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Adult View of Hanukah text....

An opportunity to go beyond the Religious School version of Hanukah you picked up as a kid!

Latkes ... yup!            Oil ... sure!       Presents ... apparently.

Let's dig deeper.  Join our lunchtime delve into the grownup side of our favorite winter holiday.

There's a lot more to Hanukah than just serving as the Jewish answer to Christmas.   

The session includes:

מקורות / Sources: a look at the Talmudic texts discussing Hanukah.

עיון / Exploration of the deeper themes raised by the history and texts of the holiday.

Where does this Learning Path Take you?

In the course of one engaging lunch break you'll emerge with a more nuanced appreciation of Judaism's winter holiday.

When are we studying? Join the session most convenient for you.

Thursday, December 15th              Monday, December 19th

 Lunch 1:                                               Lunch 1:    

12:30 pm  Eastern Time                      12:30 pm Eastern Time

 11:30 am Central Time                       11:30 am Central Time


Lunch 2:                                                 Lunch 2:

12:30 pm  Mountain Time                   12:30 pm Mountain Time

 11:30 am Pacific Time                         11:30 am Pacific Time


Registration fee:  $12

The Siddur: An Owner's Manual

Time to sit!

Time to stand!

Are we saying this again!?!?

Really?!  What does that mean?

Where are we?

Why don't I feel like I'm praying?

If you've sat in services with a siddur (prayer book) in your lap with questions like these running through your head, then it's time to sign up for The Siddur: An Owner's Manual. 

You've got it ... you might as well know how it works, where it came from and what's in it for you!

Each session includes:

דיון / Diyun: discussion of a text about the experience / phenomenon of prayer.

עיון / Iyun: a close look at the structure, themes, vocabulary and choreography of a different unit of Jewish prayer.

Where does this Learning Path take you?

You'll walk into a service, know what is going to happen in that service, be able to connect with the themes and content of the liturgy and, perhaps, even find your own spiritual "place" in your congregation's service!

I'm Orthodox / I'm Reform / I'm Conservative / I'm Reconstructionist / I just want to know more:  The Siddur: An Owner's Manual addresses general structure and themes of Jewish prayer that are the basis of any denomination's published prayer book.

Registration Fee:  $120.00 / participant

Adult View Hanukah.jpg

Our Current Learning Path

Lunch & Learn!

Here's the most engaging (and fun) lunch break on the web! The Pirka Lunch & Learn Series.

Each month we take a look at an issue of contemporary concern through the lens of traditional and modern Jewish sources.

Each session includes:

מקורות/ M'korot (Sources): Primary sources that shed Jewish light on issues we grapple with today in our personal lives, our work lives, our communal lives.

עיון/ Iyun (Exploration): We'll dig deeper into the values and principles that Judaism has applied to challenging issues and reflect on the validity of that approach in light of contemporary reality ... and our own lives and identities.

Where does this Learning Path take you?

By the end of each Pirka Lunch & Learn session, you'll have a more nuanced understanding of Judaism's approach to that month's topic and may begin to reflect on how that approach can inform your own attitudes and actions.

When ... and what ... are we studying?  Each month, join the session most convenient for you.

There's an option for any US timezone!

12:30 pm Eastern / 11:30 am Central


12:30 pm Mountain / 11:30 am Pacific

    Learning Path coming up next!   

 This Year's Lunch & Learn Topics


January 2017
Topic:  Vengeance and Grudges
Monday, January 16th     

February 2017 
Topic:  Autopsy
Monday, February 13th 

March 2017 
Topic: Animals in Judaism: Domination? Compassion?
Monday, March 13th 

April 2017 
Topic: Humility and Humiliation
Monday, April 24th

May 2017 
Topic: Jewish Mothers!
Monday, May 15th 

June 2017  / New Topic!!
Transgender Jews and Halakhah
Monday, June 19th 

Registration Fee:  
$12/session       Senior Discount (over 65) $8

Welcome to Elul Meditations

The month of Elul has traditionally been a time for spiritual preparation.  A time to begin thinking about the themes and issues we address at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services.

I post an "Elul Meditation" for each day of Elul (except, of course, for Shabbat).  Some are longer, some are shorter.  Some are more traditional, some may be a bit unexpected.  None of these are original to me.  Rather, this is a collection of short readings I've collected over the years from a variety of sources.  I have included the citation of authorship in every possible case.

If you think you would enjoy reading an Elul Meditation each morning (From August 12th through the eve of Rosh Hashanah, September 9th), just fill in the form below.  Please share this information with anyone you think might be interested.

Mishnah Mashup!

Combining two great collections: fascinating Mishnah texts and knee-slapping Jewish jokes!

Can you figure out the connection between the joke and the mishnah?

The period of the Mishnah was from around 100 BCE to 200 CE in the land of Israel.  The questions the sages of the time sought to answer then shaped rabbinic Judaism* into the responsive, evolving tradition that to this day preserves our eternal truths and infuses those truths into our contemporary reality.

And the jokes?  Well, who doesn't love a good Jewish joke? And if we can't laugh at ourselves, who will?

Each session includes:

בדיחה / B'dihah:  A joke related to the subject of our Mishnah!

עיון/ Iyun: a close reading and discussion of our Mishnah.

Where does this Learning Path take you?

In six sessions, I hope you'll develop an appreciation for the stunningly brilliant premises of rabbinic Judaism*, the values, the dynamics of a 2000 year old system that still works beautifully today.

* Rabbinic Judaism:  the Jewish tradition that evolved during the time the Second Temple stood in Jerusalem and became the surviving mode of Judaism after the destruction of the Temple and the cessation of the sacrificial cult.

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