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New this year, The First Narayever Congregation is pleased to offer a series of engaging Adult Education programs on the afternoon of Yom Kippur. Each of the programs will offer a different perspective on the themes of our Day of Atonement, and will foster a deeper understanding of some of the critical issues facing our community and our society at this time. These programs will be available to those who have registered for our live-streamed High Holiday services.

For information on Adult Education Programs between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, click HERE

Links to these programs will be sent to everyone who registers for the High Holiday livestream services and programming.


1:00 – 1:50 pm    Doctors Reflect: Personal and Spiritual Challenges During the Pandemic

In this session, four Narayever members who are doctors share their pandemic experiences in conversation with Rabbi Elkin. What has given them hope and courage? On what spiritual or Jewish resources have they drawn to help them get through this time? What makes them fearful, or angry? What role does forgiveness play as they reflect on these last six months? Join us for a session which will bring together the timeless themes of Yom Kippur with the special circumstances of this year.

Panelists: Dr. Sid Feldman, Dr. Anne Matlow, Dr. Joshua Tepper, Dr. Karen Weyman

Dr. Sid Feldman is a community family physician affiliated with the North York Family Health Team, with academic and administrative roles at Baycrest including Medical Director and Chief, Department of Family and Community Medicine.

Dr. Anne Matlow is an infectious diseases specialist and medical educator at the University of Toronto, who will bring the perspective of preparing and managing young trainees faced with both an unknown and a new normal. 

Dr. Joshua Tepper is a family doctor serving marginalized patients and those at end of life. He is also the president and CEO of North York General Hospital.

Dr. Karen Weyman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto, and is the Family Physician-in-Chief of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at St. Michael's Hospital.


2:00 - 2:50 pm    Racism and Repentance

In this session, our guests will be Dahabo Ahmed and Beverly Osazuwa, from the Federation of Black Canadians. This past year has (re)awakened many of us to the continuing racial inequality and injustice in society. Our two guests will share their reflections on the current moment, including such issues as repentance and forgiveness in the context of race as well as Jewish-Black relations. They will be in conversation with the Chair of Narayever’s Social Action Committee, Dyanoosh Youssefi.

Panelists: Dahabo Ahmed, Beverly Osazuwa, Dyanoosh Youssefi

Dahabo Ahmed is the Chair of the Federation of Black Canadians and Executive Director of Black North Initiative and past Director of Operations for the Somali Centre for Family Services

Beverly Osazuwa is a Community Engagement Assistant at the Federation of Black Canadians, MA, Political and Legal Thought, Queen's University

Dyanoosh Youssefi, is Chair of Narayever's Social Action Committee, a Legal Studies Professor and Social Justice Advocate


3:00 - 3:50 pm   What Does it Really Mean to “Love” Israel?

The state of Israel occasions many conflicting emotions in Diaspora Jews. One emotion that is often part of the conversation is love. Jews of different generations, types of religiosity, and political points of view may define love for Israel differently, and these varying understandings may help explain why the intra-Jewish conversation about Israel has become so difficult. Yom Kippur is a day when we’re supposed to become aware of our emotions, and our conduct. Join historian Derek Penslar, in conversation with Rabbi Elkin, for a discussion which will go to the emotional core of our relationship with Israel – past, present, and future.

Derek Penslar is the William Lee Frost Professor of Jewish History at Harvard University, with research specialities in the history of modern European Jewry, Zionism, and the State of Israel.


4:00 - 4:50 pm   Converts Consider their Choice

Yom Kippur is a day when we reflect deeply on the choices we have made in our lives and their consequences. The Jews-by-choice in our community came to their Judaism by a very different path than those who were born into it. Looking back, and looking ahead, how do they think about their choice?  Is there anything about the process of teshuvah, turning, which is different when a tradition is yours by choice rather than by birthright? How has Judaism been a blessing in their lives? How has it been a challenge? 

Join three shul members, Rafi Clarke, Kate McGee, and Michael Rizzo for this important conversation.

Rafi Clarke has worked for 21 years at WoodGreen Community Services, where they work within the housing sector assisting and helping vulnerable low income persons and communities. They converted to Judaism in the summer of 2020, and dreams to be known and remembered as a mensch.

Michael Rizzo works as an occupational therapist for a private practice. He assists persons who have sustained debilitating injuries to help improve their function and engagement in daily activities. He converted to Judaism in 2019. He and his wife Rachel recently added a third member to their family, a son born in July of this year. When not reading or cooking, he enjoys playing the violin (amateurishly).


5:00 - 5:15 pm   Narayever Teens on the Book of Jonah

The Book of Jonah is traditionally read on Yom Kippur afternoon. Because we will not have time in our abbreviated services this year to hear Jonah chanted during the service, this session will give viewers the opportunity to learn about this famous story from the point of view of three Narayever teens and hear an excerpt chanted.

Panelists Molly Friedman, Rafi Lambert-Greene, Josephine Livak


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Fri, October 23 2020 5 Cheshvan 5781