6 2022

Introduction to Judaism (CSS, BIC, TBE)

7:00PM - 8:30PM  

Online and In-Person Zoom and Multiple Locations

Contact Joy Zotalis

Madison Jewish Community - Introduction to Judaism Course 2022
This January, Madison rabbis and educators will teach our bi-annual, cross-denominational Introduction to Judaism course. We will cover a wide range of topics concerning the fundamentals of Jewish thought, history, and practice over the 16 sessions we will spend together. This course is open to anyone who is interested in learning about the basics of Judaism. It's perfect for those thinking about converting to Judaism, interfaith couples, or individuals who would like to broaden their knowledge.

To Register >

Dates, Times, and Locations
Class begins on Thursday, January 6, and runs until Thursday, May 5. It meets from 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm. Most classes will be held on Zoom. The last three sessions will be held in-person at Congregation Shaarei Shamayim located at the First Unitarian Society (900 University Bay Drive), Temple Beth El (2702 Arbor Drive), and Beth Israel Center (1406 Mound Street). We will not meet on April 14 or 21 due to Passover.

January 6: Introduction and Core Beliefs of Judaism
Rabbi Jonathan Biatch

January 13: Practice and Observance at Home and in the Synagogue
Rabbi Betsy Forester

January 20: Jewish Prayer
Rabbi Renée Bauer

January 27: Shabbat
Rabbi Renée Bauer

February 3: Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
Rabbi Betsy Forester

February 10: Passover, Sukkot, and Shavuot
Rabbi Bonnie Margulis

February 17: Hanukkah, Tu B’shvat, Purim, and Tisha B’Av
Rabbi Betsy Forester

February 24 Jewish Life Cycle, Part I – Birth, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Confirmation, and New
Rabbi Jonathan Biatch

March 3: Jewish Life Cycle, Part II – Marriage, Divorce, and Death
Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman

March 10: History, Part I – Israelites, Judaism, and Jews in the Expanding World
Larry Kohn

March 17: History, Part II – Medieval – 1492 – Enlightenment and Beginnings of
Modern Jewish Thought
Larry Kohn

March 24: History, Part III – Holocaust, Israel & Zionism
Rabbi Bonnie Margulis

March 31 History, Part IV – American Jewish History
Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman

April 7: Getting back to God – Developing a personal theology
(In person at Congregation Shaarei Shamayim)
Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman

April 14: No Class (Pesach break)

April 21: No Class (Pesach break)

April 28: Judaism and Modern Questions
(In person at Temple Beth El)
Rabbi Jonathan Biatch

May 5: Siyyum/Conclusion – Living a Jewish Life: What’s Next? Accompanied by a
guided discussion on conversion for those who wish to stay
(In person at Beth Israel Center)
Rabbi Jonathan Biatch, Rabbi Betsy Forester, Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman

Download (PDF) class syllabus and schedule.

Members of a Madison synagogue: $100 per person, $175 per couple
Non-members: $150 per person, $250 per couple
Undergraduate or Graduate students: $50 per person, $100 couple

*We have a twelve-student minimum for the class to take place. Scholarships are available. Tuition does not include the cost of books.

Reading List
We suggest reading these books throughout the course:
Essential Judaism by George Robinson
Thinking About God by Kari Tuling
The Sabbath by Abraham Joshua Heschel
Jewish History: The BIG Picture by Gila Gevirtz

Other Resources

Sponsor: CSS, BIC, TBE