Classes from the JCC's Center for Jewish Life and Learning
Explore diverse facets of Jewish thought and experience through Intro to Judaism, Hebrew Reading crash courses, drop-in study groups, and a changing menu of topics in Jewish life, history, and thought. Our Jewish studies courses are offered in partnership with Lehrhaus Judaica.
The faculty is composed of superb Jewish educators in our community. To reflect the diversity of our student population, JCC educators represent the major movements in Judaism: Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox. There are no examinations and no homework.
How to Register
For more information, contact the JCC's Center for Jewish Life and Learning, at CJLL@apjcc.org or 408.357.7411.
CM = Full Center Member SM = Social Member NM = Non-member
Lit Study: Rav Hisda’s Daughter (with special guest appearance by Author Maggie Anton)
In Rav Hisda’s Daughter, award-winning author Maggie Anton tells the tale of the independent-minded and clever Hisdadukh, youngest child of the Talmudic sage Rav Hisda. The novel depicts a time when demons were feared, magic was accepted as real, and being an enchantress was a respected and prestigious profession. Based on actual Talmud texts and populated with its rabbis and their families, Rav Hisda's Daughter vividly brings the world of the Talmud to life - from a woman's perspective. Together, we will explore this imaginative and meticulously researched book, discussing what we find most fascinating, touching, challenging and puzzling. We will deepen our dialogue in our final session, when we’re privileged to have author Maggie Anton join us. Instructor: Rabbi Carol Caine
Hebrew Reading Crash Course: Level 1
Interested in learning to read Hebrew? Join this FREE five-session course with Rabbi Ilana Baird. Master the Aleph Bet and develop a small working vocabulary. No prior knowledge necessary.
Hebrew Reading Crash Course: Level 2
Need to practice your Hebrew reading? Are you ready to develop a larger spoken Hebrew vocabulary? This class with Rabbi Ilana Baird focuses on both reading and basic conversational skills. Basic knowledge of the Aleph Bet and some Hebrew reading is required.
Hebrew Reading Crash Course Level 3
For graduates of Levels 1 and 2 or for anyone who has mastered basic Hebrew reading and conversational skills. This class moves on into more advanced Hebrew reading and speaking. Instructor: Rabbi Ilana Baird. NOTE: no class 1/18 and 2/15
Lunch and Ledaber: Hebrew Conversation
Grab your lunch and come to this informal, lunchtime gathering to keep your Hebrew conversational skills sharp. Led by Rabbi Ilana Baird, the JCC's Hebrew instructor. Commit and save! Purchase a 5, 10, or 20 pack of sessions--the more you buy, the more you save! $8 per session OR $35 for an 5-session pack; $62 for a 10-session pack; $100 for a 20-session pack. This class will meet on selected Fridays from 12:00-1:00pm. Upcoming dates are 9/11, 9/25, 10/9, 10/23, 11/6, 11/20, 12/4, 12/18, 1/8, 1/22, 2/5, 2/19, 3/4, 3/18, 4/1, 4/15, 5/6, 5/20, 6/3, 6/17.
Registration: For more information and to purchase sessions, contact the JCC's Center for Jewish Life & Learning at 408.357.7411 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also view the flyer for more information.
Bay Area Community Talmud Circle
Sundays 10/11, 11/15, 12/13, 1/24, 2/21, 3/20, 4/10, 5/22, 6/5
The Bay Area Community Talmud Circle is a growing, dynamic, and welcoming community of adult students engaged in modern Talmud study and active conversation. Seven Talmud Circles exist around the Bay Area. This unique project is a collaboration of Lehrhaus Judaica and The Aleph Society of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz. While the majority of participants are continuing students, anyone may join. Newcomers to Talmud study should participate in Introduction to Talmud Circle on September 27th at the Jewish Community Library in San Francisco and the follow-up webinars on September 30th and October 7th. Bay Area Community Talmud Circle students study with the Koren Talmud Bavli, Berakhot, available in various print sizes and in digital editions. For more information, contact Abra Greenspan at email@example.com or visit www.lehrhaus.org.
Introduction to Judaism (meets at local synagogues)
The Introduction to Judaism course provides an overview of the Jewish life-cycle, holidays, and other ritual celebrations. During the course of the year, students will also gain an understanding of Jewish belief, history, and calendar and gain exposure to important Jewish books including the Hebrew Bible and Talmud. Each session will include 30 minutes of Hebrew instruction. Additionally, during the course of the year, students will be invited to participate in various aspects of Jewish living. Instructors will utilize a variety of teaching modalities. Sessions will rotate among the synagogues based on the teaching Rabbi. Instructors: Rabbi Berkenwald of Congregation Sinai, Rabbi Aron of Congregation Shir Hadash, Rabbi Ohriner of Congregation Beth David, Rabbi Magat of Temple Emanu-El, and Rabbi James Greene of the APJCC.
* $180 fee is per set of books. Couples enrolling together do not have to pay twice.
Ongoing, drop-in classes (no registration necessary)
Classic Jewish Texts
Rabbi Joey Felsen of the Jewish Study Network guides you through the fundamental works of Maimonides, Luzzato, and other classic commentators. No Hebrew necessary. This is a free, drop-in class. No need to register.
Maimonides (Rambam), the 12th century Jewish scholar, wrote the Guide of the Perplexed as a three-volume letter to his student. The Guide is a classic work of Jewish Philosophy, written in coded and intentionally deceptive language. Studying the Guide is a mystery and a pleasure. Join Rabbi James as we journey through the Guide of the Perplexed together. Sections will be short to allow for full discussion. This is a free, drop-in class. No need to register.
This class takes a look at some of the great works of past Hasidic teachers and strives toward deepening our contemporary Jewish spirituality. This class is for all abilities and levels and is a free, drop-in class. No need to register. Instructor: Rabbi James Greene
Classes at Other Locations
Torah Study -- at Chai House, 814 St. Elizabeth Drive, San Jose
This engaging class with the JCC’s Rabbi James Greene, keeps us full of life through the words of the Torah. All abilities, ages, and levels are welcome - you do not need to be a resident of Chai House. This is a free, drop-in class. No need to register.
Programs Offered in Russian
Come join Rabbi Ilana Baird for events and classes offered in Russian. Rabbi Baird has served communities in Russia, Germany, Israel and the United States. She founded a liberal synagogue in Haifa and is a graduate of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s Israeli Rabbinical Seminary program. For more programs see our Russian Jewish Programs page or call the JCC's Center for Jewish Life & Learning at 408.357.7411.
Russian Language Torah Study
Meet to discuss the weekly Torah portion with Rabbi Ilana Baird. This lively class and all discussion is in Russian. This is a free, drop-in class. No need to register.