Classes

 

We offer many classes at the JCC of the East Bay, on a variety of interesting topics including Yiddish texts, film discussions, current events, and literature. There's always plenty of opportunity to inquire, discuss, debate, and learn together. Come stop by and join the conversation.

The following classes are cosponsored by Lehrhaus Judaica. To learn more or register, visit www.lehrhaus.org or call 510.845.6420, ext. 17.

Beginning Modern Hebrew
With Ilan Vitemberg

Dates: Wednesdays, Sep 27- December 13 (No class Oct 4, Nov 22)
Time: 6:30-7:30 PM
Fee: $160 Member / $175 Non-Member 

In this class, we will focus on the four major second language acquisition skills - listening, speaking, reading, and writing - by immersing students in everything from classical and Modern Hebrew texts to Israeli music.

Required text: Hebrew From Scratch. Please purchase this book at Afikomen Judaica before the first session. Afikomen is a community partner and plays a substantial role in contributing the vibrant, diverse and engaged Bay Area Jewish community. We encourage you to purchase your course materials from them.

Ilan Vitemberg holds a degree in Theatre Arts focusing on the use of drama in Informal Education. He has taught children, teens and adults for 20 years and is a proud member of the UP A Tree Puppetry Duo.

Register Now!

 

Intermediate Modern Hebrew
With Ilan Vitemberg

Dates: Wednesdays, Sep 27 - Dec 13 (No class Oct 4, Nov 22)
Time: 7:45-8:45 PM 
Fee: $160 Member / $175 Non-Member

This course is for students who have already learned the Hebrew alphabet and basic vocabulary. We will focus on the four major second language acquisition skills - listening, speaking, reading and writing - by immersing students in everything from classical to Modern Hebrew texts to Israeli music.

Required text: Hebrew From Scratch. Please purchase the book at Afikomen Judaica before the first session. Afikomen is a community partner and plays a substantial role in contributing to the vibrant, diverse and engaged Bay Area Jewish community. We encourage you to purchase your course materials from them.

Ilan Vitemberg holds a degree in Theatre Arts focusing on the use of drama in Informal Education. He has taught children, teens and adults for 20 years and is a proud member of the UP A Tree Puppetry duo.

Register Now!

 

Beginning Yiddish From Scratch
With Ken Blady

Dates: Mondays, Oct 2 - Dec 4
Time: 7-8:30 PM
Fee: $160 Member / $175 Non-Member

Learn this rich and colorful language in a relaxed, irreverent and heimisheh atmosphere. All you need is some zitz-fleish (butt + patience), an ardent desire to learn, an interest in Jewish culture, and an ability tzu veren tzeshussen fahr gelechter (to crack up).

Stress in the class will be placed on learning the alef beis (print ad script), elementary grammar, and reading basic texts. Emphasis will be placed on interactive conversation among students (almost) entirely Yiddish in order to develop the ability to form sentences for basic needs when conversing with Yiddish speakers.
The instructor will include salient aspects of the history and evolution of Yiddish as grist for conversation. Students will also master 60 Yiddish shprekhverter (espressions) and vitzzlekh (witticisms), some rated GP.

Potential new students are welcome to sit in on the first session.

Ken Blady is a Jewish educator, author, and translator. Born in Paris, he grew up in Chassidic Brooklyn, where he attended yeshiva and rabbinical seminary. He is the author of Jewish Communities in Exotic Places, among other work, and has been featured on a number of radio and TV talk shows.

Register Now!

 

Intermediate Yiddish
With Ken Blady 

Dates: Wednesdays, Sep 27 - Dec 17 (No class Oct 4, Nov 22)
Time: 7-8:30 PM
Fee: $160 Member / $175 Non-Member

This is a continuation class that started meeting in 2012 at the beginning level. New students are welcome but you must already have some background in Yiddish, including knowledge of the alef-beys, or previous coursework in the Yiddish language.

Potential new students are welcome to sit in on the first session.

Ken Blady is a Jewish educator, author, and translator. Born in Paris, he grew up in Chassidic Brooklyn, where he attended yeshiva and rabbinical seminary. He is the author of Jewish Communities in Exotic Places, among other work, and has been featured on a number of radio and TV talk shows.

Register Now!

