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Drawing Close, Drawing Boundaries: Jewish Demons and Protective Ritual


Title: Drawing Close, Drawing Boundaries: Jewish Demons and Protective Ritual
Program: Hebrew College Open Circle Jewish Learning: Texts and Traditions
Sara Klugman (Read bio)
Day/Time: Sundays 11:30am-1pm Eastern Time
Dates:  October 22, 29, November 5, 12, 19, 26, December 3, 2023
Location: Online via Zoom
Fee: $280 Financial scholarships available

In this course, we will explore historical and contemporary Jewish understandings of the demonic, and ancestral practices of ritual protection. We will explore how social and cultural location – particularly gender, sexuality, class identity, and geographic location – inform how Jewish communities have imagined and interacted with the demonic.

Some of our core questions include:

  • Where – in both ancient texts, and ancestral and contemporary experiences, have Jews experienced the demonic?
  • Who are the particular characters, roles, and personalities of Jewish demons?
  • How have Jews, throughout history, participated in and understood their own ritual protection?

The class will incorporate texts from within and beyond the Jewish tradition – including queer and feminist theory, poetry, visual art, and secular literature. In addition to engaging in our learning through text study and conversation, we will be learning artistically, through writing, and somatic practice. We will be engaging in a class-long research project, drawing on multi-modal inquiry.

Hebrew College Open Circle Jewish Learning is for learners of all backgrounds.

Canadian and other registrants from outside of the US: please email Cindy Bernstein to complete your registration. We apologize for the inconvenience.


“Sarah’s class, like all of my Hebrew college courses, has been excellent! She’s not only knowledgeable but also an extraordinary educator.” David Arfa, participant in Sara Klugman’s Winter/Spring 2023 Open Circle Jewish Learning Course, Peril and Protection: Demons and Protective Ritual in the Jewish Collective Imagination.