Telephone Torah Study: Archive

After more than a decade, the Telephone Minyan/Telephone Torah Study is hanging up the phone to clear the way for innovative programs that continue serve the current needs of our ever-changing community.

The Telephone Minyan was founded in 2005 by five BCC members who were homebound at that time: Ray Eelsing, Bob Adels, Evelyn Poplawski, Sarah Trutt and I. Feeling isolated from our Jewish spirituality and BCC community inspired us to study the weekly Torah portion via conference phone. Soon after, others who sought connection and community for varied reasons — distance, travel, and recuperation from temporary illness or surgery — joined in. Quickly, Telephone Minyan events broadened as we added High Holy Day and Yom HaShoah services, along with classes-by-phone led by scholars throughout the United States.

Over time, people called in to the Telephone Minyan from remote places like Brazil, Germany, North Dakota, and the San Fernando Valley. We even made forays into providing remote access to BCC’s regular Shabbat services--remember those days at 6000 Pico when we balanced the conference phone on the bimah while the clergy led services?

Most proudly, the Telephone Minyan was the kickstarter to the highly successful BCC Live and its motto—Wherever you go, BCC goes with you! Since 2011 when we moved to our new building, BCC has been able to live-stream its weekly Shabbat services, members’ simchas, classes, guest speakers and special events to a worldwide audience—and archives the videos for those who missed them or want to forward the link to friends. The humble telephone may have been replaced by state-of-the-art technology, but the original aim remains the same—to provide connection and community to all who seek it.

I feel honored to have been given the opportunity to chair and facilitate the Telephone Minyan these many years. I thank all those who helped make it a trailblazer in re-envisioning community for BCC and the larger Jewish and LGBT communities. Check the G’vanim and BCC website for more to come in the secular New Year 2015.

- Bracha Yael

Telephone Minyan/Torah Study Final Farewell

written on December 26, 2014 // 0 Comments

January 8th, Thursday, 4-5pm Telephone Minyan/Torah Study Final Farewell. After 10 years the Telephone Minyan/Torah study is hanging up the […]

Telephone Torah Study: When Dreams Come True

written on December 16, 2014 // 0 Comments

In this week’s Torah portion— Mikeitz (Genesis 41:1-44:17)—Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dreams and rises to power, his brothers journey to Egypt […]

Telephone Torah Study: Joseph in Living Color

written on December 9, 2014 // 0 Comments

This week’s Torah portion— Vayeishev (Genesis 37:1-40:23)—tells of Joseph’s foibles, dreams, trials, tribulations and most famously his technicolor coat. To […]

Telephone Torah Study: Wrestling With God

written on December 2, 2014 // 0 Comments

In this week’s Torah portion— Vayishlach (Genesis 32:4-36:43)—Jacob wrestles with the divine and for his efforts is renamed Israel.  Also, […]

Telephone Torah Study: Torah’s Great Dysfunctional Family

written on November 18, 2014 // 0 Comments

This week’s Torah portion, Toldot (Genesis 25:19-28:9) highlights one of the most dysfunctional families in Torah. Isaac and Rebekah have […]

Telephone Torah Study: Are You Kind?

written on November 11, 2014 // 0 Comments

This week’s Torah portion, Chayei Sarah (Genesis 23:1-25:18) tells of three important events: Sarah’s death and burial, Isaac and Rebekah’s […]

Telephone Torah Study: What was the Real Sin of Sodom and Gomorrah?

written on November 4, 2014 // 0 Comments

This week’s Torah portion, Vayeira (Genesis 18:1-22:24) recounts the hospitality of Abraham and Sarah, birth and binding of Isaac, the […]

Lech L’cha: Telephone Torah Study

written on October 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Lech L’cha (Gen. 12:1-17:27) sets Abram and Sarai (later known as Abraham and Sarah) on their great adventure. The portion […]

Telephone Torah Study: The Rainbow Covenant

written on October 21, 2014 // 0 Comments

Noach (Gen. 6:9-11:32) the second portion in the Book of Genesis is a hit list of favorite stories. Noah’s Ark, […]

In the Beginning … We start Genesis this Week!

written on October 14, 2014 // 0 Comments

Yeah! The Book of Genesis! Over the next couple of months we’ll enjoy all our favorite stories. Bereshit (Gen. 1:1- […]