Are you curious about Judaism? Interested in getting a basic introduction to the subject? Considering conversion, or just want to figure out your in-laws? It’s that time of year again, folks – “Intro” classes are beginning in many synagogues!
I teach two such classes in the East Bay Area of CA: “Exploring Judaism” starts this Sunday at Temple Isaiah in Lafayette, CA. The class meets for an hour each Sunday, starting at 10:10am. For more information, click on the link which will take you to the registration page. My other class “Intro to the Jewish Experience” will begin October 22 at Congregation Beth El in Berkeley, CA. That class meets for an hour and a half on Wednesday evenings, starting at 7:30pm. For more information or to sign up, check out the class page in the online Lehrhaus Judaica catalog.
Don’t live in Berkeley or Lafayette? Check with your local synagogue or Jewish Federation to find out what classes are starting in your area.
Some concerns I hear every year:
Will you expect me to convert? [No]
Will you burn me at the stake because I’m L, G, B, or T? [No, I’m a lesbian myself.]
Will you be mad if I don’t believe in God? [No, we’ll talk about the many different Jewish ideas about God.]
What are you “selling,” rabbi? [Nothing other than a learning experience.]
This class is very expensive! [If it is too much for you, say so. Financial aid is often available.]
If you have questions or needs, speak up. This is your first lesson in Jewish community.
My classes have multiple entry points. If not now, maybe then! Get in touch for more information.
I hope that you find an “Intro” class in your area! If you will be taking one of mine, feel free to leave a comment and say “Hi!”
I’m in the process of developing better visuals for my Introduction to Judaism classes. The first thing I need to do is collect good photos and graphics about lifecycle and holiday celebrations.
I will use photos from my own collection, but that would not represent the vast diversity of practice in the Jewish world. That’s why I’m coming to you to ask for this. If you have pictures of your holidays, or of your lifecycle events, that illustrate the holiday or event in some way, I would be most grateful if you would allow me to use them.
You will retain ownership of your photo. No one but me will be able to download it, and I promise to use it ONLY for the PowerPoint presentation I will use in my classes.
The most useful photos will illustrate some aspect of the event: someone lighting a menorah, a 13 year old reading from the Torah, a family around the seder table, the wedding party dancing the hora. If you have a beautiful mezuzah on your door, send a photo of it! If you have a lovely ketubah and you have a picture of it, that would be great!
I’m using a website called DropEvent.com for this. The photos will be visible at that site, under the name IntroJudaismPhotos, with the tag “now33420.”
By the way, the images I use on this blog are all either in the public domain, or they have a Creative Commons license. There’s a wordpress widget that finds them for me and keeps me from sinning against my fellow creative person (and out of copyright trouble.)