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.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, all Hebrew College Community Learning classes, including Open Circle Jewish Learning, are currently being offered online, including Fall 2020 and Winter/Spring 2021 classes.

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Open Circle Jewish Learning
  • time Adults of all ages
  • location Virtual living rooms, synagogues, and community spaces
  • duration No more than 8 Sessions, 1.5 hours each
Read winter/spring 2021 course descriptions
In case you missed it


Learn with Tema Smith, who spoke about “American Jews and Whiteness: A Complicated Conversation” on February 22, 2021.


Winter/Spring 2021 Open Circle Jewish Learning Offerings:

This Winter/Spring we are pleased to offer a wide array of classes for every interest. Open Circle Jewish Learning: 20s & 30s; Social Action; Gender Studies; Arts and Culture; Mindfulness; and Texts and Traditions. For all course descriptions, visit the Community Education Course Guide. For detailed biographies of Hebrew College Open Circle Jewish Learning Faculty, please visit the Community Education Faculty webpage. To register, click on “Register” corresponding to each course listed in the course tables below.*

Let us help you if you are registering for more than one course at a time. Please contact Anna Katsevman at akatsevman@hebrewcollege.edu to register for multiple courses.

*Currently we can accept on-line payment using MasterCard or VISA credit cards only.


Open Circle Jewish Learning: 20s & 30s

ProgramCourse TitleInstructorTimeDatesCostRegister
OCJL 20s and 30sWorking for Revelation: A Journey Through the Sefirot (7 sessions) Rabbi David Curiel and Rabbi Getzel DavisThursdays, 8-9:30pmApril 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; May 6, 13, 2021$105Register
OCJL 20s and 30sA Shifting Landscape: Jewish Identity in 21st Century America (7 sessions) Akiva NelsonSundays, 5-6:30pmApril 4, 11, 18, 25, May 2, 9, 16, 2021$105Register
OCJL 20s and 30sModern Conundrums: Western Ethics and Jewish Law on The 21st Century’s Hardest Questions (8 sessions)Rabbi Getzel Davis, Dr. Leah Rosenberg and Sydney LevineTuesdays, 8-9:30pmApril 6, 13,20, 27, May 4, 11, 25, June 1, 2021$120Register
OCJL 20s and 30sAngry Seas, Tender Skies: Learning Climate Resilience Through Midrash (3 sessions) Rabbi Laura BellowsWednesdays, 6-7:30pmMay 12, 19, 26, 2021$45Register
OCJL 20s and 30sSpiraling Through Time: Shmitah 2021 (7 sessions)Leora Mallach and Rabbi Getzel DavisTuesdays, 8-9:30pmFebruary 2, 9, 16, 23 March 2, 9, 16, 2021$105Register
OCJL 20s and 30sZIVUG: Transition to Marriage (7 sessions) Rabbi Getzel Davis Wednesdays, 8-9:30pmFebruary 3, 10, 17, 24, March 3, 10, 17, 2021$105Register
OCJL 20s and 30sDawn: Dancing through the Darkness with Rebbe Nachman of Breslev (8 sessions) Rabbi David Curiel and Rabbi Getzel DavisThursdays, 8-9:30pmFebruary 4, 11, 18, 25, March 4, 11, 18, 25, 2021$120Register
OCJL 20s and 30sBaking and Breaking Bread Across the Diaspora (6 sessions) Sara GardnerSundays, 4-5:30pmMarch 7, 14, 21, April 11, 18, 25, 2021$90Register
OCJL 20s and 30sBeyond Fiddler: Jewish Identity in American Theatre (8 sessions) Elliot LazarMondays, 7:30-9pmMarch 8, 15, 22, April 5, 12, 19, 26, May 3, 2021120$Register
OCJL 20s and 30sGrappling with a Nation Divided: Torah for Our Times (8 sessions) Eric FeldTuesdays, 8:15-9:45pmMarch 9, 16, 23, 30, April 6, 13, 20, 27, 2021$120This class has been cancelled.
OCJL 20s and 30sCapturing Folk Wisdom: "The Dybbuk" and S. Ansky (6 sessions) Rabbi Noam LermanWednesdays, 7-8:30pmMarch 17, 24, 31, April 7, 14, 21, 2021 *NOTE NEW DATES*$90Register
OCJL 20s and 30sMensch Reimagined: How Masculine People Build a Culture of Nurturance (7 sessions) Ian SchifferWednesdays, 7-8:30pmMarch 17, 24, 31, April 7, 17 (Shabbat), 21 and 28, 2021 *NOTE NEW DATES*$105Register
OCJL 20s and 30sFrom Shabbat to Shavuot; Jewish Practices and Personalities Across the Globe (8 sessions) Elisha GechterThursdays, 8-9:30pmMarch 18, April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, May 6, 13, 2021 *NOTE NEW DATES*$120Register

