5768 Fall Course Descriptions

BIB 101 Introduction to the Bible Dr. Ora Horn Prouser
This course will introduce the student to modern critical studies of the Bible. Selected texts of the Bible will be studied in depth while broader thematic issues will be surveyed. Various methodologies used by biblical scholars will be introduced to the students. The many meanings of the text and the centrality of the Bible in the Jewish world will be emphasized through careful study. (1.0 course point)

BIB 120 Parashat Hashavua Ms. Rivka Haut
Each week the class will tackle a troubling text in the weekly parashah and seek to understand it through the prism of classical midrash. (0.5 course point)

BIB 402 Selected Readings in Jeremiah and Ezekiel Dr. Diane Sharon
This course examines selections from the latter prophets of the Hebrew Bible. Background on the history and function of prophecy in Israel will be considered, along with elements of the life of each prophet. Emphasis will be upon a modern literary approach, focusing on structural and thematic frameworks for each passage. Our goal will be to identify the theological message of each prophet. Class discussion will focus in-depth upon selected passages, but students are expected to be familiar with the larger contexts in translation, and with secondary readings as assigned. (1.0 course point)

CAN 250 Conducting Cantor Sol Zim
An in-depth exploration of how to create a Congregational or community choir. We will study various techniques of vocal warm-ups, proper breathing, phrasing and proper intonation of voice for choral singing as opposed to solo singing. Learn to conduct various rhythms, utilizing hands, heads, and body motions. In addition, we will share techniques in how to teach children’s and teenage choirs, and teenage choirs. All students will be required to conduct three choral pieces. (0.5 course point)

CAN 314 Advanced Cantillation Cantor Rena Shapiro
A continuation of the study of cantillation focusing on Esther. Prerequisite: CAN 308 (0.5 course point)

CAN 437 Advanced Nusah Cantor Sol Zim/Cantor Lisa Klinger-Kantor
A study of the nusah of the weekday service. A complete exploration of motifs and modes for weekday Shaharit, Minhah and Ma’ariv services. This class will include special prayer additions for Hanukah, Purim, fast days, Tisha B’av and Rosh Hodesh. In addition, we will do an in-depth extensive study of the motifs and modes of Shabbat Minhah, Hol Hamoed and Havdalah services. All students will be expected to daven and analyze all the different services. Targil section required. (2.0 course points)

CAN Diverse Musical Traditions TBA

CAN 661 Composing Cantor Sol Zim
Learn to compose your own compositions, for solo, two-part, and four-part singing. All students will be required to compose three liturgical compositions. (0.5 course point)

HAL 370 Education in Responsa Literature Rabbi Michael Pitkowsky

HAL 401 Intro Codes
Rabbi Jeffrey Hoffman
This course will introduce the literature of the Codes from a traditional perspective. Selections from the major halakhic texts will be studied along with introductions to author biographies and various commentaries. (1.0 course point)

HAL 460 Intermediate Codes Rabbi Michael Pitkowsky

HEB 250 Hebrew I Ms. Varda Hubara
In this course, students will study Modern Hebrew with emphasis on both grammar and vocabulary. Conversational skills will be an integral element of the learning experience. Prerequisite: Hebrew exam (2.0 course points)

HEB 350 Hebrew II Ms. Varda Hubara
This course will continue the study of Modern Hebrew, emphasizing grammar, vocabulary, reading, and conversation. Prerequisite: Hebrew I (2.0 course point)

HEB 355 Israeli Poetry Rabbi Aryeh Meir
The poetry of a people has the power to open windows of insight into the hopes, fears and dreams of that people.. We will read and discuss selections from the writings of the post-1948 generation of Israeli poets, including Amir Gilboa, Natan Zach, Dalia Ravikovitch, Hamutal bar Yosef and Yehuda Amichai. (1.0 course point)

HEB 414 Advanced Hebrew Ms. Varda Hubara
An opportunity for advanced Hebrew students to use and improve their Hebrew skills. Biblical, Rabbinic, and Modern Israeli literature will be read and analyzed, along with opportunities for conversation and discussion. (1.0 course point)

HIS 310 History of Antiquities Dr. Ruth Gais
From the time of Ezra until the days of the Gaonim, a Judaism that is the wellspring of the Judaism we practice today emerged. These are centuries of rapid changes throughout the Mediterranean and Middle east. Empires rise and fall and through it all, the Jews not only survive but define and redefine themselves in relation to the dominant cultures. We will explore this exciting and creative period through examination of primary sources as well as the secondary literature. (1.0 course point)

