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Jewish Studies & Hebrew Classes

2014-2015 BELOW- NEXT YEAR’S DETAILS COMING SOON

Hebrew Courses
Judaic Studies Courses
Exploring Judaism
Community Talmud Circle
Peoplehood and its Role & Significance in Jewish Life
Clergy Courses

Hebrew Courses

Beginning Hebrew
Designed for those with little or no previous exposure to Hebrew, this introductory course will focus on developing the foundation for reading comprehension and a basic Hebrew vocabulary. We will learn the basics of prayer-book Hebrew, beginning with the alphabet and moving through the basic grammar and vocabulary of the siddur (prayerbook), including the key texts and melodies of some prayers and blessings found in the siddur. Required text: Prayerbook Hebrew the Easy Way. This textbook is not included in the price of the class.

Year-long Course (22 sessions): Sundays, Oct 11 through May 1 (No class: 11/29, 12/20, 12/27, 1/3, 1/17, 2/14, 3/27, 4/3)
10:10-11:10 a.m. in Room 206 of the CCJDS Building
Instructor: Ophira Druch
Tuition: $100/members; $250/non-members


Intermediate Prayerbook Hebrew
A continuation of our introductory Hebrew course, designed for those who can sight-read Hebrew texts with vowels and understand noun-adjective relationships.  This course will continue developing the building blocks of Hebrew grammar and vocabulary of the Siddur (prayer-book).  We will continue translating passages from the siddur as well as biblical text.
Prerequisite: Temple Isaiah’s Beginning Hebrew or the equivalent

Required text: Prayerbook Hebrew the Easy Way.  This textbook is not included in the price of the class.
Year-long Course (22 sessions): Sundays, Oct 11 through May 1 (No class: 11/29, 12/20, 12/27, 1/3, 1/17, 2/14, 3/27, 4/3)
9:00-10:00 a.m. in Room 206 of the CCJDS Building
Instructor: Ophira Druch
Tuition: $100/members; $250/non-members


Ophira Druch is the former associate director of education at Temple Sinai and has taught Biblical and Modern Hebrew in the Bay Area for more than 20 years. She’s currently teaching b’nei mitzvah students at Temple Sinai and teaches Hebrew at the Contra Costa Jewish Day School. Ophira is the winner of the 2003 Helen and Sanford Diller Award for Excellence in Jewish Education, and is a graduate of the Mandel Teacher Educators Institute (MTEI).


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Judaic Studies Courses

Exploring Judaism
This course is a year-long exploration of the history, beliefs, traditions, and practices of the Jewish people. “Exploring Judaism” will be interesting and meaningful whether you are becoming an adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah, you are just beginning to explore Jewish studies, you are considering choosing Judaism, you are in an interfaith relationship, or you are simply looking for a deeper and more mature understanding of Jewish history and tradition. Students are encouraged to expand their Jewish literacy by taking this course in conjunction with Beginning Hebrew.  Books for the course will be Stephen Wylen’s Settings of Silver and Michael Strassfeld’s The Jewish Holidays.
9:00-10:00am, Room 207 of the CCJDS Building

Instructor: Rabbi Oren Postrel
Tuition: $100/members; $250/non-members for the year
Year-long Course (22 sessions): Sundays, Oct 11 through May 1 (No class: 11/29, 12/20, 12/27, 1/3, 1/17, 2/14, 3/27, 4/3)

If you would like to sign up for 1 or more blocks of Exploring Judaism (instead of registering for the whole year), we welcome you to do so. Tuition is $30 per block for members; $70 per block for non-members.

  • Jewish Calendar & Holidays: How we Celebrate Together – 10/11, 10/18, 10/25, 11/1, 11/8, 11/15
  • Jewish Life Passages and our Homes: How Jews Do Jewish – 11/22, 12/6, 12/13, 1/10, 1/24
  • Jewish Text and History – 1/31, 2/7, 2/21, 2/28, 3/6
  • Jewish Thought, Prayer, and Music – 3/12, 3/20, 4/10, 4/17, 4/24, 5/1

Rabbi Oren Postrel was ordained at HUC-JIR in 1993. In NYC for many years, he taught Introduction to Judaism at the URJ headquarters and co-founded an Italian Jewish learning institution called Centro Primo Levi. He’s worked in synagogues in Paris, Toronto, Napa and San Rafael at Rodef Sholom, where he joyfully served as sabbatical rabbi teaching adults and leading services.  In 2014 Rabbi Postrel completed his clinical chaplaincy training at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center and at CPMC in San Francisco.  Today Rabbi Postrel is on the faculty at Berkeley Ballet Theatre having founded Spiritual Care in the Performing Arts and has loved dance, Hebrew arts & calligraphy for decades.

Mussar Study with Rabbi Shanks

Sundays at 11:15am
Oct 18, Nov 15, Dec 13, Jan 10, Feb 21, Mar 20

Mussar is a Jewish path to becoming a better person, a “soul-curriculum” guiding us to take small steps toward having more patience, more tolerance, more open-hearted gratitude for the blessings in our lives.  This year Mussar and Meditation services will take place on first Saturday of every month, and Rabbi Shanks will be leading a Mussar study class on Sunday mornings throughout the year. Mark your calendars now!

Clergy Courses

Clergy Course with Rabbi Roberto D. Graetz
Sundays at 11:15am
Jan 24, Jan 31, Feb 7 (2016)
Free of charge

Clergy Course with Cantor Leigh Korn
Sundays at 11:15am
April 10, 17, 24 (2016)
Free of charge

Judaism and Wellness with Kendra Fried

Sunday January 10, 9:10am
Free of charge

How can the ancient wisdom of Torah inform our modern day health practices? In this session we will explore the simple yet profound ways in which we can enhance our physical and spiritual vitality. Just one new daily practice could change the trajectory of your health for the better! Kendra Fried leads our popular N’shamah Yoga program on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Adult Lounge. For more information about Kendra, please visit www.healthcoachkendra.com


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Click here to register for Sunday Adult Education Classes 2014-2015