Events From Scientists in Synagogues

Events From Scientists in Synagogues

Each of the congregations selected by Scientists in Synagogues agreed to create events and programming surrounding Judaism and science. The topics they explore range from the neuroscience of free will to astrobiology to technology. Here are some events they’ve had in the past.

Genesis Project: Like Parent, Like Child?

December 13, 2017

Do traditional texts complement, or contradict, behavioral genetics?


Life and Meaning in a Magnificent Universe: An Astronomer’s Perspective

November 12, 2017

Dr. Jennifer Wiseman, senior astrophysicist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Director of Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER), speaks at Congregation Beth El of Montgomery County.

Black Swan Events

November 9, 2017

When the unexpected happens, what’s technology got to do with it, and what do we do next?

You’ve Got a Friend?

November 2, 2017

How Facebook, social media, and our phones are changing how we are wired.


The Genesis Project: Day Five—Kosher Pork? Lab-Grown Hearts?

lab-grown meat

October 30, 2017

Actual meat grown in a dish, not on the farm? Bio-identical organs created in the lab? Explore the scientific issues associated with the challenges that human-made meat and tissues create.


Do I Want It? How We Find Meaning In a Technological Age

October 26, 2017

How have computers changed human possibilities and behavior with each technological leap?


A Rabbi Walks Into a Psychology Class

July 28, 2017 (weekly Shabbat class)

Rabbi Yaakov Jaffe explores the connections between Judaism and psychology in this weekly Shabbat class at Maimonides Kehillah in Brookline, Massachusetts.


Does Artificial Intelligence Alter Free Will?

June 3, 2017

As part of Scientists in Synagogues, Wendell Wallach, of Yale’s Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, will be speaking at Temple Israel Center of White Plains on Shabbat morning June 3.


When Science and Halacha Meet: Collaboration or Confrontation?

June 3, 2017

As part of Scientists in Synagogues, on Shabbat of June 3rd, Maimonides will be hosting Ms. Sara Cheses, a graduate of the Nishmat Yoetzet Halacha program in their community.


How Artificial Intelligence and Technological Innovation are Transforming the Human Experience

May 8, 2017

Come to Congregation B’nai Shalom on May 8th to discuss how technological innovations might be transforming what we know about ourselves and our sense of purpose.

Is Natural “Better”? Why Do We Prefer the Natural Over the Man-Made?

May 7, 2017

This project seeks to engage science with Judaism to illuminate the theme of Natural and Man-made.


How and Why Do We Distinguish the Natural from the Man-Made?

April 23, 2017

This engages science with Judaism to illuminate the theme of Natural and Man-made.

The Genesis Project: Day Four — The God of Other Planets

April 20, 2017

What happens to our notion of ourselves when we discover life elsewhere? How will Judaism respond to another planetary Creation story?


How Are Humans Different From (the Rest of) Nature?

April 2, 2017

This engages science with Judaism to illuminate the theme of Natural and Man-made.


Reflections on Science and Jewish Tradition

February 26, 2017

Roald Hoffmann, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1981, will speak at a public lecture on how he lives in both the scientific and Jewish worlds.


How Free is Free Will? – The Psychology of Free Will

February 21, 2017

Explore questions of free will with a public lecture featuring Dr. Jonathan Crane, Raymond F. Schinazi Scholar in Bioethics and Jewish Thought at Emory University.


How Free is Free Will? – The Biology of Free Will

February 14, 2017

How Free is Free Will? – The Neuroscience of Moral Decision Making will explore how what we know about the brain aligns with traditional Jewish ideas about autonomy and self-determination.

The Genesis Project: Day Three — A-Life: Worth Living?

February 9, 2017

Life begins on the third day of Bereshit. Soon it will be possible to create artificial life, “A-Life”: designer cells and tissues, and, eventually, entire organisms. What ethical challenges does this pose?


What Did St. Augustine, Galileo, and Einstein Have To Say About Faith vs. Science?

January 29, 2017

Please join the STEM Professionals Affinity Group as we welcome guest speaker Professor Sylvester James Gates, University of Maryland.


The Genesis Project: Day Two — The Blessing of Difference: Havdalah, Science and the Senses

December 3, 2016

An interactive Havdalah service with hands-on science experiments for everyone.


The Genesis Project: Day One — Bereshit and the Big Bang. Is God a Particle Physicist?

October 20, 2016

In the beginning, there was Heaven and the Earth — and the Higgs Boson. Does Torah contemplate the Big Bang? Does the Eternal One work through physics?

The “End of the World” Has Happened Before – Eternity and the Eternal: Jewish and Scientific Understandings of Time

December 11, 2016

Session three, December 11, will be focused on endings and will include presentations from the scientists on the end of the universe and the end of life including the Sixth Extinction. There will also be a presentation of eschatology from a Jewish perspective.


Is This The Beginning or the End? – Eternity and the Eternal: Jewish and Scientific Understandings of Time

November 13, 2016

Session two, November 13, will focus on the meaning of time and will examine relativity, the geologic timescale and a look at the Jewish calendar.

Swiftly Flow the Years – Eternity and the Eternal: Jewish and Scientific Understandings of Time

October 16, 2016

Session one, October 16, will focus on beginnings and include cosmology, geology, paleontology, and a Jewish perspective on the moral dimension of the creation story.