 

A Taste of Talmud
With Rabbi Dorothy Richman

Dates: Sundays, Sep 17 and 24
Time: 9-11 AM
Fee: $36

In these introductory sessions, we will explore how the Talmud developed and engage in the conversation with the text, the great sages and out modern world. These sessions will provide students who are new to Talmud study with background to join one of oour ongoing Bay Area Community Talmud Circle cohorts.

The Bay Area Community Talmud Circle is a growing, dynamic and welcoming community of adult students engaged in learning more about Talmud study and active conversation. This unique project is a collaboration of Lehrhaus Judaica and The Aleph Society of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, hailed by TIME Magazine as a "once-in-a-millennium scholar."

Rabbi Dorothy Richman teaches Torah throughout the Bay Area. Formerly a rabbi at congregations Shaar Zahav and Beth Shalom in San Francisco, Dorothy also worked for several years at Berkeley Hillel. She is active in Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice.


Register Now!

 

The Bay Area Community Talmud Circle
With Rabbi Dorothy Richman

Dates: Sundays, Oct 8, Nov 12, Dec 3, Jan 7, Feb 4, Mar, 4, Apr 15, May 6, Jun 10
Time: 9-11 AM
Fee: $175 before Sep 25 / $195 after Sep 25
Sign up for any two full-year text circles (Bible, Talmud, Zohar, Heschel) for $300 by Sep 25. To receive bundled rate, contact abra@lehrhaus.org

The Bay Area Community Talmud Circle is a growing, dynamic, and welcoming community of adult students engaged in modern Talmud study and active conversation. This unique project is a collaboration of Lehrhaus Judaica and The Aleph Society of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, hailed by TIME Magazine as a "once-in-a-millennium scholar".

Steinsaltz writes: "The Talmud is a central pillar of Jewish knowledge. It is not only important in and of itself, but it is organically connected to just about everything in the realm of Jewish knowledge, from the practical, everyday halakha to exciting and dizzying mystical notions."

While the majority of participants are continuing students, anyone may join.

Newcomers to Talmud study should participate in the two-part preliminary series "A Taste of Talmud." Bay Area Cmmunity Talmud Circle students study with the Koren Talmud Bavli, Berakhot, available in various print sizes and in digital editions.

Rabbi Dorothy Richman teaches Torah throughout the Bay Area. Formerly a Rabbi at congregations Shaar Zahav and Beth Shalom in San Francisco, Dorothy also worked for several years at Berkeley Hillel. She is active in Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice.

Register Now!

 

Lehrhaus Philosophy Circle: Zohar
With Daniel Matt

Dates: Tuesdays Nov 7, 28, Dec 5, 19, Jan 9, 23, Feb 6, 20, Mar 6
Time: 7-8:30 PM
Fee: $175 before Sep 25 / $195 after Sep 25 

Lehrhaus Philosophy Circe: The Zohar continues for a long third year under the leadership of Professor Daniel C. Matt and utilizing his epic translation and annotation of The Zohar: Pritzker Edition. We will discuss selections from Volume 4 of this groundbreaking work.

Matt describes the Zohar as "a challenge to the normal workings of consciousness [that] dares one to examine one's assumptions about tradition, God, and self." Students new to Zohar Circle should register for the "Shedding the Light on Zohar" session on September 17th to help prepare for the class.

In addition to The Zohar: Pritzker Edition, Vol. 4, all students should have A Guide to the Zohar by Dr. Arthur Green. Green writes, "The Zohar is the great medieval Jewish compendium of mysticism, myth, and esoteric teaching. It may be considered the highest expression of Jewish literary imagination in the Middle Ages. Surely it is one of the most important bodies of religious text of all times and places.

Daniel Matt has been featured in TIME Magazine and has appeared on National Public Radio and the History Channel. He has published over a dozen books, including his National Jewish Book Award-winning translation of the Zohar. He has taught at the Graduate Theological union, Stanford, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Register Now!

