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September 2020

Zohar in Aramaic – Fall 2020

Thursday, September 10, 2020 thru Monday, May 31, 2021
12:00 PM to 1:15 PM
Educator: Daniel Matt
$194.4 – $324

In this course, we will read and discuss the Zohar’s commentary on the Torah portion Yitro, which features the Giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. We will study the Zohar in the original Aramaic alongside a Hebrew translation and Daniel Matt’s annotated English translation (The Zohar: Pritzker Edition, Volume 4). The Aramaic and Hebrew text will be provided; students are expected to obtain a copy of the English translation.

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Marin Talmud Circle – Fall 2020

Sunday, September 13, 2020 thru Sunday, June 6, 2021
10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
$216 – $360

We began our study of Ta’anit in a time of drought and have continued through our current pandemic. This tractate begins with the practices and themes of fast days, covering both communal fasts and private and individual fasts. The fasts were often responses to drought and pestilence. It has been an astonishingly relevant study. This narrative section of the Talmud, in the words of Julia Watts Belser, “overturns expected hierarchies of gender, piety, and social status to challenge the theological…

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Berkeley Talmud Circle – Fall 2020

Sunday, September 13, 2020 thru Sunday, June 6, 2021
10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
$216 – $360

We began our study of Ta’anit in a time of drought and have continued through our current pandemic. This tractate begins with the practices and themes of fast days, covering both communal fasts and private and individual fasts. The fasts were often responses to drought and pestilence. It has been an astonishingly relevant study. This narrative section of the Talmud, in the words of Julia Watts Belser, “overturns expected hierarchies of gender, piety, and social status to challenge the theological…

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Zohar Circle – Berkeley – Fall 2020

Wednesday, September 23, 2020 thru Wednesday, February 3, 2021
7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Educator: Yosef Rosen, Ph.D.
$216 – $360

Fantasies of Companionship and Connection: Zohar Leviticus, Pritzker Vol. VII During these months of isolation, the Zohar’s legends of devotional community and friendship offer us a poignant model of what we miss. The Zohar’s spirituality is thoroughly social; to connect to the divine begins by connecting to one’s friends and teachers. Together on-line, we will try to live this world-view and create a circle of learning and community. This year we will study the Zohar on Leviticus (Pritzker Edition, Vol.…

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Beyond the Torah | Isaiah: Politics, Prophecy, and Comfort

Thursday, September 24, 2020 thru Thursday, December 17, 2020
7:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Educator: Ken Cohen
$216 – $360

This Fall, we continue our study of the prophet Isaiah and his book. Israel’s prophets were rarely aloof from participating in the political decisions of their usually tumultuous times. Isaiah had become a key advisor to the King of Judah, and he argued on the basis of realpolitiks as well as his prophetic certainty that Israel’s faithful Deity would always protect Zion. Ultimately, his position was vindicated after a protracted Assyrian invasion and siege, and miraculous Divine intervention. The Book…

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October 2020

Do We Still Want Bread and Roses? American Jewish Radicals – Fall 2020

Sunday, October 4, 2020 thru Sunday, October 25, 2020
10:30 AM to 11:45 AM
$72 – $120

Since the late 1880s and early 20th century, American Jews have been active in socialist, anarchist, and other progressive movements. One, Rose Schneiderman, coined the phrase “Give them bread but give them roses too.” Jews impacted social policies from the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire, through the New Deal under FDR and into contemporary times. In this course, Elaine Leeder will look back at some of the early activists, making connections between their agitator activities and today’s social movements. Leeder will…

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Yiddish From Scratch – Fall 2020

Tuesday, October 6, 2020 thru Tuesday, November 24, 2020
10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Educator: Ken Blady
$144 – $240

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 this class will be placed on learning the alef beis (print and script), elementary grammar, and reading basic texts. Emphasis will be placed on interactive conversation among students (almost) entirely in Yiddish in order to…

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Neshama Yoga – Fall 2020

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 thru Wednesday, November 11, 2020
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Educator: Kendra Fried
$108 – $180