LIT 101 Introduction to Liturgy Rabbi David Kalb
Foundations in the formal graduate level study of Jewish liturgy. Portions of the weekday service will be used as the examples for developing an understanding of the basic liturgical units including: p’suqei dezimrah, qeriat Shema uvirkhoteha, tefillah, and kaddish. There will be an overview of the issues involved in understanding the worship traditions of the varied streams that make up the contemporary Jewish community. The problems of prayer and the understanding of prayer as the vehicle for establishing and maintaining a relationship with God will be examined. There will be preliminary discussion of the problems associated with developing compelling and vibrant congregational experience. (1.0 course point)

PHI 370 Judaism and the Earth Rabbi Jill Hammer
In this course we will examine the ways Judaism relates to the natural world and its preservation. We will look at biblical and rabbinic texts on nature, the preservation of life, and the avoidance of waste, and explore theories of Judaism and the environment from
stewardship to deep ecology. We will discover fun, effective and hands-on ways to educate Jews about these issues, and each student will be invited to develop a program for use in environmental education. (1.0 course point)

PHI 400 Quantum Judaism’: Text Study, Meditation, Bittul ha-Yesh and Modern Physics Rabbi Andrew Hahn
It has been said that Baruch Spinoza was “the only Western philosopher to attain enlightenment.” What is less known is that, Einstein, when asked if he believed in God, replied, “I believe in the God of Spinoza.” Much of modern physics seems prefigured in the work of Spinoza and other thinkers. This class is a text-based meditation course. In it, we will explore works by Spinoza, the hassidic masters, Martin Buber, taoist tractates as well as some of the core ideas of post-relativity physics. We will then attempt to discover to what extent Jewish ideas, especially that of bittul ha-yesh, mesh with modern physics and the attempt to narrow – or obliterate – the gap between our given reality in olam ha-zeh and God. We will explore both divine transcendence and immanence. The goal will be to enrich ourselves and our knowledge – as well as to have something to bring to congregants. No prior experience in philosophy required. (0.5 course point)

PHI 475 Personal Theology Rabbi Jill Hammer
In this course, students will be challenged to articulate what they believe and why. We will examine some “seed” texts (Talmud, Buber, Heschel, Luria, Soloveitchik, Mordechai Yosef Shapira (the Ishbitzer), Kushner, Plaskow) to get us started, and we will do some “thinking out loud” (as well as writing) on issues from the divinity of Torah to the problem of evil, from the afterlife to the personality of God. (1.0 course point)

PHI 521 The Ecstasy and Intensity of the Hassidic Masters Rabbi David Kalb
We will study the ideas of such Chasidic teachers as the Bal Shem Tov (the founder of the Chasidic movement), Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi (the founder of the Lubavitch Chasidim and author of the Tanya), Rabbi Nachman of Bratslov, Rabbi Mordechai Yosef Leiner of Ishbitza (the author of the Mei Hashiloach), RabbiYehudah Aryeh Leib Alter (the author of the Sefat Emet), and Rabbi Kalonymos Kalmish Shapira of Piacezna (the author of the Aish Kodesh). These are deeply powerful texts that will be interesting and exciting to anyone who is willing to look at Judaism in a different type of way. In the class we will look at how each of these Chasidic thinkers look at such ideas as God, soul, reality, revelation, mitzvah and prayer. In looking at these fascinating texts, we hope to help guide people in their spiritual journeys. There will be historical introductions to each of the Chasidic Masters we will analyze. There will also be a general introduction to Chasidism.

PRO Core Concepts
This is a multi-year sequence of seminars. They include Core Concepts Seminar I, II, III, and IV. The seminars cover some of the fundamental values, concepts and vocabulary of Jewish tradition. The student is expected first to gain a basic acquaintance with these terms and then to delve more deeply into them so as to appreciate their range of significance. The goal of the seminars is not simply to gather information, but to develop an integrated way of thinking about and expressing these value-concepts, so that the student may grow from an appreciation of the tradition to active and creative participation in the discourse of Torah. Every student is required to take three of the four seminars given in the sequence. After fulfilling this non-credit requirement, a student may elect to take the fourth seminar for credit. Each seminar will meet for 45 minutes weekly. (0.0 course point)

