversary (November 16, 2017)

Becky Voorwinde ('97) and Tali Anisfeld ('15), Two Reflections on Humility, Chayei Sarah (November 9, 2017)

Ethan Lipson ('16), Abraham, Kierkegaard, and the ‘Knight of Faith’”, Vayera (November 2, 2017)

Sarah Marcus-Donnelly ('02), When Your Journey is Barren, Lech Lecha (October 26, 2017)

Andrew Arking ('16), The Essence of Being Human” , Bereshit (October 11, 2017)

Daphna Ezrachi (Amitei Bronfman '05), Beginning Again, Sukkot (October 4, 2017)

Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen (‘10), The Power of Song, and the Role of Rhetoric, Nitzavim-Vayelekh (September 20, 2017)

Avlana Eisenberg ('93), Perspectives on Justice, Shoftim (August 25, 2017)

Joe Rashba (Step) (‘10), Shaping Jewish Law: A Joint Process , Re’eh (August 18, 2017)

Yitz Landes (’05), Finding Solace Through Introspection , V'Etchanan (August 2, 2017)

Rabbi Dahlia Kronish (Faculty), The Chain Is Unbroken , D'varim / Tisha b'Av (July 27, 2017)

Hannah Kapnik Ashar ('04, Faculty and Manager of the Fellowship Experience), On Trust”, Mattot-Massei (July 20, 2017)

Rabbi Yehuda Sarna (Faculty), Between Justice and Zealotry, Batman and Phineas, Pinchas (July 14, 2017)

Dr. Jon Levisohn (Faculty), Divine Coercion, Human Autonomy, Balak (July 8, 2017)

Ilana Weinstein ('16), “God Is a Linguaphile, and so Am I , Chukat (June 30, 2017)

Binny Kagedan (‘02), Korach in the Shadow, Korach (June 22, 2017)

Yoela Zimberoff ('16), “Where Will the Current Take You? , Shelach Lecha (June 16, 2017)

Julie Geller ('91), Raise Your Hand, Naso (June 2, 2017)

Talmud Live Recap ”, Bamidbar / Shavuot (May 25, 2017) 

Malka Himelhoch ('15), A Passage from Ger to Toshav , Behar-Bechukotai (May 18, 2017) 

Elon Swartz ('12), The Sin-Offering and Return, Acharey Mot-Kedoshim (May 4, 2017)

David Andorsky ('92) Tzara’at and the Stigma of Radical Illness, Tazria-Metzora (April 27, 2017)

Priscilla Frank ('06), Dying and Keeping Kosher ,” Shemini / Yom HaShoah (April 20, 2017)

Yasmine Eichbaum ('12), “Embracing My Desert , Shabbat HaGadol (April 7, 2017)

Aaron Steinberg (Deputy Director), The Wise-Hearted Mouse ,” Vayakehel-Pekuday (March 23, 2017)

Becki Marcus ('15), Adonai, Entropy, and the Color Blue , Ki Tisa (March 17, 2017)

Rabbi Mishael Zion (Educator), Esther: What Kind of a Book Is This Anyway? , Purim (March 10, 2017)

Lisa Exler ('95), What Counts as Tzedakah? , Terumah (March 2, 2017)

Yael Zinkow ('07), Our Ethical Laundry List, Mishpatim (February 24, 2017)

Yael Marans ('15), Chosenness and Exceptionalism, Yitro (February 16, 2017)

Ariel Pollock Star ('04), “Awe, Grumbling, and Finding a Place to Live in Between , Beshallach / Tu B'Shevat (February 9, 2017)

Abigail Hirsch ('89), “Raising Resilient Teens, Bo (February 2, 2017)

Michelle Lynn-Sachs ('88), Trapezes & Transitions, Vayelech (September 29, 2016)

Shira Telushkin ('08), And the entire people shall say, Amen, Ki Tavo (September 23, 2016)

