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Past learning opportunities

2018-19 Adult Learning
21 Lessons for the 21st Century
With Rabbis Abrasley and Berry
Downtown Study and Lunch and Learn: 2018-19
“In a world deluged by irrelevant information, clarity is power.” – Yuval Noah Harari

Rabbis Abrasley and Berry analyze the latest book by one of the most innovative thinkers on the planet. Harari's 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is a probing and visionary investigation into some of today’s most urgent issues: democracy, God, immigrant, terrorism, climate change, fake news and so much more. Harari is a historian and best-selling author who currently lectures at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, specializing in world history.

Jewish Mysticism of the Early Hasidic Masters
With Mary Jane Suzman

Fall 2018 and spring 2019
Jewish mysticism had its roots in Medieval Kabbalah, but then spread like wildfire through Eastern European Jewish communities during the 18th and 19th centuries. This discussion course will begin with some background in Kabbalah. Study texts from the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidism, and other early Hasidic masters. Discover what meaning these teachings may have for us today

Lights in the Dark: Mussar Lessons for our time

With Rabbi Eric S. Gurvis
Winter/spring 2019
In our confusing and contentious time, many are seeking to find a greater sense of grounding in core virtues which can guide us, uplift us and inspire us to become the best persons we can be. For the Jewish world, asking such a focus is hardly new. Yet, in our time, we are witnessing the uncovering of a rich part of our Jewish heritage, which was nearly lost to our people – the study and practice of Mussar. Each week session will explore teachings on one middah (soul-trait), such as trust, truth and anger, as illuminated by teachings from Mussar classics and more contemporary Mussar teachings.

Israel 101+: Exploring the history of Zionism and the modern state of Israel
With Drs. Jonathan Golden and Jonah Hassenfeld
Fall 2018
Israel is a remarkable country with a long history and unique relationship to Judaism. This four-session course will the role of the land and its people. Sessions will cover pivotal moments in history, a little bit of politics, media literacy, current events, Arab/Israeli/US relations and more. The course will be primarily team-taught by two of Gann Academy’s most popular faculty members, The last session will be team-taught by Rabbis Berry and Abrasley.
Dr. Jonathan Golden is the Israel Curriculum Coordinator and an American history teacher at Gann Academy, a pluralistic Jewish high school in Waltham where he has taught since 1999. Dr. Jonah Hassenfeld is the Assistant Director of Teaching and Learning at Gann Academy. He teaches world history and the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Intro to Judaism
Explore a modern take on Jewish life with Rabbis Abrasley and Berry. Engage with Jewish values, celebrations, spirituality and community. Ask questions, discover multiple perspectives and find what could be meaningful to you in liberal Judaism. Everyone is welcome. This 40-hour class is perfect for interfaith couples, those raising Jewish children, spiritual seekers, individuals considering conversion and Jews who want a meaningful adult Jewish learning experience. The course is offered through Reform Jewish Outreach Boston.

Past Classes Include:

  •  Downtown Study
  • Lunch and Learn
  • Scholar In Residence Havurah Learning
  • Beginning Hebrew
  • Adult B'nai Mitzvah
  • Parenting Through a Jewish Lens
  • Mussar
  • The Bible Doesn’t Say That: The Problem and Possibility of Biblical (Mis)translations
  • To Every Trope There is a Season
  • She Did What? The Bad (But Kinda Good) Girls of the Bible
  • Jewish Life and Jewish Living in Central Europe: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
  • Jewish Meditation
  • Judaism and Justice
  • The Spirituality of Cooking and Eating
  • Israeli Kitchen Encounter
  • The Magical Niggun
  • The Seductive Haftorah
  • Finding Our Roots: A Genealogy Course
  • Yoga for Health and Healing
  • Facing Cancer Together
  • Latin American Jewish Literature
  • Theatre Opportunities
  • Book Club
  • Spirituality Discussion Group 
Thu, July 18 2019 15 Tammuz 5779