Open Circle Jewish Learning

Open Circle Jewish Learning brings together groups of curious, engaged learners with exceptional educators to dive into an array of compelling topics and practices.

UPDATE: This fall, many Hebrew College’s Open Circle Jewish Learning courses will be offered live, online via Zoom. Other classes will be offered live at synagogue sites or in private living rooms throughout the Greater Boston community. Please check our class listings for location information. All in-person classes must adhere to the Covid policies of the host institution.

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Open Circle Jewish Learning
  • time Adults of all ages
  • location Virtual and real living rooms, synagogues, and community spaces
  • duration 8 or fewer sessions, 1.5 hours each
View fall classes

Find meaning and community in Jewish sources of wisdom through personal conversations via virtual or in-person living rooms, synagogues, and community centers throughout the Greater Boston Area.

Create your own learning circle on any topic of your choice with friends and fellow community members, or even a favorite instructor. Hebrew College is a pluralistic institution. All learners are welcome, regardless of religious background.

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.

 

Open Circle Jewish Learning Classes

Learning circles for young adults interested in making new connections to the Jewish community through a shared learning experiences. (Formerly known as Eser.)

Course NameInstructorLocationCourse DescriptionTimeDatestuition feeRegistration
From Ruth to RBG: Jewish Women and Justice (6 sessions)Elisha GechterOn-line via ZoomRead nowMondays, 8-9:30pm Eastern TimeOct. 18, 25; Nov. 1, 8, 22, 29, 2021$90Register
The [Jewish] American Songbook (6 sessions)Elliot LazarOn-line via ZoomRead nowThursdays, 4:30-6pm Eastern TimeNov. 4, 11, 18; Dec. 2, 9, 16, 2021$90Register
Kol Yisrael: Exploring the Narratives of Israel’s Ethnic Minorities Mikhael KesherOn-line via ZoomRead nowTuesdays, 8-9:30pm Eastern TimeOct. 12, 19, 26; November 2, 9, 16, 2021$90Register
The Soul in Action: Mystical Wisdom for Today's ChallengesRabbi David Curiel and Rabbi Getzel DavisOn-line via Zoom with some opportunities to meet in person Read nowTuesdays, 8-9:30pm, Eastern TimeOct. 12, 19, 26; Nov: 2, 9, 16, 2021$90Register
Why and How Jewish Identity Deepens: A Guide to Supporting "Jews of No Religion"Akiva NelsonOn-line via ZoomRead nowSundays, 3-4:30pm Eastern TimeOct. 31; Nov. 7, 14, 21; Dec. 5,12,19, 2021$105Register

For additional information about classes, please contact Ahava Rosenthal

To register for multiple courses or to apply for a financial scholarship, please contact Cindy Bernstein at 617-559-8709. 

In order to gain access to courses, all class fees must be paid prior to the beginning of class. To ensure timely access to classes, we recommend that late registrations submitted less than 48 hours prior to the start of class be submitted over the phone with Cindy Bernstein, 617-559-8709 during regular business hours. Any requests for financial aid should be made at least two days prior to the start of class. 

Cancellation Policy: Those who withdraw from a course before the first session will be given a full refund. If you choose to withdraw from a course after the first session, a $50 administrative fee will be deducted from your refund.

Please note: Currently we can accept on-line payment using MasterCard or VISA credit cards only. Credit card payments are subject to a 4% administrative fee.

Learning circles that encourage social action and social justice work for all adults in the community. Social Action topics include Racial Justice and Equity, Gender Equity, Social and Economic Justice, and Environmental Guardianship through a Jewish lens.

