December/Kislev Course Descriptions


Course descriptions

Ideas on the Meaning of Being a Jew. Sundays at 10:15 am   Peta Jones Pellach

Four Modern Jewish Ideas on Jewish Identity: Rav Kook, Emil Fackenheim, HaRav Soloveitchik, Emmanuel Levinas, As we approach Chanukah, the festival that celebrates the survival of a distinct Jewish identity, let us examine four great modern ideas on what is means to have a Jewish identity.

Book of Jonah, story & allegory. Sundays at 11:45am   Rabbi Robert I. Rhodes

This is going to be personal. Rabbi Eliyahu ben Shlomo Zalman of Vilna 1720 – 1797, known as HaGra, HaGaon Rabbenu Eliyahu, wrote an amazing commentary to the Book of Jonah. He simplifies the Zohar’s reading of the book and takes us on a journey of self exploration as he reveals who is who on the allegory level in one of the best known Bible stories. Be prepared for a Soul Journey as we reveal the mystical hidden meaning of the Book of Jonah. Please bring a copy of the Book of Jonah with Rashi’s commentary. You can download free from here.


Tefilla – Personal Growth & Deepening Spiritual Connection.

Mondays at 10:15am   Rav Ariel Tal.

A series of four classes cosponsored with Machon Meir

Hebrew Reading Clinic. Mondays at 11:30am   Rabbi Rhodes

Do not be shy. A lot of people never really learned to read Hebrew well and many have forgotten over time. We will start with daily prayers from the siddur and practice. First priority is reading accurately, learning the meaning of the words and a basic grasp of how the Hebrew language works. If you are interested we can use a number of internet resources to deepen our knowledge and understanding of the prayers we say every day.

Please bring your own siddur.


Conversations on Israel: the Challenges of Sovereignty.

Two Wednesdays Dec 7 & 21 at  7pm   Calev Ben-Dor  Studying modern Israeli poets, contemporary philosophers, and traditional Jewish commentators in order to explore different aspects of challenges and dilemmas facing Israel in the 21st Century.

  1. The Four Cubits of Halacha and the Challenge of Sovereignty. Jewish life in exile used to be centered around the private domain (four cubits of Halacha.) But since our return to Israel, these cubits have been expanded to include a vast array of new areas. This Shiur raises a discussion about this challenge, discussing the structural difficulties Halacha has of adapting, and shedding light on why some people might even prefer to flee from this new found responsibility.
  2. 2. Idealism vs. Realism in Foreign Policy. This Shiur focuses on two key events in Jewish history that took place within 65 years of each other – the destruction of the temple by the Romans, and the defeat of the Bar Kochba rebellion which led to the full loss of sovereignty over the Land of Israel for 1800 years. We’ll look at different sources to try and understand their contemporary significance, as well as to understand the secret of political wisdom.

Wednesday Dec 21 at 8:30pm  

A very special opportunity to learn Torah with Yishai Fleisher


Spontaneous Midrash (Bibliodrama): Joseph in Technicolour

Thursdays at 10:15am   Yael Unterman

Through the wonderful of technique of Bibliodrama (invented by Harvard professor Dr. Peter Pitzele), which has been amazing people worldwide for decades, we’ll delve deep into the Joseph story. We’ll locate moving and surprising “spontaneous midrashic” narratives of what might have been going on there, and along the way discover which characters we hold in our hearts and what it means to us personally. Then we’ll connect it back to our traditional commentaries. No acting required – this is an experiential study technique. Shy people welcome.

Pirkei avot, the Rabbis on Relationships. Thursdays at 11:45am  

Rav Menachem Weinberg.

A series of four classes cosponsored with Machon Meir

Thursday Dec 22 at 7pm   Channukah – Embracing our Inner Light. Rabbi Sam Shor.

A  monthly shiur cosponsored with the Orthodox Union



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