Course Descriptions Fall 2022

Fall 2022

BIB 290: Parashat Hashavua
Rabbi Jef Segelman

In this course, we will study the weekly Torah portion. (We will cover Sefer Breisheet and the High Holiday and Sukkot readings).  While our goal will be to gain a greater knowledge of the Parashah itself, we will be equally concerned with exploring a variety of commentaries and resources so that each student can expand their own approach to weekly Parashah study. This class will count toward the Parashat Hashavua requirement, or can be a Bible elective.
2 credits
Required Textbooks: TBD

BIB 348: Leadership Lessons in Numbers: Holiness, Soulcraft, and Transformation of Peoplehood
Dr. Job Jindo

This course is a close critical reading of the book of Numbers, revolving around the themes of leadership (failure), holiness, soulcraft, and peoplehood. By the conclusion of this course, the student will learn: (1) the structure, purposes, and theological outlook of Numbers; (2) the complexity of leadership responsibility, holiness and community, peoplehood and soulcraft as reflected in Numbers; and (3) how to teach the book of Numbers to the contemporaries with AJR values (i.e., critical rigor, inclusivity, commitment to the pluralistic, contemporary Jewish and broader communities). This class will count as a Bible elective.
Prerequisite: Introduction to Bible
2 credits
Required Textbooks:
Jewish Study Bible [2d edition]. New York. Oxford University Press, 2015 [The book of Numbers is annotated by Nili Fox; the 1st edition is also fine].  Free download at https://pdfroom.com/books/the-jewish-study-bible/o75XZyYEgaG

Milgrom, Jacob. Numbers: JPS Torah Commentary. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1990.  Amazon $53.74 ISBN 0827603290

CAN 201: Music History
Dr. Samuel Torjman-Thomas

The purpose of this course is to explore Jewish music as an expression of diaspora identity. To understand Jewish musical expressions, this course examines Jewish culture and identity as inherently diasporic. This course analyzes different types of Jewish musical expressions, including liturgical, para-liturgical, and non-liturgical spheres of musical production. This course fulfills the Music History requirement.
2 credits
Required Textbooks:
Regev, Motti & Edwin Seroussi. 2004. Popular Music and National Culture in Israel. Univ. California Press. Amazon $12.62 ISBN 0520236548

Shelemay, Kay Kaufman. 1998. Let Jasmine Rain Down. Univ. Chicago Press. Amazon $49.00 ISBN 0226752119

Slobin, Mark. 1996. Tenement Songs: The Popular Music of the Jewish Immigrants. Univ. Illinois Press. Amazon $49.00 ISBN 0252008936

CAN 425: Advanced Nusah – Shabbat I
Cantor Sol Zim & Cantor Lisa Klinger-Kantor

This course gives an in depth and extensive study of the vast liturgy of the Kabbalat Shabbat service. Students will master, lead, and develop a deep understanding of the nusah and special motifs in the opening Kabbalat Shabbat service. Students will learn, in depth, the many nushaot, motifs, and participatory melodies of the l’khah dodi section and will master and attain a deeper understanding of the Ma’ariv l’Shabbat service by learning & demonstrating strong competence in the nusah & special motifs so as to lead a service.
4 credits
Required Textbooks:
Zim, Sol, Musical Siddur Shabbat, A Sol Zim Anthology (2002) Cantor’s Assembly $49.95 ASIN B071VCLZ5G

Cahan, Leonard S., Siddur Sim Shalom (for Shabbat & Festivals) old or new versions Amazon $37.90 ISBN 0916219135

Stern, Chaim, Gates of Prayer for Shabbat and Weekdays (Hebrew): Gender-Inclusive Edition-Hebrew opening Amazon $9.95 ASIN B014BH4QH0

Stern, Chaim, Gates of Prayer: Shaarei Tefila: The New Union Prayerbook for Weekdays, Sabbaths and Festivals-Hebrew (English and Hebrew Edition) Amazon $34.99 ISBN 0916694011

