5771 Spring Course Descriptions

BIB 421 Samuel Dr. Ora Horn Prouser

An in-depth analysis of selected texts from the Books of Samuel using both modern and traditional approaches. As a follow up to the retreat, for a few sessions we will partner with Peter Pitzele to give artistic and creative representation to the textual study. (1.0 course point)

CAN 108 Choir Cantor Leon Sher

An exploration of the vast literature of Jewish choral music, leading to performance at public events. (0.5 course point)

CAN 115 Introduction to Modes Cantor Gerald Cohen

This class will introduce the basic concept of Jewish modes through their scale structures and defining motives as well as some of their practical applications in the nushaot of Shabbat, Festival, High Holiday and Life Cycle liturgy. (0.5 course point)

CAN 130 Musical Skills I Stanley Dorn

The study of music theory, ear training, sight singing, harmony, and conducting. (0.0 course points)

CAN 315 Cantillation Yammim Noraim Cantor Rena Shapiro

A continuation of the study of cantillation focusing on Torah reading for the Yammim Noraim. This course is also open to rabbinical students seeking training in cantillation. Prerequisite: CAN 308 (0.5 course point)

CAN 437 Advanced Nusah L hol Cantor Lisa Klinger-Kantor; Cantor Sol Zim

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 525 Ladino Music: Lashon i musica de mi madre Cantor Richard Botton

(Language and music of my mother)

An exploration of Ladino and its musical repertoire using a Master Class format; Its purpose is to acquaint students with the Sephardic experience, and joy of its expression through the language of Ladino, the language of the Sephardic Jews. Students will be graded by the level of preparation of each assigned piece. This course fulfills the Diverse Musical Traditions requirement. (0.5 course point)

CAN 610 Concert Repertoire Cantor Sol Zim

Students will be given the opportunity to learn cantorial classics, developing a Hebrew and Yiddish repertoire taken from traditional and contemporary sources. The objective will be to perform materials and be coached on the best way to make specific pieces work in davenning or in concert. This course fulfills the Recitative requirement. (1.0 course point)

HAL 373 Critical Issues Halacha Rabbi Brent Spodek

The study of a contemporary social issue through a halakhic lens. Topic to be announced. (0.5 course point)

HAL 402 Introduction to Codes Rabbi Iscah Waldman

Continuation of HAL 401 taught in the fall (1.0 course point)

HAL 480 Responsa Rabbi Joseph Prouser

In this course we will conduct a close reading of rabbinic responsa from a variety of historic periods, tracing the responsa literature from its earliest origins to its 21st century expression. Selected responsa will cover a range of topics and areas of Jewish life. Contemporary responsa studied will reflect a wide spectrum of perspectives and denominational origins. Prerequisite: 1 course point in Talmud and 1 course point in Codes (1.0 course point)

HAL 600 Advanced Codes Rabbi Michael Pitkowsky

This course will focus on the use of Jacob ben Asher’s the Tur and Yosef Karo’s Beit Yosef as starting points for further exploration into issues of Jewish law. (1.0 course point)

HEB 251 Hebrew I Ms. Varda Hubara

Continuation of HEB 250 taught in the fall (2.0 course points)

HEB 320 Biblical Hebrew Rabbi Allen Darnov

Building on a basis in Modern Hebrew, this course introduces the grammar and usage of the classical language of the Hebrew Bible. We will focus on how Biblical Hebrew differs from Modern Hebrew, and the syntactical and grammatical details necessary to understand the Hebrew Bible. (1.0 course point)

HEB 351 Hebrew II Ms. Varda Hubara

Continuation of HEB 350 taught in the fall (2.0 course points)

HEB 414 Advanced Hebrew Ms. Varda Hubara

An opportunity for advanced Hebrew students to use and improve their Hebrew skills. Israeli short stories will be read and analyzed, along with opportunities for conversation and discussion. This course may be taken multiple times as the subject matter will change each semester. (1.0 course point)

