Same day: Tuesday
Same time: Noon – 1:00 PM
Same place: Wise Center
Same topic: Torah!
Take a middle-of-the-day break to feed your mind. Fascinating content led by our expert rabbis and rabbinic interns will give you a deeper understanding of the Torah and its meaning in our lives.
All classes are a combined in-person and Zoom format. Please register and feel free to attend via Zoom or in-person.
Please register for all classes using the red registration buttons. We will send you additional information 24 hours before the program.
|Abraham Joshua Heschel: A Modern Prophet with Rabbi Goodman||July 19, 26,||Abraham Joshua Heschel, one of the most important thinkers and activists of the twentieth century, is still so resonant – even 50 years after his death. What is it about his life and writings that we find so encapsulating? What is the connection between Heschel’s “spiritual activism” and his reliance on classical Jewish sources? Join this two-part learning opportunity to learn about Heschel’s impact on each of us.|
|A Taste of Kabbalah with Rabbi Thomashow||August 2, 9,||This two-part series is designed to establish a vocabulary and a foundation for understanding Jewish mysticism. Who is credited with founding the Kabbalistic movement within Judaism? Who are the major Kabbalistic thinkers? What are the definitive Kabbalistic books? If you have always wanted to dip your toe into this spiritual/mystical element of Jewish tradition, this limited series is a wonderful starting point.|
|The Points of History that Have Shaped Us (Part II) with Rabbi Kamrass||August 16, 23, 30||We Jews made time a sacred endeavor. It is one of the reasons that all our holidays teach us to remember, and that we hold history to be so important. Join us as we continue to probe well-known and lesser-known events in Jewish history that continue to imprint own souls, our values and our worldview. We will explore those moments that shape us, as well look at the years and events that changed the course of Jewish life, focusing on the last 2000 years (Post Biblical period). Each of us will then shape our own top ten list!|
|Torah, Avodah, & Gemilut Chasadim with Rabbi Goodman||9/6, 9/13, and 9/20||It is said in our tradition that the world stands on three things: Torah Learning, Sacred Service, and Acts of Love and Kindness. In this month of Elul, as we spiritually prepare for the High Holy Days, join this three-part series exploring these “pillars of the world.” No prior experience or knowledge is required for this text-based and discussion-driven class.|
|The Illustrated Pirkei Avot with Rabbi Goodman||10/18, 10/25, 11/1, and 11/8||Next to the Torah and the Passover Haggadah, Pirkei Avot has been the favorite text of the Jewish people for over 50 generations. Filled with quotable expressions and memorable metaphors, this text teaches us the essentials of what life might be like at its very best. “Say little, do much.” – “Who is Wise? Those who learn from all people.” – “Turn the Torah over and over again, for it contains everything.” While the words of Pirkei Avot are stirring on their own, in this 4-part course, we will be engaging this wisdom literature through the beautifully drawn pages of “The Illustrated Pirkei Avot: A Graphic Novel of Jewish Ethics”. This class will take a deep dive into Jewish ethics and it is suited for all levels of prior learning and experience.|
|Ethical Wills: Clarifying your values and Communicating them with the Future with Rabbi Kamrass||11/15, 11/22, 11/29,and 12/6||Jewish life throughout the ages is rich with the practice of ethical wills, a document, letter, or journal that transmits to those we love and to future generations our cherished memories, guiding principles, and spiritual values for meaningful living for their consideration and emulation. Composing an ethical will is not only to be utilized after we pass away, but also serves as a critical lens for ourselves of self-reflection, of prioritization, and as a personal distillation of all the ideals and hopes we embrace now, leading us to lives of greater fulfillment. Our study will explore various examples of ethical wills from history, as well as serve to guide us for ways to begin our personal reflection and perhaps even for composing an ethical will.|
|The Angels of Judaism with Rabbi Thomashow||12/13, 12/20||By request, this class will define, study, and divulge the position of angels in our Jewish tradition. In the first week, we will examine the prominent roll of angels as messengers of God. In the second week, we will address the role of ministering angels plus adorning angels of the ark in the ancient portable sanctuary.|
