We’ll be reading What Would You do if you Weren’t Afraid as a community throughout Elul to prepare for the High Holy Days.

A former leadership coach, and current head of culture at TikTok Europe, author Michal Oshman uses Jewish wisdom to help spark conversations about our own beliefs, our sense of self, and our relationships with others.

The self-reflection Oshman encourages is an excellent start to t’shuvah, returning to ourselves and to community. Her words help us to move into the new year inspired and purposeful.

In Oshman’s words, “There is endless potential for growth everywhere. Even the broken shards, even the most uncomfortable thoughts, even the brokenness of my own imperfection can eventually be transformed into something good.”

Join us on this journey with our weekly Elul bookclub, starting Thursday 12 August. More details below.

While many of us draw on liturgy weekly for guidance – “My God, guard my speech from evil… help me to be modest, holding my tongue even when people slander me” – we often look to various non-Jewish sources for support, particularly when it comes to our workplaces and to raising children.

Michal Oshman reminds us of the timelessness of Jewish teachings, and shows how they can be applied to the relationships we have with our colleagues, our children, and even our former classmates.

Oshman explores many Chassidut, introducing how concepts such as bittul, tzimtzum, tzedakah and chinuch can help us better deal with life’s challenges.

Even those seasoned in Jewish ideas are encouraged to take something new, examining these ideas from the angle of leadership and using them to reflect on how we relate to others.

On tzimtzum, Oshman states, “Even when we have the power and authority to take all the space, we should ‘contract’ ourselves to make space for others; space for them to express different voices, feelings, emotions and ideas. Taking up less space allows us to help others grown, and ourselves grow as well – by learning humility and compassion.”

Join us for our Elul Bookclub

Three sessions (online & in-person if COVID safety allows) facilitated by Rabbi Gersh Lazarow & Caroline Paz culminating in a communal text study which will lead into our S’lichot service.

  • Session 1: Thursday 12th August, 8-9.30pm
    • Chapters: 1 – 3
    • Themes: Mitzrayim, Neshama & Bittul
  • Session 2: Thursday 19th August, 8-9.30pm
    • Chapters: 4 – 6
    • Themes: Gesher, Shvira & Tzimtzum
  • Session 3: Thursday 26th August, 8-9.30pm
    • Chapters: 7 – 9
    • Themes: Tikkun, Tzedakah & Chinuch
  • Leil S’lichot:  Saturday 28th August, 8-9.30pm
    • Chapter: 10
    • Theme: T’shuvah