Blues for Challah: Encores
The Third Annual Jewish Grateful DeadFest
Friday, December 13 – Sunday, December 15, 2013
Our third annual, encore presentation of "Blues for Challah" (the Jewish Grateful DeadFest), explores and celebrates the universe inspired and embodied by the Grateful Dead—and makes the connections between that universe and our Jewish tradition and culture.
It's not a stretch—a wandering tribe forever transformed by peak experiences, centering around transcendent music, communal food, and joyous celebration—sounds familiar right?
"Blues for Challah was one of the best weekends of this year I spent not seeing a show! Got to meet 'heads of all generations and became enlightened to the correlation between Jewish faith, community, history, and spirituality and the Grateful Dead. Next year, I'm dragging my whole Phamily along."
—2012 retreat participant
Setlist Highlights include:
"Dancing with the Dead": An Evening with Author-Photographer Rosie McGee
Rosie McGee presents previously unpublished photos and stories from her 1964-1974 memoir of that legendary time in the San Francisco rock music scene. At the conclusion of her presentation, Rosie will take questions from the audience and have autographed copies of her book available for purchase.
Doug Gertner, Ph.D. - The Grateful Dad
- "Who were the Grateful Dead, and Why were they always following Jews Around" - A multimedia exploration of the Jewish Deadhead Phenomenon
- "Considering the Grateful Part: A Four Worlds Gratitude Workshop" - Exploring Jewish perspectives on gratitude through stories, exercises, and text study
Whole Phamily fun for kids with Rachel Molly Loonin
Shabbat morning for kids of all ages with the Whole Phamily… Got a whole lotta (supervised) play time, parsha activity, peer interaction, perhaps personal prayer, peppered with the feel of plain ol' shabbes groups. Come join the Ganse Mishpucha. With the expert assistant leadership of Nistar "Concealed Light" Steinerman.
"Phish on Shabbos: Jews, Crews, and Spiritual Community" with Naftali Noah Lehrman
Discuss the nature of and relationships among spiritual communities from Judaism to Phish Heads and from Psychedelia to the Bnei Noach. Share transcendent and revelatory experiences from shul to shows and lot to latkas. Explore encoded meanings from flat brims to fedoras and from Rivka at the well to camelbacks on the rail.
Learning with Arthur Kurzweil
- "There's a Crack in Everything: The Kabbalah of Leonard Cohen"
- "Tangerine Trees and Marmalade Skies: A Discussion of Psychotropics and the Jewish Spiritual Path"
- "Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Janis Ian, Dan Bern, Paul Simon, and other Nominations for a Recommended List of Essential Psalmists and their Psalms"
Learning with Rabbi Moshe Shur
- "Hog Farm to Glatt Kosher: The Rocking Renaissance Rabbi's Spiritual Journey"
- Them bones, them bones, them dry bones: The Origins of the Grateful Dead in Ezekiel's Vision"
"If my words did glow with the gold of sunlight" with Rabbi Efraim Eisen
During this session we will practice three effective methods of communication which will help you express yourself from your heart. These simple practice exercises will sharpen your skills and help you move forward in your life. These exercises have been taught within the Basherte workshop for the past 20 years and have helped many people strengthen their relationships and find their soul mates.
"Let It Grow: Yoga for Your Spine and Soul®" with Hannah Herman
"Light into Ashes" Meditative Egalitarian Shabbat Services with Rabbi Efraim Eisen
"Rainbow Full of Sound" Orthodox Shabbat Services
"Let it Shine" Havdalah with Yaakov Dov Miller
"Maybe it was the Roses?" Grateful Dead Trivia Game
"One More Saturday Night" Community Grateful Dead Jam (bring your instruments!)
Our community jam will be broadcast live on Radio Free Nachlaot by Lorelai Kude
This whole package also includes "We can Share the Wine" Farm-to-table gourmet kosher meals featuring homemade challah, pasture-raised meats, fresh-harvested veggies, and Adamah pickles!
