Open Circle Jewish Learning

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.

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Open Circle Jewish Learning
  • time Adults of all ages
  • location Living rooms, synagogues, and community spaces
  • duration 6 to 18 Sessions
Register

Find meaning in Jewish sources of wisdom through approachable conversations in living rooms, synagogues, and community centers throughout the Greater Boston Area. Open Circle Jewish Learning includes:

  • Mindfulness and mysticism circles
  • Politics and history circles
  • Arts and culture circles
  • Social action circles
  • Texts and traditions circles
  • Young Adult circles

You can also bring together a group of friends and create your own salon on any topic ranging from Israel to the Torah.

Please note that while we warmly welcome inquiries from new teachers and groups, we may have to place some interested groups on a wait list for the spring due to the great interest in the Greater Boston community for our classes.

What inevitably happens is that a small quote will lead us into a deep and moving conversation.

– Arlene Bryer, Needham

Arts 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. See class descriptions. 

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. See class descriptions. 

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. See class descriptions. 

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. See class descriptions. 

Young Adult Circles

Open Circle Jewish Learning 20s and 30s offers small-group discussions on topics including mindfulness and mysticism; politics and history; arts and culture; social action; and texts and traditions. Eser, our 10-week spring program, focuses on contemporary issues and ideas through a Jewish theme that changes each year. See class descriptions. 

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. See class descriptions. 

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

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

Want to learn more about Open Circle Jewish Learning?

If you need additional information or want to create your own salon, please contact Rabbi Natan Margalit, Director of Open Circle Jewish Learning, at nmargalit@hebrewcollege.edu.

For questions about registration, please contact Helaine Denenberg, Administrative Coordinator of Open Circle Jewish Learning, at hdenenberg@hebrewcollege.edu.