Consider G’d’s Body: Jewish Imaginings of the Divine Body

Title: Consider G’d’s Body: Jewish Imaginings of the Divine Body (5 sessions)
Instructor: Sara Klugman
Program: Open Circle Jewish Learning Texts and Traditions
Day and time, Sundays 11:30 am-1:00 pm ET
Dates: April 21, 28;  May 5, 12, 19, 2024
Location: Online via Zoom
Fee: $200 Scholarships available

Consider G’d’s body. Does G’d have a body, multiple bodies, or no body at all? What could, or does, the divine body look like? What are foundational beliefs – and contradictions – in Jewish understandings of the divine body? What can we take with us into our own spiritual practice, and our understanding of our own bodies? In this course, we will look at these questions across the prism of ancient, medieval, and contemporary Jewish thought. In addition to ancient and rabbinic texts, we will draw on philosophical texts, modern literature and poetry, visual art & media, and contemporary cultural critique. As a cohort, we will experiment with visualization, speculation, and experimentation in our own spiritual practice.

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

Registrants from Canada, UK, EU and Australia: please email Cindy Bernstein to complete your registration. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Finding Our Way to Freedom: Bringing Ourselves to Seder in Troubled Times

Finding Our Way to Freedom: Bringing Ourselves to Seder in Troubled Times (3 sessions)
Program: Open Circle Jewish Learning Texts and Traditions
Instructor: Meredith Reiches
Day and Time: Mondays, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. Eastern
Dates: April 1, 8, 15, 2024
Location: Online via Zoom
Fee: $100 Financial scholarships available

The Passover seder is the most widely practiced Jewish custom. Around the world, Jews of every stripe sit down at tables to share a meal and tell stories of liberation. But what happens when we get to the table? How can we make the seder both meaningful and manageable? In this charged global moment, when Jewish identity is center stage in the Diaspora, this class invites us to explore how we articulate what freedom and liberation mean, and how we can share sacred space with people whose ideas are different from our own. We will look at the textual origin of the Passover story, Exodus, to grapple with how it describes the passage from slavery to a different place (hint: the word “freedom” does not appear in the text). We’ll examine passages from different haggadot to understand how the concept of liberation has resonated for different communities, identities, and causes. What speaks to us and what might we bring to our own seder tables to share? Whether this is your first or your seventy-first time thinking through the seder, all are welcome—the richness of our conversation will come from our many voices.

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

Registrants from Canada, UK, EU and Australia: please email Cindy Bernstein to complete your registration. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Who Is A Jew? How Women of Multiple Judaisms connect with G’d

Title: Who Is A Jew? How Women of Multiple Judaisms connect with G’d
(4 sessions)
Program: Open Circle Jewish Learning Texts and Traditions, Arts and Culture
Instructor: Kohenet D’vorah Grenn, PhD, Mashpi’ah
Day and Time: Tuesdays, 10-11:30 a.m. PST, 1-2:30 p.m. EST
Dates: May 7, 14, 21, and 28, 2024
Location: Online via Zoom
Fee: $160 Scholarships available

How do women of multiple Judaisms connect with God? There are cultural Jews, secular Jews, religious Jews, Jews by birth, Jews of color, Jews by choice, political Jews, Goddess Jews (sometimes called “Jewitches”), Jewish pagans and those who describe themselves as Jews who may not affiliate with any religious organization.

Explore the ways we imagine, construct and connect with God. What rituals, prayers or blessings hold the most meaning for us? Can we define what makes us feel Jewish? What traits give us our Jewish identity? What in our Jewish belief system or practices gives our lives the most meaning?

Readings will include excerpts from Dr. Grenn’s dissertation, “For She Is A Tree of Life: Shared Roots Connecting Women to Deity- an Organic Theological Inquiry Into Identities, Beliefs and Practices Among South African Lemba and European American Jewish Women.” Our other main text will be excerpts from Rabbi Rami Shapiro’s “Judaism Without Tribalism: A Guide to Being a Blessing to All the Peoples of the Earth.”

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.

 

Parenting Through a Jewish Lens, Concord MA

Parenting Through a Jewish Lens, Concord MA (6 sessions)
Program: Open Circle Jewish Learning Parenting and Grandparenting
Instructor: Rabbi Darby Leigh
Dates: April 7, 28; May 5, 12; June 2, 9, 2024
Day and Time: Sundays, 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Location: In-person, Congregation Kerem Shalom, Concord, MA
Fee: $150

Join a group of fellow parents of young children to discuss topics that matter to you as a parent; reflect on the joys and challenges of raising kids today; and find support, encouragement, and connection. Our curriculum helps parents discover the many ways in which Jewish sources of wisdom can inform their choices. Babysitting is available.  Please note: This class is open to parents who took PTJL last year and to parents who are brand new to the program.

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.