Elliot Mamet ('10), Justice, Justice, Shoftim (September 8, 2016)

Moses Goren ('16), Summer of Bres(love), (September 2, 2016)

Gabriela Hoberman ('12), "Love Can Cure a Stiff Neck, Eikev (August 25, 2016)

Prof. Noam Pianko (‘90), Returning to the Land Mattot-Massei (August 5, 2016)

Rabbi Mishael Zion (Educator), The Most Important Text in the Mishna: Executing the Image of God, Mattot (July 28, 2016)

Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum ('93), Rising Above Rock Bottom, Chukkat (July 15, 2016)

Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld (Faculty), Are Our Children Special? Reflections on Parashat Korach and the Paradox of Parenting,” Korach, (July 7, 2016)

Hannah Kapnik Ashar (‘04) (Faculty and Manager of the Fellowship Experience), Dvar Torah Shlach Lcha,” Shelach Lecha, (June 30, 2016)

Rabbi Mishael Zion (Educator, Former Co-Director),Being Sinai: Parenting as Giving and Receiving of Torah,” Shavuot 2016, (June 10, 2016)

Binny Kagedan (‘02), God of Trauma,” Bechukotai, (June 2, 2016)

Leah Mundell (‘90), For You Are All Migrants With Me: Sabbaticals & Strangers from South Africa to Arizona,” Behar, (May 27, 2016)

William Herlands (‘06), Disability in the Mikdash: Desecration or Holiness?,” Emor, (May 19, 2016)

Daphna Yizrael (Director of Amitei Bronfman), Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall, Who Is The Holiest Of Them All?,” Kedoshim / Yom Ha'atzmaut, (May 12, 2016)

Jaclyn Rubin (‘02), Of Angels and Humans,” Acharei Mot, (May 5, 2016)

Avi Heller (‘90), “The Fifth Cup,” Mezora, (April 14, 2016)

Zohar Atkins (‘05), Nadav and Avihu: in Memoriam,” Shemini, (April 1, 2016)

Rabbi Mishael Zion (Educator, Former Co-Director), Hard Conversations: Playing Chess Esther Style,” Purim 2016, (March 17, 2016)

Rabbi Mishael Zion (Educator, Former Co-Director), Esther Now: a Call to Read the Megillah,” Purim 2016, (March 10, 2016)

Aliza Gans (‘09, Former Staff Member),Put Your Piercings in the Pot: Melting as One to Build a Mishkan,” Vayakhel, (March 4, 2016)

Shawn Ruby (‘89),Looking God in the Face,” Ki Tisa, (February 25, 2016)

Jacob Shapiro (‘12),God Never Came Down, Moses Never Went Up: On Priests & Other Images of God,” Tetzaveh, (February 18, 2016)

Rabbi Avi Orlow ('91), Christina’s Yearning,” Terumah, (February 11, 2016)

Rachel Burstein (‘99), The Biblical Roots of ‘No Food After Dinner,’” Mishpatim, (February 4, 2016)

Rabbi Mishael Zion (Educator, Former Co-Director), Finding the Authority Within (Or, How to Survive Advice from your Father in Law),” Yitro, (January 29, 2016)

Deborah Sacks Mintz (‘04),The Tenth Plague: A Source of Punishment or Catalyst for Change?,” Bo, (January 14, 2016)

Ayelet Wegner (‘11), A Not-so-Incisive Metaphor: Cutting the Circumcision Out of Circumcision,” Vayera, (January 7, 2016)

Sheila Jelen (‘87, Faculty), The Book of Names,” Shemot, (December 31, 2015)  

Rabbi Mishael Zion (Educator, Former Co-Director), Reclaiming Uncle Levi: Facing Homegrown Misanthropy,” VaYechi, (December 25, 2015)

Stephen Rutman (‘09), “No Time for Fussing or Fighting: Jacob Reflects,” Vayigash, (December 17, 2015)

