Try out an Introduction to Judaism class and meet others like You

Fall is a great time to learn more about Judaism and get your questions answered. Here are some classes taking place around the bay.

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. Taught by Rabbi Adam Rosenwasser, 17 sessions.

Date: Thursdays, September 6 – February 7
(no class 9/13, 10/11, 11/8, 11/22, 12/13, 12/27, 1/10)
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Place: Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Rd., Los Altos Hills
Tuition: $230 for the public; $215 for members; $100 Full-time students & Émigrés

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.
Year-long Course (23 sessions): Sundays, Sept 30 through April 28
(No class: 11/25, 12/23, 12/30, 1/20, 2/17, 2/24, 3/31, 4/7)
10:10-11:10 a.m. in Room 101 of the CCJDS Building
Instructor: Rabbi Ruth Adar
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: Sept. 30, Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28, Nov. 4
Jewish Lifecycle & Home: Nov. 11, 18, Dec. 2, 9, 16
Jewish Text & History: Jan. 6, 13, 27, Feb. 3, 10, Mar. 3
Jewish Thought, Prayer, & Music: Mar. 10, 17, 24, Apr. 14, 21, 28

This class is provided by Temple Isaiah, 945 Risa Rd., Lafayette.
Find it midway down this page:

Intro To Judaism: Jews and Judaism Then and Now

The ancient Israelites were given 40 years to focus on the colossal task – individually and collectively – of transitioning from enslavement to nationhood. Join fellow travelers and guides, Rachel Brodie and Andrew Ramer, on a 40 hour journey – only some of it wandering – through Jewish history and culture. Read, observe, sing, talk, listen to and write stories, and also eat your way into questions of Jewish identity, seeing through a Jewish lens, and living among Jews in the Bay Area in the 21st century.
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, please join us.

Date: Wednesdays, October 10 – November 14
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Place: JCCSF, 3200 California St., San Francisco
Tuition: $125 for the public; $100 for JCCSF members

Same class, different day
Date: Thursdays, October 11 – November 15
Time: 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Place: JCCSF, 3200 California St., San Francisco
Tuition: $125 for the public; $100 for JCCSF members

An In Depth Introduction to Judaism
An In Depth Introduction to Judaism is a pathway for the adult learner who wishes to discover or deepen Jewish knowledge, non-Jews who are marrying a Jewish partner, and people who are considering conversion to Judaism. This class touches on many aspects of Judaism from birth to death including, Jewish diversity and identity, and American Judaism and Israel. An In Depth Introduction to Judaism is taught by Congregation Emanu-El Clergy.
Learn more at

Fall: Time: Seasons of Joy
October 16, 23, 30; November 6, 13, 27; December 4, 11
Winter Space and Place: The Holy Land, Diaspora, and Community
January 15, 22, 29; February 5, 12, 19, 26; March 5
Spring: Peoplehood: How We Think of Others and Ourselves
March 19; April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; May 7, 14

Class meets over three trimesters and has rolling admission. A student can begin in any of the trimesters. Trimesters do not have to be completed in a particular order. Refreshments will be served.

Time: 7 to 9pm
Place: Emanu-El, 2 Lake St., San Francisco
Cost: $36.00 members, $50.00 non-members (per trimester)
One-time book fee $65.00 (for members and non-members)
Register for each trimester online at

Exploring Jewish Beliefs and Practices: an Introduction to Judaism
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
Taught by Rabbi Larry Raphael, Rabbi Julie Saxe-Taller and Lisa Erdberg.

Date: October 4 – Dec. 20
Time: 6:30 to 8pm
Place: Sherith Israel, 2266 California St., San Francisco

Materials fee: $5.The course book, Living Judaism by Rabbi Wayne Dosick, will be available for purchase at the first class for $15.
Information & registration: Eric Drucker, 415.346.1720, x24, or

Jewish Foundations: 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 and can be joined at any point in the series. (Formerly called Introduction to the Jewish Experience.)

Dates: Wednesdays, October 17 – December 12 (no class 11/21)
Time: 7:30 – 9:00 pm
Place: Beth El, 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley
Cost: $95 for the public; $80 for members of Beth El or Temple Sinai
Sign up here:
See the website for this class here:

Judaism 101

Judaism 101 is a twelve-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 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.

Dates: Wednesdays, October 10, 17, 31; November 7, 14, 28; December 5, 12, 19; January 2, 9, and 16.
Time: 7 to 8:30pm
Place: Peninsula JCC, 800 Foster City Blvd., Foster City
Cost: PJCC Members $72; Public $108

For information and registration: