Adult Ed Series: Exploring Polarization In A Time of Division

Congregation Emeth is pleased to partner with One America Movement for an Adult Education series on Polarization through the lens of Jewish teachings.

The Science of Polarization
February 23, 12:00 – 1:30 PM
Our brains are wired for survival. When you first meet a person, your brain almost instantly asks, “Are they a friend or foe — a part of your group — or an outsider?” In this session, participants learn about the subtle inner workings of your brain and behavior that influence how human beings interact with one another. Participants will discuss the differences between normal and toxic polarization, and study examples of healthy division found in Jewish texts.

Exploring our Fears around America’s Division
March 2, 12:00 – 1:30 PM
Pirkei Avot 1.6 teaches us to “…judge every person meritoriously.” Living out this value is easier said than done. In this session, participants learn current research and data on division and polarization in American society. Such research shows that our perceptions are often different from reality. Our assumptions about the views of the other side are often incorrect, and moreover, we make incorrect assumptions about how others view us.Participants will have the opportunity to discuss the research findings and consider how it does/does not speak to our lived experiences. We will explore ways to overcome our own tendencies to make judgments and assumptions and Jewish teachings around this value.

Storytelling Through Difficult Topics
March 9, 12:00 – 1:30 PM
In this session, participants will study a famous text from Talmud about honoring multiple perspectives. Participants will learn skills for how to have productive, meaningful discussions with people who don’t think, vote, or believe the same way they do. Participants will practice having a conversation on a controversial topic.

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Congregation Emeth Jewish Winter 2022 Programming