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Kollel Course Listing - Fall-Winter 2020-21

Course Listings - Fall-Winter 2020-21

Click here to download the Fall-Winter 2020-21 Kollel Registration Form

A New Look at the Ten Commandments
Rabbi Peter Stein
The Ten Commandments are the foundation text for many aspects of Jewish belief, observance, and ethics.  They appear in two different places in the Torah and there are countless commentaries and teachings about this sacred text.  This course will explore a variety of insights and perspectives on the Ten Commandments.  While not required reading, this class will be based on a brand new book, Inscribed: Encounters with the Ten Commandments, edited by Rabbi Oren Hayon.  This anthology gives voice to the many diverse and contemporary perspectives about each of the Ten Commandments. Written by an impressive collection of rabbis and scholars, the volume allots multiple chapters for each of the commandments in order to engage with the ways in which these timeless utterances have inspired contemporary laws, ethics, and moral guidelines.

Wednesdays: 10:00am-11:30am  Oct. 7, 21, Nov. 4, 18, Dec. 2, 16
Fee: $60

Haftarah Through the Voice of Women – Exploring The Women’s Haftarah Commentary
Rabbi Rochelle Tulik
The Haftarah is a potent tool for understanding the values, ethics, and moral lessons contained in the weekly Torah readings.  This Kollel series will explore The Women’s Haftarah Commentary, a collection featuring commentary and interpretations from more than eighty women rabbis from the Reform, Conservative, and Reconstructionist movements.  New and returning students are more than welcome.  Just because it’s a “women’s” commentary, doesn’t mean only “women” should join!  (Participants will want a copy of the text as weekly discussions will center directly on the commentaries contained within.)

Session 1:  Tuesdays: 12:15pm-1:15pm   Oct 13, 20, 27, Nov 10, 17, Dec 1, 8, 15
Fee: $40

Session 2:  Jan 12, 19, 26, Feb 2, 9, 16, 23, Mar 2
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, (available on Amazon for $18). 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.  The group will meet as a whole approximately every second week, and members will meet in pairs (chevrutah partners) on the alternating weeks.

Sundays: 11:00am-12:30pm  Oct. 18, Nov. 1, 15, Dec. 6, 20, Jan. 10, 24, Feb. 7, 21,
On weeks in between those listed, students will meet in pairs (chevrutah partners) to discuss questions over the readings and their practice.
No fee. Registration required. 
Class to be held via Zoom

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 4-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. 
Mondays: 10:00am-11:30am  Oct. 19, 26, Nov. 2, and 9
Fee: $40

Canonicity: How did we get the Books of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures?
Canceled due to lack of registrants
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-11:00am  Oct. 22, 29,  Nov. 5, 12
Fee: $40
Class to be held via Zoom only 

Jews, Social Action and Song
Canceled due to lack of registrants

Bonnie Abrams
The 1960s was a turbulent time in our country's history - not unlike what we are experiencing now. Many social activist songwriters were Jewish and expressed Jewish values of justice through songs that led a movement of reform and change. Can we use their example to bring positive change in the 21st Century?
Tuesdays: 10:00am-11:30am  Nov. 3, 10, 17, Dec. 1
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 or online) by the “Great Decisions” DVD. Will require a little bit of reading prior to each class.
Wednesdays: 7:00pm-8:30pm  Nov. 4, 11, 18, Dec. 2, 9, 16
Fee: $50 plus $30 textbook

Short Stories of Edith Pearlman 
Canceled due to lack of registrants

Athene Goldstein
This is a course on the short stories of Edith Pearlman.  We will use the book Binocular Vision.
Mondays 10:00am-11:30am  Nov 30, Dec 7, 14, and 21 
Fee: $40 

Jewish and Christian Perspectives on Crime and Punishment
Canceled due to lack of registrants

Rabbi Drorah Setel and Rev. Matthew Nickoloff
In this discussion based course, participants will explore questions of justice, forgiveness, and public and personal restoration through inter-religious engagement with sacred texts, theological and ethical traditions, and historical and current events.  While the recent murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis law enforcement has brought issues of criminal justice and public safety to the forefront of national conversation, both the Jewish and Christian traditions have always wrestled with questions of crime, punishment, justice and restoration.  We’ll examine how each tradition understands justice and forgiveness, how they have converged and diverged, and how these ongoing conversations might shape our responses to pressing questions of criminal justice in our own time.
Thursdays: 10:00am-11:30am   Nov. 19, Dec. 3, 10, 17, Jan. 7, 14
Fee: $60

Lessons in Leining: Learning to Chant Torah  (Still time to register!)
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, 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)  Because 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.
Mondays: 10:00am-11:30am  Jan. 4, 11, 25, Feb. 1, 8, 15,  Mar. 1, 8
Fee: $60

Beginning Reading Hebrew
Gene Spiro
Learn all the letters and vowels and develop the decoding skills to read words, phrases and work toward reading prayers.  This course is geared towards students who never studied Hebrew or for those who have studied but need to refresh their skills.  Might be required to purchase the book "Shalom u-v'racha" (TBA)
Mondays: 6:15pm-7:15pm  Oct. 19, 26, Nov. 2, 9, 16, 
Dec. 7, 14, 21, Jan. 11, 25, Feb. 1, 8
Fee: $60

Intermediate Reading Hebrew
Canceled due to lack of registrants

Gene Spiro
This course is for students who have a reading knowledge of Hebrew and want to hone their skills for reading prayers.
Emphasis will be on reading fluency, Hebrew prayer vocabulary and prayer comprehension.
Mondays: 7:30pm-8:30pm  Oct. 19, 26, Nov. 2, 9, 16, Dec. 7, 14, 21, Jan. 11, 25, Feb. 1, 8
Fee: $60

Beginning Hebrew Conversation
Canceled due to lack of registrants

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: 5:45pm-6:45pm  Oct. 20, 27, Nov. 3, 10, 17, 
Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22, Jan. 5, 12, 19
Fee: $60

Alef Bet
Canceled due to lack of registrants

Orna Korn
We will learn all Alef Bet and vowels.  Some key words for Hebrew conversation.  For this class you don’t need to know Hebrew.  Note: maximum of 12 students per class
Tuesdays: 7:00pm-8:00pm  Oct. 20, 27, Nov. 3, 10, 17, 
Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22, Jan. 5, 12, 19
Fee: $60

Jewish Living
(Co-sponsored with the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester)
with Elliot Fix
This course and inclusion program is designed for adults with special learning needs.  Participants will be actively engaged in learning about Jewish holidays, prayers, songs, rituals, Torah lessons, and Israel.  Class sessions also include crafts, baking projects and guest presenters.  Participation in relevant Jewish community events is scheduled throughout the year.
Wednesdays 7:00pm-8:15pm
Check class schedule for session dates and times.  For fee information and information about joining please contact: Jewish Education and Engagement at the Federation at 461-0490.

Kollel Sunday Series 
Via Zoom

Join us for speakers and discussions 
on a variety of current topics. 
The program is 10:00am -12:00noon
 unless otherwise noted.

Sunday, February 7, 2021 
Sunday, April 25, 2021 


Fri, December 4 2020 18 Kislev 5781