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Conversion to Judaism
Interested in converting to Judaism? Email Rabbi Laurie at for more information. We have an ongoing monthly group for those who are interested.

Adult Bnei Mitzvah
Interested in celebrating an adult bnei mitzvah? Email Joy at to sign up. We will convene our next cohort in April 2021.

Past Classes:
Beginning Hebrew
Learn to read Hebrew painlessly in a five-week, online basic Hebrew reading class. The class will introduce the letters and vowels and teach participants how to sound out syllables and words. No Hebrew background is necessary.

Raising the Sparks: An Introduction to Kabbalah
This class will begin with an exploration of the concept of “mysticism” and an overview of the history of Jewish mysticism. We will then review some of the key concepts of Kabbalah, including kabbalistic cosmology, divine emanations (sefirot), and the four worlds.  The focus will be on finding ways to make this often esoteric symbolic system applicable to contemporary religious life.  This is primarily a discussion-based class. Texts will be in English. No prior familiarity with Kabbalah is assumed.

Take a Class, Join a Group
Shaarei Shamayim offers several adult learning opportunities each year. These classes are a great way to learn something new, meet others in the congregation, and engage with new ideas. All are welcome. You do not need to be a member to participate. All classes are taught on Zoom. 

Anti-Racist Training - Register here
Thursdays: April 1, 8, 15, 22
7:00-8:30 p.m.

As part of Shaarei Shamayim’s commitment towards becoming an anti-racist congregation, we strongly encourage our members to attend this four-part, member-centered course that will move beyond simple recognition of racism and white privilege. Our goals are to engage productively with others in conversations about race and to create and support a community where no one is left out. We will explore how to hold each other accountable for change. We will also collectively develop strategies for the transformations required to become a more diverse community -- one that lives by the biblical injunction to welcome the stranger and embrace as integral participants all who enter our congregation. This series will be taught by Aja Davis and Molly Ola Pinney, a married couple and founders of White People. DOING Something.

Scholarships are available. Please select 'scholarship request' when registering and you will be contacted about a scholarship rate.

Exploring the Structure and Meaning of Jewish Prayers - Register here
Tuesdays: April 6, 13, 20, 27 and May 4
6:00-7:30 p.m.

Rabbi Rena Blumenthal will take participants on a deep dive into Jewish liturgy, with a particular focus on Shabbat prayers. The class is designed both for people who are new to the Shabbat service and people who attend regularly. We will work with both Hebrew and English translations; no knowledge of Hebrew is assumed. This will be a discussion-based class with a focus on finding ways to deepen our prayer lives.

Scholarship money is available. If requesting a scholarship, please select that option when registering and you will be contacted about paying a lower scholarship rate.

Introduction to Judaism - Registration closed
Mondays: January 25, February 1, 8, 15, 22, March 1, 8, and 15
6:00-7:30 p.m.

Join Rabbi Laurie for this 8-week introduction. She will provide an overview of Jewish practice, theology, prayer, texts, holidays, life cycles, history, and the Jewish community today. This is ideal for anyone interested in learning about Judaism including conversion students, non-Jewish partners, Jews who don't remember much from Hebrew school, and friends of the Jewish community. The course is $72 for members, $118 for non-members. Financial assistance is available.
Course Syllabus

Beginning Yiddish - Registration closed
Thursdays: February 11, 18, 25, March 4, 11
7:00-8:30 p.m.

Dip your feet into the world of Yiddish. Taught by Erin Faigin, a Ph.D. student in American Jewish history, this course will begin with the Yiddish aleph-beys, the Yiddish alphabet. Students will learn how to read in Yiddish, with opportunities for structured conversation. Students will be exposed to Yiddish culture through translated stories, oral histories, and songs. A seasoned student of Yiddish, Erin has studied the language in Amherst, Vilnius, New York, Berkeley, and now Madison. She loves Yiddish for its diasporic perspective. The course is $36 for members, $72 for non-members. Financial assistance is available. Materials are included.

Wed, March 3 2021 19 Adar 5781