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Adult Education

Learning enriches Jewish life and grows Jewish identity. The rabbis also teach us that when two people sit together to study Torah, the presence of God rests between them (Pirke Avot 3:3). At Har HaShem, whether you seek more knowledge, a connection to community or spiritual growth, we believe that these opportunities should exist at every age. We offer both formal and informal learning opportunities for our young people and adults.

For information about Adult Jewish Enrichment offerings, contact Rabbi Fred Greene at fg@harhashem.org

The Basics

Intro to Judaism
Thursday evenings, September 15 through April at the Boulder JCC and online via Zoom; 6:30-8:30pm

This survey of Judaism course teaches fundamentals of Jewish thought, tradition and practice from a pluralistic and non-denominational perspective. Topics include lifecycle events, rituals, holidays, history, prayer and theology. Interfaith couples, adults considering conversion, and anyone looking to learn more about Jewish life are encouraged to sign up.
For more information, visit www.BoulderHaver.org, where you can sign up. Or contact Stacey at HaverInbox@gmail.com.

 

Jewish and New-ish: A Supportive Online Space for Those Who Have Recently (0-5 years) Converted to Judaism
Monthly on Thursdays, September 8- December 8; 8:00-9:15pm

Have you converted to Judaism in the past five years? Join an online gathering where you can make connections, process your experiences, and learn with others in this safe space offered through a Reform Jewish lens. Ask questions without fear, share triumphs and challenges in a nurturing environment, and continue to explore your journey with Judaism in a community of care.  

We recognize that the experiences of those who convert to Judaism are by no means monolithic (and many choose other language to describe themselves, preferring Jew by Choice, or preferring not to label themselves at all). We welcome and affirm people from a wide range of backgrounds including Jews of Color, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and people from other marginalized communities.  

Facilitated by Sue Bojdak (she/her) and Yanira Quiñones (she/her). Live captioning and/or ASL interpretation available with 2 weeks advance request, and we will make every effort to meet any request made at any time. Contact Learning@urj.org.  

  • September 8th: Belonging: My Place in the Jewish Community
  • October 20th: Family Complexity and Points of Connection
  • November 10th: Finding and Honoring Your Jewish Practice
  • December 8th: Navigating the Holidays: Challenges and Opportunities
     

RSVP Here

Hebrew

Level One: Learn to Read Hebrew for Adults
Cohorts beginning on a rolling basis; 10 one-hour sessions, $180

Familiarity with Hebrew can be a key to feeling at home in the Jewish community. Ten live online class sessions with our experienced Hebrew educators and a community of learners, coupled with independent practice between sessions, will enable students to master the alef-bet and recognize and understand common Hebrew words and phrases that are often heard in Reform congregational life.

This course assumes no prior Hebrew experience. A true beginner's course! After registration, students are given the Zoom link for our live classes, a link to purchase the workbook, and access to our extensive online course materials. Tuition is $180 and scholarships are available upon request.

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Level Two: Learn Prayer Hebrew
Sundays; 9:30-11:00am.
Led by Stuart Feinhor

Familiarity with Hebrew can be a key to feeling at home in the Jewish community. This course builds on basic reading and prayer introduction from Level I, giving students greater insight and comfort with the prayers in worship services.  Level I is not a pre-requisite as long as you remember or have some of the basic skills.

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Israel

Why Have a Relationship with Israel?
Wednesday nights September 14 - November 9; 6:30-8:00pm 

There. We said it. If you want to engage in meaningful, respectful conversation with other congregants about the complexities and nuances of Israel, then this is where you want to spend some time. Itai Divinsky, the Community Israel Emissary (Shaliach) at JEWISHcolorado, is spending some time with us to learn, listen, and discuss together. This will be filled with rich conversations about the diversity of Israeli culture, as well as the intersections of Jewish culture in Israel and America. Please plan on attending all six sessions if you sign up. 

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The Afterlife

Olam Ha'Ba: Jewish View of the Afterlife
Thursday, October 27, Nov 10, 17 from 12:30 - 2:00pm

While focusing mostly on the here and now, Judaism has extensive ideas, beliefs and writings about the afterlife. In this three session class, we will explore Jewish ideas concerning the afterlife, resurrection, gehennom (hell), the role of the kaddish prayer and more. We will study biblical ideas, rabbinic ideas, kabbalistic ideas and contemporary ones too.  We'll refer to Philosopher/Rabbi Neil Gilman's The Death of Death: Resurrection and Immortality in Jewish Thought as well as Rabbi Paul Raphael's book, Jewish Views of the Afterlife. Please come with your questions! You are welcome to bring lunch if you like.

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Book Study

One Congregation, One Book

Books are precious in Jewish history and culture. Ideas, curiosities, stories, memories – they are all captured in our books. Here are a few contemporary books to help us engage in dialogue, share ideas, learn, and help activate our Jewish community’s consciousness. You buy the book, read it, and join us for lively discussion!

  • Can We Talk about Israel?: A Guide for the Curious, Confused, and Conflicted by Daniel Sokatch
    • facilitated by Rabbi Fred Greene
    • Thursday, November 10, 2022; 7pm, North Building and on Zoom
  • Moral Resistance and Spiritual Authority by Seth Limmer and Jonah Pesner
    • facilitated by Rabbi Fred Greene
    • Monday, January 30, 2023 at 7pm, online only
  • People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present by Dara Horn
    • Facilitated by Rabbi Fred Greene 
    • March 30, 2022 in the North Building and on Zoom

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Character Development

Becoming Our Better Selves Together: An Introduction to Participating in Tikkun Middot 1.0
Wednesday, September 7; 1:00-2:30pm
Led by Rabbi Ruthie Gelfarb and Congregant Jeff Tatelman

Har HaShem is launching its 8th Tikkun Middot group in September. Come learn what this 10 month group comprised of a small, diverse group of fellow congregants is about. Participants meet monthly from September — June and follow a structured curriculum which gently supports participants in developing their soul traits/character traits. Participants will also have the opportunity to engage in spiritual practices of chanting, Jewish text study,  meditation, hevruta ( paired learning) and attending a monthly discussion group.

