I’m really excited about this: Rabbi Menachem Creditor of Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley will be teaching me about Jewish stuff, in preparation for my planned bar mitzvah in Israel next year — and I invite you to join us in “My Big Fat Jewish Learning”! Rabbi Creditor has planned a short, yet wide-ranging course that will explore many meaty topics (which, of course, will not be mixed with milky topics). We’ll read cool books, hear some things from the rabbi, then have discussions about what we’ve read.
The first meeting will be a public event at Afikomen Judaica bookstore in Berkeley (which has kindly offered a discount on all the books in our syllabus), followed by six sessions at Congregation Netivot Shalom. Each class will be 90 minutes long. The fee for the entire course is $50-$75 on a sliding scale, with no one turned away for lack of funds. Given the complexities of jibing Rabbi Creditor’s schedule with mine, the course schedule is a bit irregular — so please note that the classes happen on different days of the week. Here’s that schedule, along with the (still-in-progress) syllabus:
Class #1: Sunday, Jan. 16, 11 a.m.: public event at Afikomen Judaica bookstore. Biblical Prophets, The Prophet’s Wife by Milton Steinberg, text from the book of Hosea.
Class #2: Monday, Jan. 31, 7:30 p.m., at Congregation Netivot Shalom. Mishnah, As a Driven Leaf by Milton Steinberg, a rabbinic text tbd. (Please note: neither the rabbi nor I have received any kickback money from Milton Steinberg.)
Class #3: Monday, Feb. 7, 7:30 p.m., at Congregation Netivot Shalom. Aggadah, Tree of Souls by Howard Schwartz, a midrash/legend tbd.
Class #4: Monday, Feb. 14, 7:30 p.m., at Congregation Netivot Shalom. Halachah, For the Love of God and People by Elliot Dorff, the development of the verses in Lev. dealing with homosexuality.
Class #5: Monday, Feb. 28, 7:30 p.m., at Congregation Netivot Shalom. Modern Streams of Judaism, A Modern Heretic and a Traditional Community by Jeffrey Gurock and Jacob Schacter, a Mordecai Kaplan quote in The Condition of Jewish Belief.
Class #6: Monday, March 21, 7:30 p.m., at Congregation Netivot Shalom. Mysticism, Afterlife, The World to Come by Dara Horn, text tbd.
Class #7: Wednesday, April 13, 7:30 p.m., at Congregation Netivot Shalom. Israeli Poetry/Theology, Creator, Are You Listening?: Israeli Poets on God and Prayer by David C. Jacobson; text: a poem by Yehuda Amichai.
For more info on this course, please email Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
** Update on March 8, 2011: You can now hear audio from our previous sessions — and read Rabbi Creditor’s beautiful handouts — here.