Long summer Shabbos afternoons mean more learning opportunities at the Young Israel of Jamaica Estates. How is a convert considered an immigrant? How did the famous Langer Sibling case affect the landscape of religious politics in Israel? Do we get punished for our evil intentions? From Modern Jewish History to Halachah to Machashavah, these are just a sampling of the questions being explored during YIJE’s annual “Perek on the Lawn” summer series at YIJE. Over sumptuous Shabbos treats, each Shabbos afternoon before Minchah, seasoned educators and homegrown scholars spend an hour sharing their Torah and insight with fellow community members.

YIJE’s charismatic mara d’asra, Rabbi Dr. Dov Lerner, kicked off the series this year with “Why I can never be President” as he transitioned from a series related to the topic of conversion, followed by Dr. Avi Freilich on “Two Siblings and a National Crisis” discussing the Langer case. Rabbi Dr. Larry Grossman reflected on his close personal relationship with Rabbi Simcha Krauss a”h in his presentation entitled “The Gadol Who Lived in Walking Distance.”

Just before the Nine Days, Yoetzet Halachah and YU High School for Girls Head of School, Bracha Rutner, spent an entire Shabbos as Scholar-in-Residence. She began on Shabbos morning with a thoughtful analysis of the judicial system of the Cities of Refuge, as outlined in the parshah, and the dubious role of the go’eil ha’dam. In her “Perek on the Lawn” afternoon shiur, “Does Torah believe in a Thought Police?” she compared and contrasted the different types of thought that can impact potentially sinful behavior. At S’udah Sh’lishis, she recounted three stories from the Gemara, highlighting the timeless lessons we can learn from them.

The Summer series continues after Tish’ah B’Av with presentations by Michael Appel on Shabbos Nachamu on “Yearning for the Temple: What Makes It Holy?” and by Rabbi Moshe Taub of the Young Israel of Holliswood speaking on “Transgender Issues and the Role of Halachah in Our Lives” on August 20. The final installment will be a shiur delivered by Dr. Marian Stoltz-Loike, Dean of Touro’s Lander College for Women, on “A Complicated T’shuvah: Herod and the Rebuilding of the Second Temple.” Men and women from Jamaica Estates and neighboring communities are welcome to join for the remainder of this thought-provoking series. The full schedule and more information can be found at www.yije.org.