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IAP 2011 Activities by Category

Religion and Ethics

B’Seder: An Interactive Evening of Art and the Polish-Jewish Narrative
Ian Wojtowicz
Wed Jan 26, 06:30-08:00pm, The Media Lab, E14-1

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

B'Seder," an interactive art experience exploring Polish-Jewish relations,
aims to "create order" in a terrain described by some as a minefield and by
others as a trove of great potential. The artist leads discussion using a
“memory palace”: a large photomontage print filled with mnemonic objects
symbolizing the intersecting and sometimes fraught thousand year history of
Poles and Jews. Kosher refreshments served.
Contact: Ian Wojtowicz, iwoj@mit.edu
Sponsor: Hillel

Chocolate Factory Tour at the  Taza Chocolate Company 
Rabbi Gershon Segal
Wed Jan 19, 03:30-05:30pm, Meet at W11

Enrollment limited: advance sign up required (see contact below)
Signup by: 18-Jan-2011
Limited to 15 participants.
Single session event

Taza Chocolate was born out of a desire to combine the Mesoamerican tradition of chocolate with a modern,high-quality product manufactured in a socially responsible way. A new specialty chocolate maker right here in Somerville, MA. The entire process is on premise from grinding the beans to packaging. Taza Chocolate crafts an artisan product that's stone-ground. All organic and natural and kosher pareve. Sampling included in tour.
Contact: Rabbi Gershon Segal, hillel@mit.edu
Sponsor: Hillel

Film Series: Exploring Islam through Movies
Nasruddin Nazerali
No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Participants welcome at individual sessions (series)

A weekly series of films portraying various aspects of Islam and Muslim history, followed by discussion. (Note: film lengths vary as shown below. Film screening, in each case, to be followed by discussion.)

Tentative schedule is below.
Contact: Nasruddin Nazerali, nazerali@mit.edu
Sponsor: Muslim Chaplaincy

Inside Mecca (National Geographic) (0:45)
Nasruddin Nazerali
One of religion's most spiritual locations, the city of Mecca has been the epicenter for Islam since the beginning of time. This insightful documentary explains the history behind the legendary pilgrimage to the holy city, showcasing a group of individuals whose lives are forever changed by the indescribably powerful experience.
Tue Jan 4, 06-07:30pm, 2-139

Muhammad : Legacy of a Prophet (PBS) (1:54)
Nasruddin Nazerali
This film examines the impact of the Muslim prophet from his own life in the seventh century to contemporary times. In his life, Muhammad was both a religious and political leader who shaped Islam. Today more than a billion people all over the world follow in his footsteps, and this documentary features interviews with several American Muslims.
Tue Jan 11, 06-08:15pm, 2-139

Al-Ghazali: Alchemist of Happiness (1:19)
Nasruddin Nazerali
Al-Ghazali was a great spiritual and legal philosopher in Islamic history. This film examines Ghazali's existential crisis of faith that arose from his rejection of religious dogmatism, and reveals profound parallels with our own times. Ghazali's path of love and spiritual excellence overcame the pitfalls of the organised religion of his day. This film argues that Ghazali's Islam is the antidote for today's terror.
Tue Jan 25, 06-07:45pm, 2-139

Prince Among Slaves (UPF) (1:00)
Nasruddin Nazerali
In 1788 a ship set sail from West Africa, its berth laden with a profitable but fragile cargo: hundreds of men, women and children headed for American shores. Eight months later the survivors were sold in Natchez, Mississippi. Among them was the heir to the throne of one of the largest kingdoms in Africa. After 40 years of enslavement, a chance encounter finally led to a breakthrough, but a bittersweet one ....
Thu Jan 27, 06-07:30pm, 2-139

Introduction to Jewish Meditation
Reb Julia Appel
Thu Jan 13, Tue Jan 18, Thu Jan 20, 04-05:00pm, MIT Chapel

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Participants welcome at individual sessions (series)

We are experiencing a worldwide renewal of interest in spirituality. Although much of mainstream American Judaism has focused on set prayer services, holidays, and intellectual learning, Judaism also has a rich history of meditation and mystical practice. Using song, silence, and heart, we will learn techniques for calming the mind, focusing the spirit, and making room for the Divine. No experience necessary.
RSVP preferred by the date of each class, but not necessary for attendance
Contact: Reb Julia Appel, appel@mit.edu
Sponsor: Hillel

Introduction to Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah
Rabbi Michelle Fisher
Tue Jan 11, 18, 25, 12-01:30pm, W11 Community Room

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Participants welcome at individual sessions (series)

Learn the basics of Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah — and find out how much more depth there is to Jewish mysticism than Madonna. We’ll listen to Matisyahu, study the Zohar and other Kabbalistic texts, and open ourselves to Jewish thought. Topics to be explored include: “Hidden and Revealed,” “Love: the Mystical Path,” and “Fixing the World”. No background or prior knowledge necessary.
Lunch provided
Contact: Rabbi Michelle Fisher, W11-039, x3-2982, rabbif@mit.edu
Sponsor: Hillel

Islam 101
Suheil Laher, Ahmed Rashed
Thu Jan 6, 06-07:30pm, 1-134

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up

- Is Islam a religion of peace, as former-President Bush declared after 9/11?
- What is the Muslims' concept of God? The afterlife?
- Who was the Prophet Muhammad?
- What do Muslims say about Moses? Jesus?
- What are the 5 pillars of Islamic practice (devotion)?
- What is the Shariah?

An opportunity to see beyond common misconceptions and negative media coverage.and to learn first hand about the beliefs and practices that characterize the vibrant, fourteen-century-old faith professed by over a billion people worldwide.