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Rosie McGee, who was born Florence Louise Nathan in Paris, France, the younger daughter of two French Jews, came to San Francisco in 1951 as a 5-year-old immigrant who spoke no English. This put her right in line to come of age in that city in the Sixties; and her love of music, the theater and interesting people assured her connecting with the rock music scene of that era. By the time she met Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead in 1965 and became his girlfriend, she'd been documenting her life in photos for years—the Grateful Dead were next in line. After she and Phil parted, she stayed within the core family as their travel agent, French interpreter and onstage dancing girl. In her book Dancing with the Dead—A Photographic Memoir Rosie tells ten years of stories, illustrated with 200 of her photos, of her time living, traveling, and working with the Dead during their first decade as a band.
Doug Gertner, Ph.D. is The Grateful Dad®. He boarded the bus with some Sunday School pals on June 27, 1976, at Chicago's Auditorium Theater, and to this day lives by the ethic he discovered as a teen: Be Grateful, Follow Your True Nature, and Drink Plenty of Water along the way. Doug's chapter "Why Are There So Many Jewish Deadheads?" appeared in Perspectives on the Grateful Dead: Critical Writings by Robert G. Weiner (Greenwood Press: 1999), and was mentioned in New Yorker magazine's "Annals of Obsession" piece on 11/26/12, and in Carol Brightman's book Sweet Chaos: The Grateful Dead's American Adventure (Gallery Books: 1998). His multi-media talk titled "Who were the Grateful Dead, and Why were they always following Jews Around?" has engaged groups at synagogues, Hillel houses, conferences, and community gatherings since being launched at the Denver JCC in August, 1996, to commemorate the first Yahrzeit of Jerry Garcia. Doug is a founding member of Havurah Ruach, affiliated with B'nai Havurah, The Colorado Jewish Reconstructionst Federation, and also started The Dancing Moose Minyan, a men's group that will soon celebrate 20 years of adventure together; he served on the host committee of the Aleph Kallah for two Colorado gatherings, and launched the Boot Camp for New Jewish Dads program for the JCC's Jewish Baby University. Doug created The Grateful Dad's Journal of Gratitude that will be available at B4C, and the forthcoming The Grateful Dad's Secrets of the First Year of Fatherhood, due in 2014. After years of gathering with Jewish Deadheads way out west, Doug is most grateful to venture east for B4C in this truly sacred space.
Hannah Herman fell in love with movement as a toddler while doing Jane Fonda's yoga with her Momma all while listening to the Grateful Dead, Stones, and Allman Brothers. Hannah studied Classical Ballet at the Joffrey School of Ballet with Dena Simone Moss (The Joffrey Ballet School's Book of Ballet-Fit). In 2001, she started studying modern dance in Soho at Dance New Amsterdam under the guidance of Diane McCarthy, Laurie Devito, Martha Chapman, and Te Perez. In 2005, Hannah took a break from ballet and Simonson (a comprehensive and anatomically based technique that prepares the body to dance with awareness and safety) to study in Israel at Ateres Seminary and Touro College. Soon after, she discovered Vinyasa Yoga on King David Street at the Jerusalem YMCA, where unbeknownst to her she began a lifelong journey of yoga and meditation! Upon her return to NY, she attended Lander College for Women and started practicing with acclaimed yoga instructor and fellow dancer, Lara Benusis (Namasteens®). Currently, Hannah studies with Johan Montijano, Jyll Hubbard-Salk, and Ariel Kiley, and volunteers with Wanderlust, a traveling music and yoga festival in Vermont, Tahoe, and Oahu. In addition to yoga, Hannah has taught at Temple Sholom Religious School, Rodeph Sholom Religious School, and Park Avenue Synagogue Congregational School. At present, Hannah privately teaches learning-challenged children, as well as dance classes at Luria Academy. Hannah lives in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn and is thrilled to be joining us at Isabella Freedman this year.
