Basic Judaism Classes Fall 2020

I’m pleased to say that there are plenty of basic Judaism classes available online this fall. Check below to find one that fits your needs.


Ongoing Intro to Judaism
Join a diverse group of seekers, thinkers, and Jewish explorers on a year long journey to discover the practices and teachings of Judaism. We will focus on the holiday cycle, theology, and Jewish ethics and meaning. All are welcome. This course is suitable for people interesting in understanding Judaism more deeply, people who are married to a Jewish person and want to understand how to be a supportive and engaged partner, and people considering becoming Jewish.

Dates:  Sundays throughout the year
Time:   11:25am
Host:   Kol Emeth, Palo Alto
Please email Rabbi Booth at for more information and the zoom link.

Introduction to Judaism
Jew-Curious? Interested in converting to Judaism? Sharing your life with a Jew and want to crack the code?
Calling all potential conversion students and interfaith couples! Our engaging, university-accredited Intro To Judaism course is interactive and encourages questions, discussion, and hands-on learning. No knowledge of Hebrew is required, but you will learn to read the language as part of the class.

Starting date:  Thursday, September 10
Time:   7:00 pm
Host:   Beth Sholom, San Francisco
Register here.
Cost:    $400/single; $600/couple

Introduction to Judaism

Welcome to Beth Am and The Orchard’s Introduction to Judaism Class. This course, taught by the Beth Am clergy, is for anyone who wishes to learn (or re-learn) more about Judaism. All are welcome: non-Jews, Jews, interfaith couples or those considering conversion. Students will learn the basics of Judaism in a friendly and informal atmosphere. We’ll explore fundamental aspects of Jewish practices, such as holiday observance and lifecycle celebrations. We’ll also discuss Jewish understandings of God and religious beliefs, important Jewish texts, Jewish history, literature and the significance of Israel in Judaism today.
The class is also a wonderful way to become part of our community, meet new people and develop relationships with the Beth Am rabbis.

Dates:  Tuesdays, beginning Oct. 6
Time:   7:30 to 8:30
Host:   Beth Am, Los Altos
Cost:    $200/non-member; $100/member
Registration here.

Judaism 101
Judaism 101 is an introduction to Judaism for people who are new or returning to Judaism and are looking for a starting point to dive into Jewish learning and/or Jewish practice.  Anyone from any background is welcome.  We will be covering everything from Torah to Israel, spirituality to ethics, through a queer-positive, progressive, inclusive Jewish lens with plenty of room for questions.  Our learning will be interactive and communal; come ready to be IN the learning with us.

Dates:  Mondays, October 12 – December 14
Time:   6:30-8:30 pm
Host:   Sha’ar Zahav, San Francisco
Cost:    $149.  No one will be turned away for lack of funds.  If you have questions, please contact Sue BojdakClick Here to Register Open to members and non-members.

Exploring Judaism
This course is a year-long exploration of the history, beliefs, traditions, and practices of the Jewish people. “Exploring Judaism” will be interesting and meaningful whether you are becoming an adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah, you are just beginning to explore Jewish studies, you are considering choosing Judaism, you are in an interfaith relationship, or you are simply looking for a deeper and more mature understanding of Jewish history and tradition. Students are encouraged to expand their Jewish literacy by taking this course in conjunction with Beginning Hebrew. Please note that books are not included in the price for the course.

2020-2021 Dates (21 sessions):
Oct. 14, 21, 28, Nov. 4, 11, 18, Dec. 2, 9, 16, Jan. 6, 13, 27, Feb. 3, 10, 24, Mar. 3, 10, 17, Apr. 7, 14, 21.
Time:   Wednesdays from 7-8:30pm
Cost:    $275 members / $425 non-members
Hosted by Temple Isaiah, Lafayette
For questions or registration contact Rabbi Nicki Greninger at or (925) 284-9191.

Introduction to the Jewish Experience: Israel and Texts
We will explore the history of the Jewish People and their relationship to the Land of Israel through Jewish sacred texts. From Biblical history through rabbinic texts and modern responsa, we will explore the past and look at how that past shapes the present and carries us into the future. We will also explore the ways in which Jews do text study. No Hebrew is required. Taught by Rabbi Ruth Adar.