Nourish your body, calm your mind, and nurture your soul, through embodied Jewish devotion. Neshamah Yoga and Wellness™ is for every age, every body. This unique offering weaves together self-care/massage, tai-chi, brain balancing, and traditional yoga poses, along with breathing techniques for stress reduction and optimal health. These gentle sessions draw from the wellspring of our tradition, including Torah portions, Mussar, liturgy, poetry, and Jewish holidays. Explore your connection to the still small voice within. Deepen your experience of the…

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Reading Yiddish Texts – Fall 2020

Monday, October 12, 2020 thru Monday, December 14, 2020
7:15 PM to 9:15 PM
Educator: Yael Chaver, Ph.D.
$180 – $300

Together, we will read Yiddish stories and literature. This class is for students with some ability to read Yiddish literature in the original. We will read Yiddish classics, old and new. Some instruction and discussions take place in Yiddish. Monday evenings, 7:15-9:15 p.m. Ten sessions, Oct 12-Dec. 14. Led by Yael Chaver.     Note about pricing: As a nonprofit, we rely on tuition to help cover the direct cost of our course offerings. We also offer a tiered pricing…

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Greatest Hits: Ethics of the Fathers and Mothers – Fall 2020

Tuesday, October 13, 2020 thru Tuesday, November 17, 2020
7:30 PM to 8:45 PM
Educator: Rabbi Ari Cartun
$90 – $150

AVOT ("parents/ancestors," or "fathers") is a book within the Talmud with sayings from the first generations of rabbis. It is the most popular and oft-quoted rabbinic writing. Its practical proverbs in uncomplicated language made it user-friendly to many more people than scholars. Rabbi Cartun's illustrated translation and commentary is called Family Stories: Pirkey Avot v'Immahot. Having used Pirkey Avot in teaching the students and parents of bar/t mitzvah families, for many years, he noticed that available translations were too stilted…

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The Meaning of HaMaqom | The Place in Jewish Thought and Beyond – Fall 2020

Wednesday, October 14, 2020 thru Wednesday, November 4, 2020
3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Topics: Fall 2020
Free

In this course, we will explore the varied meanings of HaMaqom | The Place in Jewish and other sources of wisdom. Guided by HaMaqom CEO, Rabbi Darren Kleinberg, we will consider our own connections to places and the role(s) they play in our lives.

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Beginning Prayerbook/Biblical Hebrew 1A – Fall 2020

Sunday, October 18, 2020 thru Sunday, December 13, 2020
3:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Topics: Fall 2020, Hebrew
Educator: Jehon Grist, Ph.D.
$144 – $240

Discover the essentials of Prayerbook Hebrew, starting with the alphabet, vowels, sight-reading, and basic grammar, all in a friendly, supportive environment. We'll also learn some of the key Prayerbook melodies, and discuss the meaning of the prayers. It provides a strong grammatical basis for Biblical Hebrew and some of the vocabulary for modern Israeli Hebrew. Required text: Prayerbook Hebrew the Easy Way is available for sale at Afikomen Judaica in Berkeley and other outlets. Please purchase the book before the…

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Introduction to the Jewish Experience – Fall 2020

Sunday, October 18, 2020 thru Sunday, December 13, 2020
3:30 PM to 5:00 PM
Educator: Rabbi Ruth Adar
$144 – $240

We will explore the history of the Jewish People and their relationship to the Land of Israel through Jewish sacred texts. From Biblical history through rabbinic texts and modern responsa, we will explore the past and look at how that past shapes the present and carries us into the future. We will also explore the ways in which Jews do text study. No Hebrew is required.

