Introduction or Re-discovery of Judaism
Taught by Rabbi Susan Leider
at Congregation Kol Shofar
2150 Blackfield Dr., Tiburon, CA 94920
Thurs Jan 9-Mar 13 7:30-9:30pm
In partnership with the American Jewish University’s Miller Introduction to Judaism Program and in association with the Osher Marin JCC and Congregation Rodef Sholom.
We warmly welcome all who desire a deeper connection to Judaism, those who are considering conversion, and those seeking their Jewish voice and identity. Our course incorporates biblical and rabbinic writings, the history and culture of the Jewish people, holy days, festivals and the Sabbath, Jewish concepts of God and ethics, life cycle, kashrut: the Jewish dietary laws, our connection to the land of Israel and contemporary Jewish life. The inclusion of basic Hebrew phonetics enables you to feel at home in synagogue and life cycle services. Drop in on a class-by-class basis, ($5 materials fee per class). Please go to the Kol Shofar website or for more information, contact Marcy Levey Klassen firstname.lastname@example.org or 415.388.1818 ext. 100.
Jan 9: Kashrut: The Original Soul Food.
Outline of the practice of Kashrut—its basic rules and concepts and how to practically apply them to daily life.
Jan 16: Philosophers, Poets, and Mystics:
The Jewish Middle Ages History of Jews in the Middle Ages. Focus on the personalities of Rashi, Rambam, and Joseph Karo. Development of Kabbalah, including basic explanation of the sefirot, Zohar, and Lurianic Kabbalah.
Jan 23: Marriage, Love & Kosher Sex. Jewish rituals for sanctifying relationships, with an in-depth focus on marriage rituals. Exploration of the concept of mikvah—both for conversion and for sanctification of sexuality.
Jan 30: From Birth to B’nai Mitzvah: Raising a Mensch. Rituals and meaning behind Brit Milah and Simchat Bat, with a focus on the significance of circumcision both for infants and for converts. Choosing a Jewish name. Jewish parenting, the significance (and cost) of Jewish education, significance of the B’nai Mitzvah ceremony and Jewish teen life.
Feb 6: A Time to Mourn: Traditions for Death, Grief, & Healing. Jewish approach to issues like artificial respiration, and autopsy. Funeral and burial practices. Shiva, shloshim, yartzeit, and the unique Jewish approach to managing grief. Jewish views on the afterlife.
Feb 13: Passover: The Jewish Master Story. The meaning and value of the Passover narrative as the "master story" of the Jewish people. Model seder to explore the rituals and themes of the Passover holiday.
Feb 27: Out of the Darkness: Stories from the Holocaust. History of anti-Semitism, from Biblical stories (Purim & Hanukkah), to Jews under Christian and Muslim rule, to the advent of racial anti-Semitism and the Holocaust.
March 6: Israel — Dreaming of Deliverance: The Land of Israel in Jewish life and history. Israeli culture, geography,and significant historical highlights. How are we to understand and respond to Israel’s political challenges—with her neighbors and internally?
March 13: The Jewish Mission to Heal the World. The Jewish responsibility to bring Tikkun Olam—healing and justice to a world that has great brokenness. The value and practice of Tzedakah. The centrality of the concept of Tselem Elohim and our responsibility to preserve human dignity.