PRO Ritual Skills
In this workshop students will have the opportunity to learn and practice ritual skills to prepare for fulfillment of the yearly ritual skills requirement. (0.0 course point)

PRO 335 Jewish Music for Rabbis Cantor Richard Botton
This course will explore the different music styles used through the years to express the yearnings of our people. (0.5 course point)

PRO 341 Life Cycle I Rabbi Judith Lewis
The course will examine halakha related to each life-cycle celebration, then discuss contemporary issues and decisions, and finally have students demonstrate part or all of each ceremony for class critique. e.g. brit milah: review current halakhic standards, then discuss issues such as who may perform a circumcision, what to do if the mohel says to wait until after Shabbat even though it’s the 8th day, brit milah and Jewish identity, conversion, patrilineal descent, and parallel ceremonies for girls. (1.0 course point)

PRO 350 Conversion Rabbi Craig Miller
A study of conversion from historical, practical, halakhic, and political perspectives. We will address issues relating to preparing individuals for conversion, the process of conversion itself, and the halakhic and political implications of the conversion process. (1.0 course point)

PRO 380 Rabbi as Zionist Leader Jerome Chanes
This course explores the unique position of the rabbi in the community’local and national’in the discussion and debate surrounding Israel and Zionism. The course provides a brief review of the history of Zionism; analyzes basic and foundational texts; and identifies communal resources for the Israel ‘sphere,’ including Israel-advocacy organizations, ‘defense’ agencies, and Zionist groups. Amongst the issues explored: the peace process; debates over ‘Zionism’ and ‘post-Zionism’ (including the future of Zionism); ‘Who is a Jew?’: religious pluralism, religion and state, the Orthodox hegemony in Israel, and the future of religious ‘centricism’ in Israel; constitutional and electoral reform; interfaith issues, including Evangelical support for Israel, and the stances of Protestant and Catholic communities; the future of ‘Zionism.’ The course will explore ethical and halakhic dilemmas in the context of the religious and communal responsibilities of the rabbi as communal leader. (1.0 course point)

PRO 560 Counseling II
Ms. Arline Duker
Employing concepts developed in Part I (PRO 215), specific examples culled from the daily life of rabbis/cantors are utilized to highlight the psychological issues in life-cycle events, pastoral diagnosis and referral, pastoral care and counseling. Special topics covered will include family systems and relationships, mood disorders, trauma, substance abuse and ethical issues relevant to clergy as counselors. (1.0 course point)

PRO 700 Field Work Support Seminar Ms. Arline Duker, Rabbi Alan Kay
This seminar group focuses upon issues that arise in the course of rabbinical and cantorial work. Participation is required of all students whose work is counting as a required internship experience. Tuition is charged but no academic course point is given for this seminar. (0.0 course point)

RAB 100 Introduction to Mishnah Rabbi Isaac Mann
An introduction to the study of Mishnah. Selections will be chosen to illustrate the variety of literary styles and subject matter within the Mishnah. The course will also include a brief introduction to the scholarly issues regarding the development and redaction of the Mishnah. (1.0 course point)

RAB 230 Introduction to Talmud
Rabbi Isaac Mann
A study of the necessary skills in language, logic and text required to read a Talmudic text with the help of only a dictionary. Covers basic Aramaic terms as well as Talmudic “organic logic.” Students expected to prepare texts each week without the use of an English translation. Prerequisite: 1 course point Mishnah and familiarity with basic halakhic terminology. The Havruta session is required of all students. (1.0 course point)

RAB 330 Intermediate Talmud Rabbi Eric Hoffman
This course will continue the study of the Talmud, its structure, and concepts. Sugia selections to be announced. Havruta session is required of all students. Prerequisite: 2 course points in Talmud (1.0 course point)

RAB 530 Advanced Talmud
Rabbi David Greenstein
Massekhet Gittin – Chapter Four – Mipnei Tiqqun Ha-`Olam – In Order to Fix the World. The concept “tiqqun `olam” is an increasingly important one in contemporary Jewish thinking and practice. This chapter of Talmud outlines a number of attempts made by the Rabbis to improve their society, using various means. What were the problems that aroused their attention? How did they go about addressing them? These texts help us explore the intersection of conflicting values and legal systems, and the question of legal stability and integrity. Havruta session is required of all students. Prerequisite: 4 course points in Talmud. (1.0 course point)