Classes from the JCC's Center for Jewish Life and Learning

Explore diverse facets of Jewish thought and experience through the JCC's Jewish Studies courses.

JCC educators represent the major movements in Judaism: Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox. There are no examinations and no homework.

Financial assistance is available to attend these classes, through the generosity of the Arnie Addison Scholarship Fund. Click here to apply.

How to Register
ill out a registration form or click the REGISTER button below each class.

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

Hebrew Reading Crash Course Level 2 Canceled

Need to practice your Hebrew reading? Are you ready to develop a larger spoken Hebrew vocabulary?  This class focuses on both reading and basic conversational skills.  Basic knowledge of the Aleph Bet and some Hebrew reading is required. 

Mon 4/18-5/16 12:00-1:30pm  Canceled  
Mon 4/18-5/16 7:00-8:30pm Canceled  


Walking in the Valley of the Shadow
-And Not Being Afraid
A year of conversations about everything everyone (Jews by birth, choice, or by association) needs to know about the Jewish way of life and death. This class is open to all ages because death and grief have no age limit. 

Sun 3/20, 4/10, 5/1, 6/5, 7/17, 8/21 10:30am-12:00pm $10 per class

To register for this class, click the links in the list below to sign up for the dates you wish to attend. Each date covers a different topic.

  • The Final Mitzvot - advance planning, ethical wills, end-of-life ethics, and more. March 20.
  • The Other Conversation - how to discuss your end-of-life wishes.- April 10.
  • The Art of Comfort - what to say and do when visiting the sick and comforting the bereaved. May 1.
  • Dying/Death/Burial - Jewish customs around death and burial. June 5.
  • Jewish Perspectives on the Afterlife - we will also reflect on end-of-life questions and fears. July 17.
  • Mourning and Grief - Kaddish and other Jewish traditions. We will also discuss special cases such as stillbirth, neonatal death, and sudden and traumatic death. August 21.

"Walking in the Valley of the Shadow" is put on by the APJCC in partnership with Lehrhaus Judaica, The Gamliel Institute and Sinai Memorial Chapel. This class is sponsored, in part, by Los Gatos Memorial Park & Darling-Fischer.


Jewish Musical Theater, Composers, and Lyricists
When you think of Jewish musical theater, you probably think of Fiddler on the Roof. But the Jewish legacy on Broadway goes far beyond that. Many of the leading lights of American musical theater are Jewish — from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Gershwin, Berlin, and Sondheim. Join us for a trip down memory lane with instructor Stephen S. Gill. You’ll be entertained musically while learning some history about the composers and their music. For more information on this class, contact Cherie Ravel, the JCC's Adult Programs Director, at cherie@apjcc.org or 408.357.7462.

Our May class will focus on the songwriting team Kander and Ebb, who wrote hit songs for musicals such as Funny Lady, Chicago, and Cabaret, among others.

Tue 5/17 (last class!) 3:00-4:30pm Free* $10

* Free for JCC members with advance reservation. RSVP to cherie@apjcc.org or 408.357.7462.


The Jewish Musical Theater program for seniors is made possible, in part,  by a  generous grant from the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley and sponsorship by HearWell Audiology.
All Cultural Arts programs at the APJCC are made possible, in part, by generous contributions from Sylvia & Leonard Metz, Doris & Rick Davis, and Bill Lister.
The APJCC is proud to be a part of the Initiative on Jewish Peoplehood, co-funded by the Koret Foundation and the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture.


Amos, The First of the Literary Prophets - Postponed till Fall
With Rabbi Daniel Pressman. The Book of Amos is brief, but rich. It's a window into the teachings of all the prophets, with its themes of covenant loyalty and social justice. Our study of Amos will emphasize the importance of the prophets for us today.

Th 3/31-4/14 10:00-11:30am  Postponed   


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. $8 per session. Punch cards are no longer available for this class, but you can bring your existing punch card in and we will honor them. This class will meet on selected Fridays from 12:00-1:00pm. Upcoming dates are 4/15, 5/6, 5/20, 6/3, 6/17.
For more information and to purchase sessions, contact the JCC's Center for Jewish Life & Learning at 408.357.7411 or cjll@apjcc.org.


Bay Area Community Talmud Circle 2015-16
Sundays 10am - 12pm. 10/11, 11/15, 12/13, 1/24, 2/21, 3/27, 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 abra@lehrhaus.org  or visit www.lehrhaus.org.




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. Instructor: Rabbi Joey Felsen

Tue ongoing 9:30-11:00am FREE


Heschel Roundtable (this class replaces the old Rambam Roundtable class)
Drop in to study and discuss the writings of Abraham Joshua Heschel. We will start with his book, "The Sabbath," which presents the Jewish Sabbath as an antidote to the fast pace of daily life in modern society. No experience or specialized knowledge necessary. Each week we'll read and discuss a short selection from his writings. This is a free, drop-in class. No need to register. Instructor: Rabbi Hugh Seid-Valencia

Wed ongoing 9:00am-10:30am FREE


Hasidic Havurah
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 Hugh Seid-Valencia

Thu ongoing 11:00am-12:00pm FREE


Classes at Other Locations

Torah Study -- at Chai House, 814 St. Elizabeth Drive, San Jose
This engaging class with the JCC’s Rabbi Hugh Seid-Valencia, 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.

Mon ongoing 3:30-4:30pm FREE


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.

All Russian Language Torah Study Programs are made possible, in part, by a generous gift from Larisa Margulis & Mikhail Guz.

Tue ongoing 10:30-11:30am FREE


Voted Best Health Club in Metro Newspaper's Silicon Valley Reader Poll. You don't have to be Jewish to join the Jewish Community Center.
Located at 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos, CA 95032. Tel: 408.357.7429. Fax: 408.358.7311.

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