Course NameInstructorLocationTimeLocation/DatesCourse Descriptiontuition feePartner OrgsRegistration
American Jews and Racial Justice: Where we are now and how we got here (10 sessions)Tema Smith and Marc DollingerOnline via ZoomThursdays 7:15-8:45pm, Eastern TimeSept. 30, Oct. 28, Nov. 18, Dec. 9, 2021; Jan. 13, Feb. 10, Mar. 17, Apr. 7, May 5, Jun 2, 2022Read now$180Register
Part One: Finding our place: Jews in the Struggle for Racial Equity with Tema Smith (6 sessions)Tema SmithOnline via ZoomThursdays 7:15-8:45pm, Eastern Time Sept. 30, Oct. 28, Nov. 18, Dec. 9, 2021; Jan. 13, Feb. 10 2022Read now$108 Register
Part Two: American Jews and Race: A Historical Perspective Marc DollingerOnline via ZoomThursdays 7:15-8:45pm, Eastern Time March 17, April 7, May 5, June 2, 2022Read now$72 Register
Cooking Your Jewish Customs: Culinary Action for Self, Community and Society (6 sessions)Sara GardnerOnline via ZoomSundays, 4-5:30pm, Eastern TimeNovember 7, 14, 21; December 5, 12, 19, 2021Read now$108Register
Fat Torah Beit Midrash: Diving Deeper (8 sessions)Rabbi Minna BrombergOnline via ZoomSunday, 9:30-11am, Eastern TimeOctober 24, 31; November 7, 14, 21; December 5, 12, 19, 2021Read now$144Register
The Fragility of Democracy: The Rise of Nazism and its Lessons for America and the Jewish Community Today (8 sessions)Jan DarsaOnline via ZoomTuesdays, 7:30-9pm, Eastern TimeOct. 19, 26; Nov. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; Dec. 7Read now$144Register
Mussar through an Anti-Oppressive Lens (5 sessions)Kohenet Keshira haLev FifeOnline via ZoomWednesdays, 7:30-9pm, Eastern TimeOct. 20; Nov. 3, 17; Dec. 1, 15, 2021Read now$90Register
Shmitta 5782: A Year of Release, Healing and Balance (6 sessions)Rabbi Natan Margalit, Ph.D.In-person at Temple Beth Zion, Brookline, MAThursdays, 7-8:30pm, Eastern TimeOct. 28, Nov. 4, 18: Dec.2,9,16, 2021 Read now$108Temple Beth ZionRegister
Zivug for Activists (6 sessions)Rabbi Getzel DavisOnline via ZoomWednesdays 7-8:30pm, Eastern TimeOct 20, 27; Nov 3, 10, 17; Dec. 1, 2021Read now$108Register

For additional information about classes, please contact Ahava Rosenthal

To register for multiple courses or to apply for a financial scholarship, please contact Cindy Bernstein at 617-559-8709. 

In order to gain access to courses, all class fees must be paid prior to the beginning of class. To ensure timely access to classes, we recommend that late registrations submitted less than 48 hours prior to the start of class be submitted over the phone with Cindy Bernstein, 617-559-8709 during regular business hours. Any requests for financial aid should be made at least two days prior to the start of class. 

Cancellation Policy: Those who withdraw from a course before the first session will be given a full refund. If you choose to withdraw from a course after the first session, a $50 administrative fee will be deducted from your refund.

Please note: Currently we can accept on-line payment using MasterCard or VISA credit cards only. Credit card payments are subject to a 4% administrative fee.

Learning circles that fulfill the mitzvah to beautify the commandments (hiddur mitzvah) by examining Judaism through visual, dramatic and musical arts.

Program FocusCourse NameInstructorLocationTimeDatesDescriptionTuition feePartner OrgsRegistration
Classic: Arts and Culture (6 sessions)Glimpses of Light and Darkness: The Book of Genesis Through a Photographic Lens (6 sessions)Leann ShamashOnline via ZoomSundays, 10:30am-12 noon Eastern TimeOct. 17, 24, 31; Nov. 7, 14, 21, 2021Course description$162Jewish Arts CollaborativeRegister
20's and 30's (6 sessions)The [Jewish] American Songbook (6 sessions)Elliot LazarOnline via ZoomThursdays, 4:30-6pm Eastern TimeNov. 4, 11, 18; Dec. 2, 9, 16, 2021 Course description$90Jewish Arts CollaborativeRegister

For additional information about classes, please contact Linna Ettinger.