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Beginning Prayerbook/Biblical Hebrew 2B – Fall 2020

Sunday, October 18, 2020 thru Sunday, December 13, 2020
4:35 PM to 6:00 PM
Topics: Fall 2020, Hebrew
Educator: Jehon Grist, Ph.D.
$144 – $240

In the third semester of the introductory sequence of Biblical Hebrew grammar, this course covers the more complex features of the language and introduces students to the process of translating and analyzing texts found in the Hebrew Bible. We will continue with the later chapters of our text, Prayerbook Hebrew the Easy Way. This course will benefit students seeking to brush up on established biblical grammar and reading skills in preparation for more advanced work.   Note about pricing: As…

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Advanced Biblical Hebrew 3: Biblical Women at the Boundaries – Fall 2020

Sunday, October 18, 2020 thru Sunday, December 13, 2020
6:10 PM to 7:35 PM
Topics: Fall 2020, Hebrew
Educator: Jehon Grist, Ph.D.
$144 – $240

Were Biblical women as powerless as we often presume, or did they discover and use avenues of power and influence? Our class will begin with an overview of the rights and limits of women in the Bible and the ancient Near East. From there, we’ll explore episodes from the Matriarchs to heroic women living after the fall of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, from queens to commoners. Selected Biblical Hebrew texts will be translated and discussed with text notes,…

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In Words and Videos, the Essential Teachings of Rav Adin Steinsaltz – Fall 2020

Monday, October 19, 2020 thru Monday, November 16, 2020
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
$72 – $120

Rabbi Adin Even Yisrael Steinsaltz, whose translation and commentary of the Babylonian Talmud made this foundational Jewish text accessible to new generations, died where he was born, in Jerusalem, August 7, 2020, at the age of 83. Rabbi Steinsaltz is known to Jews around the world as a teacher, philosopher, social commentator, and spiritual mentor. He was an iconoclast, an originalist, funny, and mischievous. He was born into a secular Hashomer Ha-Tza'ir household and at 14 began a path to…

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Wise Women – Fall 2020

Sunday, October 25, 2020 thru Sunday, November 22, 2020
4:00 PM to 5:15 PM
$90 – $150

There are so many wise Jewish women in the Bay Area. These women are educators, artists, mothers, activists, writers, lawyers, leaders, rabbis, and social workers. They build communities, create beauty, advocate for change, inspire with ritual, protect, and heal. They have so much to teach our community about strength, spirituality, resilience, and creativity. At HaMaqom, we want to learn their Torah. Over five sessions, participants in Wise Women will learn from inspiring women educators of the Bay Area. Each session…

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Zohar Circle – Peninsula – Fall 2020

Monday, October 26, 2020 thru Monday, February 22, 2021
7:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Educator: Rabbi Lavey Derby
$194.4 – $324

The Zohar is the great compendium of Jewish mysticism, myth and esoteric teaching, and is considered one of the most important religious texts of all time. The Zohar is a challenge to the normal workings of consciousness that dares us to examine our assumptions about tradition, God, and self. To experience the Zohar’s spiritual mysteries, you must engage the text and follow the words to what lies beyond and within. To receive its meaning, open the gates of imagination. This…

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November 2020

Heroes with Mishegas (Issues): Biblical Characters and Their Complex – Fall 2020

Tuesday, November 3, 2020 thru Tuesday, December 1, 2020
7:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Educator: Evan Wolkenstein
$90 – $150

True heroes are hard to come by in today’s morally complex world. We turn to the ancient texts of our People to find heroes we can emulate, role models we can look up to. As it turns out, when we read our texts closely, many of our most beloved fore-bearers are complex, flawed -- in other words, they have serious mishegas. How can we understand our Biblical “heroes’” inner worlds in a way that can shed light on our own…

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Yemima – Fall 2020

Sunday, November 8, 2020 thru Sunday, November 29, 2020
8:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Educator: Naama Sadan
$120
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Sampling Judaism – Fall 2020

Monday, November 9, 2020 thru Monday, November 23, 2020
7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Educator: Rabbi Ruth Adar
$90
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Sephardic Sages Bringing Peace to the World – Fall 2020

Monday, November 30, 2020 thru Monday, December 14, 2020
7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Educator: Tamar Zaken
$54 – $90

Sephardic sages and the Jews of Islamic lands had an open and fruitful encounter with the challenges of modernity. This course will explore this moderate, inclusive perspective through Sephardic sources, old and new. We will explore ideas of justice, morality, and peace and will ask the question that these sages ask themselves: How do we bring peace to the world?

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