Rachel Molly Loonin is the energy behind the Whole Phamily, a cultural commentary blog with a lotta rock-n-roll, semitism, and parenting. In addition to full-time mothering for over 10 years in New Haven, the Bronx, and suburban Philadelphia, Rachel co-chairs the Adath Israel Hazon CSA in Merion Station, served as a committee member of the 1st Hazon Philly Food Festival, volunteers in the Torah Academy of Greater Philadelphia library, and is an active member in La Leche League of Philadelphia and Babywearers International of Southeast Pennsylvania. All the while she has continued to go to shows, bake challah, and host numerous shabbat meals. Due to her misplaced high school headspace, she saw the Dead only once, at Giants Stadium, but has seen Phish countless times. She is married to Joshua Razi Steinerman and has 4 children: Nistar, 10, Elimelech, 8, Ezra, 6, and baby Levi, 5 months. In past lives, Rachel worked for HBO, Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, and Lexis-Nexis. She earned her bachelor's degree cum laude from Brandeis University, a Master's degree in Elementary Education from Hunter College and studied post-college at Nishmat, the Jewish Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women
Naftali Noah Lehrman has no idea how many Phish shows he's seen, but it starts with a "2" and isn't in the 20's. Noah studied religion at Brown University in Providence, drumset and percussion at The Collective in New York, and learned Torah and played Jewish music at Yeshiva Shalom Rav, Beis Midrash Chernobyl in Tsfat. Returning to his native NYC, he was founding member of The Grove—named for the Pardes, the place of mystical communion—which burst onto the jamband scene at the late-great Wetlands Preserve. As a singer/songwriter and drummer/percussionist Noah has performed from London to China and at music festivals from Babatunde Olatunje's World Drum Dance & Pray for Peace Day to the Friends of Daniel Pearl Fest to The Big Up. His existential love songs use Jewish imagery to explore universale themes, and universal metaphors to probe Jewish concepts. In 2013 Noah was songwriter and musician-in-residence at Art Kibbutz International Jewish Artist Colony at Eden Village. Noah performs both as a solo acoustic artist and fronting the full electric band and multi media experience Outta d'Ark. A great-great-grandson of R' Alter Haim of Zvants, he is known to some as "The Nunever." Baruch HaShem, Noah is a Jew, a Head, and a member of the Rodeo Crew.
Arthur Kurzweil purchased his first Bob Dylan album at E. J. Korvette in Carle Place on Long Island in 1963. During 1967-68, just after the Summer of Love, Arthur was President of his high school's Folk Music Club. He also played lead guitar in a garage band (with his parent's Bar Mitzvah gift to him, a Gibson ES330TD, sunburst, double cut away, hollow body, two pick-ups). He attended one of the last Grateful Dead concerts: Giant Stadium in New Jersey, in June, 1995; Bob Dylan opened for them. Arthur and his son Moshe currently attend The Gathering of the Vibes each summer in Bridgeport, CT. Arthur is a teacher, writer, publisher, and performing magician. He is the author of several books including On the Road with Rabbi Steinsaltz and Kabbalah for Dummies.
Rabbi Moshe Shur, a Senior Associate at the Center for Jewish Studies at Queens College, is called the "Rockin Renaissance Rabbi." A founding member of the first Jewish religious rock group, Rabbi Shur sings in English, Yiddush, and Hebrew. He composes folk songs and melodies weaving together storytelling and music. In addition to his musical talents and rabbinic smicha from Jerusalem, Rabbi Shur graduated with honors from Columbia University with a degree in history, from the Jewish Theological Seminary with a degree in Hebrew letters, from Wayne State University cum laude with a Juris Doctor, and from the University of Michigan with an MA in Near Eastern Languages and Literature. Rabbi Shur currently teaches the course "The History of Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah" at Queens College where he had directed the very large and successful Queens College Hillel for many years.
Rabbi Efraim Eisen, was licensed as a marriage and family therapist over 30 years ago and began teaching workshops in 1993. His commitment to creating sacred space where people could meet their souls and their soulmates has assisted thousands to feel safe and joyful in their journey to the Beloved. Efraim brings his joy and compassion to his work and is delighted to know that over 100 couples have arrived at the chuppah soon after attending his workshops. Currently he is the Rabbi at Temple Israel in Greenfield where he has been the Spiritual Leader since 2002.
Lorelai Kude is an international media personality and co-founder of Radio Free Nachlaot, "Where Shlomo Meets Jerry" 24/6 from Jerusalem to the world via Internet Radio. She attended San Francisco State University 1976-78 specifically so she could see the Grateful Dead play as much as possible while pursuing her degree in journalism. After making aliyah in 2007 from California after a career in television, Lorelai co-created Radio Free Nachlaot with her radio partner Steve Levine as the Internet radio destination around which Israel-based Deadheads revolve and Anglo/American Deadheads connect to the chevre in Israel. RFN's annual "9 Days of Jerry" reaches thousands of Jewish and non-Jewish Deadheads world-wide.