HAL 402: Intro to Codes II
Rabbi Dr. Jeffrey Hoffman

Continuation of Introduction to Codes I taught in the summer. Open to those who took that course or the equivalent. Students will continue to develop proficiency in Rambam’s Mishneh Torah. The emphasis will be on deciphering the vocabulary, grammar, syntax, and basic idiom of Halakhic literature. Attention will also be paid to halakhic concepts and to historical context including Rambam’s overall goals and the shorter-term and longer-term reception of the Mishneh Torah. Prerequisite: Intro Codes I
2 credits
Required Textbooks: TBD

HAL 480 Responsa
Rabbi David Wise

In this course we will conduct a close reading of rabbinic responsa from a variety of historic periods, and become familiar with their authors, 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. As part of our investigation, we will examine the nature of halakha in light of various theories as to how the halakhic process works. Prerequisite: HEB 2A or equivalent
2 credits
Required Textbooks: TBD

HEB 320: Biblical Hebrew
Rabbi Peg Kershenbaum

Introduction to Biblical Hebrew: examination of and exercise in the grammar, syntax and vocabulary of Biblical Hebrew, for the development of competence in understanding and translating the classical Biblical texts (with some attention to major differences between BH, Rabbinic and Modern Hebrew). Objectives: by the end of this course, you will be able to identify all parts of speech, including all the major binyanim in all their forms as they occur in prose passages of the Tanakh. You will be able to use BDB efficiently and accurately to find unfamiliar vocabulary by applying information learned about the forms and structures of different parts of speech. You will learn to use a biblical concordance and Sefaria.com to produce a word study. You will be able to translate connected biblical prose passages accurately with the help of BDB and give analyses of specified words and constructions. You will be able to use major conjunctive and disjunctive cantillation signs to aid in correct phrasing of syntactic units of the texts examined. And, if all goes according to plan, you’ll even enjoy the process!
Prerequisite: Students in this course must be at the level of Hebrew IA or above.
2 credits
Required Textbooks:
Brown, Francis, et al (“BDB”), A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament (London: Oxford, 1966) Amazon $22.95 ISBN 1362854883

Cowley, A.E., Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar ed. E. Kautzsch (Oxford: Oxford, 1980) Amazon $20.49 ISBN 0486443442

HEB 350: Hebrew IIA
Yifat Avner

This course will cover lessons 10-13 of Hebrew From Scratch Part II עברית מן ההתחלה ב’.  The students will continue to work on developing communications skills in Modern Hebrew. They will be introduced to new grammatical patterns and new vocabulary and continue to improve their writing, reading and conversational skills.
Prerequisite
: Hebrew IB or equivalent.
4 credits
Required Textbooks:
Hebrew From Scratch Textbook Part II (English and Hebrew Edition) 2001 Edition. Amazon $80.93 ISBN 9653501270

HEB 351: Hebrew IIB
Ilana Davidov

In the beginning of this course students will complete the last four lessons of the second volume of Hebrew from Scratch (עברית מן ההתחלה ב’). It will include an intensive review of the verb system in the active בניינים and their gerunds, and a brief introduction to the passive בניינים (פועל, (הופעל, real and unreal condition, comparative and superlative sentences. Depending on the class progress, student may work towards the end of the trimester with a more advanced material.
Prerequisite: Hebrew IIA or the equivalent.
4 credits
Required Textbooks:
Hebrew From Scratch Textbook Part II (English and Hebrew Edition) 2001 Edition. Amazon $80.93 ISBN 9653501270

HEB 401: Hebrew IIIB
Ilana Davidov

The focus of this course will be on reading comprehension of adapted informative and narrative texts in Modern Hebrew as well as listening comprehension and speaking. Written, oral and aural assignments will enhance communicative and comprehension skills while improving absorption and integration of vocabulary and grammar. This course will also include a review of the verb system. The listening assignments will include videos, which depict religious and secular life in Israel.
Prerequisite: Hebrew IIIA or the equivalent
4 credits
Required Textbooks:
Cohen, Mazal, Agada Shel Safa: Hebrew for Intermediate Level (Academon, 1992). Academon $30.00 Catalog Number: 45-810182

