ADULT JEWISH LEARNING (AJL)
Shalom Austin Adult Jewish Learning (AJL) is a series of high-quality Jewish learning opportunities that provides experiences for individuals of all backgrounds and beliefs.
All classes take place from 7-8:30 PM at the Dell JCC. Register for all four classes for $72 or individual classes for $18/class.
Texts of Our Tradition
October 16 | Rabbi Rebecca Reice
Bircat HaMinim – The Blessing of the Heretics Across Time
Throughout Jewish history, liturgy has changed across time and communities. A prime example of this liturgical change is in the 12th Blessing of the Weekday Amidah, sometimes referred to as the 19th of the 18 (Shmonah Esrei): Bircat HaMinim (Blessing of the Heretics). Come delve into this liturgy and its variety, commentary from the Talmud and modern sources, and answer for yourself: Should we pray for the destruction of wicked people or of wickedness itself? No prior Hebrew knowledge is required.
October 23 | Rabbi Mendy Levertov
Let Me Sing: Psalms
Let’s explore the timeless beauty and spiritual depth of the Book of Psalms in this engaging class. Arguably the most iconic and recognizable book of the Bible, Psalms have accompanied us for thousands of years. Journey through the poetic verses that express the range of human emotions, from joy and gratitude to sorrow and longing. Uncover the historical context and delve into the rich symbolism that has inspired countless generations. No Hebrew knowledge necessary.
October 30 | Rabbi Neil Blumofe
Beating Swords into Poems and Back Again: Reading Poetry Before and After the Founding of the State of Israel
In the decades prior to and after the founding of the State of Israel, we will consider poems written in Hebrew, English, Yiddish, and Polish (all in English translation). How do poems knit us together as a people? What questions do they ask? How do these words challenge us? We will discuss poetry of Yehuda Halevi, Yehuda Amichai, Rivka Miriam, Rachel, Natan Alterman, Hadar Bar-Nadav, Abraham Joshua Heschel, and Julian Tuvim.
November 6 | Cantor Yitzhak Ben-Moshe
Jewish Theology Through the Amidah Prayer
This course will study the prayers of the Amidah and examine how Rabbinic philosophy is translated into the concrete action of prayer.