Introduction to Judaism classes Fall 2013

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Judaism 101
Introduction or Re-discovery of Judaism

Taught by Rabbi Susan Leider
Enhance your connection to contemporary Jewish life! This course incorporates text and discussion to explore biblical and rabbinic writings, history and culture, the meanings and metaphors of Jewish holiday celebrations, concepts of God, ethics, the Jewish lifecycle, and Israel. Drop in to any session or take the entire course!

Date: First class is Oct. 10 –18 sessions – Attend the series or drop in to any session.
Time: 6:30 to 9:30pm
Place: Kol Shofar, 2150 Blackfield Dr., Tiburon
Read the details here

Susan Leider

Judaism 101
Judaism 101 is a 12 session course designed for Jews who seek a deeper connection with their heritage and for people who are not Jewish who desire an introduction to Jewish life and ideas. Topics include fundamental Jewish ideas and beliefs, ethics, the Sabbath and holidays and Jewish identity. Each one of the senior rabbis of the community and the Head of the Wornick Jewish Day School will teach two sessions of the course so that participants may have the opportunity to get to know them.
This course will be facilitated by Rabbi Lavey Derby, Director of Jewish Life at the PJCC and taught by rabbis from each of the community synagogues.

Dates: Wednesdays, October 2 – January 8
Time: 7 – 8:30 pm
Place: Peninsula JCC, 800 Foster City Blvd, Foster City
Fees: PJCC Member Rate $72.00; – Public Rate $108.00
Space is still available

Rabbi Lavey Derby
Rabbi Lavey Derby

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. Instructor: Rabbi Ruth Adar

Dates: Sept. 29, 2013 – Apr. 27, 2014 (23 sessions)
Time: 9:00-10:00am
Place: Temple Isaiah, 945 Risa Rd., Lafayette
Tuition: $100/members; $250/non-members for the year
If you would like to sign up for 1 or more blocks of Exploring Judaism (instead of registering for the whole year), we welcome you to do so. Tuition is $30 per block for members; $65 per block for non-members.
Jewish Calendar / Holidays (i.e. Jewish “public time”): 9/29, 10/6, 10/13, 10/20, 10/27, 11/3, 2013
Jewish Lifecycle & Home (i.e. Jewish “private time”): 11/10, 11/17, 11/24, 12/8, 12/15, 2013
Register here

Rabbi Ruth Adar
Rabbi Ruth Adar

Introduction to the Jewish Experience
Fall: Lifecycles and Holidays

Communal and individual Jewish life dances to the rhythm of two different cycles: Jewish lifecycle events and the cycle of the Jewish year. This class covers a basic introduction to the Jewish lifecycle (weddings, birth, bar mitzvah, conversion, mourning, and funerals). Then we will look at the Jewish year, with its cycles of fall and spring holidays as well as holidays reflecting historical events.
This class is part of a three-unit series; more information here:

Date: Wednesdays, October 2 – November 20
Time: 7:30 – 9:00 pm
Place: Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
Cost: $105 for the public, $90 for members
Register here

Rachel Brodie
Rachel Brodie

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.

Two Date options:
Wednesdays, October 2 – November 20
6:30 – 8:30 pm
Thursdays, October 3 – November 21
11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Place: JCC of San Francisco, 3200 California St., San Francisco
Cost: $125 for the public, $100 for JCC members
Register here

Rabbi Adam Rosenwasser
Rabbi Adam Rosenwasser

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.

Dates: Thursdays, October 3 – December 19 (no class 10/10, 11/14, 11/28, 12/12)
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Place: Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills
Cost: $125 Public, $115 members of Beth Am
See details and register here

Menachem reading at bris

This class, taught by Rabbi Creditor, prepares people for conversion.
A Guide to Judaism:
A Class for All Considering Conversion

Judaism is an amazing spiritual path, with nuance and texture that requires guidance. Rabbi Menachem Creditor of Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley, has supported many people exploring their ways into Judaism. This year-long class will connect individual journeyers together and also introduce participants to a group of warm teaching assistants, each of whom has chosen Judaism as well. The class will deal with questions of Holidays, Bible, Philosophy, Prayer, Practice, Jewish Denominations, Law, Tradition, and Spirituality. No previous Jewish background is necessary. Welcome!

Wednesday Nights, 7:30pm-9pm

2013: Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 — Nov. 6, 13, 20 — Dec. 4, 11, 18
2014: Jan. 8, 15, 22 — Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26 — March 5, 12, 19, 26
Class fee (for all 22 sessions): $360 (no one turned away for lack of funds)
Netivot Shalom, 1316 University Ave, Berkeley

Read more from Rabbi Creditor here

Introduction to Judaism
This course provides an overview of the Jewish life-cycle, holidays, and other ritual celebrations. Students will acquire an understanding of Jewish belief, history, and calendar, and gain exposure to important Jewish books including the Hebrew Bible and Talmud. Each session includes 30 minutes of Hebrew instruction. Additionally, during
the course of the year, students will be invited to participate in various aspects of Jewish living. Sessions will rotate among the synagogues based on the teaching Rabbi.
In partnership with Congregation Sinai, Shir Hadash, Temple Emanu-El, & Beth David.

Tuesdays, October 22nd, 2013 through April 8th, 2014
$180 (charge is per set of books, not per person)
No class on 11/19, 12/24, 12/31, and 2/18.
For more information, contact Jenessa Schwartz at or 408.357.7411.

Rabbi Melanie Aron of Shir Hadash
Rabbi Melanie Aron of Shir Hadash