Welcome to our What's New page! Here we list events around the San Francisco Bay Area that are of interest to those who want to learn more about Judaism.
BASIC JUDAISM CLASSES ARE JUST AROUND THE CORNER
We will list each as they are announced
Introduction to Judaism
This class is an overview of the basics of Jewish beliefs, history, and traditions. It is appropriate for those curious about Judaism, as well as those who would like an adult level understanding of what they learned as a child. Topics will include Bible, Jewish history, holidays, life cycle customs, prayer, theology, Israel, Jewish peoplehood and Jewish movements. Instructor: Rabbi Laurence Elis Milder.
Date: Thursdays, 14 sessions: Sep 6, 13, 20 & 27; Oct 4, 11, 18 & 25; Nov 1, 8, 15 & 29; Dec 6 & 13
Time: 7:30 to 9:00p
Place: Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Ct., Pleasanton
Feel free to contact either Rabbi Milder (firstname.lastname@example.org) or myself if you have questions.
Cost: $90 members, $140 nonmembers
Couples: $140 members, $175 nonmembers
Building Blocks of Judaism
Judaism 101... For Everyone!
This course, taught by all the Beth Am clergy, is for anyone who wishes to learn (or re-learn) more about Judaism. All are welcome: non-Jews, Jews, interfaith couples or those considering conversion. Students will learn the basics of Judaism in a friendly and informal atmosphere. We’ll explore fundamental aspects of Jewish practices, such as holiday observance and lifecycle celebrations. We’ll also discuss Jewish understandings of God and religious beliefs, important Jewish texts, Jewish history, literature and the significance of Israel in Judaism today. Many classes will also include an experiential hands-on activity.
The class, open to both members of the congregation and non-members, will also include a Friday evening Shabbat experience at Beth Am as well as two field trips.
Please note that you can sign up for the entire year, or the Fall and Winter semesters individually.
Dates: Thursdays, September 27, 2018 through March 21, 2019
Place: Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills
Study of Mussar
One of the Reform synagogues shared this class information with their members. I heard Alan Morinis speak at an Orthodox synagogue a few years ago. He appears across denominations. Take a look; he is quite good and can be funny too.
Taste of Mussar for Individuals or Online Groups
An introduction to the study and practice of Jewish spiritual ethics
Mussar is a centuries-old Jewish body of teachings, a perspective, and a disciplined practice that provides distinctively Jewish answers to the sorts of questions any thinking person asks about life:
Why do I keep making the same mistakes over and over?
Why do I cause pain to myself and others?
What steps can I take to bring my life closer to my spiritual potential?
Are there lessons I can learn from the experiences of previous generations?
Mussar provides guidance in identifying your uniquely personal path of spiritual growth and offers practices to help bring about that growth.
A Taste of Mussar is an introductory four-week course developed by Dr. Alan Morinis to give you the opportunity to experience the tradition of learning and practicing Mussar that has engaged and helped people for centuries.
Fee: $36 US per individual payable upon registration for individuals. $54 US per individual for online groups
Lunch and Learn with Rabbi Leider
Rationalists, mystics, comedians, philosophers, and inquiring minds of all ages and backgrounds are invited to join this stimulating and energetic text study group. We are learning texts of the Hasidic masters, discovering psycho-spiritual, mystical approaches to the weekly Torah portion. Feel free to drop in or come weekly. Bring your own vegetarian lunch. Free.
Dates: Weekly on Thursdays
Time: 12:15 – 1:15pm
Place: Kol Shofar, 215 Blackfield Dr, Tiburon
For more info contact the synagogue at (415) 388-1818
Torah with Soul/Torah on the Trails
Whether you are a Torah veteran, or completely new to Torah, all are welcome. Shabbat by Shabbat, we will study the weekly parsha, based on the third year of the triennial cycle. Additionally, time permitting, we'll continue our study of the Book of Psalms.
Dates: Most Saturdays*, Sept. 15 is Torah on the Trails; Sept. 22 is Torah with Soul
Time: 9:15 am
Place: Rodef Sholom, 170 North San Pedro Rd., San Rafael
*On the third Saturday of each month, weather permitting, Torah with Soul becomes Torah on the Trails, where we take a short hike on a local trail before studying Torah surrounded by nature. To be added to the Torah with Soul and/or Torah on the Trails email lists, please contact Molly at email@example.com.
Little Garden Jewish Playgroup
Join us Fridays September 14-October 12 and October 19-November 16 between 10:15am-11:15am at Temple Isaiah’s Gan Ilan Preschool to welcome Shabbat and explore activities designed to promote learning and development for children ages 12 months – three-years-old and their caregivers. Using the Jewish calendar as our guide adults and children will enjoy play-based learning facilitated by an expert early childhood educator. Children will engage in art, science, sensory, and gross motor curriculum while adults learn more about how to incorporate Jewish rituals, traditions, and experiences at home. This program is an excellent way to become familiar with the best practice educational approach we deliver in our preschool, Gan Ilan, and includes time spent outside in our garden. Families are encouraged to attend both Sing Shalom and Little Garden for a morning of fun and learning!
Dates: Fridays, September 14-October 12 and October 19-November 16
Place: Temple Isaiah’s Gan Ilan Preschool, 945 Risa Rd., Lafayette
Cost: $75 per 5-week session
Co-sponsored by PJ Library.
How to Read the Bible:
Bridging the Gap between Ourselves and our inherited Texts
To many contemporary readers, the Bible often feels impenetrable and outdated, principally because of the manner in which Jewish texts have been taught in religious schools for generations. This course will explore methods for reading the Bible that are central to liberal Judaism’s orientations to reading sacred texts, but are not frequently utilized in synagogue settings. We will discuss myth and metaphor and the Bible’s literary history in order to uncover the ancient meanings of several of the Bible’s classic narratives and its law codes, and to determine their relevance to modern day Jews and the world in which we live.
Dates: Tuesdays, October 16 - November 6
Times: 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Place: Emanu-El, 2 Lake Street, San Francisco
Cost: Sliding scale tuition. See details here