Sundays, October 18 thru December 13, 2020
Time:   3:30 to 5:00pm
Host:   Hamaqom

Introduction to Judaism:  Exploring Jewish Concepts and Practices
This survey course covers a wide range of topics including an introduction to Jewish texts, history, ritual and thought. It is perfect for anyone looking for adult-level basics, whether you never set foot in the Jewish classroom or just have hazy memories of Sunday school.

In addition to the classroom sessions there are several outside class experiences. Home rituals are taught with a Shabbat Dinner and Passover Prep. Students are also asked to attend two of our Saturday morning Torah study groups. The overall combined class time is about 30 hours.

This course is designed to prepare you for other classes or independent study.

Dates:  Wednesdays, Oct. 14 to Feb. 10, 2021
Time:   6:30-8 pm (all on Zoom)
Host:   Sherith Israel, San Francisco
Cost:    Free for members. Class fee for nonmembers is $180 per person. Couples are encouraged to attend together. Scholarships available. No one turned away for financial reasons.


Judaism 101
With Rabbi Leider
Kol Shofar offers an 18-week Judaism 101 course each year in partnership with the Miller Introduction to Judaism program at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles.. This 18-week course is for those who would like to learn about Judaism from the ground up, or to fill in gaps from what they learned (or didn’t learn) as a child.

Dates:  18 Tuesdays beginning Oct. 27
Time:  6 to 8:30pm
Host:   Kol Shofar, Tiburon
Cost:    $275 for the 18-week series or $20 per class
To register or for more information, contact Sara at sglass at kolshofar dot org or (415) 388-1818 x106

Essentials of Judaism
Join Rabbi Dev for a deep dive into some of the juiciest parts of Jewish practice and life. This monthly class is required for Conversion and Adult B’nei Mitzvah Students and is open to all.

Dates:  Second Tuesday of the month Nov 10 through May 11, 2021
Time:   7 to 9pm
Host:   Kehilla Community Synagogue, Piedmont
Cost:    Non-Members – $234.00 for all sessions
Register here

Silicon Valley Intro to Judaism
An overview of the Jewish life-cycle, holidays, and ritual. During the course of the year, students will gain an understanding of Jewish belief, history and calendar and gain exposure to important Jewish books including the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud. Each session includes thirty minutes of Hebrew instruction.

One of the pluses for the Silicon Valley intro course is that there are 2 Reform, 2 Conservative, and 1 Reconstructing rabbis who teach, so students are exposed to a variety of ways of approaching tradition.  Those who are looking to convert, can choose one of the rabbis to be their sponsoring rabbi.

Dates:  Tuesdays, October 27, 2020 through May 4, 2021
Time:   7 to 9pm
This year’s class will be presented on Zoom.

Instructors: Rabbi Hugh Seid-Valencia of the APJCC, Rabbi Jaymee Alpert of Congregation Beth David, Rabbi Melanie Aron of Congregation Shir Hadash, Rabbi Josh Berkenwald of Congregation Sinai, and Rabbi Dana Magat of Temple Emanu-El.
Register here.

Cost:  $180. No one turned away for lack of funds. If you have financial concerns contact Rabbi Jaymee Alpert
For more information on the class, contact


Sampling Judaism
Sometimes a whole loaf is too much. Sometimes we want a sample. I’ve been thinking for a while about offering something for people who want to learn a little about Judaism, without a huge investment of time and money.

— What do Jews believe about God? How do Jews pray?
— Why are Jews called the People of the Book? Which book? What is Torah? What is in Jewish scripture? What is the Talmud?
— What is the biggest Jewish holiday? How can some Jews insist on their Jewish identity, and at the same time say they are “not religious”?

This class is a short dip into Jewish culture and practice, not intended to be the equivalent of a full “Introduction to Judaism” course. The content will follow a basic structure of Jewish ideas about God, Torah, and the Jewish People, but the details will be driven by students’ questions.

If you are curious about Judaism, or know someone who is curious, please share this information with them. I’ll see you (or them!) in class!

Dates:  3 Mondays, beginning November 9
Time:   7 to 8pm
Host:   HaMaqom
Cost:    $60
Details here
Register here