The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and the Search for Peace -REGISTRATION CLOSED

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and the Search for Peace -Registration Closed

Program: Hebrew College Me’ah Select
Instructor: Dr. David Jacobson  (Read Bio)
Dates: 10 Tuesdays, 2/6, 2/13, 2/27, 3/5, 3/12, 3/19, 3/26, 4/2, 4/9 & 4/16
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Course fee: $450, financial aid is available
Location: Zoom
Hosted by: Beth El Temple Center in Belmont

Meet the instructor: Dr. David Jacobson

The Israel-Hamas war has evoked intense interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has had a powerful impact on our Jewish community. In this course, we will seek to gain a deeper understanding of the events set in motion by the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7 by studying the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and exploring why it has persisted for over a century. We will also consider attempts that have been made by Israeli and Palestinian officials to reach a peaceful resolution, as well as grass-roots efforts by Israelis and Palestinians to transcend their political differences. Course materials will include works of fiction and poetry, films, historical documents, and works of historical analysis. As events in the conflict develop in real time during the course, we will discuss their significance in light of our course readings and discussions.

For more information, contact meah@hebrewcollege.edu

 

Abortion in Jewish Law and Life

Abortion in Jewish Law and Life

Program: Hebrew College Me’ah Select
Instructor: Rabbi Carl Perkins  (Read Bio)
Dates: 5 Thursdays, 3/21, 3/28, 4/4, 4/11 & 4/18
Time: 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Course fee: $225, financial aid is available
Location: Zoom
Hosted by: Hebrew College

Meet the instructor: Rabbi Carl Perkins

We will explore both the way abortion has been dealt with by Jewish legal authorities as well as the role Jewish organizations and communal leaders have played in the abortion debates in the United States. Some of the questions that we will explore in this course are:

• What is the origin of the different understandings of the nature and permissibility of abortion within the Jewish and Christian traditions?

• If Judaism is so focused on the preservation and enhancement of life; if life is so valued within the Jewish tradition that the saving of a human life takes precedence over virtually all other mitzvot; then how is it that Jewish legal perspectives toward abortion can be so different from what we understand to be the so-called “pro-life” position in our culture?

• If traditional Judaism is so focused on duties and obligations (mitzvot), how is it possible that a “pro-choice” position – which values individual autonomy — can be understood to be consistent with Jewish law and tradition?

• Much of the discussion in Jewish legal texts regarding abortion focuses on the permissibility of so-called “therapeutic abortions” – that is, medical or surgical steps undertaken to end a pregnancy when the mother’s life, health or well-being is threatened or when the fetus has severe abnormalities and is not expected to survive after birth. What does the Jewish tradition have to say about the permissibility of abortion for other reasons?

For more information, contact meah@hebrewcollege.edu

 

What Can The New Testament Teach Us About First-Century Judaism?

What Can The New Testament Teach Us
About First-Century Judaism?

Program: Hebrew College Me’ah Select
Instructor: Alan Avery-Peck (Read Bio)
Dates: 5 Wednesdays, 4/3, 4/10, 4/17, 5/1 & 5/8
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Course fee: $225, financial aid is available
Location: Zoom
Hosted by: Betty Ann Greenbaum Miller Center for Interreligious Learning & Leadership of Hebrew College

Jesus, the Christian messiah and son of God, was also a first-century Galilean Jew who stood firmly within the Judaism of his day. Jesus’ message responded to and resonated within his people’s—the Jews’—distinctive theological, cultural, and political circumstances. As much as the New Testament tells the story of Christian origins, it thus reflects deeply on first century Judaism. Christians who ignore Jesus’ Jewish context cannot fully understand what was at stake in, or the urgency of, Jesus’ message. And Jews who ignore the New Testament miss the opportunity to fully grasp Jewish belief in the period that yielded the Judaism we still practice today. Thus, our focus today: What can the New Testament teach us about first-century Judaism?

For more information, contact meah@hebrewcollege.edu

Calling Out from the Depths: Reading the Book of Psalms Today

Calling Out from the Depths: Reading the Book of Psalms Today

Program: Hebrew College Me’ah Select
Instructor: Rabbi Or Rose (Read Bio)
Dates: 6 Thursdays, 2/8, 2/15, 2/22, 2/29, 3/7 & 3/14
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Course fee: $270, financial aid is available
Location: Zoom
Hosted by: Hebrew College

The Book of Psalms has served as a source of inspiration and guidance to countless numbers of Jews, Christians, and other seekers throughout the ages. Our forebears turned to these sources in times of joy and thanksgiving and in times of sadness and lament. What might these ancient poetic texts have to say to us today? How have past generations engaged these sources liturgically and otherwise. In this course, we will examine several the original psalms (each focusing on a different theme) and the writings, music, poetry, and visual artistry of interpreters—Jewish and non-Jewish alike—of these biblical sources.

For more information, contact meah@hebrewcollege.edu

The Language of Wisdom: Learning Pirkei Avot in Hebrew

Course Title: The Language of Wisdom: Learning Pirkei Avot in Hebrew
Instructor: Rabbi Natan Margalit, PhD (see bio)
Program: Hebrew College Open Circle Jewish Learning, Text and Tradition
Day and Time: Monday evenings 7:15-8:45pm Eastern
Dates: February 12, 26; March 11, 25; April 8; May 6, 20, 2024
Location: Online via Zoom
Partner Organization:  Sinai Brookline, Brookline, MA
Fee: $280
Inquire about partial need-based scholarships here.

In this class we will study together one of the most accessible and beloved texts of the ancient Sages: “The Sayings of the Fathers,” or Pirkei Avot. By opening ourselves to the original texts rather than relying on translations we will be able to access its timeless wisdom, wrestle with its puzzles and also improve our Hebrew reading skills. We will read and translate together in class in a relaxed, non-judgmental and unpressured atmosphere. Students can choose to read aloud and to translate, or not as they feel comfortable. The more students prepare the texts between classes the more skills they will gain, but there are no expectations– come as you are and we’ll learn at our own pace. We will also read portions of the book, Hebrew Roots, Jewish Routes: A Tribal Language in a Global World, by Jeremy Benstein. Excerpts will be distributed by the instructor.

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

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

 

Faces of the Goddess: exploring images of the divine feminine in medieval kabbalah

Title: Faces of the Goddess: Exploring Images of the Divine Feminine in Medieval Kabbalah
(6 sessions)
Instructor: Rabbi Sarah Gershuny
Program: Open Circle Jewish Learning Texts and Traditions
Day and Time: Wednesdays, 8:00-9:30 pm Eastern; 6:00-7:30 pm Mountain
Dates: 2/21, 2/28, 3/6, 3/13, 3/20, 3/27, 2024
Location: Online via Zoom
Fee: $240

Many people think that Goddess-worship is a 20th or 21st century Jewish reclamation. However, our mystical tradition has always held a complex picture of divinity, and the kabbalistic Tree of Life explicitly designates certain sefirot, or aspects of the godhead, as “female.” In this class we will dive deep into Shaarei Orah, Gates of Light, a 13th century kabbalistic text written by Rabbi Yosef Gikatilla. Explaining how different Biblical names of God give us clues about the very fabric of reality, Shaarei Orah contains history’s first systematic exposition of the sefirot in text. Through it, we will explore several faces of the Goddess, including the Garden, the Well, the Bride, the Foundation Stone, the Ocean, the Ark, the Mother, the Grapevine, the Moon and of course, the Shechina. Together we will unpack these images of divine presence in the world, discussing how we relate to them and to our understanding of God. All source materials will be provided in a new English translation as well as in the original Hebrew.

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.