Open Circle Jewish Learning

Approachable discussions on inspiring Jewish topics. Explore mindfulness and meditation, politics and history, arts and culture, social justice, or texts and traditions or form your own Open Circle with seven friends or colleagues.

  • time Adults of all ages
  • location Living rooms, synagogues, and community spaces
  • duration 6 to 18 Sessions

Open Circle Jewish Learning, sponsored by Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), brings together small groups of curious, engaged learners with exceptional educators to dive into an array of compelling topics and practices. Find meaning in Jewish sources of wisdom through approachable conversations in living rooms, synagogues, and community centers throughout the Greater Boston Area.

Topics include Jewish mindfulness and mysticism, politics and history, arts and culture, social action, and texts and traditions. You can also bring together a group of friends and create your own salon on any topic ranging from Israel to the Torah.

We also offer an Open Circle Social Action track where you can learn about the importance of the practice of tikkun olam (repair the world), tzedek (justice), and tzedakah (charity) in Jewish tradition; work with community organizers in local advocacy organizations; and make a difference through a meaningful social action activity on a specific theme.

 

What inevitably happens is that a small quote will lead us into a deep and moving conversation about a variety of topics be it parenting or relationships, all within a Jewish lens.

– Arlene Bryer, Needham

Mindfulness and Mysticism Circles

Discover meditation, mysticism, and mussar, the Jewish spiritual discipline that helps us nurture our soul and spirit and develop a way of living mindfully.

Politics and History Circles

Delve into Jewish history around the world, from antiquity through the present; understand the intertwined histories of Judaism and other religions; and discuss debates within Israeli politics today.

Social Action Circles

Join together with your peers to learn about the importance of the practice of tikkun olam (repair the world), tzedek (justice), and tzedakah (charity) in Jewish tradition, work with community organizers in local advocacy organizations, and make a difference through a meaningful social action activity on a specific theme.

Art and Culture Circles

Experience Israeli film, poetry and short stories; examine the works of Jewish authors and artists around the globe; and analyze the connections between literature and the Bible.

Texts and Traditions Circles

Explore Jewish rituals, practices and values, such as those surrounding Shabbat, death and grief, the start of a new month, and ritual immersion. Or delve into vibrant Jewish texts, including the Torah, Talmud, and contemporary Jewish thought.

If you have seven friends and a living room, we can create a class.

– – ELYSE WINICK, SENIOR DIRECTOR OF LEARNING AND ENGAGEMENT AT CJP

Create Your Own Circle

Design your own Open Circle salon on any Jewish text, practice, or theme. We’re happy to partner with individuals and organizations to coordinate new conversations. Open Circles must have at least eight members and run for six or more sessions, which can run for 1.5 to 2 hours, weekly, biweekly, or monthly.

Want to learn more about Open Circle Jewish Learning?

If you need additional information, want to create your own salon, or have questions about registration, please contact Betsy More, Director of Open Circle Jewish Learning, at emore@hebrewcollege.edu or 617-559-8736.