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Open Circle Jewish Learning

CJP_Badge_ColorHebrew College Open Circle Jewish Learning brings together groups of curious, engaged learners with exceptional educators to dive into an array of compelling topics and practices. Open Circle Jewish Learning is for adults of all levels of Jewish educational background, from none to advanced. We welcome the voices and participation of all, regardless of religious background. Together we will tap into the wisdom of the Jewish tradition and consider how it can inform us as we address the challenges of our times. Let us help you find the right course and instructor for your interests.

 

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
Learn more

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 and beyond.

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.

Explore Courses

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

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.) We are grateful to Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston for generously subsidizing classes for Young Adults. 

Search our online adult learning catalog of courses for those geared towards Young Adults.

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. 

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.

Canadian and other registrants from outside of the US: please email Cindy Bernstein to complete your registration. We apologize for the inconvenience.

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. We are grateful to Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston for generously subsidizing Social Action classes.

Search our online adult learning catalog of courses for those in the category of Social Action.

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. 

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.

Canadian and other registrants from outside of the US: please email Cindy Bernstein to complete your registration. We apologize for the inconvenience.

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

Search our online catalog of adult learning courses for those in the category of Arts and Culture. 

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. 

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.

Canadian and other registrants from outside of the US: please email Cindy Bernstein to complete your registration. We apologize for the inconvenience.

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

Search our online adult learning catalog of courses for those in the category of Spirituality and Mindfulness.

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. 

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.

Canadian and other registrants from outside of the US: please email Cindy Bernstein to complete your registration. We apologize for the inconvenience.

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

Search our online adult learning catalog of courses for those in the category of Texts and Traditions.

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. 

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.

Canadian and other registrants from outside of the US: please email Cindy Bernstein to complete your registration. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Learn from both ancient and contemporary sources of wisdom that you are not alone in your respective parenting or grandparenting journeys and connect with other families to create supportive communities. Explore Jewish values and teachings that can enrich your family. We welcome the participation of parents from all faiths, cultures, families, and experiences.

Search our online adult learning catalog of courses for those in the category of Parenting and Grandparenting.

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. 

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.

Canadian and other registrants from outside of the US: please email Cindy Bernstein to complete your registration. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Open Circle Jewish Learning FAQs

We are currently accepting course proposals for the Winter/Spring of 2024. Current and prospective instructors and class liaisons are invited to submit proposals until December 1, 2023.

Open Circle Jewish Learning Classic and Special Programs

Open Circle Jewish Learning courses fall within the categories of Texts and Traditions, Mindfulness, Arts and Culture, Social Action, Young Adult and Parenting/Grandparenting classes. All prospective instructors are encouraged to submit a proposal via the following Survey Monkey link:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GVVJH26

Thank you for your interest in teaching with Open Circle Jewish Learning of Hebrew College. For more information, contact  Ahava Rosenthal.

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.

Financial arrangements and need-based partial financial scholarships are available. Contact us  to inquire about paying your fee in two installments, or about available financial scholarships.

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% credit card convenience 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.
Should you wish to avoid the credit card convenience fee, you may pay by check. Please make your check payable to Hebrew College, and include a note with your name, address, phone number and email address, and the name of the course and instructor for which you wish to register. Send the check and your note to Hebrew College, 1860 Washington Street, Newton, MA 02466, Attn: Business Office.  It will help us if you email Cindy Bernstein to let her know to expect your payment in the mail.

  • 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 a 4% credit card processing fee) will be deducted from the refund.
  • No refunds will be made after the second session.
  • For extenuating circumstances, including requests for withdrawal after the second session, please contact us.
  • Credit card processing fees apply to all transactions, regardless of the time of withdrawal.
Kelsey Peterson

I am immensely grateful to my Open Circle Jewish Learning teacher Elisha Gechter and our community of learners, which is why I made a gift to Hebrew College in her honor with tikkun olamin mind—a concept I first learned about in Elisha’s course. Since her wonderful eight-week class, I have enrolled in two more Zoom courses with Hebrew College, and can’t wait for her next Open Circle course, “From Miriam to Marlee Matlin: Brave and Brilliant Jewish Women.”

Read Kelsey’s blog, The Year of My Jewish Learning Journey.

Want to learn more about Open Circle Jewish Learning?

For more information contact Ahava Rosenthal, Director, Hebrew College Open Circle Jewish Learning, 617-559-8734. Need-based partial financial scholarships are available for all adult learning courses.