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Open Circle Jewish Learning 20s and 30s

Open Circle Jewish Learning 20s and 30s brings together young adults in living rooms throughout Greater Boston to build connection and community through stimulating, accessible Jewish learning and conversation. We offer small-group, discussion-based learning circles on topics including mindfulness and mysticism, politics and history, arts and culture, social action, and texts and traditions. You can also create your own learning circle on any Jewish topic.

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young adults talking in living room
  • time 20s and 30s
  • location Living rooms and community spaces
  • duration 6-10 weeks
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Open Circle Jewish Learning 20s & 30s

Open Circle Jewish Learning 20s and 30s 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. Open Circle Jewish Learning themes include:

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

We also welcome the opportunity to partner with individuals and organizations throughout Greater Boston to offer tailored young adult experiences. Bring seven friends and pick a theme or topic, and we’ll find a facilitator and provide texts to enrich your Jewish journey!

We welcome participants from all religious, political, gender, and economic backgrounds. No prior formal Jewish education or knowledge of Hebrew is required. Past participants include secular and religious Jews from a variety of movements, and non-Jews, including partners in interfaith relationships, and those considering going through conversion.

Eser

Eser is Hebrew for 10, a number with special significance in Judaism. Ten is a symbol of good luck and power: there are 10 Commandments; 10 members of a minyan, the quorum for communal Jewish ceremony; and 10 sefirot, or elements of the divine existing in nature.

Named for Eser’s 10 sessions, Eser brings young adults together in living rooms throughout Greater Boston each spring to explore contemporary issues and ideas through a Jewish lens, and to build connection and community through conversation.

Eser participants meet each spring for 10 sessions of facilitated discussion and Jewish learning around a specific “top ten” theme in convenient locations across the Boston Area. Weekly discussion sessions are held at the home of a group member and facilitated by a Jewish educator or rabbi-in-training.

A few Eser groups are designated for participants that share something in common, such as our Keshet group for the LGBTQ community and our Russian-Speaking Jews group for young adults from the Former Soviet Union. Groups also come together for Shabbat meals and other social gatherings.

Picture this: Ten young professionals sitting around a living room on a weekday evening, eating snacks, drinking wine, laughing, talking and studying sources on some not-so-small questions like: “Is there a Jewish hell?” “Does God exist?” and “Why be Jewish?” If anyone had any doubts about the vibrancy of American Jewish life today, they should sit in on an Eser session.

Ilana Zietman, Rabbinical Student and MJEd

Over the program, I formed a close bond with nine other people who I wouldn’t have even met if not for Eser. In the weekly conversations, I started to appreciate the diversity of perspectives answering life’s question and obtained a deeper understanding of how Judaism has intellectually evolved over the past 3000+ years.

Mark Goldman, Graduate Research Fellow, Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Want to learn more?

If you need additional information, want to get involved, or wish to create your own discussion group, please contact Joel Stanley, Associate Director of Young Adult Programs, Open Circle Jewish Learning, at jstanley@hebrewcollege.edu.

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