Introduction to Judaism: Winter 2024

It’s been a difficult few months so we have to be patient with each other. I have gathered some Basic Judaism classes that will begin next week in January. I’ll add what others come my way. If YOUR synagogue is offering a class and you don’t see it here, please email me the details at

Intro to Judaism
Judaism is built around community, ritual, tradition, and faith. If you are Jewish, interested in converting or raising a Jewish family and looking to learn more, delve deeper, and connect – learn with us! Our engaging, university-accredited Intro To Judaism course is interactive and encourages questions, discussion, and hands-on learning. No knowledge of Hebrew is required.
This Introduction to Judaism class will be taught in three units. For those who are on the path for conversion, please register for the full course – all three units, as this is not a drop-in model.  Upon registration, each person or couple will receive a hard copy of the Introduction to Judaism course book. You should also order Aleph Isn’t Tough: An Introduction to Hebrew for Adults, which we will be using for learning the Hebrew language. There is also a recommended reading list for the class.

Dates:  The first class of Unit Two begins January 4th. See registration link for dates.
Time:   6:30 to 8:30pm in-person
Place:   Beth Sholom, 301 14th Ave., San Francisco
Cost:    A single unit of the class for each student is $100 for members and $150 for non-members. The full 3 unit course for each student is $225 for members and $350 for non-members.
Register here

Introduction to Judaism
Join Emanu-El clergy to learn about the breadth and wonder of Jewish tradition. This class is a pathway for the adult learner who wishes to discover or deepen Jewish knowledge, non-Jews who are marrying a Jewish partner, and those who are considering conversion to Judaism. Participants register for each trimester separately.

Dates for each trimester:
Winter 2024: Jan. 9, 16, 23, 30; Feb. 6, 13, 20, 27
Spring 2024: April 2, 9, 16; May 3, 7, 14, 21, 28

Dates:  Tuesdays beginning Jan. 9, 2024
Time:   7:00 – 9:00 pm
Place:   In person classes will be at Star of the Sea School (360 – 9th Avenue, between Clement and Geary); some classes will be on zoom.
Cost per trimester: Emanu-El Member $72; Non-Member: $118
Host:   Congregation Emanu-El, 2 Lake Street, San Francisco
Register here for Winter term.
PLEASE NOTE: You will have to create an account on the Emanu-El website in order to sign up. It’s simple, but necessary.
Click here to view the 2023-2024 syllabus.

Introduction to Judaism
Registration is now open!  Beth El and Temple Sinai are offering this class together so you will meet several rabbis and experience two synagogues.
This course is open to all – a Jewish adult who wishes to discover or deepen Jewish knowledge, an individual considering choosing Judaism, a non-Jewish person curious to learn more about Judaism, and a non-Jewish person with a Jewish partner who wishes to understand more about their partner’s culture and religion. We look forward to building community amongst the diverse participants in the course each trimester.
Participants register for each trimester separately and trimesters may be taken in any order

Dates:  First trimester dates (at Temple Sinai in Oakland): 1/10, 1/17, 1/24, 1/31, 2/7, 2/21, 2/28, 3/6
Second trimester dates (at Beth El in Berkeley): 3/13, 3/20, 3/27, 4/10, 4/17, 5/1, 5/8, 5/15
Time:   7 to 8:30pm in person
Place:   Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland (first trimester)
Beth El, 1301 Oxford, Berkeley (second trimester)
Cost:    $100/eight week session.
If cost is a barrier, please contact Rabbi Bressler,, at Temple Sinai.

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. Our learning will be interactive and communal; come ready to be in the learning with us.
We offer three modules of our Introduction to Judaism class throughout the year. They each cover different material, and are independent-take one module or take them all! This winter module will focus on Torah, commandments, theology, and the lifecycle. The class format will be a combination of zoom-only and hybrid. Ask Cantor Bernstein any questions.

Date:   Mondays, January 22 to March 18
Time:   7pm
Place:   Sha’ar Zahav, 290 Dolores St, San Francisco
Cost:    $149/person; no one turned away for lack of funds.
Register here

2024 Introduction to Judaism
Taught by Rabbi Mark Bloom this class is open to anyone and everyone interested in learning about Judaism. Those interested in converting, those who are just exploring, or those who feel they have “gaps” in their Jewish learning are all welcome.  It will run for approximately 12 weeks and will cover Jewish texts, holidays, the Jewish life cycle, prayer, the Holocaust, Israel, and other topics within Judaism.

Dates:  January 24, 31 & February 7, 21, 28 & March 6, 13, 20, 27 & April 3, 17
(note that dates are subject to change)
Time:   7:30 to 8:30pm
Place:   Beth Abraham, 327 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland
Cost:    $36 (free for a significant other if they want to take it along with you), and one should purchase the book “How to Run a Traditional Jewish Household” on their own.
For any questions and to sign up, please contact Rabbi Bloom directly,

Judaism: The Big Picture in 16 Parts
Whether you’re a newcomer to Judaism or have been a practicing Jew your whole life, you’re sure to learn something new and fascinating. You are welcome to attend as many or as few classes as you like.
Learners are free to attend every session or only the classes of interest (regardless of whether they have attended prior course sessions). If people would like to use this class towards their study for conversion, they will also have individual meetings with Rabbi Chayva.

For a full list of topics to be covered see the Am Tikvah website.

This class is a hybrid. For the link for Zoom contact the synagogue at 415.586.8833.
Dates:  Saturdays, Feb. 3 through May 13, details on website
Time:   2 to 3:30pm
Place:   Am Tikvah, 625 Brotherhood Way, San Francisco

Exploring Judaism
This course is organized around the three pillars of Judaism mentioned in the Mishnah: Torah, Prayer, and Acts of Loving Kindness/Social Justice. We also cover the Jewish calendar, Shabbat practice, and holidays. This class welcomes individuals looking to explore Judaism, interested in conversion to Judaism, and partners.

Dates:  Tuesdays, March 12, 19, 26; April 2, 9, 16, 30, and May 7
Time:   6:30-8pm
Place:   On Zoom
Please contact Heidi Paul ( with any questions and/or to register for the series.

Judaism 101
Classes forming on an ongoing basis.
Join Rabbi David Booth for our Introduction to Judaism class, where you can encounter the foundations and traditions of Judaism in a warm, non-judgmental environment.  Class cohorts form on a rolling basis,  and we welcome beginners and explorers of all backgrounds.  Some details here.
To learn more about the class, or to find out when the next cohort will launch, please contact us.

Place:   Kol Emeth, 4175 Manuela Avenue, Palo Alto