Kraft Educational Foundation

The Rabbi Jacob Kraft Educational Foundation was established in 1988 in memory of Rabbi Kraft, who served as the Rabbi for Congregation Beth Shalom from 1930 – 1970 and as Rabbi Emeritus from 1970 – 1987 with a brief hiatus during World War II when he was a chaplain in the U.S. Armed Forces from 1943 – 1946.

The Foundation furthers Rabbi Kraft’s life-long devotion to learning by funding educational programs to enrich the congregation and the community. These programs cover areas such as scholars-in-residence, congregational Kallahs, education for parents of Hebrew School students, continuing education and enrichment for teachers, scholarships for higher education and special programs like, religious camps and trips to Israel for children in the school. The fund initially raised approximately $250,000. An independent, rotating Board of Trustees governs the foundation.

Rabbi Jacob Kraft was a man of righteousness, wisdom, and love. His life inspired others to appreciate the true values in life and to achieve their full potential. He was a magnificent spiritual leader of our congregation and in our community. Through the foundation, Rabbi Kraft’s influence continues to be felt by present and future generations.

Board of Trustees:

Gary Harad, Chair (Email)
Rabbi Ellen Bernhardt
Steven Klein
Bethany Kutz
Myrna Ryder
Edward Sobel

Steven Pressman

Sunday, August 23, 2020; 7:00pm
Via Zoom

Steven Pressman will talk about his book, "50 Children: One Ordinary American Couple's Rescue Mission into the Heart of Nazi Germany." In Elise Cooper's interview with Mr. Pressman, she stated the following: "The author superbly intertwines the events of Nazi tyranny toward the Jews with the theme of hope, showing how two Jewish Americans, Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus, took up their call to duty, as they became involved with rescuing refuges in 1939". This Zoom program is open to the community.

Rabbi Benay Lappe

Sunday, November 1, 2020; 7:00pm
Via Zoom - Click Here

In this talk, SVARA’s Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Benay Lappe lays out our foundational philosophy of human change; a road-map through transformation of all kinds– societal, religious, organizational, or personal; a core framework for understanding the Talmud and the rabbinic revolution that gave rise to it; and a way for us to understand the big questions of the moment. The CRASH Talk will explain where the Talmud came from, why it was written, what its purpose is, and why the study of it has been so important for Judaism and the formation of the Jewish mind.

Biography

Rabbi Benay Lappe is the Founder of Rosh Yeshiva of SVARA. Ordained by The Jewish Theological Seminary in 1997, Benay is an award-winning educator specializing in the application of queer theory to Talmud study. Benay was named to The Forward’s 2014 List of Most Inspiring Rabbis, is a Joshua Venture Fellow, and is a recipient of the prestigious 2016 Covenant Award for excellence and innovation in Jewish education. While learning and teaching Talmud are her greatest passions, Benay is also a licensed pilot, shoemaker, and patent-holding inventor.

Georgia Hunter

Sunday, January 31, 2021; 7:00pm- Presentation
"We Were the Lucky Ones"

New York Times Best-Seller Author, Georgia Hunter, at age 15, learned she came from a family of Holocaust survivors. She will share what the decade-long journey of unearthing and recording her family history entailed and how it influenced her book. We Were the Lucky Ones, has been translated into 13 languages and received numerous awards.