Young Adult Learning Eser

Eser Classic, a 10-week spring program sponsored by Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), brings together young adults in their 20s and 30s to explore contemporary issues and ideas through a specific Jewish theme. Eser Select offers shorter themed classes in the summer, fall and winter that build connection and community through conversation.

young adults talking in living room
  • time 20s and 30s
  • location Living rooms and community spaces
  • duration Ten (Eser) Weeks
Register

What is Eser?

Eser is Hebrew for 10, a number with special significance in Judaism. Ten is a symbol of good luck and power: there are 10 Commandments; 10 members of a minyan, the quorum for communal Jewish ceremony; and 10 sefirot, or elements of the divine existing in nature.

Named for Eser Classic’s 10 sessions, Eser brings young adults together in living rooms and community centers throughout the Greater Boston Area to explore contemporary issues and ideas through a Jewish lens, and to build connection and community through conversation.

Picture this: Ten young professionals sitting around a living room on a weekday evening, eating snacks, drinking wine, laughing, talking and studying sources on some not-so-small questions like: “Is there a Jewish hell?” “Does God exist?” and “Why be Jewish?” If anyone had any doubts about the vibrancy of American Jewish life today, they should sit in on an Eser session.

Ilana Zietman, Rabbinical Student and MJEd

About Eser

Eser Classic participants meet each spring for 10 sessions of facilitated discussion and Jewish learning around a specific “top ten” theme.

Eser Select participants meet in the summer, fall and winter for 6 to 8 sessions of learning and discovery.

The programs are facilitated by Jewish educators and rabbis-in-training who are experienced in leading young adult groups in discussion and text-based Jewish learning.

Eser welcomes participants from all religious, political, gender, and economic backgrounds. No prior formal Jewish education or knowledge of Hebrew is required. Past participants include secular and religious Jews from a variety of movements, and non-Jews, including partners in interfaith relationships, and those considering going through conversion.

Over the program, I formed a close bond with nine other people who I wouldn’t have even met if not for Eser. In the weekly conversations, I started to appreciate the diversity of perspectives answering life’s question and obtained a deeper understanding of how Judaism has intellectually evolved over the past 3000+ years.

Mark Goldman, Graduate Research Fellow, Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Ready to Register for Eser?

If you need additional information, want to get involved, or just want to grab coffee, email Sara Gardner, associate director of young adult learning, at sgardner@hebrewcollege.edu, or call 617-559-8809.