The orientation event brought 60 parents from our school and from the Bornblum Solomon Schechter to the Memphis JCC for an evening of communal Torah study. After an introduction from Avi Narrow-Tilonsky, the CJF's liason for the Kohelet Fellowships Program, and a video message from David Magerman, president of the Kohelet Foundation, the group watched a trigger film about a Katrina victim who took his neighbor's boat and used it to save numerous lives. When the boat went missing, though, the owner filed suit against his neighbor - "the hero" - for having unlawfully taken his possession. The next 45 minutes were spent in lively group discussion and analysis of traditional Jewish legal texts which explore the extent to which one is allowed to go in order to save a life and who bears the liability for damage incurred in the process.
Feedback from the evening was overwhelmingly positive and it set the stage for what we hope will be many more enjoyable and insightful encounters with Jewish texts and Jewish wisdom for these parents over the weeks and months ahead.