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Tikkun Middot 1.0
Led by Rabbi Ruthie Gelfarb and Congregant Jeff Tatelman
Wednesdays, monthly; 1:00-2:30pm

In a small supportive group, participants learn about, discuss and develop their middot (soul traits). Our structured curriculum includes a monthly group meeting, meditation, chanting, journaling and paired learning. 

NOTE: Space is limited.  Please email Rabbi Ruthie Gelfarb at rg@harhashem.org before enrolling.

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Introduction to Jewish Meditation Workshop
Wednesday, September 7; 4:00-5:30. IN PERSON!
Led by Rabbi Ruthie Gelfarb and Congregant Alyssa Frank-Martin

Want to learn more about Jewish meditation? Considering signing up for the Awakening the Soul course? This workshop will begin with a presentation exploring and addressing why meditation is helpful, how to meditate, and what is Jewish about meditation. Meditation instruction will be offered and participants will practice different meditations. Participants will leave with resources to take home. This workshop is open to experienced and beginning meditators.

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Awakening the Soul: Jewish Meditation Course
Thursdays, 7:00-8:00pm, monthly. MULTI ACCESS (in person and online)
10/28, 11/11, 12/16, 1/27, 2/24, 3/31, 4/14, 5/19, 6/9
Led by Rabbi Ruthie Gelfarb and Congregant Alyssa Frank-Martin

Have you ever asked yourself: How do I meditate? How do I keep up a practice? Why is it so hard for me to sit still for an extended period of time? Why do people always talk about how wonderful it is to meditate? This monthly class will help you connect with others around your meditation practice.  

NOTE: Space is limited.  

RSVP Here

Engaging with our Sacred Texts

Torah Study
Saturdays; 9:00am

Looking for a bit of learning, a bit of casual conversation, a chance to build your skills and comfort with traditional texts in English? Join a friendly group of members and volunteers for an exploration of a Jewish story, a portion of Torah, a bit of Talmud, or perhaps a contemporary text. Bring your curiosity. Take a break. Have some fun with our tradition. Torah study is meeting in our tent and also available on Zoom.

 

Kabbalah Reading Group
Wednesdays, 6:30-8:00pm

The Har HaShem Kabbalah Reading Group focuses on Jewish mysticism generally and as applied in everyday life. We will read the following;

  • Ehyeh, A Kabbalah For Tomorrow by Arthur Green
  • Thirty-Two Gates, into the Heart of Kabbalah & Chassidus by Rav Dovber Pinson
  • The Tree of Life Volume One The Palace of Adam Kadmon by Chayim Vital translation by E. Colle and H. Colle

Ehyeh and Thirty Two Gates both deal with/proceed from basic Kabbalah concepts and are approachable by those with less background. The Tree of Life is a primary Kabbalah text originally written in the 16th century.

Check dates and get the Zoom link on our calendar

 

Taste of Talmud
First Thursday of every month with some exceptions so please check the calendar; 12:30pm

New tastes offer novel flavors and surprises. New learning is just as delicious! Sample classic Jewish sources from the Talmud* to expand your palate. We’ll nibble on Jewish ideas and values as we savor the company of the folks around the table or online. 

*Talmud is the incredible, massive collection of sources written in the 5th-6th centuries in Babylonia. Much of Judaism today is built upon the ideas of the Hebrew Bible (Written Torah) and Talmud (Oral Torah).

Poetry

Wanna Write a Jewish Poem?
Sundays, 12/11, 1/8, 2/12, 3/5, 4/9; 12:30-2:30pm

The history of Jewish Poetry goes back to the first word of the Hebrew bible, Bereshit! What could be more poetic than a single word that encapsulates all of creation? Every poem that follows builds on this ancient tradition.

This event will be structured like a writing workshop: participants will bring a poem they are working on and share it out loud with the class. People will be invited to offer constructive feedback based on their experience of the work. The goal is to have fun, provide support, develop your work, and learn from each other. The work should have a Jewish theme, which can be widely defined. 

This will be a one-time workshop, which could develop into an ongoing or limited series.

Stuart Feinhor earned his MFA in creative writing/poetry, from the New School, in New York. His work has been published in Cross Currents, 7 Hills, Mimaamikim, to name a few. Currently, he works for Jewish Family Service-Boulder, and has been a teacher at Har HaShem for many years.

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Prayer

Prayer is an Art Form
Thursday, December 8; 11:00am

We are going to listen to a podcast (yes, a podcast!) before the class and then will explore together what prayer can be for us individually or how prayer can be spiritually valuable to us. The conversation will be facilitated by Rabbi Fred Greene. The Podcast, “Prayer Is an Art Form,” features Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, Ph.D., The Barbara and Stephen Friedman Professor Emeritus of Liturgy, Worship and Ritual, at Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion/New York.
Get the Podcast here

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Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion Courses

College Commons

HUC-JIR is the Reform movement’s seminary and graduate school. They now offer free online courses for adults and teens investigating a central Jewish theme through conversations with HUC-JIR scholars and academic experts.
Learn more here.

Fall Library Series
Learn more here.

Adult Education Calendar

Mon, December 5 2022 11 Kislev 5783