Course Descriptions

Limud Course Descriptions

Cantor Ellen Dreskin Prayer as Practice: The Role and Relevance of Communal Worship in Today’s World
Through informal exercises, interpretive translation, contemporary melodies, and a lot of conversation, we will explore different modes of Jewish prayer and different spiritual doors into the siddur.  We’ll look at music as midrash, the hidden messages of the Hebrew liturgical text, praying without God, and how one can take more responsibility for their own individual prayer experiences.

Rabbi David Teutsch Wisdom and the Tongue: Jewish Speech Ethics
Jewish tradition teaches that the world was created with words. We regard them as having great power. And many of the most important parts of our lives are shaped by speech: teaching, truth telling, gossip, promises, and admonitions, to name but a few. We will explore Jewish approaches to speech and consider its ethical use by reading classical texts and exploring contemporary examples.

Rabbi Andrea Weiss  God in the Biblical Imagination: The Theology of Metaphor
This course will explore the diverse array of metaphors for God found in the Hebrew Bible. The sessions will combine a survey of the many divine metaphors in the Bible with close readings of selected biblical passages. The sessions will explore metaphors drawn from human roles and relationships, natural phenomena, and concrete objects. The text study will include familiar metaphors, like God as shepherd and king, as well as more innovative and less well-known depictions of the divine, like God as a mother, dew, and a spring of water. The course aims to highlight the metaphoric creativity and artistry contained in the Bible and to consider the theological implications for us today. How can these ancient biblical metaphors help us articulate our contemporary concepts of and/or struggles with God?

Chug Course Descriptions

Rabbi Joan Glazer Farber Hiddur Mitzvah: Enhancing our Jewish Lives with Beauty
Our observance of rituals is guided by minimal instructions from the Bible, the Talmud or other halahkic texts. To help in the fulfillment of the rituals, there are ritual objects that simply serve a purpose but do not enrich the experience. Then there are ritual objects that bring joy to the observance. Together we will explore the concept of Hiddur Mitzvah, the process of enhancing rituals with beauty.

In addition, we will learn to crochet kippot as a means of bringing beauty to our personal practice.

Rabbi Jodie Gordon Sisterhood & The Women Who Would Have Been Rabbis 
Women have officially been ordained as rabbis since 1972, when Hebrew Union College first ordained Rabbi Sally Priesand. Join Rabbi Jodie Gordon as she introduces the women who paved the way to the ordination of women through their advocacy, activism and teaching. This chug will profile Jane Evans, Lily Montagu, Ray Frank and Paula Ackerman as we encounter them through their own words and writing, and consider the constellation of circumstances that led to the ordination of women as rabbis.

Rabbi Neil Hirsch The Sturdy Sukkah: a case study for the integrity-filled, progressive Jewish life.
Integrity is a significant spiritual and religious value for the progressive Jew. When compelled—for whatever reason—to Jewish practice in a progressive setting, we make choices. We determine what we will and will not do as part of our observance of particular holidays, for ourselves, individually, and communally. Using Sukkot observance as our case study, we’ll look at texts that expand on the role that personal, religious and spiritual integrity play in making good Jewish choices

Marilyn Price WISDOM OF THE HEART – The artists in Judaism
Throughout Jewish history artists have played a key role in interpreting and underlining Jewish values not only through the adornment of ritual objects but by using the arts as a language for social justice and expression.  From the introduction to the artisans of the tabernacle, Bezalel and Ohaliab to the magnificent escape of 2000 Jewish artists out of France whose works stir our hearts and adorn the walls of museums to the wonderful story of the creators of Curious George as they escaped from the holocaust on man made bicycles – the pluck and persistence of determined artists is legendary.  A visual and hands on experience with Marilyn Price, artist, historian and storyteller!

Copyright 2018, Derekh