“A 2000-year-old blend of social, spiritual and political wisdom.”

The Haftarah is a passage from the Nevi’im (Prophets) that is recited after Torah reading on Shabbat and Festival mornings (and on some afternoons too). The origins of this reading are lost in the mists of time.

Was it in response to persecution, polemics or was it part of an ancient educational methodology? Why were these particular chapters or portions chosen? How did this come to be associated with bar-mitzvah celebrations?

Sadly, for many, the reading of the Haftarah has become an opportunity to escape the shul service and get a schnapps; swapping a 2000-year-old blend for a 12-year-old.

Join the Academy and Ilana Stein as we examine the range of Haftarot that we read – or that we don’t read. We hope to come to a more in-depth understanding of this well known yet overlooked part of our shul experience and shed light on the same issues, which recur today, thus making the Haftarah one of the most relevant parts of our synagogue service.

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The Academy is a vibrant, modern-orthodox program for Jewish thought, scholarship and education and that inspires our community with a lifelong love of Jewish learning. About us…

In association with the London School of Jewish Studies (President: Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Dean: Rabbi Dr Raphael Zarum, Honorary President: Emeritus Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks)