Derekh

Enriching lives through community, lifelong Jewish learning, & spiritual growth!

Vision:

Derekh will be a center for pluralistic, engaging learning, and transformational Jewish experiences.

Mission:

Through targeted programming, Derekh encourages participation in new ways, growing and expanding Jewish experiences within the five portals.

What this means for you:

Throughout this year we will be experimenting with new programs and activities, striving to meet your unique needs. We encourage you to reach out and tell us what you need, try something new, challenge yourself, and be a partner for this new project of Beth Shalom.

To see the breakdown of each portal, check out the Derekh info sheet here.

Portals

  • Limmud/Learning

  • Eranut/Mindfulness

  • Hesed/Loving-Kindness

  • Tarbut/Culture

  • Eretz/Israel

Upcoming Derekh Events

  • Pesah University | Thursday, March 15th at 7:30PM

Getting prepared for Passover is hard, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Join us for Pesah University!

Each session will be taught twice, first at 7:30PM and again at 8:15PM!

The three sessions will be:

Meaning at the Seder:
Has your seder lost its luster? Finding it difficult to relate to 10 plagues, four cups of wine and Dayyenu? Learn with Rabbi Seth Adelson to help navigate the essential questions of this night: Why are we here? Why are we discussing the Exodus and not eating? And what could it possibly all mean to us today?

Songs of the Haggadah:
Just as there is a journey through the texts of the haggadah, so too is there a musical journey. Sing with Hazzan Rob Menes and explore the traditional tunes that fill the seder and the haggadah. How can we increase the joy of our evening!

Kashering Your Pots:
There are many laws when it comes to Passover, from kashering one’s pots, to how much matzah we’re obligated to eat, to what is required at your seder. It can be easy to go overboard. Sit with Rabbi Jeremy Markiz as we review the technical aspects of Passover and what is vs what is not required.

  • Magevet Concert | Sunday, March 18th at 12PM
    at 5898 Wilkins Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15217 (Tree of Life Congregation)
    Click here to RSVP

On Sunday, March 18, 2018, four of Pittsburgh’s Jewish congregations are jointly sponsoring a performance by Magevet, a collegiate Jewish a cappella singing group from Yale University. Congregation Beth Shalom’s new program, Derek; Congregation Dor Hadash; New Light Congregation; and Tree of Life* Or L’Simcha welcome the community to this special event.

The performance is part of Magevet’s Pittsburgh and Cincinnati tour, scheduled for March 15th –March 25th. Magevet’s innovative repertoire and engaging performances have captivated audiences around the world. The group will perform a diverse repertoire spanning modern Israeli pop and Renaissance choral pieces to Yiddish folk tunes and Zionist classics. The members of Magevet are equally diverse: engineers and historians, Jews and Gentiles, New Yorkers and Californians, all united by camaraderie and a love of singing.

Congregation Beth Shalom is a vibrant and engaging Conservative Jewish community. Beth Shalom, with its magnificent sanctuary, has been a home to countless families for nearly a century. The synagogue’s new program, Derekh, led by Rabbi Jeremy Markiz, is a center for pluralistic, engaging, transformational Jewish experiences that encourages participation in new ways, growing and expanding Jewish experiences.

Congregation Dor Hadash, New Light Congregation and Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha share a location at 5898 Wilkins Avenue in Squirrel Hill. Congregation Dor Hadash, a member-led congregation, is Pittsburgh’s only affiliate of the Jewish Reconstructionist Communities. In addition to an emphasis on adult education, Dor Hadash members actively participate in an array of social action projects. New Light Congregation, is led by Yale alumnus, Rabbi Jonathan Perlman. In November 2017, New Light’s move to the Shady and Wilkins campus was marked by a joyous Torah procession.

Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha, led by Rabbi Jeffrey Meyers, matches the old with the new to deliver Conservative Jewish tradition that is accessible, warm and progressive.
This collaboration amongst the four congregations is indicative of a recently heightened interest in combining the resources of East End Jewish institutions to provide exciting cultural, educational, social, and religious programing for the Jewish community and Pittsburgh at large.

