Basic Judaism Classes Spring 2021

Exploring Judaism
Winter/Spring Series 2021
An exciting series of classes taught by amazing teachers that will strengthen your Jewish knowledge no matter where you are on your Jewish journey begins January 5, 2021.
Unlocking the Secrets of the Prayer Book
Join Rabbi Chabon to explore the liturgy and music of the Shabbat evening and morning services. We’ll compare translations of the psalms from Kabbalat Shabbat, uncover the hidden structure of the Friday evening service, and learn the beauty of the morning climb to reach the Torah service on Shabbat morning.

Dates:  Three Tuesdays beginning Jan. 5, 2021
Time:   7 to 8:30pm
Cost – B’nai Tikvah Members: Free~ click here to register
Non-members: $54 for each session of 3 classes or $250 to sign up for all 5 months of sessions.
More info here
Jewish History through Jewish Literature (A)
February discussion will focus on the TaNakh (the Jewish Bible), Talmud and Midrash.
Rabbi Harry Manhoff
February 2, 9, 16
Cycles and Symbols of Passover
With song, stories and food, we will examine Passover, understanding its place in the annual Jewish calendar as well as its place in the ongoing narrative of the Jewish people.
Rabbinic Intern, Elizheva Hurvich
March 2, 9, 16
Jewish History through Jewish Literature (B)
April discussion will focus on the Commentaries, Law Codes and Kabbalah
Rabbi Harry Manhoff
April 6, 13, 20
Modern Jewish Literature
This class will explore the modern period, including an exploration of Wissenschaft (through the work of Scholem), Modern Hebrew Literature (through Agnon), and the American Jewish experience (through Philip Roth).
Rabbi Raphael Asher
May 4, 11, 18


Judaism 101
Winter-Spring 2021
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. For questions, please contact the class instructor, Maggid Andrew Elias Ramer. You may also visit his website House of Words.

Dates: Tuesdays, from January 12 – March 16, 2021
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Location: Via Zoom (Link to be provided after registering)
Fee: There is a $149 but no one is turned away for lack of funds. Please email Liliana Peliks at Sha’ar Zahav to inquire about scholarships. The fee does not include the text book we will use. Open to members and non-members.
Register here

Introduction to the Jewish Experience: Traditions of Judaism

(Winter 2021)
Judaism comes in many flavors, and yet we also have powerful essentials in common. In this term of Introduction to the Jewish Experience, we explore Jewish diversity and the aspects that we share. We will learn about the institutions of Shabbat, synagogue, and the services. We will also examine the diverse heritages of Judaism: Sephardic, Ashkenazi, and Mizrahi, North American Judaism, and Judaism in Israel. We will finish with a look at Jews & Food, a topic which includes both diversity and our common inheritance.
This is one part of a three-term course. The terms may be taken in any order, and each also functions as a stand-alone learning experience. Intro to the Jewish Experience consists of “Jewish Holidays and Life Cycle,” “Israel & Texts” and “Traditions of Judaism.”

Jan 24, 2021 – Welcome & Shabbat
Jan 31 – Synagogue & Siddur
Feb 7 – What’s Going on in the Service?
Feb 14 – Sephardic Judaism: History & Culture
Feb 21 – Ashkenazi Judaism: History & Culture
Feb 28 – Mizrahi and Other Jewish Communities
Mar 7 – North American Judaism & Movements of Judaism
Mar 14 – Jews & Food

Date:   Sunday, January 24, 2021 thru Sunday, March 14, 2021
Time:   3:30 to 5:00pm
Cost:    $144 to 240 – you decide
Registration is here

Sampling Judaism
In this three-week series, students explore the concepts of God, Torah, and Israel as they are understood by Jews in the 21st century. This class is for anyone who is curious about Judaism; no question is too basic. It is also for someone who is thinking of taking Rabbi Adar’s Introduction to the Jewish Experience, who would like to try a “sample” of that class without the time commitment or expense. The format is a short presentation by Rabbi Adar on that week’s concept, with at least 30 minutes for questions and discussion.

Dates:  Monday, January 25, 2021 thru Monday, February 8, 2021
Time:   7:00 to 8:00pm
Cost:    $48 to $80
Register here


Introduction to Judaism
Rabbi Mark Bloom offers a basic Judaism class aimed primarily at those interested in conversion but open to anyone and everyone interested in learning about Judaism. It will cover Jewish texts, holidays, the Jewish life cycle, prayer, the Holocaust, Israel, and more. Topics listed below.
You will need to purchase the book, How to Run a Traditional Jewish Household.

Dates:  Wednesdays beginning Feb. 3, 12 weeks
Time:   8pm
On Zoom
Cost:    $54, (free for a significant other if they want to take it along with you)
If interested, please email Rabbi Bloom at

February 3—God, Torah, and Israel, Who is a Jew?
February 10—Holocaust Special Program Display
February 17—Jewish Sacred Texts: Torah, Talmud, Tanach, Midrash, How a Bill Becomes a Law
March 3—Prayer, the Siddur, Understanding the Service
How to Run a Traditional Jewish Household by Blu Greenberg, Chapters 4-5
March 10—Shabbat and Kashrut
How to Run a Traditional Jewish Household by Blu Greenberg, Chapters 1-2
March 17—The High Holidays
How to Run a Traditional Jewish Household by Blu Greenberg, Chapters 15-17
March 24—Other Jewish Holidays
How to Run a Traditional Jewish Household by Blu Greenberg, Chapters 18024
March 31—No Class for Passover
April 7–The Jewish Life Cycle: Birth, Brit, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Marriage, Death and the Afterlife
How to Run a Traditional Jewish Household by Blu Greenberg, Chapters 9-10, 14
April 14—A Bird’s Eye View of Jewish History
April 21—Israel and Why It Is So Important to the Jewish People
April 28—Torah Study, the “New” Jewish Community, and Final Questions