Rabbis’ Dispatch from Cape Town, November 2019

Dear Friends:

We have been enjoying our stay as guest rabbis in Cape Town, South Africa, and appreciate the opportunity that Temple Sinai gives us to bring our Bread and Torah project to such far-flung places.

Teaching religious school students how a Torah scroll is made

The Cape Town Progressive Jewish Community – also known as Temple Israel – has an interesting organizational structure. There are three separate synagogues, in three different parts of this city of 4 and a half million people, affiliated as one congregation. Each synagogue has its own council; the three members of the rabbinic team circulate among the three venues. The two larger synagogues have services every Shabbat evening and morning; the smaller one has weekly Shabbat evening services and once a month on Shabbat morning.

We have either taught or lead services at all three places, each lovely and distinct in its own way, and participated in the Mitzvah Day activity at Gracie Love in a Bowl, a “soup kitchen on wheels” based at a local organic farm and retreat center.

Challah workshop for 160 people — biggest ever!

We have also made pita on the braai (barbecue) at a Havdalah event, spoken about Women and Safrut (scribal craft), done a bagel workshop and a Torah project presentation with the religious school, taught a class on tefillin, and given divrei Torah at services.

Coming up are a scribal talk at a nursing home, a challah workshop at a Jewish home for people with intellectual disabilities, a hands-on Community Torah project event sewing two panels, and more service-leading. You can follow our activities on Instagram at breadandtorah.

Mitzvah Day at Gracie Love in a Bowl

Mitzvah Day at Gracie Love in a Bowl

We have received a warm welcome and met many wonderful people. Cape Town is an incredibly diverse city and that diversity is reflected in the membership of the congregation. We have been able to explore the beautiful surroundings as well as to meet with a humanitarian organization that works with disadvantaged people in the townships: Mosaic – Training, Service, and Healing Centre for Women. The chairperson of the Board of Mosaic is a member of Temple Israel.

With Rabbi Emma Gottlieb at Hout Bay

With Rabbi Emma Gottlieb at Hout Bay

We look forward to returning home next week and sharing more of our experiences with you.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Rabbis Linda and Jonathan

New Zealand Adventure February 2017

For a first report on our February 2017 trip to New Zealand, click here.

Welcome to Bread and Torah!

!שׁלוֹם  Shalom! We are launching our new website. Please give us your feedback.

Rabbis in Argentina and Chile 2012

Reserva Ecologica, Buenos Aires

On May 28 I arrived in Buenos Aires to visit our daughter, Shira, who is studying here for the smester.

Recent and Upcoming Programs


Bread and Torah Havdalah Program, Congregation Ohav Shalom, Albany, NY, January 25, 2020

Bread and Torah Weekend, Congregation Kol Ami, Kirkland, WA, May 1-3, 2020

Bread and Torah Weekend, Congregation Ahavath Beth Israel, Boise Idaho, November 6-8, 2020


Sherman Visiting Scholars, Visiting Rabbis, Temple Israel, Cape Town Progressive Jewish Congregation, South Africa, November 14-December 3, 2019

Orliss Scholars-in-Residence, Congregation Beth Israel, Carmel, CA, January 10-12, 2020

Bread and Torah workshops, Hazon Food Conference, Isabella Freedman Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT, August 14-15, 2019

“Scholars Near the Beach,” Bread and Torah Weekend, Jewish Community Center of Long Beach Island, NJ, July 12-14, 2019

Bread and Torah Program, Temple B’nai Israel, Willimantic, CT, March 23-24, 2019

Bread and Torah Weekend, Main Line Reform Temple, Wynnewood, PA, Jan 25-29, 2019

Bread and Torah Shabbaton, Congregation B’nai Israel, Northampton, MA, December 14-15, 2018

Teva Educators and Adamah Fellows Training, Isabella Friedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT  November 11, 2018

Alexander Schindler Scholars-in-Residence, Temple Israel, Westport, CT, October 26-28, 2018

Rabbis Linda and Jonathan teaching at the Maine Conference for Jewish Life, Waterville, ME, June 8-10, 2018

Bread and Torah Weekend, Temple Beth Israel, Eugene, OR, April 20-22, 2018

Bread and Torah Workshop, Beth El Synagogue, St. Louis Park, MN, March 8-11, 2018

Bread and Torah weekend, Comunidad Hebrea En San Miguel de Allende, San Miguel de Allende, México

Aaron Altschul Scholar in Residence Weekend, Temple Micah, Washington DC, Jan 19-21, 2018

Teva Educators and Adamah Fellows Training, Isabella Friedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT  November 5, 2017