Through this program, the congregations bring to the Pittsburgh Jewish community an event to inspire the appreciation of Jewish music and culture.
The performance will take at the Tree of Life, 5898 Wilkins Avenue, at the corner of Shady Avenue in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA. Please mark your calendar for Sunday, March 18th at 12pm. Admission is free of charge. RSVP is suggested.

  • Pre-Passover Talmud Learning |
    Mondays from 9AM – 10AM at 61c Cafe and
    Thursdays from 8:15AM – 9AM in the Eisner Commons

Join Rabbi Seth Adelson and Rabbi Jeremy Markiz as we learn our way through Masekhet (Tractate) Horayot from the Talmud.

Each week we’ll learn a little bit more, preparing for a siyyim (completion celebration) on Erev Pesaḥ (the day of the first night of Passover) for the Fast of the Firstborn. This type of learning is called “beki’ut” which means that we will be skimming the material, understanding the basic ideas, and then moving on.

If you have any questions at all, feel free to reach out to Rabbi Jeremy (email).

Check out the Talmud’s text here!

Regular Derekh Events

Weekly

  • Shabbat Morning Warmup | Every Shabbat morning (without a Benei/Benot Mitzvah)
    at 9 – 9:30 AM in the Weinberg Pavillion

    • First Shabbat of the Month: Mussar Literature (Jewish self-improvement)
    • Second Shabbat of the Month: Niggun Circle (traditional wordless melodies)
    • Third Shabbat of the Month: Modern Jewish Text (exploring modern writing)
    • Fourth Shabbat of the Month: Introductory Meditation (sitting and discussion)
    • Fifth Shabbat of the Month: Surprise Bonus Warmup
  • Coffee with the Cantor | Every Wednesday at 11 AM – 12 PM in the Lehman Center

Lively discussions around current articles. This year, “Perceptions of Modern Judaism.”

Monthly

  • Derekh Open Beit Midrash | Second Wednesday of the month
    at 7:30PM in the Zweig Library

January:

Go Deeper | Dive deeper into a text, our inner selves, and the Tradition itself.
Come and join the monthly session, study with a partner, or start your own study group. We welcome you to help create this communal space! Students of all skill levels are welcome and knowledge of Hebrew is NOT required!

Ongoing Derekh Programs

  • Introduction to Judaism: Part 2 | 2/11, 3/4, 3/11, 3/18, 4/15, 4/22
    at 2-4PM in the Zweig Library

We invite you to this new non-denominational class! This six week course will cover an overview of Passover, God, Talmud, High Holidays, Kashrut, and History.

Do you have an idea?

Do you have an idea you are really excited about? Connect with us!

The Open Community Beit Midrash at Beth Shalom

As Congregation Beth Shalom enters its second century, we aim to build a new center
for Jewish life and learning that will reach into and beyond the membership of the
congregation. The goal is to provide a new range of programming that will benefit the
Squirrel Hill community and transform Jewish life in Pittsburgh by providing new and
accessible portals to Jewish engagement and lifelong Jewish learning.
The foundation of Judaism is a commitment to the compelling, ever recurring question:
“How do I become the best person I can be?” Derekh is Beth Shalom’s acknowledgment
of and commitment to creating accessible portals to Jewish learning and experience for
anyone who seeks answers to captivating, essential questions. Derekh will be the
address in Squirrel Hill for those for whom Jewish identity is faithful, ethical, cultural, or
for anybody who simply wants to broaden their perspective and heighten their daily
experience. The hub of this new initiative will be the Open Community Beit Midrash, a
dedicated, contemporary space at Beth Shalom, which will feature programming,
speakers, films, mindfulness activities, music, and so forth, all intended to make new
connections and transform our community’s relationship with Jewish tradition.