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Kollel Course Listing - Spring 2022


Click here for pdf version of the Course Listing for the Spring 2022 Session

Course Listing - Spring 2022

Justice and Mercy - An exploration of Jewish Ideas
Rabbi Peter Stein

Beginning with the Torah's descriptions, Judaism contains a complex and sometimes contradictory set of ideas.  We will explore a series of important questions: What does Judaism have to say about forgiveness?  Accountability?  Punishment?  Revenge?  Together, we will look at classical teachings and reflect on our personal experiences. 
Wednesdays: 10:00am-11:00am 
March 2, 16, April 6, 20, May 4, 18
To be held via Zoom
Fee: $40
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.)
Tuesdays: 12:15pm-1:15pm 
Mar 1, 8, 22, 29, Apr 5, 12, 26, May 3, 10, 17
To be held via Zoom
Fee: $40
The Journey From Spiritual Experience to Religion          
Darryl Powell

Every formal, organized religion has its origins in a deeply personal, life-changing spiritual experience with the Divine. This story is shared with and is, in time, embraced as Truth by the community. The community then creates liturgies, practices and prayers. In time, leaders of the community, trying to keep the purity of the original encounter, declare what is the accepted Truth and what is heresy. In the worst of situations, accepted Truth is used to control others and punish them when they wander into the world of blasphemy. There are no prerequisites for this course. Students are encouraged to enter into the discussion ready to review their own spiritual encounters with the Divine and wrestle with their own concepts of Truth.
Mondays 10:00am-11:30am
March 28, April 4, 11, 18
Fee: $40
Four Lesser Known Texts That Can, at the Very Least, Increase Our Understanding of the Holocaust
Herb Skerker

The books are:  Badenhheim 1939 by Aharon Applefield, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder,  The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million by Daniel Mendelsohn,  Under ground in Berlin: A young Woman’s Extraordinary Tale of Survival in the Heart of Nazi Germany by Marie Jalowicz Simon.  All Books are available at the Monroe County Library,  Amazon and Thrift Books.  Students are encouraged to read the books to enhance class participation.
Wednesdays: 10:00am-11:30am 
March 23, April 13, May 11, June 22
Fee: $40
Stay Tuned
Herb Skerker

Television has entertained, informed, comforted and thrilled us for many years. It has taken us to the scenes of mass celebrations, to calamities and into frightening fields of battle. We will review and discuss TV’s early years by examining Old TV series and programs.
Tuesdays: 10:00am-11:30am 
May 3, 10, 17, June 21  
Fee: $40
The Roman Catholic Church Today: A Look Inside
Joe Kelly

In the continuing spirit of open and honest dialogue among Jews and Catholics in the Rochester area, this Roman Catholic professor will lead a discussion regarding some of the difficulties that have emerged in the Cathodic tradition since the end of Vatican Council II. We will consider such topics as the Church’s new openness to today’s secular society, the decline in both clergy and membership, the child abuse scandal, and the emergence of conservative opposition to Church authority. Our hope is to share new insight and understanding into this venerable religious
Mondays: 10:00am-11:30am 
April 25, May 2, 9, 16
Fee: $40
Mussar: Becoming More Menschlike, One Step at a Time
Barbara Grosh and Howard Brill

Mussar is an ancient tradition to foster spiritual growth in the midst of our busy involved lives, embedded amongst our families, coworkers 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. We work on practices to improve our character traits one at a time. Readings come from Alan Morinis’s Everyday Holiness and traditional sources. Participants will discuss and keep journals of their experience with each middah. We will also have paired learning (chevruta) between sessions. All are welcome, whether you’ve just heard of Mussar or you’ve been practicing for some time.
Sundays: 11:00am-12:30pm 
March 6, 20, April 3, 24, May 8, 22,  June 12, 26
Participants will meet with their Chevruta partners during the week between group sessions at a time and place of their own choosing.
To be held via Zoom
No fee. Registration required.
How did the Books of the Hebrew and Christian Bibles come to be?
Stu Berger

This course explores the compilation, editing and acceptance (canonization) of the official scripture of both the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and the New Testament and the important ingredients, influence of other civilizations and historical events that led to their development.  The course benefits from the 200 hours of Great Courses and extensive readings.
Thursdays: 9:30am-11:00am 
April 28, May 5, 12, 19
Fee: $40
Mah Jongg for Beginners 
Juleen Squires

Jewish women kept this 19th century Chinese parlor game alive, and it has become a favorite pastime. Learn to play! No experience necessary. Men and women are welcome.
Thursdays: 1:00pm-2:30pm 
April 28, May 5, 12, 19, 26
Fee $50
Great Decisions: A Jewish Perspective
Andrea A. 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 bit of reading prior to each class.
Wednesdays: 7:00pm-8:30pm 
March 9, 30, April 6, 27, May 4, 25, June 1, 8, 15
Fee: $60 plus $30 textbook
Thursday Thoughts
David Orange

Thursday Thoughts is a series of ten distinct, but relatable short topics serving the interests and needs of our senior population. Thursday Thoughts will be fully interactive and live in-person at St. John's Meadows, and as always, intended to make you think!
Thursdays: 10:00am-10:45am 
March 3, 10, 24, 31, April 7, 14, 21, 28, May 5, 12
Location: St. John’s Meadows Chestnut Court, in the Parks Room
No fee. Registration required.
Beginning Hebrew
Gene Spiro

This class is designed for anyone without any knowledge of Hebrew or  in need of a complete refresher course. We will learn all the letters and vowels and develop phonetic skills towards reading fluency. Reading is geared towards prayers and lots of vocabulary is introduced as well. The book 
“Shalom u-v'racha” is required. 
Tuesdays at 6:30pm-7:30pm 
March 1, 8, 15, April 5, 12, 26, May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
Fee: $80 plus $15 textbook
Intermediate Hebrew
Gene Spiro

This course is designed for students who have completed the Beginning Hebrew course and/or who have mastered basic reading skills. In this course students will learn to read and understand the prayers that make up the Shabbat service and also some of the readings in the Haggadah. We will use the Mishkan prayer book and supplementary material.
Mondays: 6:00pm-7:00pm 
March 7, 14, April 4, 11, 25, May 2, 9, 16, 23
Fee: $80
Beginning Hebrew Conversation
Orna Korn

Focuses on comprehension of basic two-word sentences and progresses to the understanding and usage of compound sentences. Note: maximum of 12 students per class.
Tuesdays: 5:45pm – 6:45pm 
March 1, 8, 15, April 5, 12, 26, May 3, 10
To be held via Zoom
Fee: $50
Intermediate-Advanced Hebrew Conversation
Orna Korn

This class is designed for mid level and advanced students. Focuses on comprehension of basic sentences and progresses to understand and usage of complex sentences. Note maximum of 12 students per class.
Wednesdays: 5:45pm – 6:45pm 
March 2, 9, April 6, 13, 27, May 4, 11, 18
To be held via Zoom
Fee: $50


Thu, May 19 2022 18 Iyyar 5782