Bread and Torah Shabbaton, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME & Beth Israel Congregation, Bath, ME, October 20-21, 2017

Hiddur Mitzvah, Camp Seneca Lake, Penn Yan, NY, July 9-10, 2017

Bread and Torah Shabbaton, Jewish Community of Amherst, Amherst, MA, March 17-19, 2017

Visiting Rabbis, New Zealand Bead and Torah Tour, Hokianga, Wellington, Auckland, Tongariro Crossing, New Zealand, February 8-26, 2017

Bread and Torah, Temple Sholom, New Milford, CT, January 8, 2017

Bread and Torah, Congregation Beth Israel, Worcester, MA, December 9-11, 2016

Bread and Torah, Congregation Beth El, Bennington, VT, November 12-13, 2016

Teva and Adamah, Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT  November 6, 2016

Writing the Sacred: Scribes in Christianity and Judaism, Hayyim and Esther Kieval Institute for Jewish-Christian Studies, Siena College, October  30-31, 2016

Half-Torah, A Celebration of Reaching the Half-way Mark in the Community Torah Project, Temple Sinai, July 24, 2016

Visiting Rabbis, Bread and Torah, Bethlehem Hebrew Congregation, Bethlehem, NH, July 14-17, 2016

Rabbi Linda Motzkin, Women and the Making of Torah: A Soferet’s Story, Rabbi Seymour Siegel Memorial Lecture, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY, April 13, 2016

Bread and Torah, Haverford College Jewish Student Union, Haverford, PA, March 29, 2016

Bread and Torah, Congregation Beth Israel, Charlottesville, VA, March 25-27, 2016

Bread and Torah, Temple Beth Avodah, Newton, MA, March 13-14, 2016

Bread and Torah, Congregation Eitz Chayim, Cambridge, MA, March 11-12, 2016

Bread and Torah, Skidmore College Hillel, Saratoga Springs, March 1, 2016

Hazon Food Conference, Isabella Freedman Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT, December 29, 2015 -January 1, 2016

Schenectady JCC Gallery Scribal Arts Program, November 17, 2015

Teva and Adamah, Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT  November 15, 2015

Festival of Jewish Scribal Arts, Lev Shalem Institute, Woodstock, New York, Oct 2015 (see Tablet article on the Third International Gathering of Sofrot as part of this Lev Shalem festival)

Pre-Rosh Hashanah Challah Workshop, Schenectady JCC, September 2015

Torah repair in San Miguel de Allende, México, April 2015

Jewish Community and Cultural Center (JC3), San Miguel de Allende, México, March, 2015

Challah workshops in Valparaíso, Chile, Jan 2015

Congregation Beth Ahavah, Northampton, MA, Nov 2014

Skidmore College Hillel, Saratoga Springs, NY Nov 2014

Teva and Adamah, Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT  Nov 2014

Jewish Community Center, Utica, NY, October 2014

Bethlehem Hebrew Congregation, Bethlehem, NH, July 2014

Parchment workshop, Spring Street Gallery, Saratoga Springs, NY June, 2014

Conference of sofrot, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, May 2014

Annual Interfaith Program, United Methodist Church, Saratoga Springs, NY,  April 2014

Congregation Beit Warszawa, Warsaw, Poland, March 2014

Torah writing workshop, Congregation Beit Kraków, Krakow, Poland, March 2014

Congregation Beth Orim, Budapest, Hungary, March 2014

Schenectady Unitarian-Universalist Society Youth Group (at Temple Sinai) March 2014

Smith College Hillel, Northampton, MA  Feb 2014

Temple Solel, Phoenix, AZ, January 2014

Temple Sinai, Pittsburgh, PA, Dec 2013

SyraJews, Syracuse, NY, November 2013

Temple Israel, Duluth, MN, June 2013

Capital District Board of Rabbis, Albany, NY, June 2013

Teva Seminar, Falls Village, CT, June 2013

Congregation Shir Ami, Newtown, PA, April 2013

Temple B’rith Kodesh, Rochester, NY, March 2013

Baking Workshop, Temple Beth Emeth, Albany, NY, March 2013

Smith College Hillel, Northampton, MA, March 2013

Congregation Agudat Achim Rosh Hodesh group, Schenectady, NY Dec 2012

Germantown Jewish Center, Philadelphia, PA, October 2012

Bread Workshop at Havurah Institute, Rindge, NH August 2012

Hevreh of Southern Berkshire, Great Barrington, MA, June 2012

Bread Making Class, Temple Sinai, Saratoga Springs, NY June 2012

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