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Kollel Course Listing - Spring 2020

Course Listings - Spring 2020

Beginning in March

Jewish Perspective on the New Testament Rabbi Drorah Setel and Rev. Matthew Nickoloff
A rabbi and a minister discuss Jewish perspectives on the New Testament and you’re invited to join them. Many Jews have never studied this essential Christian text and many Christians have never learned what’s Jewish about it. For both there is much to be examined and debated as we address topics such as Judaism and Jewish Movements in the time of Jesus, Messianism, parallels between the New Testament and (other) Jewish texts, and anti-Jewish teachings in the New Testament. The course will combine a brief opening presentation, text study, and discussion. Our textbook will be The Jewish Annotated New Testament, edited by Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Ziv Brettler (Oxford University Press).
Thursdays: 10:00am-12:00pm
Mar 12, 19, 26 Apr 2
Fee: $60

Salon: Explorations with Books and Films Thomas Driscoll
Try to read the book before the session, watch selections of the film, and share your feelings and thoughts. We guarantee the best discussions and plenty of laughter.
March 16: Book: Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover Shines a light on the struggle for self-invention and the role of education
April 27: Film: The Sound of Silence Director Michael Tyburski A creative exploration of the interactions between humans and the sounds of the things around them.
May 11: Book: Homesick: A Memoir by Jennifer Croft Coming of age story about language, severe illness, and tragedy.
June 15: Topic to be determined by the participants
Mondays: 6:30pm-8:30pm
Fee: $70

Torah Through the Voice of Women Rabbi Rochelle Tulik
Since its publication in 2008, The Torah: A Women’s Commentary has brought the voices of women out of the shadows of our biblical text. Join us for a close reading and exploration of Torah, enhanced by the commentary and poetry of notable female scholars. This year, we will focus on the books of Numbers and Deuteronomy. This class is open to men and women. New and returning students are welcome.
Tuesdays: 12:15pm-1:15pm Mar 17 R’eih, Mar 24 Shoftim, Mar 31 Ki Teitzei, Apr 21 Ki Tavo, Apr 28 Nitzavim, May 5 Vayeilech, May 12 Haazinu-V’zot Habracha
Fee: $40

Mussar: Becoming More Menschlike, One Step at a Time Howard Brill and Barbara Grosh
Mussar is an ancient Jewish tradition of spiritual growth. Mussar (unlike Kabbalah) is focused on spiritual growth in the midst of our busy involved lives, embedded amongst our families, co-workers and neighbors. The purpose of studying Mussar is to become a better person, more of a mensch. We study character traits (middot) such as humility, patience, gratitude, honor, and alacrity and try on practices to improve our character traits one at a time. Readings come from Everyday Holiness, by Alan Morinis, which each student will need to acquire. Participants will discuss and keep journals of their experience with each Middah. All are welcome, whether you’ve just heard of Mussar or you’ve been practicing for some time.
Sundays: 11:00am-12:30pm Mar 8, 22 Apr 5, 19, May 3, 17, 31 Jun 14, 28
On weeks in between those listed, students will meet in pairs (chavruta partners) to discuss questions over the readings and their practice.
No fee. Registration required.
Location: To be determined

Lessons in Leining: Learning to Chant Torah Rabbi Michael Silbert
Have you always wanted to be able to chant from the Torah, but never had the time until now or just been too intimidated to learn? Well, this is your opportunity to acquire this beautiful, ancient Jewish skill together with other adults, in a stress-free environment! Prerequisites: Basic Hebrew reading skills and a willingness to prepare for classes. Participants will be required to purchase The Art of Torah Cantillation: A Step-by-Step Guide to Chanting Torah (Portnoy and Wolff) Since this class is focused on skill-acquisition, Michael will demonstrate and explain a technique for learning to chant Torah and will also expect class-participation.
Tuesdays: 10:30am-12:00pm Mar 17, 24, 31, Apr 14, 21, 28 May 5, 12
Fee: $60

Judah Magnes and the Founding of Hebrew University Rabbi Peter Stein
Magnes was a rabbi, a scholar, a Zionist, and a political activist. He joined Albert Einstein and Chaim Weitzman in one of the great experiments in pre-state Palestine…the founding of Hebrew University. This class will not only be an exploration of Magnes’ unique and distinguished life, but will allow us to discuss many of the great personalities in early Zionism. Join us to learn about Reform Judaism’s complex and evolving relationship with Israel; the dynamic interplay between religious, secular, and scientific scholarship; and other elements of Jewish life in the early twentieth century.
Wednesdays 10:00am-11:00am Mar 18, Apr 1, 22 May 6, 20 Jun 3, 17
Fee: $40

Great Decisions: A Jewish Perspective Andrea Gluckman
A unique version of the Foreign Policy Association’s “Great Decisions” program.  Students will explore and evaluate current foreign policy challenges through a Jewish lens, with an emphasis on Jewish values and ethics in practice. Text: “Great Decisions” manual, supplemented (in-class) by the “Great Decisions” DVD. Will require a little bit of reading prior to each class.
Wednesdays: 7:00pm-8:30pm Mar 25 Apr 1, 22, 29 May 6 Jun 10
Fee: $50 plus $30 textbook

