Tidewater comes together to learn through Paper Midrash

February 24, 2022

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On a cold weekend in February, the Tidewater community found the opportunity for warmth and reflection with guest sermons, classes, and gallery talks with artist Isaac Brynjegard-Bialik and Rabbi Shawna Brynjegard-Bialik. This married couple combined Judaism, comic books, and art to inspire and teach all ages.

The couple’s virtual visit was a part of the Milton “Mickey” Kramer Scholar-in-Residence Fund of the Congregation Beth El Foundation’s Tidewater Together Series. Services and events were open to all members of the community.

During two Shabbat services, Friday night with Ohef Sholom Temple, and Saturday morning with Congregation Beth El, the pair led visual sermons on Parshat Terumah.

On Saturday evening, Rabbi Michael Panitz, of Temple Israel, and Chazzan David Proser, of Kehillat Bet Hamidrash, led a Havdalah ceremony and introduced a virtual walk through of Isaac Brynjegard-Bialik’s exhibit in the Leon Family Gallery, YOU DID WHAT TO MY COMICS?!?!

On Sunday morning, students from grades three through seven in Temple Emanuel’s religious school learned with the Brynjegard-Bialiks and created their very own “Paper Cut Torahs,” considering what makes a hero, and what heroes can be found in the Torah.

This summer, the dynamic duo will visit Tidewater live and in-person. They will join Camp JCC campers for interactive, hands-on learning, and will offer community workshops for all ages, providing participants with opportunities to create unique pieces of Jewish art. The workshops will be presented by the Konikoff Center for Learning. No experience or “artistic ability” is necessary. All materials will be provided. Adults (and teens over 16) are welcome.

For more information and to stay up-to-date with the latest plans for Paper Midrash, visit JewishVA.org/TidewaterTogether or contact Sierra Lautman, director of Jewish Innovation at SLautman@UJFT.org or 757-965-6107.

-Sierra Lautman

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