LIT 271 Tefilah and Seminar Rabbi Jill Hammer

In this minimester course, we will explore kavvanot or intentions– words outside the liturgy, intended to provide added meaning to prayer, ritual, or the Torah service. We will discuss the offering of intentions, meditations, and spontaneous prayers, and investigate how and when they can enhance liturgical content. Each student will be expected to create several kavvanot for the class to experience and evaluate. (0.5 course point)

LIT 620 Yammim Noraim Liturgy Rabbi Jeff Hoffman

This interdisciplinary professional seminar for both rabbinic and cantorial students features: halakhic, liturgical, historical, professional and spiritual material necessary to prepare for this season; the evolution of the season from biblical through modern periods; a survey of various contemporary mahzorim; discussions of strategies for the rabbi and cantor to prepare themselves to lead various congregations through the experience of Yamim Noraim. An emphasis will be placed on analyzing major prayers in the traditional liturgy of the Yammim Noraim. Prerequisite: Introduction to Liturgy (1.0 course point)

MEC 130 Mechina Hebrew Dr. Aliza Erber

This class covers the basics of both modern and liturgical Hebrew, preparing the students to enter the required Hebrew classes of both the Rabbinical and the Cantorial programs. No credit is given for this class. (0.0 course points)

MEC 131 Mechina Jewish Studies Rabbi Eric Hoffman; Rabbi Aryeh Meir

This is a preparatory course for the Rabbinic and Cantorial programs. The course includes a survey of Jewish history since 1700, Jewish current events, the institutions of the State of Israel, and training in the composition of a D’var Torah; introduction to the Siddur (prayerbook) for weekdays, Sabbaths and festivals, with guided reading and analysis of selected Hebrew passages; introduction to classical Jewish literature, including Mishnah and Midrash; and orientation to Jewish liturgical observances and religious and cultural institutions.(0.0 course points)

PHI 301 Bioethics Rabbi Joseph Prouser

An exploration of major dilemmas in bio-ethics such as issues around the beginning and the end of life based upon traditional Jewish sources and contemporary thinkers of all outlooks. (0.5 course point)

PHI 480 Pluralism Rabbi Lenny Levin

What is the significance or value of a pluralistic commitment? Is it basically a practical orientation, a relativistic stance, or does it entail acceptance of certain more fundamental affirmations? In this course we will examine some of the various conceptions of pluralism that have been argued  “ for and against  “ by social and religious thinkers. Readings will include traditional Judaic texts as well as contemporary writings, especially from within the Jewish community. In addition to grappling with the theory  “ promising or problematic  “ of pluralism, we will also give some attention to issues involved in making pluralism work. Students will be required to give presentations to the class. (1.0 course point)

PHI 510 Lurianic Kabbalah: The Lion King Rabbi David Ingber

The small city of Tzfat in northern Israel, was the site of the greatest renaissance of Jewish mysticism, or Kabbalah, in Jewish history. In the aftermath of the expulsion of Jews from Spain (1492), many of the most creative Jewish mystical minds gathered in Tzfat creating an epicenter of Jewish mystical thought that would transform Judaism to this day. Teachers like Shlomo Alkabetz, author of the Lecha Dodi; and Yosef Karo, author of the Shulchan Aruch.. The greatest teacher of Kabbalah, acknowledged and revered by all was Yitzchak Luria (the ARI). This course will offer an in-depth introduction to this giant of Jewish Mysticism. We will study primary source material dealing with many of the basic principals of Kabbalah, including the sefirot, the various names of God, and some of the more advanced concepts such as tzimtzum or Divine Constriction, the Breaking of the Vessels, Gilgul or reincarnation, Kabbalistic Astrology and various meditative techniques. In addition to studying texts and engaging in various contemplative practices, we will seek to understand the importance of these sophisticated spiritual systems for our every day lives. (0.5 course point)

PRO 001 Core Concepts Dr. Ora Horn Prouser

This is a multi-year sequence of seminars. 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 two years of the seminars given in the sequence. After fulfilling this non-credit requirement, a student may elect to take the third year for credit. Each seminar will meet for 45 minutes weekly. Core Concepts I begins with the term emunah.(0.0 course point)

