Classes cover Judaism’s biggest and most inspiring ideas as well as the nuts and bolts of daily Jewish living. Over the 18 weeks, we’ll cover history, holidays, practices, text, and values, and we’ll tour a mikvah (ritual bath), hear from a Holocaust survivor, hold a model Passover seder, and more. In addition, we’ll start with Aleph-Bet (Hebrew alphabet) and either teach you to read Hebrew or help you brush up on your Hebrew skills.
Torah: Our People’s Story
- The Torah opens with the words, “In the beginning,” and for thousands of years, that has been the starting point for all Jewish learning. This class is a sweeping introduction to the Torah — its transformative ideas and vivid characters. It starts in the Garden of Eden and ends at the edge of the Promised Land.
Ancient Israel: Kings, Priests, and Prophets
- The Hebrew Bible records the first thousand years of Jewish history — including the stories of the kings and judges, poets, and prophets who shaped the Jewish People from the beginning.
Two Jews… Three Opinions
- The Jewish People is not (and never has been) monolithic. Explore the many ways of being Jewish, and find where you fit in the Jewish story in this conversation about identity, pluralism, and the value of difference.
Sacred Days: The Festivals of the Year
- Jews live by the rhythms of two calendars: one secular and the other sacred. In this class, we’ll dig into the Jewish calendar, with its seasons of celebration and reflection, to discover the transformative and timeless themes encoded in our holy days.
Shabbat: A Cathedral in Time
- Shabbat is the greatest Jewish invention: a weekly vacation from ordinary time, a chance to unplug from our distractions and reconnect with ourselves and each other. In this class, we’ll explore the most essential holiday of the Jewish calendar, a day that Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel called “a palace in time.”
Prayer: Keva and Kavanna
- One famous mystic taught that just as important as the black letters on the page are the white spaces that surround them. In this class, we’ll explore the meaning and depth behind Jewish spiritual language, as well as the sometimes confusing choreography and customs of the synagogue.
Passover: Exodus and Us
- Once we were slaves, so we know the importance of freedom for all people. In this class, we’ll examine our history, retell our story of liberation, and learn why Jews have, since our earliest beginnings, been at the forefront of the struggle for human dignity.
- Israel literally means “to wrestle with God.” In this class, we’ll enter into that sacred struggle as we consider the many different paths that Jews take to connect with the Holy One.
The Rabbinic Revolution
- After the Bible, our most important set of religious books is made up of nearly 5,000 arguments, of which 99% are left unresolved. In this class, we’ll examine the history, ideology, and fierce debates of the Rabbinic Revolution, which continues to shape the Judaism of today.
Days of Awe
- Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are our annual opportunities to examine our lives and start fresh. In this class, we’ll learn how the High Holy Days can help you repair relationships, gain new perspective, and return to the best in you.
Jews + Food
- We sit down to eat multiple times a day. Kashrut teaches us that each time we do, it can be an opportunity to affirm our deepest values. In this class, we’ll focus on eating mindfully and making each bite sacred.
Under Crescent and Cross
- In this class, we’ll meet some of the most colorful and important characters in Jewish history: From the mystics who probed the hidden world of Kabbalah to the Sultan’s physician who taught that science and religion could be reconciled and the French winemaker who forever revolutionized Jewish study.
The Greatest Blessing
- Does God belong in the bedroom? How about under the wedding canopy? In this class, we’ll learn what Judaism has to say about love, marriage, and intimacy.
From Generation to Generation
- Between the bris and the bar mitzvah, a lot goes into raising a Jewish child. In this class, we’ll discuss the joys and oys of Jewish parenting.
Life’s Hard Times
- Judaism teaches us to approach life’s hardest moments with compassion and community. In this class, we’ll explore the sacred practices that help us navigate grief and heartache and move from sadness to renewed life.
Hatred and Heroism
- The Holocaust is the darkest chapter in Jewish history, a time of unimaginable suffering and sorrow. In this class, we’ll examine the history, hear testimony, and recommit to building a world in which, someday, such horrors will be impossible.
Israel: A Great Dream
- From the beaches of Tel Aviv to Jerusalem’s “Western Wall,” and from the sands of the Negev Desert to the snowy peaks and vineyards of the Golan, in this class, we’ll explore the complicated and beautiful story of the re-birth of the Jewish State.
The Jewish Mission to Heal the World
- In our final class, we’ll ask the question: “Does Judaism have an essential teaching?” as we explore key concepts like tzedakah (righteous giving), tzelem Elohim (the image of God), and tikkun olam (healing the world).