BRATTLEBORO >> The Brattleboro Area Jewish Community is hosting a number of upcoming events.

On April 10, from 3 to 5 p.m., the BAJC presents "That's Funny — You Don't Look Gnostic!" Explore Gnosticism with Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Keiner.

Gnosticism is the shared root of Jewish, Christian and other ancient Mediterranean faiths and cultures. But just what exactly is shared between these various religions? What is Gnosticism? How is it embedded in Jewish text, life and practice today? During the afternoon with Rabbi Andrea, participants will explore the core concepts of the Jewish mystical tradition and its Gnostic roots. He will ask what the core insights of this tradition are, and how it is reflected today in the communities. As these principles draw us into a deeper understanding of our own beliefs and practices, all will also gain the ability to have meaningful interfaith dialogue with others.

Andrea Cohen-Kiener life-long activist, teacher and Jewish leader, is the rabbi at Temple Israel in Greenfield, Mass. For 10 years, Andrea led the Inter-Religious Eco-Justice Network, a Connecticut faith-based initiative in environmental theology and practice, while serving as the spiritual leader of Congregation Pnai Or of Central Connecticut. Before that, she was the director of Midrasha Community Hebrew High School in West Hartford and spent a two year sabbatical in residence at Rochester Folk Art Guild. Delegation leader for the Compassionate Listening Project, Andrea has led citizen delegations to Israel and the West Bank and leads a monthly CL practice group at Temple Israel, Greenfield. She has degrees in Hebrew Literature, Secondary Education and Pastoral Counseling.


She is the author of several books, including a rich translation of B'nai Machshava Tova, by the martyred Rebbe, Kalanymous Kalman Shapira of the Warsaw Ghetto.

On April 10, from 1 to 3 p.m., join the BAJC as it crafts items for the homeless population in the area. Using traditional crafts, participants will make hats, scarves, blankets and sleeping mats from yarn and fleece fabric. Crafting for the Homeless is in its second year of meeting on the first Sunday of the month at Brattleboro Area Jewish Community, Congregation Shir Heharim.

Some people come to learn to knit or crochet, others arrive with projects already underway. Some are members of BAJC; some are not. All are welcome. All projects are donated to Groundworks Collaborative.

Meetings are lively and welcoming, with adults and children of both genders who talk and work and share ideas and thoughts. Some people take yarn home to continue their work on projects. In addition to some funding from BAJC, the congregation welcomes donations of yarn. For questions or comments, call Janet Athens at 802-254-8454.

The BAJC will host a Community Passover Seder on Saturday, April 23, at the West Village Meeting House at 5:30 p.m. Main dishes will be catered by Sharon Myers, and Cantor Kate Judd will be leading a traditional Jewish seder. You don't have to be Jewish to share this journey — all families and individuals are welcome. Reservations by phone at 802-257-0922 or 802-257-1959 or via Adults $25, Children under 10 $18, Children under 4 are free. Additional donations to enable everyone who wishes to participate will be accepted. If the cost is a hardship a confidential accommodation will be made, no questions asked.

Other events at the BAJC include Shabbat Services at 10 a.m. on April 2 and April 10

The Brattleboro Area Jewish Community is located at 151 Greenleaf Street in West Brattleboro. For more information, visit