Upcoming Classes

At the heart of Jewish culture there has always been Jewish learning—an engaged and vibrant meeting of minds. 

2018-2019 Academic Courses: 

Fall Course: Wrestling With Faith

Most people, even the devout, struggle with beliefs about G‑d. It is easy, for example, to affirm the basic tenets of Judaism during a prayer service, but when it comes to trusting G‑d with our daily decisions, many share a secret, painful fear that G‑d isn’t really looking out for them. Many of us have been brought up under the assumption that mainstream science is incompatible with our Jewish faith. So when we see compelling evidence for biological evolution, for example, we feel forced to choose between science and our faith. Wrestling with Faith was created to tackle questions like these—the “big issues” that keep people from an intimate relationship with G‑d. The course acknowledges the often unspoken doubts and fears that all people share, and seizes their invitation for us to dig deeper for the answers.

Lesson 1
I Have Trouble Believing In G‑d

There are many things about G‑d that bother me—for starters, what is G‑d? Besides, I can live perfectly well without Him: Why do I need Him in my life?

Lesson 2
Does God Really Care?

Many Jewish observances seem petty and burdensome, and they interfere with the way we choose to run our lives. Why can’t G‑d just leave me alone?

Lesson 3
Jewish Beliefs Seem Primitive

G‑d seems to espouse outdated beliefs such as the notions of a “chosen nation” and designated gender roles. Plus, He interferes with our choice of lifestyle.

Lesson 4
A Good G‑d Who Does Bad Stuff

How can we understand and relate to G‑d’s intimate and caring presence in our lives amid the experience of suffering and tragedy?

Lesson 5
Are Religion and Science at Odds?

How might a scientific person embrace beliefs that cannot be proven in a lab, or reconcile compelling evidence for the theory of evolution and the age of the universe with a literal reading of the Bible?

Lesson 6
How Can I Relate to a G‑d I Cannot See?

Can a finite human have an intimate relationship with an infinite G‑d? If it is indeed possible, where do I start?

6 Classes beginning October 23rd, 2018 

Register Here

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Winter Course: Crime and Consequence

Criminal justice reform is a hot-button topic in the United States, with a bipartisan consensus that urgent reforms are needed. This course discusses some of the most controversial issues with respect to crime and punishment and offers Torah perspectives that are relevant and insightful. The course examines many areas of criminal law, such as sentencing, incarceration, parole, death penalty, evidence, rehabilitation, crime prevention—all in the hope of generating a safer and more just society.

6 Classes beginning February 5th, 2019 

Register Here

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Spring Course: With All My Heart

More than half (55%) of Americans say they pray every day, according to a 2014 Pew Research Center survey, while 21% say they pray weekly or monthly. But what is the purpose of prayer? Can we cause G‑d to change His mind? Is He in need of incessant praise? This course aims to make prayer more personally meaningful by addressing some of the philosophical, emotional, and practical barriers that make it difficult to pray. And by examining the history of how the Jewish prayers developed, as well as the meaning of the most notable prayers, participants will become more comfortable with tapping into Jewish prayer as a means of connection to their heritage.

6 Classes beginning May 14th, 2018 

Register Here 

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Weekday Classes at Lubavitch on the Palisades

Sunday 9:30 am: Parsha class followed by coffee & cake

Monday 9:30 am: Women's Kabbalah class with Rabbi Shain

9:00 pm: Kabbalah class in Hebrew (e-mail Rabbi Gershovitz for location)

Tuesday 8:00 pm: JLI course or class with Rabbi Shain between courses

Thursday 8:00 pm: Talmud class with Rabbi Shain