Basic Judaism classes beginning January 2014


Did you make a New Year’s Resolution to learn more about Judaism? Intro to Judaism classes are great for interfaith couples — take the class together –they stimulate good discussions, answer questions and you’ll get to know other interesting people. Jump in!

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. Winter term covers Jewish Text & History. Taught by Rabbi Ruth Adar.
(Students may expand their Jewish literacy by taking this course in conjunction with Beginning Hebrew.)

Dates: Sundays, 1/5, 1/12, 1/26, 2/2, 2/9, 2/23, 2014
Time: 9 to 10am
Place: Temple Isaiah, 945 Risa Rd., Lafayette
Cost: $65 public; $30 for members of Temple Isaiah
Register here

Jewishing: An On-Going Conversation about Doing and Being Jewish
Join fellow travelers and guides, JCCSF Chief Jewish Officer Rachel Brodie and Rabbi Batshir Torchio, on a wandering journey through Jewish history and culture. We will be “Jewishing,” exploring Judaism not as a monolith of static concepts and practices but as a dynamic system of choices and questions. Listen and talk, read and write, sing and eat your way into questions of Jewish identity, seeing through a Jewish lens, and living among Jews in the Bay Area in the twenty-first century.
Whether you are Jewishly literate or beginning your exploration, if you’re interested in learning more about your Jewish heritage, if you are coupled with or parented by someone who is Jewish, if you are thinking about conversion, or if you are just plain curious, we hope that you will consider joining us.

Dates: Wednesdays, January 8 – February 19
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Place: JCC of San Francisco, 3200 California St., San Francisco
Cost: $125 for the public; $100 for members of the JCC
Register here

The Building Blocks of Judaism
This course is for those who wish to learn (or re-learn) Judaism. All are welcome: non-Jews, Jews, interfaith couples, those considering conversion, and anyone who is interested in learning more about Judaism. 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 life-cycle celebrations. We’ll also cover Jewish understandings of God and religious beliefs, essential Jewish texts, Jewish history, music and literature, and the significance of Israel in Judaism today.
These eight classes cover Part 2 of the class. The topics we’ll explore include liturgy, Jewish history, the Holocaust, and the Modern State of Israel. Students may continue with Part 1 of the class, which will begin in Fall 2014.

Dates: Thursdays, January 16 – March 20, 2014 (no class 2/13, 3/13)
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Includes a Friday evening Shabbat experience March 7, 2014 at 6:15 pm
Place: Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Rd., Los Altos Hills
Cost: $125 for the public, $115 for Beth Am members; $65 for Émigrés & Full-time students
Register here

Introduction to the Jewish Experience: Israel & 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.
This class is part of a three-unit series.
See the full series here:
Cosponsored by Temple Sinai, Beth El and Building Jewish Bridges.

Date: Wednesdays, January 15 – March 5
Time: 7:30 – 9:00 pm
Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
Cost: $105 for the public; $90 for members of Temple Sinai or Beth El
Register here

An Introduction to Judaism
Learn about Judaism Exploring Jewish Beliefs and Practices
With Rabbi Larry Raphael, Rabbi Julie Saxe-Taller, Lisa Erdberg
Get an in-depth look at the basics of Jewish thought and practice. Engage in a mix of study, discussion and hands-on experiences. Topics include:
* Jewish beliefs and values
* Holidays and the Jewish calendar
* Prayer and liturgy
* Lifecycle events
Date: Sundays January 26 – May 18 (except holiday weekends)
Time: 10 am
Place: Sherith Israel, 2266 California St., San Francisco
Information & registration: Eric Drucker, 415.346.1720, x24, or email Eric at