16 April 2018


We are aware that many Bat Kol alums lack Torah study partners.   In response to this, Bat Kol has an exciting new proposal which offers a golden opportunity for international study together


Would you like to meet with a study partner/group


Now this can happen! And this is how it will work:


Bat Kol will assist with matching study partners, or small groups of, say, two, three or four maximum. To be part of this new project, will you please:


  1. Email Gill Putnam and Sandra Clark to let us know that you want to join, and suggest a partner/group if you know already who you would like to study with;
  2. If you don’t have names to suggest then contact Gill and Sandra, and we will pair/group you;
  3. Tell us which you want to use – Skype, WhatsApp, Facetime, etc. – and where you live so that we can match you according to media and time zones.


Our suggestion is that pairs/groups meet twice a month for six months, and then could change partners if the current pair/group has not meshed.


If you have any questions, please email Gill and Sandra;


As soon as we have enough names, we will be in touch with some suggestions, hints and tips on how this can work to bring you the joy of shared Torah study.


Dr Marcie Lenk, Bat Kol’s Academic Director, has met weekly with a study partner in the USA for several years and thoroughly recommends it.


We look forward to your response.


Shavua Tov!



Revd Gill Putnam

Executive Secretary

Bat Kol Institute for Jewish Studies


972 (0)54 7342227


14 March 2018

Dear Bat Kol Alums and Friends,


HOLD THE DATE! 4-25 July 2018


This is a reminder that there is still time to apply for a place on the July program. (See attached flyer.)

Please could you extend this reminder to family, colleagues and friends by:


  • sharing the flyer;
  • displaying it on noticeboards, in newsletters;
  • posting it on social media.

If you are personally unable to apply, perhaps you could encourage and mentor potential participant(s) and help them with their preparations such as seeking funding for the fee and travel costs? If you would like advice on this, please contact [popup_anything id=”2417″] .


Shalom blessings to each of you for your Lenten journey to a joyful Easter, from Bat Kol Institute Jerusalem team.



Revd Gill Putnam

Bat Kol Institute for Jewish Studies,





International Holocaust Memorial Day



A Note from Maureena

27 January 2018:

International Holocaust Memorial Day


For several years I taught a course on the Holocaust at the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto. It was a time of learning for myself. Perhaps one of the biggest lessons I learned was my own implication in what happened—each Good Friday I participated in the  solemn intercessory prayers, one of which was a prayer for the “perfidies Judaeis” which can mean “treacherous.”  It can also mean “faithless.” After Vatican II, the prayer was changed:


Let us pray

For the Jewish people,

The first to hear the word of God,

That they may continue to grow in the love of his name

And in faithfulness to his covenant.


That was a beginning step.  Other steps have been and continue to be taken. All Holy Scriptures of different faiths have problematic texts. On a day when we remember the murder of millions of Jews in Hitler’s Nazi Germany, let us repent, the first element of which is recognition of sin, of problematic texts in our own scriptures and repair them through reinterpretation.


The following quotations give me food for thought:


“Thou shalt not be a victim, thou shalt not be a perpetrator, but, above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.” – Yehuda Bauer


“Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common people, the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions.” – Primo Levi


“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation.” – Elie Wiesel





8 JANUARY 2018




Monday, January 08, 2018, the Church celebrates the Baptism of Jesus. This is the day we celebrate the founding of the Bat Kol Institute, now in existence for 35 years.


Two aspects of Bat Kol Institute are specifically remembered on the day the Church celebrates the Baptism of Jesus. These are:


            Our motto: “We will hear and we will do,” (Deut. 5.27).

            Our name:  “Bat Kol,” a Hebrew phrase for “Daughter of a Voice.”


According to the gospel reading of Mark 1, Jesus heard a Voice (a Bat Kol) that said, “You are my Son, the Beloved.”


The Bat Kol is a well know phrase in rabbinic literature.  The Bat Kol is represented in Jewish and Christian art as both a dove and the hand of God, a dove that hovers and a hand that leads.


Today, let us remember that God speaks to each one of us in our innermost selves and through all the events of our lives. A special task for today might be to focus on hearing and listening to all the sounds around us. 


May we close the day with: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. “


A blessed and happy feast to each one.











20 November 2017


Dear Alums,


Many of you know Bro Pierre Lenhardt, a Brother of Notre Dame de Sion.  In Paris, France, a day of study with different professors was held on 11th November in honor of his 90th birthday.  So that you too may participate in thanking God for Bro. Pierre’s special gift to Sion and to the Church, we offer you this link: Click here



Yom Kippur – prayer as a central element of the day

Dear Bat Kol alums and friends, 


I just spent a moving hour listening to Rabbi Jonathan Sacks on Understanding Prayer: The soul’s language (10/10)—a series of 10 short reflections, accompanied with song and artistic designs, related to Yom Kippur,  the holiest day of the year for our Jewish brothers and sisters.  As I listened and entered into the spirit of the festival I had a strong urge to share it with you. Here is the link.


