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September 2020

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

Mussar | Generosity: Opening Our Sukkot and Our Hearts

Thursday, October 1, 2020
7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Topics: High Holidays
Educator: Sara Ross Kupor
$18 – $30

Through the lens of generosity, we will encounter Sukkot’s main themes of community building, joyous celebration, hospitality, and connections to the Divine and nature. During our hour together we will explore traditional and modern Jewish texts and social psychology research from the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley. Together we will engage in music, poetry, and generosity practices to make this an active and personal experience. Co-Sponsored by the Jewish Community Center San Francisco - JCCSF

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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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“There’s No City Like San Francisco” The Crucial Turning Points in Bay Area Jewish History- Fall 2020

Tuesday, October 6, 2020 thru Tuesday, October 20, 2020
6:00 PM to 7:15 PM
Educator: Fred Rosenbaum
$54 – $90

Since the Gold Rush, our unique Jewish community has been shaped by several critical events and momentous issues. This three-session course will explore Chinese-Jewish relations; the 1906 Earthquake and Fire; a Jewish political boss at the center of one of the largest cases of municipal corruption in American history; the rancorous debate in the 1940s over the response to the Holocaust and Zionism; and the heated controversy over the Pope’s visit to San Francisco in 1987. Award-winning educator and author…

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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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Recording Artists Meet Yehudah Amichai: Poems Turned to Music – Fall 2020

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 thru Wednesday, November 11, 2020
6:00 PM to 7:15 PM
Educator: Ilan Vitemberg
$108 – $180

Yehudah Amichai is the most translated Israeli poet of all time.  In simple yet profound ways, Amichai's poetry challenges us to explore the ways we experience God, war, love, and one another.  In Israel, many of Amichai’s poems were turned into popular, songs.  In this six-part series, we listen to different artists who took Amichai’s poems and turned them to songs.  We will analyze the poems, discuss the beauty and depth of Amichai’s use of the Hebrew language, and see…

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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
$72 – $120

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.   Note about pricing: As a nonprofit, we rely on tuition to help cover…

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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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Exploring the Binaries of Jewish Life – Fall 2020

Thursday, October 22, 2020 thru Thursday, November 5, 2020
7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Educator: Meg Adler
$54 – $90

Join us in a three-part discussion about how three huge binaries of Jewish life impact our experiences as Jews in the United States. Over these conversations, we will be considering three binaries: religious vs. not religious, "believe in G-d" vs. "don't believe in G-d" and Jewish vs. non-Jewish. Each session will involve some study but mostly, a lot of reflection and community learning. That means you aren't coming to a class as much as an exploration – bring your own…

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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 six sessions, participants in Wise Women will learn from inspiring women educators of the Bay Area. Each session…

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How a Day of Rest Can Save Your Life – Fall 2020

Sunday, October 25, 2020 thru Sunday, November 22, 2020
7:00 PM to 8:15 PM
Educator: Marilyn Paul
$90 – $150

Judaism provides a strong template for stepping away from the chaos, overwhelm, and confusion that can seep into our lives. Many of us aren’t quite ready for a traditional Shabbat, but we could really use ways of stopping the tumult of our everyday activities to get genuine downtime, connect with others, and experience the Source of our life energy. In this class we will learn more about what it takes to create a true oasis in time. Drawing on the…

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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
$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 forebearers 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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