|The Coronavirus Pandemic: Historical, Medical, and Halachic Perspectives with Rabbi Thomashow||1/10, 1/17||“The Coronavirus Pandemic: Historical, Medical, and Halachic Perspectives” is a relatively new publication by Rabbi Professor Avraham Steinberg. This author is a pediatric neurologist, rabbi, and ethicist. He is the current director of the Medical Ethics Unit at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Israel. Over the two week session, we will study some of the historical, medical, and religious-legal implications of the pandemic. Perhaps our study will shed some light on the past as well as the future.|
|Two Special Sessions with our Israeli Emissary, Yarden Neeman||1/24, 1/31||Week One on Israeli Culinary – we will dive into the roots of the Israeli cuisine, explore the diverse food scene, and learn more about what makes Israeli food so delicious. Week Two on Feminism in Israel – we will explore feminism in Israel and how the Israeli culture poses some particular challenges and opportunities for women in Israel. Come to one or both!|
|Are We Greek or Hebrew? with Courtney Anthony||2/7 and 2/14||Two ancient cultures have had a deep, lasting impact on Western civilization: the Greeks and the Hebrews. By comparing and contrasting the foundational literature of these very different cultures, we will begin to untangle which of our society’s values came from the Greeks and which are uniquely Hebrew – and the ways in which the Hebrew worldview has influenced everything from our legal system to our views on relationships to the qualities we desire in our leaders. American society may be more Jewish than you realize!|
|What Exactly is Jewish Music?
with Rabbinic Intern Matt Derrenbacher
|2/21 and 2/28||Join Rabbinic Intern Matt Derrenbacher for a two-part deep dive series into the world of Jewish music as we ask, “what makes music Jewish?” In this series we will be listening to a wide variety of music from around the world in an attempt to not only answer our questions about Jewish music, but to explore the rich history and diverse expression of music produced by Jews.|
|Jewish Peoplehood with Rabbi Goodman||3/7, 3/14, and 3/21||Drawing from the new curriculum produced by the extraordinary faculty of The Shalom Hartman Institute of Jerusalem, these three sessions will explore the themes of Jewish Peoplehood and what it means to belong to a community. We will tap into Jewish wisdom – ancient and contemporary — and unpack the foundations of Jewish communal life by asking the questions; How does we enter community? How do we navigate divisions? And what do we owe one another?|
|Israel’s Foundational Documents with Rabbi Jan Katzew||3/28, 4/4 and 4/11||Taking a closer look at Israel’s foundational documents, students will study: 1.Hatikvah and HaEmunah (the alternative national anthem proposed by Rav Kook)
2. The Declaration of Independence in formation (4 different versions)
3. Prayers for the State of Israel – ancient and modern
|Modern Political Zionism: The Personalities and Influences of a movement that resulted in the birth of Israel and the transformation of Jewish life with Rabbi Kamrass||4/18, 4/25, and 5/2||As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of Israel’s founding (April 26, 2023) Rabbi Kamrass will explore the factors, influences, events, history and various groups involved in modern political Zionism, from the emergence of Theodore Herzl (1895) to the Founding of the State of Israel (1948). We will look at the major personalities and influences, and the major contribution that modern political Zionism made, not only to the birth of the Jewish state, but its significant influence on Jewish life throughout the world for over half a century before its aims were realized on May 14, 1948.|
|Female Israeli Poets with Rabbi Thomashow||5/9, 5/16, and 5/23||In honor of Israel’s 75th year, this class is a tour through the female-identified Israeli poets of the past 7 and a half decades. The greats include Esther Raab, Yocheved Bat Miriam, Zelda, Rivka Miriam, and Rachel. Their poetry tells the story of Israel’s development, the ever-present intersection between a modern State and an ancient tradition, and in some cases hints of feminism. Poetry will be presented in Hebrew and English. No prior experience with poetry or Israeli poets required.|