HIS 401: Great Ideas and Debates II
Rabbi Dr. David Fine

The second part of this two-trimester course will examine the new ideas and the great debates that affected Jewish belief, culture and society from the Early Middle Ages up through Early Modern Times. This trimester will focus on the new ideas, perspectives, innovations, and debates of the Babylonian Jewish community under Islamic rule, followed by the growth of the Spanish Jewish community and the exciting developments created in that context. The development of the Ashkenazi Jewish community, as well as its unique understanding of Torah, will be explored, along with the influences and cultural exchange between Judaism and the Medieval Christian World, leading into the period of European Enlightenment and the Early Modern World. Great Ideas and Debates of Jewish History II may be taken before Great Ideas and Debates of Jewish History I.
2 credits
Required Textbooks: TBD

LIT 620: Yammim Noraim Liturgy
Rabbi Cantor Sam Levine

The liturgy of the High Holy Days is rich, dense, and complex. This course will examine the structure of High Holy Day services, looking at the statutory prayers (matbe’ah haTefillah), the piyyutic material that adorns the liturgy, and additional components of the service. We will study the historical, literary, and theological meaning of the prayers, and attempt to place them in a contemporary context. Students will learn to unpack the liturgy with an eye to pluralistic communities and to bring deep theological meaning to congregants for whom the High Holy Days may be their primary contact with the prayer-book.
Prerequisite: Introduction to Liturgy
2 credits
Required Textbooks: TBD

MEC 140: Mechina I
Michal Nachmany

In this intensive class we start to develop an understanding of how the Hebrew language works. We will discuss the idea of roots, nouns, verbs as well as the agreement between them. My method is holistic and integrative. Students will develop an understanding of concepts and principals of the language. We will learn how to read without vowels, and start to gain fluency in reading, writing and speaking.
No credit
Required Textbooks:
Hebrew From Scratch Textbook Part I (English and Hebrew Edition) 2019 Edition. Amazon $64.42 ISBN 965350112

PHI 480: Pluralism
Rabbi Dr. Len 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.
2 credits
Required Textbooks:
Leonard Levin, ed.: Studies in Judaism and Pluralism (Ben Yehuda Press, http://benyehudapress.com/books/studies-judaism-pluralism/), $50, ISBN 1934730610

Moshe Halbertal:  People of the Book (Harvard), Amazon $38.50 ISBN 0674661125

Donniel Hartman:  The Boundaries of Judaism (Continuum), Amazon $47.45 ISBN 0826496644

Avi Sagi:  The Open Canon (Continuum), Amazon $50 ISBN 0826496709

PRO 001: Core Concepts I
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. Students are expected to first gain a basic acquaintance with these terms and to then 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 students may grow from having an appreciation of the tradition to actively and creatively participating in the discourse of Torah. Every student is required to take four trimesters of the seminars given in the sequence, but they need not be taken in order. Core Concepts I begins with the term emunah. No tuition is charged for this course. This course is only open to matriculated students who are also registering for other courses.
No credit
Required Textbooks:
Course Packet provided by instructor

PRO 140: Ritual Skills Workshop – Weekday Nusah/Liturgy
Hazzan Marcia Lane

This course is part of our new Ritual Skills Workshop structure of four workshops including Weekday, Shabbat, Festival, and Yammim Noraim. This trimester will focus on the liturgy of the weekday services – Arvit, Shaharit, and Minha – as well as on other situations that arise within weekday davening (Havdalah, additional texts for hol ha-moed, birkat hamazon, rosh hodesh, and shiva minyanim). Emphasis will be placed on acquiring the skills to lead services with the correct nusah and with correct pronunciation.
No credit
Required Textbooks:
Harlow, Jules, Siddur Sim Shalom: A Prayerbook for Shabbat, Festivals, and Weekdays, New York : Rabbinical Assembly, 1985, Amazon $27 ISBN 0916219011