I close with a Jewish greeting for this High Holy Day: 


“Gemar chatimah tovah” (גמר חתימה טובה) — may you be sealed for a good year.





Prof. Maureena Fritz, NDS. B.A., B.Ed., M.A., Ph.D.

Professor Emerita, USMC, U of T, Toronto

Academic & Administrative Director

Bat Kol Institute for Jewish Studies

Jerusalem, Israel



Shana tova!

Dear Friends,



The Jewish people commemorates today Rosh HaShana This Feast celebrates creation, the birthday of the universe when God created Adam and Eve and for this reason it is the head of the year, the new year of 5778 since creation.


As Rosh HaShana takes places during two days, we would like to invite you to join the Jewish community in prayer and joy by reading and reflecting on the texts that are used by the people of Israel:


Day one (21/ 09/ 2017):  Genesis 21: 1 – 34. On the first day of Rosh Hashanah, the Torah reading focuses on Patriarch Isaac’s birth.


Day Two (22/ 09/ 2017: Genesis 22: 1 – 24. The Torah reading for the second day of Rosh Hashanah discusses the Binding of Isaac.


שנה טובה, מתוקה ומברכת.

Shana Tova, metuca umevarechet.

A good, sweet and blessed year.


Tiago, NDS.

Vice – Director

Bat Kol Institute


NB: Head= רוש- Rosh;

The= ה- Ha; Year= שנה- Shana:

The head of the year.

Message for the Month of Elul

Dear Alums,


             The Biblical month of Elul (the sixth month preceding Tishri, the seventh month) is about to begin. Tishri, the seventh month, is the month of the High Holy Days in Judaism.  This is a very special time, a time when we can enter into the biblical world with our Jewish brothers and sisters, in a very special way.


Rosh HaShana (New Year) is celebrated on the first day of the month of Tishri (21 September. 2017):  “Speak to the people of Israel, saying: ‘in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of complete rest, a holy convocation commemorated with trumpet blasts’ (Lev. 23.24).


Yom Kippur: the tenth day of Tishri (30 September, 2017) “Now, the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you: you shall deny yourselves and present the LORD’s offering by fire; and you shall do no work during that entire day; for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement on your behalf before the Lord your God. (Lev. 23.27-28).


Sukkot (7 days): (5 October, 2017): “Speak to the people of Israel, saying: ‘on the fifteenth day of this seventh month, and lasting seven days, there shall be the festival of booths to the Lord’” (Lev. 23.34).


Sukkot VII & Shmini Atzeret: (12 October, 2017): Seven days you shall present the LORD’s offerings by fire; on the eighth day you shall observe a holy convocation and present the LORD’s offerings by fire; it is a solemn assembly; you shall not work at your occupations (Lev. 23.36).


              OF SPECIAL NOTE:  The month of Elul begins on Tuesday of this week, 22 August, 2017, a month in preparation for the High Holy Days.  The name Elul in Hebrew is an acrostic for the first four words of the Song of Songs, 6.3:  “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine”.   Every day during this month the shofar is blown and Psalm 27 is recited every day until the end of Sukkot (12 October).   


My reason for writing to you today is in the hope that we will all consider  reciting Psalm 27 every day during the month of Elul until the last day of Sukkot (12 October).  I am also sending you an article I wrote on Psalm 27 (Rejoice and Be Glad, Saint Mary’s Press, 1995) which has a commentary and reflections for the month.  



In order to get Maureena’s commentary on Psalm 27, please click here. 

Message from Maureena to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of The Ten Points of Seelisberg

Dear Bat Kol Alums and Friends,


Sabbath, 5 August 2017, is the 70th anniversary of The Ten Points of Seelisberg, issued by the International Council of Christians and Jews, 5 August, 1947:


I would like to add two points to these ten. My reason for doing so is that it is easy to denounce anti-Semitism in general terms as is common nowadays. We need to get specific. Hence:


11. Learn to read the New Testament in a manner that expresses our Christian relationship to Judaism as part of our own image (Jesus was a Jew and remained a faithful Jew).


12. Remember that the State of Israel is of basic importance to Jewish identity and that this relevance must be acknowledged by us Christians (this does not prevent us from disagreeing with certain decisions made by the government).  


Bat Kol will be celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Ten Points of Seelisberg in Jerusalem during the week of Oct 11-17, 2017.


May we hear the Voice of God in the celebration of this anniversary.




Prof. Maureena Fritz, NDS. B.A., B.Ed. M.A., Ph.D. 

Academic & Administrative Director

Bat Kol Institute for Jewish Studies

Jerusalem, Israel