Open Circle Jewish Learning: Social Action

ProgramTitleInstructorTimeDateCostRegister
OCJL Social ActionZIVUG: Activist Couples Transitioning to Marriage (7 sessions) Rabbi Getzel DavisWednesdays, 8-9:30pmApril 7, 14, 21, 28, May 12, 19, 26, 2021$126Register
OCJL Social ActionShmitta: A Year of Letting Go---Jewish Practices of Justice, Freedom and Equality (6 sessions) Rabbi Dr. Natan Margalit and Kohenet Keshira Halev FifeWednesdays, 8-9:30pmApril 7, 14, 21, 28, May 5, 12, 2021$108Register
OCJL Social ActionWhat to Eat: Food Choice Dilemmas in a Jewish Context (7 sessions) Leora Mallach and Michelle KliegerWednesdays, 7:30-9March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, April 7, 14, 2021$126This class has been cancelled.
OCJL Social ActionFat Torah: Building Communities of Belonging for Every Body (8 sessions) Rabbi Minna BrombergSundays, 9:30-11amMarch 7, 14, 21, April 11, 18, 25 May 2, 9, 2021$144Register
OCJL Social ActionWondrous Connecting: Weaving Ourselves into the More-Than-Human World (3 sessions) Rabbi Katy Allen and Rabbi Josh BreindelWednesdays, 7:30-9pmMarch 10, 17, 24, 2021$54Register
OCJL Social ActionTransformative Philanthropy: Grounding in Jewish Tradition to Give for the Long Haul (6 sessions) Molly SchulmanThursdays, 7:30-9pmMarch 18, April 1, 15, 29, May 13, 27, 2021 $108Register

Open Circle Jewish Learning: Classic

Open Circle Jewish Learning Classic: Arts and Culture 

ProgramTitleInstructorTimeDateCostRegister
OCJL Classic, Arts and CultureRitual Hebrew Calligraphy (6 sessions) Rachel Jackson with Leana Tapnack (ASL)Tuesdays 6-7:30pmMarch 23, 30, April 6, 13, 20, 27, 2021$162 and Course Materials Kit:
www.binahdesign.com/opencircle (order by March 1 to receive materials by start of first class)
Full
OCJL Classic, Arts and CultureCreating Each Day: An Omer Maker Space for All Ages (7 sessions) Rabbi Laura BellowsThursdays, 7-8:30pmApril 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, May 6, 13, 2021
Note Revised Dates
$189Register
OCJL Classic, Arts and CultureHavurat Yeztirah – Jewish Composition as Spiritual Practice (7 sessions) Jackson MercerTuesdays, 8-9:30pmSummer 2021 Dates TBD$189Register
OCJL Classic, Arts and CultureWatch and Learn (8 sessions) Layah LipskerTuesdays, 10:30am-12noonFebruary 9, 23, March 2, 16, April 13, 27, May 11, 25, 2021.$216Register
OCJL Classic, Arts and CultureWatch and Learn: The exploration of life through Israeli films (8 sessions) Layah LipskerTuesdays, 1-2:30pmFebruary 9, 16, March 2, 16, April 13, 27, May 11, 25, 2021$216Register
OCJL Classic, Arts and CultureThe Life and Poetry of Yehuda Amichai (8 sessions) Rabbi Daniel BermanThursdays, 10:30-12anoonMarch 4, 11, 18, April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 2021$216Cancelled
OCJL Classic, Arts and CultureDisruptive Innovations in Jewish Musical History (6 sessions) Cantor Matthew AusterkleinMondays, 8-9:30pmMarch 8, 15, 22, April 5, 12, 19, 2021$162Cancelled

Open Circle Jewish Learning Classic: Gender Studies

ProgramTitleInstructorTimeDateCostRegister
OCJL Classic, Gender StudiesRevolutionary Rabbis: Talmud Study as a Tool for Radical Change (8 sessions) Frankie SandmelThursdays, 7-8:30pmApril 15, 22, 29, May 6, 13, 20, 27, June 3, 2021
Please note the new start date reflects a one week delay from the original start date.
$216Register
OCJL Classic, Gender StudiesTkhines: Yiddish Yearnings of Women and Gender Non-conforming People (4 sessions) Rabbi Noam LermanWednesdays, 7-8:30pmFeb 3, 10, 17 and 24, 2021$108Register
OCJL Classic, Gender StudiesMensch Reimagined: How Masculine People Build a Culture of Nurturance (7 sessions) Ian SchifferWednesdays, 7-8:30pmMarch 17, 24, 31, April 7, 17 (Shabbat), 21 and 28, 2021 *NOTE NEW DATES*$105Register
OCJL Classic, Gender StudiesKing, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Biblical Characters and Masculine Architypes (6 sessions) Rabbi Dr. Michael ShireMondays, 7-8:30pmApril 12, 19, 26 May 3, 10, 17, 2021
Please note new dates.
$162Cancelled

