"Religion and Violence: Why? What Can We Do About It?"
• Temple Emanuel, Edison NJ on Shabbat January 6, February 17, and March 3, 2018 after services at 1230 - 2pm.
• On The Shabbat of January 13, 2018 (MLK weekend) Rabbi Zelizer will be speaking at Sabbath morning services in Temple Emanuel, Closter New New Jersey. His subject will be: "Rev Martin Luther King and Rabbi Abraham Heschel: What They Shared Beyond the Pictures. My Memories."
• On the weekend of February 3 - 4, 2018, Rabbi Zelizer will be the weekend scholar in residence in Cong Etz Hayim, Marietta Georgia. His subjects will be both "Religion and Violence : Why? What Can We Do About It?" and "Rev Martin Luther King and Rabbi Abraham Heschel: What They Shared Beyond the Pictures. My Memories." At a reception for benefactors he will speak about "Bloopers in My Rabbinate: What Would You Do?"
"How to Implement Change Within a Synagogue Without Alienating the Core" Workshop at Hartman Rabbinic Institute, Jerusalem, Israel, Summer 2015. 30 to 40 rabbis inattendance.
"What Do We Do with the Violence in the ' Old Testament"? Camp Ramah In The Poconos - Summer 2015 - Shabbat afternoon study session with visitors, staff and other rabbis. 30 in attendance.
"Creating Your Own Theology: What Can a Jew Believe in the 21st Century?" Congregation Adath Israel, Caldwell NJ- (Rabbi Alan Silverstein) - Summer, 2015, Course - five sessions with lectures, discussion and reading material. 40 students in attendance.
"The Writing of Opinion Columns by Clergy in Newspapers" - Union Theological Seminary - Friday, October 23 , 2015 , guest lecturer in class on The Clergy As Public Intellectual, taught by Professor Samuel Freedman. 15 students in attendance.
"Politics and the Pulpit: Whether; When; and Where the Rabbi Should Take A Stand" - Jewish Federation of Bergen County - Feb 2, 2016 - Rabbis only retreat. Presentation: "My Approach to Politics on The Pulpit" - followed by panel discussion with colleagues fromConservative, Reform and Orthodox Judaism. 30 rabbis in attendance.
"What Can A Jew Believe in the 21st Century? Modern Jewish Thought of Kaplan, Heschel,Borowitz, and Leibowitz" - Congregation Oheb Shalom - South Orange NJ- (Rabbi MarkCooper) - March - April 2016, four sessions, including lectures, discussion and readingmaterial. 40 students in attendance.
"New Ways of Thinking About Old Holidays" - Congregation Agudath Israel,Caldwell, NJ, (Rabbi Alan Silverstein) - four sessions with lectures, discussion and reading material. Wednesdays, September 7, 14, 21 and 28, 7:00 - 9:00PM. Open to all. $15 for non-members.
"Sermon Sparks That Still Sparkle"- High Holiday Sermon plus Prayers seminars with Rabbinical Assembly of New Jersey, Congregation Bnai Tikveh, South Brunswick, Thursday, September 8. Rabbinical Assembly of Lower Hudson Valley, Rockland County, Tuesday, September 13.
High Holiday Homer L'Drush in a Polarized Election Season: National webinar for rabbis: Texts, Topics and Framing - Session 2 When: Friday, September 9th, 1:30 PM (EDT) Presenters: Rabbi Jack Riemer and Rabbi Gerald Zelizer. NJ and Lower Hudson Valley.
“Torah Study on Parshat Vayakhel and Shekalim" - Princeton Jewish Center- (Rabbi AdamFeldman) - Shabbat March 5, 2016 - 30 students
"Building a Synagogue Community- The Rabbi's Work- Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow" -Congregation Shaarei Tefilah - Perth Amboy, N.J. (Rabbi Ari Saks) - March 13, 2016 - 8people in attendance.
"Violence in Religion- Why, and What Can We Do About It?" Hillel at Dickenson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, (Director - Professor Ted Merwin) - lunch, lecture, and also conducting Friday night services - Hillel Foundation at Dickenson College, Carlisle, PA - April 6-8, 2016. 30 college students and adults from surrounding community.
"Violence In Religion - Why and What Can We Do About It?" - Guest Speaker - Saturday, November 19, 9:30 AM - ( Parshat Vayera) Fairlawn Jewish Center, Fairlawn, New Jersey.
Guest speaker - "Reverend King and Rabbi Heschel. Their Message; My Memories." - Jewish Community Center of Harrison NY, January 14, 2017
Scholar In Residence "Why Is Religion Violent and What Can We Do About It?" - Congregation Beth El, East Windsor, New Jersey, January 27-28, 2017
Subjects Taught (Continued):
1. Faith and Doubt After 9 -11- PBS trigger video on topic and study of Jewish texts from Bible through Modernity on subject " Why Bad Things Happen to Good People"
2. “What Can we Believe in the 21st Century?” – The Thought of Heschel, Kaplan, Hartman, Fakenheim and Borowitz.
3. “Comparing & Contrasting Judaism, Christianity, and Islam” – (The Islamic portion is in dialogue with Imam on topics of commonality (e.g. halachah/sharia)and differences (monotheism: attitudes to other religions)
4. “The Talmud: Why is it Important If We Have the Bible?”- Both ritual and ethical passages in the Humash with corresponding texts in rabbinic literature which expand and develop original Biblical source.
5. Violence in the “Old Testament” – What Do We Do With It? – How Rabbinic sources reformed the personal and national violence of the ‘Old Testament.’
6. Intermarriage and Related Issues: Patrilineality; Rabbinic Officiation: Outreach/Inreach.
7. “Religion and Judaism: Serving God or Enhancing One’s Life?” – Surveys of synagogue ads promoting membership as embellishing life, contrasted with Jewish thinkers who emphasize obedience to God (Leibowitz) versus rationales for the mitzvoth (Maimmides, Kaplan).
8. “Portals Into and Out of Being A Jew: Who is Jewish? Conversion; Apostasy”; Patrineality/Matrilineality
9. “Situational Talmud” – How the Rabbinic texts Address Issues Like: War and Peace, Birth Control and Abortion, other Faiths, Jesus and ten other exotic issues.
10. The Suburban Synagogue and Its Rabbi: A Case Study in How Institutional Religion Works. Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow.
11. Four questions Jews ask and Answers From texts: e.g. “Do I have to believe in God to be a good person?” “Is being a good person equal to being a good Jew."
12. Course Title. "Why Be Jewish? Serving God or Self Enhancement?"