To register for multiple courses or to apply for a financial scholarship, please contact Cindy Bernstein at 617-559-8709. 

In order to gain access to courses, all class fees must be paid prior to the beginning of class. To ensure timely access to classes, we recommend that late registrations submitted less than 48 hours prior to the start of class be submitted over the phone with Cindy Bernstein, 617-559-8709 during regular business hours. Any requests for financial aid should be made at least two days prior to the start of class. 

Cancellation Policy: Those who withdraw from a course before the first session will be given a full refund. If you choose to withdraw from a course after the first session, a $50 administrative fee will be deducted from your refund.

Please note: Currently we can accept on-line payment using MasterCard or VISA credit cards only. Credit card payments are subject to a 4% administrative fee.

Learning circles that provide safe spaces with instructors trained in Mussar ethics and values.

Course NameInstructorLocationTimeDatesCourse Descriptiontuition feePartner OrgsRegistration
Intermediate Mussar: A Jewish Character Development Journey for Today (8 sessions)Rabbi Carol GlassMostly remote and sometimes in person in NewtonTuesdays 10-11:30am, Eastern TimeOct. 5, 19; Nov. 2, 16, Dec. 7, 21, 2021; Jan. 4, 18, 2022Read now$216 Register
Mussar for a Meaningful Life (8 sessions)Laila GoodmanOn-line via ZoomSunday, 10-11:30am, Eastern TimeOct. 31, Nov. 21, Dec. 19, 2021; Jan. 23, Feb. 20, Mar. 20, Apr. 24, May 22, 2022   Read now$216Register
Traveling the Mussar Path (8 sessions)Rabbi Eric GurvisIn-person at Temple Emanuel or on Zoom, TBDThursdays, 7:45-9:15pm, Eastern Time Oct. 21; Nov. 4, 18; Dec. 2, 16, 2021; Jan. 13, 27; Feb. 10, 2022Read now$216Temple Emanuel, NewtonRegister

For additional information about classes, please contact Linna Ettinger.

To register for multiple courses or to apply for a financial scholarship, please contact Cindy Bernstein at 617-559-8709. 

In order to gain access to courses, all class fees must be paid prior to the beginning of class. To ensure timely access to classes, we recommend that late registrations submitted less than 48 hours prior to the start of class be submitted over the phone with Cindy Bernstein, 617-559-8709 during regular business hours. Any requests for financial aid should be made at least two days prior to the start of class. 

Cancellation Policy: Those who withdraw from a course before the first session will be given a full refund. If you choose to withdraw from a course after the first session, a $50 administrative fee will be deducted from your refund.

Please note: Currently we can accept on-line payment using MasterCard or VISA credit cards only. Credit card payments are subject to a 4% administrative fee.

Learning circles that offer different gateways of modern interpretation and understanding through the study of history, Jewish thought, literature, Kaballah and Talmud.