Shani Rosenbaum (‘06), “Joseph, Haman, & the Power of Vulnerability,” Miketz, (December 10, 2015)

Rabbi Yair Silverman (‘91), Appreciating Our Unique Lights,” Parshat Vayeshev/Chanukah, (December 2, 2015)

Ella Shteingart (‘88), “The Struggle for [a New] Identity,” Vayishlach, (November 27, 2015)

Nat Sufrin (‘06),The Only Tattoo,” Vayetze, (November 19, 2015)

Aaron Steinberg (Deputy Director), Our Forefather Jacob Teaching by (Bad) Example,” Toldot, November 12, 2015)

Matthew Rascoff (‘96), In Search of Kindness,” Chayei Sarah, (November 5, 2015)

Sarah Beller (‘98), Answering a Higher Call: Remembering Rabin,” Vayera, (October 29, 2015)

Rabbi Mishael Zion (Educator, Former Co-Director), Being Abraham’s Child,” Lech Lecha, (October 23, 2015)

Raffi Magarik (‘05), ‘I see your rainbow and will raise you some incest’: Teaching Chaucer and Genesis in Berkeley,” Noah (October 15, 2015)

Andy Neiman (‘90), Adam & Eve: Unscripted,” Bereshit, (October 9, 2015)

Louis Teitelbaum (‘15), The Bakers,” Shemini Atzeret & Sukkot, (October 1, 2015)

Rabbi Mishael Zion (Educator, Former Co-Director), Returning to Our Senses #3: The Ears,” Yom Kippur, (September 21, 2015)

Rabbi Mishael Zion (Educator, Former Co-Director), Returning to Our Senses #2: The Mouth,” Rosh haShanah, (September 11, 2015)

Rabbi Mishael Zion (Educator, Former Co-Director), Returning to Our Senses #1: Eyes,” Elul, (September 4, 2015)

Rabbi Andy Bachman (Faculty), When Truth is Cruel and Confusing, Speak Human Language,” Ki Tetze, (August 28, 2015)

Hannah Kapnik Ashar (‘04) (Faculty and Manager of the Fellowship Experience), Hidden-Faced Relationship,” Summer Shiur, (July 30, 2015)

Rabbi Laura Geller (Faculty), The Four Questions of Eicha: Turning Texts of Terror into Blessings,” Tisha B’av, (July 24, 2015)

Yehuda Kurtzer (‘93, Madrich ‘99, Faculty),The Politics of Loyalty,” Naso, (May 29, 2015)

Rabbi Rebecca Milder ('91), Walking Inside the Sphere of an Idea,” Bamidbar/Shavuot, (May 22, 2015)

Rabbi Mishael Zion (Educator, Former Co-Director),Moonshine Shavuot: In Search of Obligation - Robert Cover and the Talmud,” Shavuot, (May 21, 2015)

Rachel Burstein ('99, The Samuel Bronfman Foundation Bronfman Fellow ‘04-’05), Deciding to Belong: Between Ethics, Instrumentalism and History,” Acharei Mot/Kedoshim, (April 30, 2015)

Rabbi Mishael Zion (Educator, Former Co-Director), Making it Count: Studying Sefirat Omer, Judaism’s Best Game,” Iyar, (April 16, 2015)

Rabbi Mishael Zion (Educator, Former Co-Director), ‘And Here the Child Asks’: Passover and the Pillars of Jewish Parenting,” Pesach, (April 1, 2015)

Shawn Ruby (‘89), The Four Stories: Passover night as our children tell it to us,” Pesach, (April 1, 2015)

Yitz Landes (‘05), Remembering to Remember,” Tsav, (March 26, 2015)

Elon Swartz (‘12), Two Covenants -- One Relationship,” Vayakhel, (March 13, 2015)

Danny Cohen (‘04),The Golden Calf and the Idolatry of Knowing,” Ki Tisa, (March 5, 2015)

