Me'ah

Hebrew College Me’ah Classic is a comprehensive, engaging, and in-depth adult learning experience open to adults of all ages. Students take a 100-hour (“Me’ah” is Hebrew for 100), two-year journey through the narrative of the Jewish people. Classes are led by outstanding faculty who empower students to become part of the conversation. Students receive a certificate during a graduation ceremony at the end of their second year.

supported by cjp logo

  • time Adults of all ages
  • location Synagogues and community spaces (or online due to COVID-19)
  • duration Me'ah Classic (100 hours over two years); or
    Me'ah Select (5-10 sessions over one semester)
Contact Us

Hebrew College Me’ah Classic

The Jewish “conversation” stretches over 3,000 years, with each generation, including our students, interpreting and reinterpreting the core texts of Jewish life. Generous financial aid is available. Contact meah@hebrewcollege.edu for more information.

Explore Courses

We invite you to use our new course catalog to explore courses. Now you can search by instructor, subject, location and more.


The Me'ah Journey

Year One Fall: Hebrew Bible

Begin your studies with the Hebrew Bible, or Tanakh, the central text of ancient Israel and the foundational text for Judaism through the ages.

Learn more about our curriculum

Year One Winter/Spring: Rabbinics

Delve into the Rabbinic Period — the millennium from the Second Temple to the completion of the Babylonian Talmud (500 BCE to 600 CE) — when new Jewish leaders, sages and rabbis emerged and developed rich texts of their own.

Learn more about our curriculum

Year Two Fall: Medieval

Study the Jewish mindset and the contours of medieval Jewish civilizations under Islam and Christianity during the Middle Ages (600 to 1700 CE).

Learn more about our curriculum

Year TwoWinter/Spring: Modern

Read some of these modern primary texts representing differing ideological viewpoints that mirror the issues faced by Jews of the 17th century Age of Enlightenment and beyond.

Learn more about our curriculum

About Me'ah Classic

Join our Community of Learners

We are delighted that you are interested in studying with Hebrew College’s Adult Learning program and look forward to your joining our learning community.  Guided by our commitment to the values of derekh eretz (ethical living), shmirat halashon (guarding of language), and kavod habri’ot (respect of all people), we expect Hebrew College Adult Learning students to participate in our classes in a respectful manner, and be mindful of the time and learning needs of other students and instructors during in-person and remote learning. 

Some Me’ah Classic courses will be offered online via Zoom, and others will be in-person, if safety allow.  All courses will be taught by our excellent Me’ah faculty who strive to provide both a rich intellectual experience and a sense of connection among our community of learners.

Me’ah Classic welcomes students of all backgrounds. No prior formal Jewish education or knowledge of Hebrew is required.

Note: Me’ah Classic courses begin each fall. With special permission, it may be possible to join mid-year. Contact meah@hebrewcollege.edu for more information. 

YEAR ONE

Fall: Hebrew Bible

The Hebrew Bible, or Tanakh, is the central text of ancient Israel and the foundational text for Judaism through the ages. You’ll examine the various biblical genres, structures, concepts, theological and historical settings of the biblical world, and then explore selected topics, often integrated with rabbinic perspectives.

This sequence balances an overview of the Hebrew Bible with focused discussion of core texts, such as the Creation stories, the binding of Isaac, the Exodus story, the revelation at Sinai and the prophetic books. You’ll analyze the primary biblical texts and secondary scholarly materials through various lenses: literary, historical-comparative, and rabbinic commentary.

While you may be familiar with the Bible from childhood, this in-depth exposure to other texts and different modes of reading will challenge you — and may well lead you to reassess some long-held views.

Winter/Spring: Rabbinics

The Rabbinic Period — the millennium from the Second Temple to the completion of the Babylonian Talmud (500 BCE to 600 CE) — refers to a time when new Jewish leaders, sages and rabbis emerged and developed rich texts of their own. Some of those texts took the form of extensive commentary about the earlier world of biblical Israel. During this seminal period, rabbinic scholars created a legal system which led to a Jewish belief system that has informed and ordered Jewish community, culture, and behavior for the past millennia.

