Open Circle Jewish Learning Summer 2021 Courses

20s & 30s

Sabores de Sepharad: Exploring the Sephardic Jewish Community through its Kitchen. (4 sessions)
June 9, 16, 23, 30
Wednesday evenings, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Sara Gardner | Register

This summer, leave your workday behind and join culinary historian Sara Gardner on a trip to Spain! Learn about the modern Spanish Jewish community as well as sample some delicious, summer-friendly dishes! From clever twists on gazpacho to Jewish tapas, we’ll live like the Spaniards do and probar y picar (taste and nibble) through each session.

Mystical Connections: Kabbalistic teachings on intimacy and relationships (6 sessions)
June 10, 17, 24, July 1, 8, 15
Rabbi Getzel Davis | Register

Join Rabbi Getzel for a 6-class series on the spirituality of encountering one’s beloved.  We will explore rabbinic, kabbalstic, and philosophical wisdom on the nature of relationship, sex, intimacy, and the question of gender.  Over the series we will explore teachings from the Zohar, Rabbi Isaac Luria, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, Martin Buber, Jacques Derrida, Rabbi Menachem Froman, and Bell Hooks.  Queer, interfaith, couples, and single folks all welcome!


Arts & Culture

Ritual Hebrew Calligraphy -Summer (6 Sessions)
June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; July 61
Tuesdays, 6-7:30 p.m.
Rachel Jackson | Register

When you imagine a sofer, a scribe—what do you think of? Is it someone from your community? Often, it is not. This class will have three components: a practical introduction to sofrut (ritual Hebrew calligraphy); text learning surrounding the traditional laws of sofrut; and discussion about how as individuals and communities, we can make choices that align with our values. This information is often inaccessible, and this class aims to shift the realities of who writes and repairs Torahs by training students to pursue the skills, and understand the issues needed to do our holiest work.


Mindfulness

Being a Better Person – A Close Reading with Martin Buber (6 sessions)
June 16, 23, 30; July 21, 28, August 4
Wednesdays 7:15-8:45 p.m.
Rabbi Eric Gurvis   | Register

One of Martin Buber’s greatest gifts to the corpus of Jewish learning was his short, yet profound book, The Way of Man, According to the Teachings of Hasidism. In six compact chapters, and through the lens of Hasidic tales, Buber helps us focus on some of the most important questions we ever ask ourselves: •What is in my heart? •What is my path in life? •What is my purpose? •Where am I? and How do I orient my journey? •How do I get over myself? •Where do I begin? The class will include a brief overview of early Hasidism and how the movement came into being, and its evolution as one of a number of developments at that point in Jewish history. Our main focus will be on how Buber’s treatment of these tales becomes a part of our own story and journeys as we make our way through these challenging times in our lives.


Social Action

Activist Zivug
Rabbi Getzel Davis | This class has been rescheduled for the fall. Details to follow.

Join Rabbi Getzel to explore the growth and maintenance of vibrant relationships through Jewish wisdom, text study, guided exercises, and frank conversations. This is a class for folks specifically interested in exploring power dynamics, feminism, and how our decisions as a couple impact the world. Open to couples (all gender and multifaith expressions of partnership strongly welcome) in the year preceding or following a wedding who are interested in a conscious and healthy transition to marriage.

Texts & Traditions

Daf Yomi
May 10, 13, 20, 24, 27; June 3, 7, 10, 14, 17
Mondays and Thursdays, 9-9:45 a.m.
Layah Lipsker | Register

This is your opportunity to join Jews around the world in the daily study of Talmud. Layah will lead a 45-minute study two times each week to discuss themes in the daily Daf (page or folio) and its relevance for the modern Jew. This is a beginners Talmud class and is entirely in English.

Daf Yomi – Session II
June 21, 24, 28; July 1, 8, 12, 15, 19, 22, 26, 29
Mondays and Thursdays, 9:00-9:45 a.m.
Layah Lipsker | Register

This is your opportunity to join Jews around the world in the daily study of Talmud. Layah will lead a 45-minute study two times each week to discuss themes in the daily Daf (page or folio) and its relevance for the modern Jew. This is a beginners Talmud class and is entirely in English.

Elul and the High Holidays: Rethink, Renew, Rejoice
August 12, 19, 26; September 2
Thursdays 8-9:30 p.m.
Rabbi Getzel Davis | Register

Dive into a textual and experiential exploration of teshuva and renewal during the month of Elul with Rabbi Getzel Davis as we prepare for the Days of Awe. The core texts we’ll study together will be those of the Zohar, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, Rav Kook, and the stories of class participants. No prior knowledge of Hebrew language or Jewish mysticism is necessary, simply an open mind and heart.