An Introductory Class for Dummies, Smarties..
and Those Who Don’t Know How to Ask.
Instructor: Rabbi Hammerman
Sunday mornings, 9:30 – 10:30 (not to worry, we’ll serve bagels and coffee!).
During this year-long course, Rabbi Hammerman will discuss all aspects of Judaism: History, ethics, customs, literature, lifecycle, basic mitzvot; the hows and whys of living a life imbued with Torah. This class is ideal for everyone looking to understand the basics, as well as those seeking answers to life’s most difficult questions. It is also perfect for those exploring the possibility of becoming a Jew by choice, along with those choosing to reclaim a heritage that has long seemed so elusive and complex. It’s for those who love services, those who are bored by services, and those who don’t know what services are. It’s open to members, non-members, Jews and non Jews. It’s for everyone.
Also, we are embarking on a two year cycle that will culminate in another Beth El Adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah service. This class is a prerequisite for those who may wish to become part of that B’nai Mitzvah process.
There is a $50 registration and materials fee. Required texts will include Joseph Telushkin’s “Jewish Literacy” and Rabbi Brad Artson’s “It’s a Mitzvah,” as well as Xeroxed texts and online assignments.
Certain sessions, listed in italics, will be open even to those not otherwise taking the class. The schedule is subject to change:
Nov. 2 Introductory Class: What is Judaism? Why be Jewish? Who is a Jew?
Nov. 9 What is the Torah? What is the Bible? Biblical history: What REALLY happened?
Nov. 16 Exploring a Torah Portion. Meeting the traditional commentators; Who were the Prophets (Nevi'im). What is a haftarah?
Nov. 23 What is the Siddur? The structure of the service; exploring key prayers
Dec. 7 What are the Mishna and Talmud?
Dec. 14 What is Shabbat?
DEC. 21 The True Story of Hanukkah:
What Really Happened to the Maccabees, the Oil and the Elephants…
Jan. 11 What is Kosher?
Jan. 25 CONGREGATIONAL SHABBATON
FEB. 1 Tallit, Tefillin and Mezuzah: a “hands-on” experience in conjunction with the World Wide Wrap
FEB. 8 Tu B’Shevat Seder: Jewish Environmentalism – ALSO AN INTRO TO KABBALA
Mar. 1 Jewish Values: Tzedakkah and Gemilut Hasadim
MAR. 8 THE PURIM STORY – “FOR ADULTS ONLY”
Mar. 15 Jewish Values: Business and Medical Ethics
Mar. 22 Jewish Values: “Guarding your Tongue” – Gossip
March 29 HOW TO RUN THE BEST SEDER IN TOWN! A PASSOVER PRIMER
Apr. 26 Zionism, Israel and the Holocaust
May. 3 Omer, Shavuot and the Jewish Calendar
May 10 Life Cycle: Birth, Bar/Bat Mitzvah and Marriage
May 17 Life Cycle: The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning
May 31 Final session: The rhythms and cycles of the Jewish calendar and Jewish history – what’s all the fuss about the Messiah?