Your instructor will guide you through enduring questions:

  • What is the relationship between God and human beings?
  • How do we understand Jewish history and Jewish ethics?
  • What is the role of ritual, holy days and life-cycle events?

Readings illustrate the development of the rabbinic mindset and talmudic beliefs. As with the Hebrew Bible sequence, you’ll first cover selected historical, textual, and conceptual areas, then examine core concepts in conjunction with Bible study to illustrate how beliefs and practices evolved over time.


YEAR TWO

Fall: Medieval

Study the Jewish mindset and the contours of medieval Jewish civilizations under Islam and Christianity during the Middle Ages (600 to 1700 CE).

Jewish life during the Middle Ages (about the seventh century through the 17th century), built upon earlier rabbinic foundations, made manifest in form and content what the rabbis of the Talmud had only begun: the construction of a rabbinic Jewish civilization, with distinctive approaches to community life, behavioral norms, and beliefs and values. As a result, Jewish culture and its genres expanded dramatically in several areas: philosophy, mysticism, liturgy and commentaries on the Bible and talmudic texts.

Readings and discussions in this sequence focus on Jewish encounters with non-Jews, including the rise and fall of Jewish life in Spain and Eastern Europe. You will examine the modes of community that Jews constructed in the shifting diaspora, as well as the expansion of Jewish thought in the areas of philosophy, mysticism, liturgy, and biblical and talmudic commentaries.

Winter/Spring: Modern

Beginning with the 17th century Age of Enlightenment, modernity posed a significant challenge to traditional Jewish culture, community, and identity, creating new social and economic opportunities but also threatening traditional Jewish values and society. As in each of the previous eras, modern Jews remained preoccupied with sacred texts, suggesting that however great the impact of rupture and discontinuity, their passion for reading and re-reading classical Jewish texts became the creative wellspring for modern Jewish thought.

You’ll delve into some of these modern primary texts representing differing ideological viewpoints — works of Jewish philosophers such as Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig, and Zionist thinkers such as Ahad Ha’am and Micha Josef Berdyczewski — that mirror the issues faced by Jews of that era.

And you’ll wrestle with the subtle points of comparison and contrast between Jewish modernity and the civilization we’ve inherited. Texts will examine the emancipation of European Jewry; the rise of Hasidism; the Jewish cultural revolution of Eastern Europe; and the birth of Modern Zionism.

Suggested Readings Before Year Two:

Below are a few suggestions (not mandatory!) for reading before Me’ah Classic Year Two begins.

Historical Fiction

  • People of the Book, Geraldine Brooks
  • A Guide for the Perplexed, Dara Horn
  • The Coffee Trader, David Liss
  • The Day of Atonement, David Liss
  • The Weight of Ink, Rachel Kadish

We encourage students to take Year One before registering for Year Two. If, however, starting with Year Two would work better for your schedule, please contact Terri Russell, Director, Me’ah Classic & Select at meah@hebrewcollege.edu.

How do I register for a class?
Registration will be open in the spring for the next cycle of Me’ah Classic. Hebrew College will email you when it is up on our website.

How often do classes meet?
Me’ah classes meet for 11 weeks per semester; sessions are two hours long.

Can I switch locations?
Yes, you can switch locations between semesters and after the year, but we do ask that unless there are challenging circumstances, you do not switch locations during our semesterPlease contact our office for a discussion about changing locations.

Do I register for both years of Me’ah at once?
You will register for Year 1 and Year 2 separately.

Where do Me’ah classes meet?
Watch for location information in the spring.

Who are the instructors and do they vary by semester?
Me’ah instructors are Judaic scholars or clergy with advanced degrees. They bring to community-based Me’ah Classic classes a high level of scholarship, teaching, and discourse typically found in University settings. Please go to our website to learn more about our gifted and committed instructors. In order to expose students to a range of styles and expertise, each of your four semesters will be taught by a different instructor.

What if I am traveling and have to miss a class?
Every Me’ah class is recorded and posted on our course website, Schoology. Many students take advantage of recorded classes.

Do I need to have previous Judaic knowledge to take the class?
Me’ah Classic participants come to our program with a wide variety of backgrounds. Many have no formal background education, other have experience with more formal study. All students are welcome in our class, including students from other faith traditions and students coming from interfaith families or traditions.

