Congregation Micah along with co-sponsors The Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville, The Temple, and West End Synagogue will welcome Oren Jacobsen of Project Shema back to Nashville for a scholar-in-residence weekend January 19-21.
Project Shema is a nonprofit organization that trains and supports Jewish communities and allies to understand and address contemporary antisemitism with an emphasis on how anti-Jewish ideas can emerge in discourse around Israel and Palestine. As Project Shema’s co-founder and Executive Director, Jacobsen is a nationally recognized expert on contemporary antisemitism and, through this work, he has advised major Jewish institutions and served as a subject matter expert on antisemitism to multinational corporations, Jewish professionals, campus leaders, young adults and teens.
The weekend will kick off at Congregation Micah on Friday with Jacobsen’s d’var Torah: “Grappling with Jewish Identity, Obligations, and Jewish collective safety after October 7.” Jacobsen will further explore this topic during a “lunch and learn” session at West End Synagogue’s Kiddush luncheon following the Shabbat morning service.
On Sunday, Jacobsen will return to Congregation Micah for two community-wide workshops. The morning workshop for 7-12 graders will focus explicitly on the real-time ways in which antisemitism is showing up in discourse around the war between Hamas and Israel, sharing tools and strategies with which students can engage their non-Jewish peers. The afternoon adult session will expand upon foundational concepts from the teen session, focusing specifically on how to address antisemitism as it emerges in more progressive socio-political spaces. The conversation will not focus on the war itself. Rather, it will focus on how the discussion around what’s happening is impacting Jews in the diaspora and how both individuals and we as a community can respond and support one another.
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