PRO 318: Informal Education
Rabbi Ira Dounn

There’s a good chance that you’ve had a transformative learning experience at camp, in a youth movement, on a travel program, or in another informal educational setting. In this course, you’ll have the opportunity to learn models and best practices of informal education, theories of informal education, and to have informal educational experiences that you can reflect on, incorporate into your educational toolbox, and replicate in various educational settings. The material that we cover will be intentionally useful and relevant for future rabbis and cantors. You’ll be equipped to deliver meaningful and inspirational informal educational moments and programs to others.
This course counts toward the Education requirement.
2 credits
Required Textbooks: TBD

PRO 341 Life Cycle I
Rabbi Jef Segelman

In this course, we will explore the Jewish perspective of life from birth until marriage. Our focus will be on three particular ideas. One: Understanding the traditional ideas, ceremonies and rituals associated with these stages of life. Two: Understanding the very practical and professional manner in which rabbis and cantors officiate at these ceremonies and rituals. Three: Considering the ways in which we may innovate these ceremonies and create new ones for special life moments not ritualized by tradition.
2 credits

PRO 700: FWSS
Rabbi Scott Glass

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 trimester by Rabbi Jef Segelman.
No credit
Required Textbooks: None

PRO 700: FWSS
Rabbi Beth Kramer-Mazer

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 trimester by Rabbi Jef Segelman.
No credit
Required Textbooks: None

RAB 101: Introduction to Mishnah
Rabbi Miriam Berkowitz

This course will combine a bird’s eye view of the Mishna with up-close study of specific mishnayot central to Jewish life and culture. We will learn the context in which the Mishna came into being: the historical context as well as the process by which it was assembled and the debate around writing and thereby solidifying what had previously been Oral Torah. We will gain an overview of the structure of Mishna as well as various literary styles within it and address some differences between academic and bet midrash learning. By the end of the course, students should be able to read a mishna and figure out to which Seder and Tractate it belongs, identify major commentators on the Mishna, and appreciate Mishna on its own, not simply as a precursor to Talmud study. Prerequisite: Students in this course must be at the level of Hebrew IB or above.
2 credits
Required Textbooks:

TBD

RAB 330: Intermediate Talmud I
Rabbi Dr. Matthew Goldstone

This course will hone students’ abilities to critically read, parse, and understand Talmudic material that is relevant for understanding contemporary Judaism. This semester will focus on sugyot related to prayer and blessings, which will give us greater insight into the origins of several dimensions of Jewish prayer and will hopefully inform our own relationship to prayer. 

The supervised Havruta session (which will be scheduled together with the class members) is required of all students.
Prerequisite: Two trimesters of Talmud and Hebrew 350 (HEB 2A) or equivalent
2 credits
Required Textbooks: None

RAB 530: Advanced Talmud
Rabbi Dr. Matthew Goldstone

This course will hone students’ abilities to critically read, parse, and understand Talmudic material that is relevant for understanding contemporary Judaism. This semester will focus on sugyot related to kashrut, which will provide students with a historical and literary understanding of the underpinnings of contemporary kashrut observances. 
Prerequisite: Four trimesters of Talmud and Hebrew 350 (HEB 2A) or equivalent
2 credits
Required Textbooks: None

SPI 362: Life after Death in Jewish Tradition

Rabbi Dr. Jill Hammer
In Genesis and Psalms, there’s She’ol. In the Talmud, there’s resurrection, the Garden of Eden, or the heavenly yeshiva. In kabbalistic times, reincarnation is in. And in modern times, no one agrees. In this course, we’ll learn about traditions of the afterlife that Jews have accepted in different eras, and we’ll begin to understand how and why Jews have shifted their beliefs across time. This class will help prepare participants to understand Jewish traditions concerning death and the afterlife, clarify their own approaches, and consider pastoral and ritual issues in the light of these traditions.
2 credits
Required Textbooks:
Bible (any Hebrew-English version)

Simcha Paull Raphael, Jewish Views of the Afterlife (Second Edition). Rowman and Littlefield, 2009, Amazon $45 ISBN 0742562212

Neil Gillman. The Death of Death: Resurrection and Immortality in Jewish Thought. Jewish Lights Publishing, 1997, Amazon $16 ISBN 1580230814