Classes

Intro2011a

Click on the class name for registration information. Currently we are only taking registrations for the Spring unit of Intro.

Introduction to the Jewish Experience is a three-part series to introduce students to Jewish culture and practice. Students come from a wide variety of backgrounds: born Jews who did not receive a Jewish education, Jews who wish to resume their education as adults, persons interested in conversion to Judaism, and others who have family or friends who are Jewish and who wish to learn more about Judaism. For more information, check out the class website.
The three parts of the series may be taken in any order.
Spring: Traditions of Judaism  There have been multiple expressions of Judaism since the days of the Second Temple. In this class, we will study the varieties of Judaism in the late antique and early medieval period, Ashkenazi Judaism, Sephardic Judaism, and the modern streams of Judaism. We will also look at some of the elements that make Judaism in America, in California, and in our local Jewish community so distinctive. The class will finish with a look at food traditions in Judaism: kashrut (keeping kosher) and other Jewish food traditions. This class will be offered on Wednesday evenings at Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland, CA from 7:30-9pm beginning April 2, 2014.

Fall: Lifecycles and Holidays is the Fall segment of Intro to the Jewish Experience.  Communal and individual Jewish life dances to the rhythm of two different cycles: Jewish lifecycle events and the cycle of the Jewish year. This class covers a basic introduction to the Jewish lifecycle (weddings, birth, bar mitzvah, conversion, mourning, and funerals). Then we will look at the Jewish year, with its cycles of fall and spring holidays as well as holidays reflecting historical events. The class for Fall 2014 will meet at Congregation Beth El in Berkeley, CA. Dates and details TBA.

Winter: Israel and Texts  The land of Israel has been central to Jewish history, both ancient and modern. Even during the years of galut (exile) the Jewish heart was “in the east,” in the words of medieval poet Yehudah HaLevy. This class will examine the history of ancient Israel, the beginnings of rabbinic Judaism, and the modern return to the land. With that history as a backdrop, we will learn about the great texts of Judaism: Tanach (Bible), Midrash, Talmud, the Prayer Book, and the Codes of Jewish Law.  The class for Fall 2014 will meet at Congregation Beth El in Berkeley, CA. Dates and details TBA.

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