Do I need to know Hebrew for Meah classes?
No, you do not need to know Hebrew—all Me’ah classes are conducted in English and texts are studied in English translation. When Hebrew words are referred to, they are translated.

What is the cost of Me’ah Classic and is there financial aid?
The cost of Me’ah Classic is $650 per person per year. Yes, there is generous financial aid available through Hebrew College.  We are committed to make Me’ah available to all students, regardless of financial means. Please contact Me’ah Director Terri Russell at trussell@hebrewcollege.edu to have a confidential discussion and to make arrangements for financial aid.

Is there an additional cost for books?
There are a small number of required books for each class, depending on the teacher. We do ask our instructors to post as many materials as possible on our course website, so that we can minimize additional costs of purchasing materials.

Additional Questions

Please contact our office at meah@hebrewcollege.edu Thank you!

>> View our expert faculty

Below is a list of faculty who have taught for the Me’ah Classic program:

Rachel Adelman, Ph.D.
Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld
Rabbi Jay R. Berkovitz, Ph.D.
David Bernat, Ph.D.
Rabbi Noah Cheses
Rabbi Shaye J.D. Cohen, Ph.D.
Rabbi Neal Gold
Rabbi Leonard Gordon, DDiv
Rachel L. Greenblatt, Ph.D.
Lynne Heller, Ph.D.
Rabbi Yaakov Jaffee, PhD
Rabbi Dan Judson, Ph.D.
Deeana Copeland Klepper, Ph.D.
Rabbi Ebn Leader
Lori Hope Lefkovitz, Ph.D.
Amy Lieberman
Shari Lowin, Ph.D.
Rabbi Natan Margalit, Ph.D.
Jacob Meskin, Ph.D.
Rabbi Richard Meirowitz
Rabbi Nehemia Polen, Ph.D.
Rabbi Micha’el Rosenberg, Ph.D.
Rabbi Benjamin Samuels, Ph.D.
Jonathan D. Sarna, Ph.D.
Michael Satlow, Ph.D.
Susie Tanchel. Ph.D.
Cantor Lynn Torgove
Alan Verskin, Ph.D.
Sarah Verskin, Ph.D.
Rabbi Miriam-Simma Walfish
Dalia Wassner, Ph.D.

Looking for the same Me’ah deep learning but less of a time commitment? Try Me’ah Select, our one semester, in-depth exploration of a specific theme, text, personality, or slice of Jewish history, taught by outstanding faculty from Me’ah Classic.

>> Learn more here

register for Me’ah Classic

Registration for fall 2023 will open in the spring.

For Me’ah Select and other Hebrew College adult learning classes, visit our online course catalog here.

Registration Tips

When you click on a class registration link, please make sure to read the instructions at the bottom of the registration page before hitting submit.Your registration is not complete until you have completed the payment and credit card screens. We accept Visa, Mastercard, and e-checks. A 4% credit card processing fee will be applied.

If you would like to register for more than one Me’ah course, the process is different. Please email the Me’ah Program Administrator Anna Katsevman at akatsevman@hebrewcollege.edu

Class Cancellations and Refunds
  • All cancellations prior to the start of a Hebrew College Adult Learning class will be refunded in full (less a 4% credit card processing fee).
  • After the first session, a $50 administrative fee (and 4% credit card processing fee) will be deducted from the refund.
  • No refunds will be made for withdrawals after the second session.
  • For extenuating circumstances, including requests for withdrawal after the second session, please contact meah@hebrewcollege.edu
  • Credit card processing fees apply to all transactions, regardless of the time of withdrawal.

What our students are saying…

“Me’ah challenged me and I looked eagerly ahead to every class. My classmates became friends and close relationships developed… Because of my Me’ah experience, I am now deeply committed to further Jewish learning and see this continuing without end.” — Stanley Steinberg, Me’ah Participant

“The lectures are incredible. The love the rabbis have for their topics comes through in each lecture and their love is contagious.  I leave the class eager to tackle next week’s reading assignments to further my education.” — Bill Elovitz, Me’ah participant

Want to learn more about Me’ah?

If you need additional information or have questions about registration, please contact us at meah@hebrewcollege.edu.