Courses

Photo of TZADDIK: Social Justice as a Spiritual Practice

TZADDIK: Social Justice as a Spiritual Practice

Ever feel like those photos you took on your spring break to Ghana had greater implications than you got to discuss? How has Jewish tradition grappled with the need to assist those in need? How do we navigate the seemingly unlimited opportunities available to make a difference in today’s world? Sometimes it feels like our socially aware, postmodern beliefs are completely distinct from our Jewish identities. In this seminar, we seek to cultivate thoughtful discussion and radically honest reflection about the intersection of Judaism and social justice.

Seminar takes place on Wednesdays from 6-7:45 PM. 

Photo of Life’s Big Questions: Or How to Get More of College Through Judaism

Life’s Big Questions: Or How to Get More of College Through Judaism

A Freshman and Sophomore Seminar

College is not only a time to meet new people, to learn the skills of a profession. It is also a time to explore some of the big questions that orient a life well lived. Who am I? What communities am I a part of? Who am I responsible for and why? What is the difference between love, lust and intimacy? What is worth committing myself to and why?

While these are universal questions, we believe they can be illuminated through the unique light of Jewish texts and traditions.  In this seminar, we will explore what it means to be a twenty-something Jewish individual in Lower Manhattan – the big questions of life as refracted through the Jewish tradition.  We will try to explore the often complex questions with which we are faced upon our arrival at college in a way that enables us to find our own answers, but also to ask even more big questions.

This seminar takes place on Mondays from 6-7:45 PM

Photo of Sex, Love, and Romance

Sex, Love, and Romance

Toward a Post-Modern Jewish Ethic

Sexuality and intimacy are central to our identities and experiences as human beings, yet we have few opportunities to speak about them in a frank, open, and explicitly Jewish way. In this seminar, you are expected to read, broadly and generously, traditional Jewish texts on intimacy, gender, sexuality, and other related topics. Thoughtful participation on your part requires active listening, speaking up to contribute in class, and talking from your own experience while being open to the experiences of others. Facilitated by Rabbi Nikki Lyn DeBlosi, Sex Love & Romance explores the ethics of human relationships and sexuality in the Jewish tradition.

This seminar takes place on Thursdays from 6-7:45 PM. 

Photo of Judaism as Art: A Search for Congruity 

Judaism as Art: A Search for Congruity 

A Search for Congruity 

Can Jewish spiritual practice be understood as a kind of art?  How can the artistic process illuminate Jewish living?  To address these question, we will look at some of the themes that have occupied modern art production and consumption, in particular – the presence or absence of the author; the possibility of creations going out of control; the tension between discipline and creative spontaneity in art production, and the poetics of darkness and light.  It is our hope by showcasing some of the common themes between classical Jewish texts and modern art that we might begin to imagine a new intersection between Judaism and art.  No prior experience in art production necessary, though personal experience is welcome.

Tuesdays from 6-7:45 PM.