 

Lehrhaus Philosophy Circle: Heschel and Social Justice
With Yosef Rosen

Dates: Part 1: Oct 19, 26, Nov 2, 9; Part 2: Jan 25, Feb 1, 8, 15; Part 3: Mar 8, 15, 22, 29
Time: 7-8:30 PM
Fee: $230 before Sep 25 / $250 after Sep 25
Sign up for any two full-year Text Circles (Bible, Talmud, Zohar, Heschel) for $300 by Sep 25

"When I marched in Selma, I felt like my legs were praying" - Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. Spiritual Leader. Scholar. Philosopher. Social Activist. 80 years young Abraham Joshua Heschel was appointed by Martin Buber to be the co-director of the Central Organization for Adult Jewish education and Judishces Lehrhaus. Today, we carry on that legacy.

In honor of Heschel's contributions to Jewish learning and the social justice imperative that defines him, Lehrhaus is excited to offer a three-part course exploring this fundamental aspect of Heschel's life and Judaism. Part one will cover "Foundations." Part two is "Heschel as Religious Activist". And Part-three, "Moral Outrage, War, and Economics."

The texts we'll focus on are Abraham Joshua Heschel: Essential Writings (Orbis, 2011) and Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1997) We will also read supplementary texts from other writers including Maimonides, Shai Held, Edward K. Kaplan, and Susannah Heschel.

Yosef Rosen is a historian and teacher of Jewish creativity. His classes weave together the imaginative and social dimensions of Jewish creative genres Kabbalah, Talmud, philosophy, and poetry. He has a PhD in Jewish Studies from UC Berkeley.

Register Now!

 

Why We Need Heschel More Now Than Ever Before

Join us for an open discussion of the life and legacy of Abraham Joshua Heschel with the faculty of the Philosophy Circle: Heschel and Social Justice Program 

Date: Sunday, Oct 15
Time: 2 PM
Fee: FREE

Register Now!

 

Yiddish Culture in American Jewish Life
With Tsvi Bar-David, Ken Blady, and Gerry Tenney

Dates: Oct 19, 26 Nov 2, 9
Time: 7 PM
Fee: $60 members; $75 general

In this Four-session course we will explore different facets of Yiddish Culture in American Jewish life. We'll cover a basic introduction of Yiddish language and history, look at family, food, holiday practices, klezmer music, painting, photography, and more. Sessions are organized thematically.

Rabbi Tsvi Bar-David produces and performs in sacred ecstatic concerts and workshops around the Bay Area and beyond, after many years of studying and teaching Jewish spiritual and mystical texts from the original Hewbrew and Aramaic.

Ken Blady is a Jewish educator, author and translator. He is the author of Jewish Communities in Exotic Places, among other work, has been featured on a number of radio and TV talk shows.

Gerry Tenney is a musician, recording artist, children's entertainer, leader of the bands California Klezmer and The lost Tribe, and president of KlezCalifornia, a Bay Area organization supporting Yiddish culture.


Register Now!

 

 

 


 

The following classes are co-sponsored by Berkeley Adult School. For more information or to register, visit bas.berkeley.net or call (510)644-6130. Fall semester runs from 8/29 - 1/26. Winter break runs from 12/18 - 1/1.

 

Current Events
With Instructor George Porter

Day: Thursdays, Aug 31 - Jan 25 (No class Sep 21, Oct 5, Nov 23, Dec 21, 28)
Time: 1-3 PM
Fee: $35 Per semester

Stay on top of hot-button issues through discussion with this lively group!

 

Critical Viewing
With Instructor George Porter

Day: Mondays, Sep 11 - Jan 22 (No class Sep 21, Oct 5, Nov 23, Dec 21, 28)
Time: 1:15–3:15 PM
Fee: $35 Per semester

Become a more savvy and engaged viewer of all media.

 

Contemporary Film  
With Instructor George Porter

Day: Wednesdays, Aug 30 - Jan 24 (No class Sep 20, Oct 4, Nov 22, Dec 20, 27)
Time: 7:00 PM
Fee: $35 Per semester

Watch a weekly film with friends on a large screen. Stay afterward for a lively discussion.

 

Short Stories & Essays
With Instructor George Porter

Day: Thursdays, Aug 31 - Jan 25 (No class Sep 21, Oct 5, Nov 23, Dec 21, 28) 
Time: 11 AM-12:00 PM
Fee: $35 Per semester

Develop your critical reading skills. Examine relevant ideas and related personal experiences while reading and discussing contemporary short works.