Zohar Atkins (‘05), Retailoring Our ‘Holy Garments,’” Tetzaveh, (February 27, 2014)

Rabbi Mishael Zion (Educator, Former Co-Director), Big Data: Law, Randomness and Choice in Esther,” Adar, (February 20, 2015)

Jaclyn Rubin (‘02),From Line to Law: Moses and Rabbi Akiva,” Mishpatim, (February 13, 2015)

Shani Rosenbaum (‘06), “What Yitro Heard: A Lesson on Listening, Yitro, (February 5th, 2015)

Rabbi Dan Smokler (‘96), Putting Boundaries on Time,” Bo, (January 22nd, 2015)

Elisheva Goldberg (‘05), Natural and Unnatural Leadership: Joseph VS Moses,” Shemot, (January 12, 2015)

Rabbi Mishael Zion (Educator, Former Co-Director), ‘All the Reasons in the World Not To’: Learning (and Good Humor) in Honor of Edgar Bronfman,” Tevet, (January 5, 2015)

Leon Furchtgott (‘05) and William Herlands (‘06), Standing on a Precipice,” Vayechi, (January 1, 2015)

Dr. Michelle Lynn-Sachs ('88), ‘And I Did Not Know’: Between Genesis' Jacob and Amazon's Transparent,” Vayetze, (November 28, 2014)

Rabbi Mishael Zion (Educator, Former Co-Director), Home for the Holidays: Moonshine for the Month of Kislev,” Kislev, (November 25, 2014)

Jessica Radin (‘93), “Natural Rites,” Chayei Sarah, (November 13, 2014)

Ilana Kurshan (‘95, Faculty), Sarah Got a New Fur Coat: The Poetics of the Akeda,” VaYera, (November 6, 2014)

Julie Geller (‘91), Lech Lecha as a Roadmap for Creativity,” Lech Lecha, (October 30, 2014)

Rabbi Mishael Zion (Educator, Former Co-Director), Moonshine Heshvan: Earth, Rain and the Future of Humankind,” Heshvan, (October 24, 2014)

David Zvi Kalman (‘04), Hunter S. Thompson And The Tragedy Of Modern Torah,” Sukkot, (October 15, 2014)

Alison B. Hornstein (‘97), Scar Tissue: Lessons from Years of Teshuvah,” Yom Kippur, (October 2, 2014)

Rabbi Mishael Zion (Educator, Former Co-Director),Beyond Cantors: A Typology of Prayer Leaders for the 21st Century,” Yom Kippur, (October 2, 2014)

Rabbi Mishael Zion (Educator, Former Co-Director), Isaac and Ishmael: A Call to Study this Jewish New Year,” Rosh haShana, (September 23, 2014)

Dr. Judith Rosenbaum (‘90, Faculty), Barren: a Fertile Encounter for the New Year,” Rosh haShana, (September 18, 2014)

Rabbi Rebecca Milder (‘91), Fighting Time?,” Elul, (September 11, 2014)

Rabbi Yehuda Sarna (Faculty), A Different Kind of Tunnel,” Summer 2014, (July 31, 2014)

Rabbi Larry Edwards (Faculty), Walter Benjamin and the Messiah,” Summer Shiur, (July 10, 2014)

Dr. Judith Rosenbaum (‘90, Faculty), Lazarus and Liberty in Jerusalem,” Summer 2014 (July 3, 2014)

Rabbi Mishael Zion (Educator, Former Co-Director),Handling Opposition: Let the Earth Swallow or Rise to the Balcony,” Korach, (June 19, 2014)

Rabbi Mishael Zion (Educator, Former Co-Director), Broken Tablets: a Study Guide for Shavuot,” Behaalotcha, (June 3, 2014)

Rabbi Mishael Zion (Educator, Former Co-Director), The Language of the Jewish Future: Israelish, Americanish, Yeshivish,” Shavuot, (June 2, 2014)