Course NameInstructorLocationTimeDatesCourse Descriptiontuition feePartner OrgsRegister
A Time for Every Purpose Under Heavens: Ecclesiastes (5 sessions)Naomi Gurt LindOnline via ZoomSundays, 7:30-9:00pm, Eastern TimeView datesRead now$135Register
Exploring Talmud Through the Daily Daf Yomi 2021-22 (Entire Year- 66 sessions)Layah Kranz LipskerOnline via ZoomMon. or Tues.* and Thurs. 9-9:45am, Eastern TimeView datesRead now$890Register
Exploring Talmud Through the Daily Daf Yomi Fall 2021 (21 sessions)Layah Kranz LipskerOnline via ZoomMon. or Tues.* and Thurs. 9-9:45am, Eastern TimeView datesRead now$284Register
Exploring Talmud Through the Daily Daf Yomi, Winter, 2021-22 (23 sessions)Layah Kranz LipskerOnline via ZoomMon. or Tues.* and Thurs. 9-9:45am, Eastern TimeView datesRead now$310Register
Exploring Talmud Through the Daily Daf Yomi, Spring 2022 (22 sessions)Layah Kranz LipskerOnline via ZoomMon. and Thurs. 9-9:45am, Eastern TimeView datesRead now$297Register
Finding the Words: A Personal Exploration into the Book of Psalms (8 sessions)Rabbi Mona StrickOnline via ZoomThursdays 7-8:30pm, Eastern TimeView datesRead now$216Boston SynagogueRegister
The God(s) of Judaism (6 sessions)Rabbi Or RoseOnline via ZoomWednesdays 7-8:30pm, Eastern TimeView datesRead now$210/$150/$60 Supporter/Standard/ReducedTemple Israel BostonRegister
Hitchazkut: Rebbe Nachman and the Journey Towards Self-Encouragement (6 sessions)Sabrina BurgerOnline via ZoomWednesdays 7-8:30pm, Eastern TimeView datesRead now$162Register
Jewish Life and Living – Themes in Jewish Day to Day Life (8 sessions)Rabbi Lila KagedanIn person or Zoom TBDWednesdays 11am-12:30pm, Eastern TimeView datesRead now$216Register
Kabbalah of Family (8 sessions)Layah Kranz LipskerSome sessions in person in Newton, Needham and Brookline; some on-line via ZoomMondays, 10-11:30am, Eastern TimeView datesRead now$216Register
Kabbalah of Personal Growth - Wayland (8 sessions)Layah Kranz LipskerSome sessions in person in Wayland, some on-line via ZoomWednesday (except Sept 13), 4-5:30pm, Eastern TimeView datesRead now$216Register
Living in Three Dimensions: Jewish Wisdom for Reconnecting in our Relationships with Others (8 sessions)Rabbi Eric GurvisOnline via ZoomTuesdays, 7:15-8:45pm, Eastern TimeView datesRead now$216Register
Market Mussar: Rabbinic Perspectives on Finance (6 sessions)Allen LipsonOnline via ZoomMondays 7-8:30pm, Eastern TimeView datesRead now$210/$150/$90 Supporter/Standard/20s & 30sTemple Israel BostonRegister
Mystical Connections: Kabbalistic Teachings on Relationships and Intimacy (8 sessions)Rabbi Getzel DavisOnline via ZoomThursdays, 8-9:30pm, Eastern TimeView datesRead now$216Register
Our Relation to Creation (8 sessions)Rabbi Natan Margalit, Ph.D.Online via ZoomWednesdays, 7-8:30pm, Eastern TimeView datesRead now$216Register

For additional information about classes, please contact Linna Ettinger.

To register for multiple courses or to apply for a financial scholarship, please contact Cindy Bernstein at 617-559-8709. 

In order to gain access to courses, all class fees must be paid prior to the beginning of class. To ensure timely access to classes, we recommend that late registrations submitted less than 48 hours prior to the start of class be submitted over the phone with Cindy Bernstein, 617-559-8709 during regular business hours. Any requests for financial aid should be made at least two days prior to the start of class. 

Cancellation Policy: Those who withdraw from a course before the first session will be given a full refund. If you choose to withdraw from a course after the first session, a $50 administrative fee will be deducted from your refund.

Please note: Currently we can accept on-line payment using MasterCard or VISA credit cards only. Credit card payments are subject to a 4% administrative fee.

Open Circle Jewish Learning FAQs

Hebrew College is committed to accommodating adult learners with accessibility needs for a limited number of courses. Please contact us so we can determine how we might best accommodate you.

Generous financial scholarships are available. Contact us for more information.

For best results, register more than 48 hours prior to the start of a class in order to guarantee that the instructor receives your contact information in time for class.
Currently we can only accept MasterCard and VISA payments. All payments are subject to a 4% administration fee.
To register for more than one class at a time, you must contact Cindy Bernstein at 617-559-8709 to process it over the phone. Otherwise, the system will not compute the payment correctly.

All cancellations prior to the start of class will be refunded in full. After the first class, a $50 administrative fee will be deducted from the class fee. For extenuating circumstances, please contact us.

Want to learn more about Open Circle Jewish Learning?

For more information contact Linna Ettinger, Director of Open Circle Jewish Learning.