Bring all your questions, there will be time for discussion!
Contact: Suheil Laher, msa_imam@mit.edu
Sponsor: Muslim Chaplaincy

Islamic Theology
Suheil Laher
No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Participants welcome at individual sessions (series)

Why do we exist? What happens after death?
A theology is a worldview that answers these questions. This series (3 lectures with Q&A) explains the core concepts of Muslim theology: Belief in God, Revelation and Afterlife. It is suitable both for non-Muslims, who seek insight into this, and Muslims, who want a more detailed understanding or review. Other topics include: Reason and Faith, Resurrection, Destiny & Free Will.
Contact: Suheil Laher, W11, (617) 448-6361, msa_imam@mit.edu
Sponsor: Muslim Chaplaincy

Concept of God
Suheil Laher
This session focuses on the first and most important core belief: belief in God (Allah). We will start with an overview of Islam, and some other preliminaries, including the role of reason in Islam, then move on to talk about the existence of God and God's attributes.
Thu Jan 13, 06-07:30pm, 1-246

Scripture and Prophethood
Suheil Laher
This session discusses the Attributes of God, and also touches on the concept of human free will. We then go on to the second core belief of Islam: the belief in prophets as mortal human beings who conveyed God's guidance to mankind. We also talk about books (scriptures) which some of these prophets received from God.
Tue Jan 18, 06-07:30pm, 1-246

Suheil Laher
The final session in the series wraps up the belief in Prophethood and Scripture, then turns to explore Muslim belief in the life after death, including concepts of the soul, human responsibility, and judgment.
Thu Jan 20, 06-07:30pm, 1-246

Modern Food Technology and Kosher Certification
Rabbi Gershon Segal
Thu Jan 13, 20, 27, 05-06:00pm, W11, Community Dinn

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Participants welcome at individual sessions (series)

Genetic engineering, microbiology, enzymes and computer technology are all components of food manufacturing today. How do the centuries old kashruth regulations relate to these advances in food technology? How do they impact the kosher certification of food products today.
Contact: Rabbi Gershon Segal, hillel@mit.edu
Sponsor: Hillel

Morning Meditation
Elliott Hedman
Mon-Fri, Jan 12-14, 17-21, 24-28, 08-09:00am, Bexley - Room 101, Call 970-389-3047 to get in

No limit but advance sign up required (see contact below)
Repeating event. Participants welcome at any session

Start your day off with mindfulness and serenity.

Each morning we will be meditating for about an hour. No experience necessary. No pillow necessary. The instructor is not an expert but will be glad to help you learn how to clear your mind, listen to yourself, and appreciate all that is around you.
Web: http://lee.org/reading/general/Hampsterdance/
Contact: Elliott Hedman, 101, (970) 389-3047, hedman@mit.edu
Sponsor: Buddhist Community

The Reason for God - free dinner and discussion
Chris Swanson
No limit but advance sign up required (see contact below)
Participants welcome at individual sessions (series)

Come for a FREE dinner and a discussion around common objections about Christianity. We will start at 5:30 pm (not 5pm as previously stated). We will be meeting at Baker Hall in one of the study rooms for the first meeting. Please call 515-451-9542 if you have trouble getting into Baker. Email us to get updates on the location.

People of all viewpoints are welcome to attend. Each session will include dinner, 20 minute video, and then and open dialogue about the following topics:

Jan. 17 - Isn’t the Bible a Myth?
Jan. 18 - Can You Say There Is Only One Way to God?
Jan. 19 - What Gives You the Right to Tell Me How to Live My Life?
Jan. 24 - Why Does God Allow Suffering?
Jan. 25 - Why Is the Church Responsible for So Much Injustice?
Jan. 26 - How Can God Be Full of Love and Wrath at the Same Time?

Please let us know which session(s) you want to attend so we know how much food to have available. Email cswanson@mit.edu. See video trailer at the following website for more info.
Web: http://vimeo.com/16736762
Contact: Chris Swanson, (515) 451-9542, cswanson@mit.edu
Sponsor: Campus Crusade for Christ

Isn’t the Bible a Myth?
Chris Swanson
This discussion will look at the common questions surrounding the reliability of the Bible.
Mon Jan 17, 05:30-07:15pm, Baker Hall, TV room

How Can You Say There Is Only One Way to God?
Chris Swanson
How do we respond to the "exclusive" truth claims of various worldviews, including Christianity. Is it okay to hold an exclusive worldview? Do we all have exclusive worldviews? How can we live peacefully together?
Tue Jan 18, 05:30-07:15pm, Baker Hall - TV room

What Gives You the Right to Tell Me How to Live My Life?
Chris Swanson
Doesn't Christianity inhibit my personal freedom? It seems like there are lots of rules to follow.
Wed Jan 19, 05:30-07:15pm, Baker Hall - TV room

Why Does God Allow Suffering?
Chris Swanson
One of the hardest human questions - why is there suffering in the world. If God exists, why doesn't he do something?
Mon Jan 24, 05:30-07:15pm, email for location

Why Is the Church Responsible for So Much Injustice?
Chris Swanson
Hasn't the church caused a lot of problems in the past? Why are Christians such hypocrites?
Tue Jan 25, 05:30-07:15pm, email for location

How Can God Be Full of Love and Wrath at the Same Time?
Chris Swanson
Isnt' the idea of a loving God contradictory to a God who is wrathful? Is it possible to be both loving and wrathful and be consistent?
Wed Jan 26, 05:15-07:30pm, email for location

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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Last update: 7 Sept. 2011