Open Circle Jewish Learning Classic: Mindfulness

ProgramTitleInstructorTimeDateCostRegister
OCJL Classic, MindfulnessBeyond the Basics: Mussar and Middot for Our Time (8 sessions) Rabbi Eric GurvisTuesdays, 7:30-9pmMarch 2, 16, 30 April 13, 27 May 11, 25 June 8, 2021$216Register
OCJL Classic, MindfulnessBiblical Mussar Made Modern – Semester 2 (8 sessions) Rabbi Carol GlassTuesdays 10-11:30amMarch 2, 16, 30, April 13, 27, May 11, 25, June 8, 2021$216Register
OCJL Classic, MindfulnessThe Jewish Road to Character – Stepping onto the Mussar Path – MetroWest Sharei Shalom (8 sessions) Rabbi Eric GurvisWednesdays, 7:30-9March 3, 17, 31; April 14, 28; May 12, 26; June 9, 2021$216Register
OCJL Classic, MindfulnessThe Healing Wisdom of the Hebrew Letters: Mystical Messengers for our Time (8 sessions) Rabbi Matthew PonakThursdays, 7:30-9pmMarch 4, 11, 18, April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 2021$216Register
OCJL Classic, MindfulnessJewish Mindfulness Meditation for Care Givers: Loving Yourself Too (6 sessions)Shoshana CetlinThursdays 7-8:30pmMarch 4, 11, 18, 25, April 1, 8, 2021$162Register
OCJL Classic, MindfulnessJewish Road to Character: A First Trip Down the Mussar Path - Temple Emanuel (8 sessions) Rabbi Eric GurvisThursdays, 7:45-9:15pmMarch 4, 18, April 1, 15, 29, May 13, 27, June 10, 2021$216Register
OCJL Classic, MindfulnessMussar for Everyone (7 sessions) Merry ArnoldThursdays, 7:15-8:45pmMarch 4, 18, April 1, 15, 29, May 13, 27, 2021$189Register
OCJL Classic, MindfulnessEmbodied Jewish Practice in Daily Life (8 sessions) Ketriellah GoldfederSundays, 7:30-9pm March 7, 21, April 11, 25, May 9, 23, June 6, 20 2021$216Register
OCJL Classic, MindfulnessAdvanced Mussar Study Group – Shir Tikvah (8 sessions) Rabbi Marcia PlumbTuesdays, 7:30-9pmMarch 9, 23, April 13, 27, May 11, 25, June 8, 15, 2021$216Register
OCJL Classic, MindfulnessBeyond Bowing: A Deep Dive into Embodied Jewish Prayer (6 sessions) Joshua Schreiber ShalemWednesdays, 7-8:30pmMarch 17, 24, 31, April 7, 14, 21, 2021 *Note New Dates*$162Register
OCJL Classic, MindfulnessCycles and Seasons of the Jewish Year (6 sessions) Rabbi Sarah TasmanTuesdays, 1-2:30pmMarch 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, April 6, 2021$162Cancelled
OCJL Classic, MindfulnessImagining God (6 sessions) Genevieve GreinetzTuesdays, 7:30-9pmMarch 23, April 6, April 20, May 4, May 18, June 1, 2021162$Cancelled

