Me'ah students diverse ages facing each other

Winter/Spring 2019 Me'ah Select Classes

The Winter/Spring 2019 Me'ah Select classes are listed below alphabetically by community. You can also click on the community name immediately below to be taken to that section. Please check back here often since more classes will be added as details become available.

Beverly  |  Lexington  |  Newton (several sites and options) |  Sudbury  |  Wellesley


Beverly, Temple B'nai Abraham

Details TBA

  • Meets: Wednesdays, 7-9:30 pm
  • Class dates: February 6, 13, 27; March 6, 13, 27; April 3, 10; May 1, 8. (Please note: No class on February 20, March 20, April 17 or 24. Also, May 15 and 22 reserved as snow/sick days.)

Lexington, Temple Isaiah, co-sponsored by the Lexington Collaborative

Shared Stories: The Afterlife of Biblical Heroes and Heroines in The New Testament and Quran

Rabbi Leonard Gordon

  • Meets Mondays, 9:30 am-12:00 pm (Note new day of the week!)
  • Class meets February 11, 25; March 4, 11, 18, 25; April 1, 8, 29; May 6 (Please note: No class February 18, April 15 or 22. Please hold May 13 and 20 for snow/sick days.)
  • Cost for 10 sessions: $350

From Abraham, Sarah and Hagar to Joseph, Moses, Miriam, King David and the Queen of Sheba, biblical figures loom large in the classic stories of Christians and Muslims. Do these shared stories connect us, divide us, or both? Our class will offer a basic introduction to Christianity and Islam as we read these fascinating stories.

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Please note: when using this online link, Temple Emunah members may use their login; all others may create a guest account. When you login, you will need to go to "events sign-up” and look for "Me'ah Select Winter/Spring." 

Newton, Hebrew College

Crucial Moments in the Israeli Experience Through The Lens of Short Stories

Dr. Jacob Meskin

  • Meets Thursdays, 9:45 am-12:15 pm
  • Class meets 2/14, 2/28, 3/7, 3/14, 3/21, 3/28, 4/4, 4/11, 5/2, 5/9, 5/16 (No class 2/21, 4/18, 4/25, please hold 5/23 and 5/30 for snow/sick days)
  • Cost for 10 sessions: $350

This course aims to introduce students to certain critical moments in the history of the modern state of Israel through short stories. The stories we will read together range from the earliest days of the pioneers to the twenty-first century.

Written by men and women, Ashkenazim and Sefardim/Mizrachim, Jews and Arabs, secularists and traditionalists, these stories open up for us uniquely visceral and imaginative windows on many of the compelling events that have shaped the history of Israel.

Although our focus each week will be on the stories, excerpts from various academic and secondary sources will also be supplied, in order to provide historical background for the setting of each story. Depending on logistical considerations we may also screen one or two Israeli films, which tie in to some of the stories.

The idea for this course arose from the instructor's observation that busy adult students often find well-written short stories more useful in crystalizing the central conflicts, prevailing dynamics, and crucial issues in Israeli history than academic writings.

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Newton, also at Hebrew College

Jewish Mystical Masters

Rabbi Natan Margalit, PhD

  • Meets Mondays, 9:30 am-12:00 pm
  • Class meets 2/25, 3/4, 3/11, 3/18, 3/25, 4/1, 4/8, 4/29, 5/6, 5/13 (No class 4/15, 4/22, Please reserve 5/20 for snow/sick day)
  • Cost for 10 sessions: $350

For thousands of years Jews have been seeking a relationship with the Divine Creator. Many have been satisfied to find God in the texts of Talmud or in the practical religiosity of daily observance, but others have followed mystical paths to find a more direct, personal experience. These people developed and refined the “hidden Torah” which has always existed alongside the “revealed Torah.”

Who were these mystical masters and what did they find on their journeys? What obstacles did they face and how have they influenced our practice and thought today?

