Basics of Judaism


This experiential course introduces the basic principles, theology, literature, and ritual/spiritual practices of Judaism through discussions and exposure to traditional texts, contemporary readings, and real-life Jewish experiences. Become part of a strong, supportive, cohort-based community that you will learn and grow alongside.

Basics of Judaism is a great introduction to Judaism for those exploring conversion and an opportunity for those who grew up Jewish to learn what it's all about. Individuals and couples are all welcome to join.

In winter/spring 2021, for the first time, our popular Basics of Judaism course will be offered as four mini-semesters this winter and spring, taught by Rabbi Judith Edelstein. Choose which ones interest you most, or take them all!

From the Beginning | Jan 4–25

  • Torah: What Does It Mean?
  • Arguments for the Sake of Heaven: Mishnah, Talmud, and Jewish Law
  • Seeking the Truth: God? 

Cycling Through Jewish Life | Feb 1–22

  • So You’re Thinking of Getting Married?
  • Birth to B’nai Mitzvah
  • Converting to Judaism
  • A Time to Mourn

A Palace in Time and Place | Mar 1–22

  • Shabbat: The Ideas + The Practices
  • Kashrut (Kosher): The Original Soul Food
  • Jewish Diversity

The Wheel of Holidays | Apr 5–26

  • High Holidays: Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
  • More Fall Holidays: Sukkot and Simchat Torah
  • Spring Holidays: Passover and Shavuot
  • Chanukah, Purim, and More

For more information, contact Rachel Kunstadt, Program Director, Center for Jewish Living. 

 From Past Basics of Judaism Participants

Seeking to build a Jewish home together, my fiancé and I enrolled in the class to learn and to begin to embark on this Jewish journey together. The class far exceeded our expectations. It quickly became a respite for us from the busy week through which we could learn about Judaism in an easy and inviting way. We quickly developed relationships with our classmates and became a small Jewish community of our own. I would highly recommend this class to anyone with an interest in Judaism.

We thoroughly enjoyed our experience in Basics of Judaism with Rabbi Judith Edelstein. It was very meaningful for us to spend time learning the foundational elements of Judaism together and with other couples on their Judaism and/or conversion journeys. We made great friendships that will continue and loved Rabbi Judith's energy.
-A + S