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Shmitta: A Year of Letting Go—Jewish Practices of Justice, Freedom and Equality

Hosted By: Hebrew College

Starting in the fall of 2021, the Jewish world will enter its “sabbatical” or Shmitta year. Shmitta means “letting go” or “releasing.” This ancient biblical practice of releasing debts, land and property is now being revived and reimagined by Jews around the world who are innovating ways of releasing for equal and social justice, spiritual nourishment and communal flourishing. Join Hebrew College Open Circle Jewish Learning as they explore the ancient wisdom in Jewish sources and integrate Shmitta practices.  Participants will ultimately create their own Shmitta action plan for themselves and their communities.

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Rabbi Natan Margalit

Rabbi Natan Margalit was raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. As a young adult he lived for twelve years in Israel and received rabbinic ordination at The Jerusalem Seminary in 1990. He earned a Ph.D. in Talmud from UC Berkeley in 2001. Natan has taught at Bard College, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College.  He is a member of the Va’ad (steering committee and core faculty) of the Aleph Ordination Program, and serves as chair of their Rabbinic Texts department. He is also the Director of the AOP’s Earth-Based Judaism Program.  Natan is Founder of Organic Torah, fostering holistic thinking about Judaism, environment and society, which is a program of Aleph: Alliance for Jewish Renewal. He lives with his wife, two sons and their dog, Pele (named for the Hebrew word for wonder, and also the Hawaiian goddess, not the soccer player) in Newton, Mass. 
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Hebrew College

Hebrew College is an innovative national institute for Jewish learning and leadership based in Newton, Massachusetts. We are dedicated to Jewish literacy, creativity, and community, and a world of dignity and compassion for all. Our students are future rabbis, cantors, and educators, and people at every stage of life who love to learn. Together, we are infusing Jewish life with substance, spirit, beauty, imagination, and a sense of purpose.
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