Open Circle Jewish Learning Classic: Texts and Traditions 

ProgramTitleInstructorTimeDateCostRegister
OCJL Classic, Texts and TraditionsRevolutionary Rabbis: Talmud Study as a Tool for Radical Change (8 sessions) Frankie SandmelThursdays, 7-8:30pmApril 15, 22, 29, May 6, 13, 20, 27, June 3, 2021
Please note the new start date reflects a one week delay from the original dates.
$216Register
OCJL Classic, Texts and TraditionsExploring Talmud through the Daily Daf Yomi – Winter (16- 45 minute sessions) Layah LipskerMondays and Thursdays,9-9:45amJan 4, 7, 11, 14, 18, 21, 25, 28; Feb 1, 4, 8, 11, 15, 18, 22, 25, 2021$216Register
OCJL Classic, Texts and TraditionsKaballah of Family (8 sessions)Layah LipskerMondays, 10:30am-12pmFeb 8, 22, March 1, 15, April 12, 26 and May 10, 24, 2021$216Register
OCJL Classic, Texts and TraditionsWatch and Learn (8 sessions) Layah LipskerTuesdays, 10:30am-12noonFebruary 9, 23, March 2, 16, April 13, 27, May 11, 25, 2021$216Register
OCJL Classic, Texts and TraditionsWatch and Learn: The Exploration of Life through Israeli Films (8 sessions) Layah LipskerTuesdays,1-2:30pmFeb 9, 16, March 2, 16, April 13, 27, May 11, 25, 2021$216Register
OCJL Classic, Texts and TraditionsIs Diaspora Good for the Jews? The Politics and Possibilities of Galut (6 sessions) Aron WanderTuesdays, 6:30-8pmFebruary 23, March 2, 9, 16 , 23, 30, 2021$162Register
OCJL Classic, Texts and TraditionsExploring Talmud through the Daily Daf Yomi – Spring (16- 45 minute sessions)Layah LipskerMondays and Thursdays,9-9:45amMar 1, 4, 8, 11, 15, 18, Apr 5, 8, 12,15, 19, 22, 26, 29, May 3, 6, 2021$216Register
OCJL Classic, Texts and TraditionsHeartfelt Poems to Start the Day: A Discovery of The Daily Psalms (6 sessions) Jamie StolperMondays, 7:30-9:00pmMarch 1, 8, 15, 22, April 5, and 12, 2021CancelledRegister
OCJL Classic, Texts and TraditionsBodies of Water: Exploring Ritual Immersion (3 sessions) Naomi MalkaTuesdays, 7-8:30pmMarch 9, 16, 23 2021 *NOTE NEW DATES*$81Register
OCJL Classic, Texts and TraditionsIntroduction to Hasidic Stories (6 sessions) Rabbi Lev FriedmanTuesdays, 2-3:30pmMarch 9, 16, 23, 30, April 6, 13, 2021$162Register
OCJL Classic, Texts and TraditionsAll Who Wander are Not Lost (6 sessions) Layah LipskerWednesdays,7:30-9pmMarch 3, 10, 17, 24, April 7, 14, 2021$162Register
OCJL Classic, Texts and TraditionsIn Search of Renewal (6 sessions) Rabbi Or RoseWednesdays, 9:30-11amMarch 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, April 7, 2021$162Register
OCJL Classic, Texts and TraditionsThe Life and Poetry of Yehuda Amichai (8 sessions) Rabbi Daniel BermanThursdays, 10:30-12anoonMarch 4, 11, 18, April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 2021$216Cancelled
OCJL Classic, Texts and TraditionsBlessing Hard Times: Jewish Wisdom about Patience, Endurance and Gratitude (5 sessions) Naomi Gurt LindSundays, 11am-12:30pmMarch 7, 14, 21 April 4, 11, 2021$135Register
OCJL Classic, Texts and TraditionsIntroduction to Halacha: Between Law and Language for Living (8 sessions) Shoshana RosenbaumMondays, 7:15-8:45pmMarch 8, 22, April 5, 19, May 3, 10, 24, June 7, 2021$216Register
OCJL Classic, Texts and TraditionsBiblical Books You Haven’t Read (Yet) (4 sessions) Marc StoberTuesdays, 7-8:30pmMarch 9, 16, 30; April 6, 2021$108Cancelled
OCJL Classic, Texts and TraditionsThe 50th Gate – Counting the Omer (8 sessions) Rabbi Gavriel GoldfederNEW Time/Day: Wednesdays, 9-10:30pmMarch 24 ,31; April 7; ,14, 21, 28; May 5, 12, 2021$216Register
OCJL Classic, Texts and TraditionsKing, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Biblical Characters and Masculine Architypes (6 sessions) Rabbi Dr. Michael ShireMondays, 7-8:30pmApril 12, 19, 26 May 3, 10, 17, 2021
Please note new dates.
$162Cancelled

We have recently moved to a new online payment system. If you encounter any problems, including not receiving a registration confirmation via email for your class, please email Anna Katsevman (akatsevman@hebrewcollege.edu). Please be sure to log out of the system and refresh your history once you have paid for your class, even if you are registering for more than one class or for a second person in the same household. Please note that we only accept payment via credit card or e-check, and all are subject to a 4% administrative fee.

Please note when registering and paying: Hebrew College accepts MasterCard and VISA. Many thanks.

The financial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic have created a need to increase our student fees slightly. Thank you for your understanding.

Please note: 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.


Interested in teaching an Open Circle Class?

If you are a teacher and wish to submit a proposal, please stay tuned for the next opportunity to apply.  We are no longer accepting proposals for Winter/Spring 2021.

Want to learn more about Open Circle Jewish Learning?

If you need additional information or want to create your own course, please email Linna Ettinger, Director of Open Circle Jewish Learning, at lettinger@hebrewcollege.edu. Linna can also be reached at 617.559.8813.