PRO 015 Ritual Skills Workshop TBA

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 312 Homiletics Rabbi Jill Hammer

An exploration into the structure and content of the pulpit sermon. Particular attention will be paid to various nontraditional varieties of pulpit discourse as well as to available resource materials in the sermonic field. Primary methodology: the creation, presentation and critique of sermons assigned to course participants. (0.5 course point)

PRO 371 Contemporary Denominations TBA

Survey of the various streams of Jewish religious life in the US and the world. In each case there will be an examination of history, principal institutions and current  ˜hot  issues. (1.0 course point)

PRO 470 Chaplaincy Rabbi Bonita Taylor

Welcome to the world of professional chaplaincy. This is an introduction to the role of the Rabbi/Cantor in the modern healthcare setting. This work-study mini-course delves into the inner emotions of a person experiencing spiritual distress because of unwellness along with your own inner emotions as you encounter this person. Includes 40 hours divided between group supervision and Chaplain-Intern visits in a medical institution. Medical clearance is required prior to course beginning. This may include: a note from your MD certifying your health for this work; blood titers for measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella; and TB tests. Your local hospitals or nursing homes may be approved. Because sessions are limited and co-shaped by me and you, classes cannot be made up; consequently, 100% attendance and participation is required. Although this class is a ½-credit course, sessions are spread throughout the semester to allow sufficient time for clinical service. Required book: Why Me? Why Anyone? By Hirshel Jaffe, James Rudin, and Marcia Rudin. (0.5 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. Specific topics for study and discussion include couples counseling, dealing with losses, life transitions, crises, substance abuse, family dysfunction, and ethical issues. Prerequisite: Counseling I (1.0 course point)

PRO 700 FWSS Ms. Arline Duker; Rabbi David Schuck

This seminar group focuses upon issues that arise in the course of rabbinical and cantorial work. Students will explore the challenges that they face in their work and in their developing rabbinate /cantorate through the presentation of a case study. Participation is required of all students whose work is counting as a required internship experience. All Fieldwork must be approved prior to the beginning of the semester by Sandy Kilstein. Students should register either for the Tuesday or the Wednesday section. Tuition is charged but no academic course point is given for this seminar. (0.0 course point)

RAB 100 Introduction to Mishna Rabbi Isaac Mann

This course will introduce the students to the study of Mishnah, which forms the basis of the Talmud and subsequent rabbinic literature. We will discuss the origin of mishnaic compositions, the concept of mahloket, the role of the Tannaim, and the editing of the Mishnah by R. Judah Ha-Nasi. We will then examine the structure of the work  “ its divisions into six orders and the tractates that compose each order. The bulk of the classes will be devoted to the study of approximately 25-30 mishnayot that will represent a sampling of this corpus. We will learn various rabbinic concepts and terminology from these mishnayot. The topics will cover a broad range, from prayer (in Zeraim) to rites of purification (in Taharot), from mishnayot that focus on halakhah to those that deal with ethics and morality (in Avot). We will also look at some issues of composition, in particular the notion of strata in the Mishnah. By the end of the semester the student is expected to have a fairly good introduction to  œrabbinic thinking  and be able to progress into the study of Talmud. (1.0 course point)

RAB 110 Introduction to Midrash Rabbi Jill Hammer

This course focuses on assisting students in developing the skills and confidence needed to read midrashic works in their original form. It examines the language and organic logic of midrash through a survey of selections from various aggadic and halakhic midrashim. (1.0 course point)

RAB 231 Introduction to Talmud Rabbi Jeff Hoffman

Continuation of RAB 230 taught in the fall. The Havruta session is required of all students. Prerequisite: 1.0 course point in Talmud. (1.0 course point)

RAB 531 Advanced Talmud Rabbi Michael Pitkowsky

Continuation of RAB 530 taught in the fall. Students who have taken four course points in Talmud may join the course in the spring semester. The Havruta session is required of all students. (1.0 course point)