Me’ah Select Summer 2022 Courses

Capes, Tights, and Yarmulkes: Judaism and Superheroes

Instructor: Dr. Shari Lowin
Dates: Five Tuesdays: 6/14, 6/21, 6/28, 7/5, 7/12
Time: 7:15- 9:15 p.m.
Cost: $170, generous financial aid is available
Location: Zoom
Registration: Register now

Did Superman keep kosher? Did Shadowcat have a Bat Mitzvah? Did Magneto lay tefillin? And, what happened when The Thing turned 13? It is well-known among comic book aficionados that many of the early superhero writers were Jews. But how much—if any—did that influence their creations? In investigating this question, this course will examine the stories of four characters from superhero comics: Superman, Shadowcat (aka Kitty Pryde), Magneto, and The Thing. As we analyze this intersection of religion and popular culture, we will ask not only what religious themes and narratives are found there, but also why?

For more information, contact meah@hebrewcollege.edu


From Oral Tradition to Sacred Text: How the Mishnah Transformed Jewish Life and Thought

Instructor: Rabbi Leonard Gordon
Dates: Five Wednesdays: 6/15, 6/22, 6/29, 7/6, 7/13
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Cost: $170, generous financial aid is available
Location: Zoom
Registration: Register now

The Mishnah, the first book of Rabbinic Judaism, pursues an agenda distinct from the Bible. Responding to the destruction of the Temple in 70 c.e. and the expulsion of the Jews from Jerusalem after the Bar Kochba war (ca. 135 c.e.) the Mishnah offers guidance on resilience in the face of catastrophic loss.

How did the Mishnah, with its radically new form and content, become the foundation for later rabbinic Judaism’s theology and practice? What hints do we find in the Mishnah about its audience and goals? In our own world, living in America 80 years after the destruction of the European Jewish center, what would a new Mishnah look like?

Our class will begin with a review of the Mishnah in its historical and literary contexts. Then we will explore three tractates that each serve as an introduction to the Mishnah: Berachot (“On Blessings”), Avot (“On Foundations”) and Eduyyot (“On Testimony”). Our final class will explore excerpts from throughout the Mishnah as we imagine together how this text can guide us today. This class honors the upcoming publication of The Oxford Annotated Mishnah; edited by Shaye Cohen.

For more information, contact meah@hebrewcollege.edu


Life After the Garden of Eden: Exploring the Foundational Bible Story

Instructor: Rabbi Neal Gold
Dates: Five Thursdays: 6/16, 6/23, 6/30, 7/7, 7/14
Time: 10 a.m.-noon
Cost: $170, generous financial aid is available
Location: Zoom
Registration: Register now

The early chapters of Genesis are some of the most well-known stories in all of western civilization: Adam and Eve, the Garden of Eden, the snake and the forbidden fruit, Cain and Abel, and more. But a close reading of these stories— with an eye towards ancient Near Eastern mythology, midrash, and comparative religion—reveals that these texts are much more complicated than we may imagine. We’ll ask: What really happened in the Garden, and what does it have to do with the spiritual lives we lead today?

For more information, contact meah@hebrewcollege.edu