In this class we will study the lives, thought and practices of medieval Kabbalists and modern mystics, Talmudic sages and wise women. Using original source material (with English translations) as well as modern scholarship, we will get to know the Jewish mystical masters and their hidden Torah.

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 Newton, Temple Emanuel

The Modern Jewish Experience Through The Lens of Short Stories

Dr. Jacob Meskin

  • Meets Wednesdays, 9:30 am-12:00 pm
  • Class dates: 2/6, 2/13, 2/27, 3/6, 3/13, 3/27, 4/3, 4/10, 5/1, 5/8,  (No Class 3/20, 4/17, 4/24, please hold 5/15 and 5/22 for snow and sick days)
  • Cost for 10 sessions: $325 for one course/$625 for fall & winter/spring. Financial aid available.

Most of us learn the history of Jews and Judaism in the modern period from scholarly history texts and original documents. This provides an invaluable view of the big picture, but also leaves out the lived dimension of the events and developments. 

  • How did particular Jewish men and women, living in widely separated and quite different communities, experience the many challenges and changes of modernity?
  • Perhaps even more significantly, how did these individual experiences and the many sorts of feeling they evoked, go on to shape new Jewish hopes and projects? 

This course uses Jewish short stories to explore the experiences of Jews facing modernity’s exciting opportunities and often agonizing trials. 

Newton, also at Temple Emanuel

Thrice-told Tales: Biblical Stories in Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Traditions

Rabbi Micha'el Rosenberg, PhD

  • Meets Monday nights, 7:45-9:45 pm
  • Class dates 2/25, 3/4, 3/11, 3/18, 3/25, 4/1, 4/8, 4/29, 5/6, 5/13 (No class 4/15, 4/22, please hold 5/20 for snow/sick day)
  • Cost for 10 sessions: $325 for one course/$625 for fall & winter/spring. Financial aid available.

You know the story of Joseph and his brothers—its plot, its characters, its setting. But are you sure there’s only one story of Joseph? What about Sarah, who sent out her husband’s concubine Hagar? Or how about a story from Christian scriptures, such as Mary the mother of Jesus? In this course, we will consider biblical stories—from both the Hebrew Bible as well as the Gospels—to see how Jews, Christians, and Muslims have told and retold these tales in antiquity and the early medieval period.

Sudbury, Congregation B'nai Torah
(Or Atid, B'nai Torah, Shir Tikvah, Me'ah Graduate group)

Details TBD

  • Meets Thursdays, 7- 9:30 pm
  • Class dates: March 7, 14, 28; April 4, 11; May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30. (Please note: no classes March 21, or April 18 and 25. A snow/sick day date is TBD for May.)
  • Cost for 10 sessions: $350

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Wellesley, Temple Beth Elohim

The Making (and Breaking) of a King (Studies in the Books of Samuel)

Dr. Rachel Adelman

  • Meets Wednesday mornings, 9:30 - 11:30 am
  • Class dates: February 6, 13, 27; March 6, 13, 27; April 3, 10; May 1, 8, 15, 22. (No class February 20, March 20, April 17 or 24. Snow/sick day date hold TBA)
  • Cost for 12 sessions: $280. Financial aid available.

A great warrior, known as Israel’s greatest poet, the king chosen by God who commits adultery and murder, King David is one of the most complex figures to emerge from the Bible. This course explores David as both a historical figure and mythical character.

  • Why does the story of David earn its reputation as one of the great masterpieces of world literature?
  • And how did the highly flawed king at its center become the idealized figure celebrated as the author of the Psalms and the ancestor of the messiah?

In seeking answers to these questions, we will address several larger issues: the nature of the Bible as a literary work of art; the shifting political and religious roles of prophet, judge, priest, and king over Books of Samuel; and the meanings projected onto the Bible by later poets, artists, and novelists.

Special preview:

Dr. Adelman will provide a brief (20-minute) "Taste" of this course on Wednesday, December 5, 2018, at Temple Beth
Elohim, Wellesley

  • When: 11:30-11:50 am
  • Where: in the Me'ah Select classroom at TBE

All are welcome! 

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