Open Circle Jewish Learning Summer 2022 Courses

Texts & Traditions

Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity –Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s Teachings for Our Lives Today  (6 sessions)

Instructor: Rabbi Eric Gurvis
Dates: July 12, 19, 26; August 2, 9, 16, 2022
Day and Time: Tuesdays,7:15-8:45 p.m. Eastern Time
Location: Online via Zoom
Fee: $162
Register: Register now

In this series we will explore core teachings from Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-72), one of the most important teachers of 20th century Judaism. Though Rabbi Heschel died in 1972, his words, teachings and life as a role model have not diminished one iota in importance over the past half-century.   We will read and discuss selections from his vast body of work, including excerpts from The Sabbath; his teachings on the meaning of being a Jew, or part of the Jewish community; and the importance of playing an active role in our world so that we live our values and do not merely speak of them.

Exploring Talmud Thru Daily Daf Yomi (15 45-minute sessions)

Instructor: Layah Lipsker
Dates: June 2, 9, 13, 16, 20, 23, 27, 30, July 7, 11, 14, 18, 21, 25, 28, 2022
Day and Time: Mondays & Thursdays, 9-9:45 a.m. Eastern Time
Location: Online via Zoom
Fee: $202
Register: Register now

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.

Beshert: Mystical Connections (4 sessions) CANCELLED

Instructor: Rabbi Getzel Davis
Dates: June 9, 16, 23, 30, 2022
Day and Time: Thursdays, 8-9:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Location: Online via Zoom
Fee: $108
Register: Register now 

Yiddish for “destiny,” the word is used to refer to an intended soulmate, a true love. Join Rabbi Getzel Davis on a search for the spirituality of encountering one’s beloved. We will wonder together with surprising ancient wisdom about questions of queerness, interfaith status, and non-romantic relationships. Dive into teachings from the Zohar, Rabbi Isaac Luria, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, Martin Buber, Jacques Derrida, Rabbi Menachem Froman, and Bell Hooks. This class welcomes partnered and unpartnered folks of all ages, faith backgrounds, gender identity and sexual orientation.


Young Adult

From Henna to Honeymoon: Personalizing a Jewish Wedding (4 sessions)

Instructor: Rabbi Getzel Davis
Dates: June 7, 14, 21, 28, 2022
Day and Time: Tuesdays, 8-9:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Location: Online via Zoom
Fee: $60
Register: Register now 

Planning your wedding ceremony? Performing a wedding for others? Curious about ritual, ancient and modern? Join Rabbi Getzel Davis to deeply explore the ancient form of Jewish weddings and how they can be adapted to meet modern values and families. All are welcome regardless of Jewish background, observance or relationship status.  All will leave with a basic knowledge of how to craft a wedding ceremony and tips for how to make the wedding sacred, meaningful, and fun.

Zivug: Transition to Marriage (6 sessions)

Instructor: Rabbi Getzel Davis
Dates:  July 5, 12, 19, 26; August 2, 9, 2022
Day and Time: Tuesdays, 8-9:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Location: Online via Zoom
Fee: $90
Register: Register now

Join Rabbi Getzel Davis and a cohort of other couples to delve into love, partnership, and the conscious transition to marriage. Through Jewish wisdom, guided exercises, and frank conversations, we will explore the growth and maintenance of vibrant relationships. Open to couples (all gender and multifaith expressions of partnership strongly welcome) in the year preceding or following a wedding. Topics will include: Stories We Tell Ourselves About Love and Marriage; Healthy Conflict; Money, Finances and Debt; Moral, Religious/Spiritual Differences; Intimacy and Sex; Partner Roles, Ancient and Modern.

 

Zivug: Envisioning Your Wedding and Marriage (10 sessions)

Instructor: Rabbi Getzel Davis
Dates: Part One: June 7, 14, 21, 28; Part Two: July 5, 12, 19, 26; August 2, 9, 2022
Day and Time: Tuesdays, 8-9:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Location: Online via Zoom
Fee: $150
Register: Register now 

Join Rabbi Getzel Davis for this two-part series exploring the journey from wedding (From Henna to Honeymoon) to marriage (Zivug: Transition to Marriage). Participants may register for either one or both parts of the course. See above for detailed descriptions.

Hiding in Plain Sight: Is God Everywhere? (6 sessions)

Instructor: Rabbi Getzel Davis
Dates: July 14, 21, 28; August 4, 11, 18, 2022
Day and Time: Thursdays, 8-9:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Location: Online via Zoom
Fee: $90
Register: Register now

Each morning and night, many Jews recite the Shema proclaiming that “God is One.”  What does this mean?  The mystical tradition has long taught that ‘One’ is not a counting number but rather a statement of unity.  God is The One, The Infinite, and The Only thing that is.  From this panentheistic mythical worldview, the divisions we experience in our lives from others, the world and God are only perceived truth.  Join Rabbi Getzel for an exploration of the mystical ‘True’ divine world behind the screen where all remains whole and one.  The class is open to all regardless of Jewish or text background, mystical experience, or meditative practice.  Throughout the series we will discuss a variety of ways to cultivate an experience of oneness in nature, erotic intimacy, meditation, or being part of group.


Parenting

Father, Abba, Tatti Circle: L’Dor V’Dor (6 sessions)

Instructor: Rabbi Getzel Davis
Dates: June 12, July 10, August 14, September 11, October 23, November 13, 2022
Day and Time: Sundays, 8-9:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Location: Online via Zoom
Fee: $90
Register: Register now

Join Rabbi Getzel Davis and other dads for a feminist and anti-racist exploration of what it means to raise young children today. This cycle we will be focusing on our relationships with our families of origin—going deep on how we choose what to replicate and what not from our own upbringing. Through a combination of reflection on modern and ancient Jewish wisdom, self-reflection, and a good amount of group process, fathers will explore together questions of identity and spirituality. By the end of this course, we will all have made new friends, have a clearer sense of how Jewish identity and upbringing intersect with our parenting and develop strategies for becoming a better father and partner. Enthusiastically open to all regardless of Jewish education, Hebrew background, interfaith status, or queer identity.