Exploring Exodus: A Pre-Passover Day of Learning with the Hadar Institute

Exploring Exodus: A Pre-Passover Day of Learning with the Hadar Institute

April 7, 2019 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
The Broadmoor
3601 Connecticut Avenue
General Admission: $18, Student Admission: $10
Darya Watnick

Join the EDCJCC and the Hadar Institute for an afternoon workshop focused on themes associated with Passover and freedom and redemption.
The Hadar Institute is an educational institution that empowers Jews to create and sustain vibrant, practicing communities of Torah learning, prayer, and service. This program will include a plenary and breakout sessions full of cross-cultural, passionate discussions open to all, regardless of a participant’s background or affiliation.


1:45 pm—2:00 pm Doors Open and Registration
2:00 pm—3:00 pm Plenary Session with Rabbi Shai Held
3:00 pm—3:15 pm BREAK
3:15 pm—4:15 pm Breakout Sessions with Rabbis Avi Killip and Avi Strausberg
4:15 pm—4:45 pm Dvar Torah by Rabbi Avi Strausberg and Wrap Up


General Admission: $18
Student Admission: $10
Click on the TICKETS button on the right to register!

We request a registration fee to help cover the costs of the program. If this is in any way a hardship please email Darya.


The Defeat of Chaos, The Triumph of Life, and the Dream of a Compassionate Society (Or, What Is the Exodus Really About?) with Rav Shai Held
In this session, we’ll examine the biblical portrayal of Yetziat Mitzrayim (the Exodus) with new eyes.  We’ll see how the Torah interprets what’s really at stake in the battle between God and Pharaoh and why God’s victory over the tyrant is so essential.  Then we’ll see how the Torah sets out to build a society that is the antithesis of Egypt, one that has internalized the lessons of oppression and degradation and chosen a life oriented by compassion and solidarity instead

First Ladies of Redemption: Miriam, Tzipora, and the Possibility of Supportive Sisterhood  with Rav Avi Killip
Moses’s sister and wife are central figures in the story of the Exodus.  What was the relationship between these women? Through the lens of ancient and modern midrash,  we will explore lesser known narratives of these sisters-in-law, and ask what they can teach us about the role of female friendship in the journey towards liberation.

The Necessity of Exile or, Why Backpacking Is A Good Thing with Rav Avi Strausberg
Often, we think of exile as something to avoid but from the outset, the experience of exile has been and continues to be key to Jewish identity formation.  In this session, we’ll explore Jewish texts on exile in order to reflect on the role of travel and journeys in our own identity formation. How far do we have to go in order to find ourselves?

4:15-4:45 Closing Dvar Torah with Rav Avi Strausberg


rabbi shai held headshotRabbi Shai Held–theologian, scholar, and educator–is President, Dean, and Chair in Jewish Thought at Hadar, where he also directs the Center for Jewish Leadership and Ideas. A 2011 recipient of the prestigious Covenant Award for excellence in Jewish education, Rabbi Held has been named multiple times to Newsweek’s list of the 50 most influential rabbis in America. He holds a doctorate in religion from Harvard; his main academic interests are in modern Jewish and Christian thought, in biblical theology, and in the history of Zionism. Rabbi Held’s first book, Abraham Joshua Heschel: The Call of Transcendence, was published by Indiana University Press in 2013; The Heart of Torah, a collection of essays on the Torah in two volumes, was published by JPS in 2017.


Rabbi Avi Killip

Rabbi Avi Killip serves as VP of Strategy and Programs and Director of Project Zug at Hadar. She was ordained from Hebrew College’s pluralistic Rabbinical School in Boston. She was a Wexner Graduate Fellow and holds a Bachelors and Masters from Brandeis University in Jewish Studies and Women & Gender Studies. She serves on the advisory board of ShmaNOW and the Jewish Studio Project.



Rabbi Avi Strausberg

Rabbi Avi Strausberg is the Director of National Learning Initiatives at Hadar, and is based in Washington, DC. Previously, she served as the Director of Congregational Learning of Temple of Aaron in St. Paul, Minnesota. She received her rabbinic ordination from Hebrew College in Boston and is a Wexner Graduate Fellow. She also holds a Masters in Jewish Education. Additionally, Avi has worked as a chaplain intern at Hebrew Senior Life and organized an anti-trafficking campaign as a rabbinic fellow at T’ruah. Energized by engaging creatively with Jewish text, she has written several theatre pieces inspired by the Torah and maintains a Daf Yomi haiku blog in which she writes daily Talmudic haikus. Avi is most grateful for her wife, Chana, and two children, Ori and Niv.

This program is a partnership between the Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center and the Hadar Institute.

Hadar Institute