Beginning in April

Reclaiming Prophetic Wisdom Joe Kelly
The voices of the Biblical Prophets spoke sternly to the people of Ancient Israel, calling them to improve ethical living in their own time. These same prophets can also speak loudly to us who live in a world hungry for a more humane way of life. This four-week series will explore the insights of Elijah, Amos, Hosea and Micah. Hopefully, a careful reading of the message of each of these "seers" will allow us to begin to reclaim their wisdom for our own time. Please bring a Bible to class.
Mondays: 10:00am-11:30am Apr 27 May 4, 11, 18
Fee: $40


Learning Jewish History through Song Bonnie Abrams
Folk songs tend to reflect the culture and history of their country of origin. But Jewish folk songs reflect hundreds of years of life in diverse geographical locations. The songs shed light on religious and secular practices and customs, holidays, and celebrations, and convey personal insights into daily life and historical events. Students will learn songs of both Ashkenazi and Sephardic traditions and will understand the historical and cultural events that inspired the music.
Mondays: 2:00pm-3:30pm Apr 27 May 4, 11, 18
Fee: $40

Beginning in May

Canonicity: How did we get the Books of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures? Stu Berger and Thomas Driscoll
This course explores the compilation, editing, and acceptance of the official documents of both the Tanakh and the New Testament. We will try to clarify the events that led to the specific inclusion and exclusion of extant stories and writings.
Thursdays: 9:30am-11:00 am May 7, 14, 21, 28
Fee: $40

Anthropological Biography: How personal stories reveal cultures Ayala Emmett
Beyond their literary appeal, personal stories are amazing cultural narratives. Using principles of anthropology as the study of cultures, we will explore how we as individuals and unique human beings are also good cultural storytellers. We will read and demonstrate in short writings how we are expert culture keepers, builders, and innovators.
Thursdays: 2:00pm-3:30pm May 7, 14, 21 Jun 4, 11, 18
Fee: $60

Jews and Mah Jongg for Beginners Juleen Squires
How did a 19th century Chinese parlor game come to be a favorite pastime for Jewish women? Learn how they kept the game alive and learn to play! No experience necessary. Men and women are welcome.
Wednesdays: 1:00pm-2:30pm May 13, 20, 27, Jun 3, 10
Fee $50


These classes are generously sponsored by

St. John's Foundation and are held at St. John's Meadows

Judaism 101 David Orange
A ten-week program to explore, discover and connect to the Jewish faith. From a refresher course to a first-time exploration of the Jewish religion, an introductory program covering fundamental Jewish beliefs and practices. Open to all religious affiliations.
Tuesdays: 6:30pm-8:00pm Mar 17, 24, 31 Apr 14, 21, 28 May 12, 19, 26 Jun 2
No fee. Registration required.
Location: St. John's Meadows, Briarwood Activity Room
Directions: from Elmwood Avenue enter St. John's Meadows and bear right. Briarwood is the first entrance on the left. Park where permitted and enter the building. Briarwood Activity Room is adjacent to the lobby on the left.

Thursday Thoughts  David Orange
A ten-session series of relatable topics designed to appeal to the elder community.
Topics will include: 

>Spirituality and Aging
>Science of Prayer
Facing Loneliness, Despair, Anxiety, and Depression
Cultivating Relationships, Friendships, Openness, and Connections
Forgiveness and Heart Health--How Your Thoughts Affect your Well Being
Affirmations & Self-Talk
Science of Gratitude
Bible Stories for Jews and Christians
>Exploring Our Images and Likenesses to God
What if Jesus Came Back Today?

Thursdays: 3:00pm-4:30pm Mar 19, 26 Apr 2, 16, 23, 30 May 7, 14, 21, 28
No fee. Walk in, Sign in.
Location: St. John's Meadow, Chestnut Courts Park Room
Directions: from Elmwood Avenue enter St. John's Meadows and bear right. Chestnut Court is the second entrance on the left. Park where permitted and enter the building. Parks Room is directly in front of the doors upon entering.


Hebrew Classes 

Learn to Read Hebrew for Beginners Gene Spiro
Learn the basics to read Hebrew. Letter and vowel recognition and development of phonetic skills to develop reading literacy.
Mondays: 6:30pm-7:30pm Mar 16, 23, 30 Apr 13, 27 May 4, 11, 18 Jun 1
Fee: $60

Hebrew Prayer Reading and Comprehension Gene Spiro
For those with a basic knowledge of Hebrew literacy. Improve reading fluency of prayers and learn basic Hebrew vocabulary to facilitate prayer comprehension.
Mondays: 7:30pm-8:30pm Mar 16, 23, 30 Apr 13, 27 May 4, 11, 18 Jun 1
Fee: $60

Basic Beginning Hebrew Orna Korn
Focuses on comprehension of basic two-word sentences and progresses to the understanding and usage of complex sentences. Note: maximum of 12 students per class
Tuesdays: 6:00pm-7:00pm Mar 17, 24, 31 Apr 14, 28,  May 5, 12, 19 Jun 2
Fee: $60

Advanced Beginning Hebrew Orna Korn
This class uses the vocabulary learned in Basic Beginning Hebrew to construct short stories of four to six sentences in length. A great variety of learning experiences are provided. Note: maximum of 12 students per class
Tuesdays: 7:15pm-8:15pm Mar 17, 24, 31 Apr 14, 28 May 5, 12, 19 Jun 2
Fee: $60

Sun, July 5 2020 13 Tammuz 5780