How do we know Moshe was really telling us HaShem's words?
How do we know the Torah is true?
As we focus on the first chapter of R' Yehudah HaLevi's Sefer HaKuzari, we will attempt to see how a conversation between a Jew and a non-Jewish King answers these, and other fundamental questions.
All students must bring a copy of the Kuzari to class each week.
This is both a discussion and text-based course.
Rabbi Eli Deutsch
As indicated by the title of the class, this course will deal with the foundational Jewish questions such as how do we know there is a God, why should I care, why should I believe He gave the Torah, and why should I listen to the Rabbis. The purpose of the class is to approach Judaism as thinking people with an open mind, and to get answers to questions your high school has been avoiding for the last four years.
Faith after the Holocaust
Rabbi Pinchas Langer
This course will discuss theological issues that confront Judaism when dealing with misfortune and evil, as manifest through the Holocaust.
We will also examine responses to the Holocaust – as reflected in various religious and philosophical writings.
Women in Halacha
Rabbi David Abrahamowitz
The course is designed to give women a deeper understanding of their religious obligations. Be’ezrat Hashem this will be accomplished by enumerating the obligations that you do or do not have, and understanding the reasons for the Torah's commandments differentiating between men and women.
Some of the topics that we hope to study are as follows:
·Time bound Positive Commandments
·A women’s obligation to study Torah
·women’s zimmun, women’s kaddish
·women’s obligation in Tefillah; may a women get an aliyah
·Women’s unique status with regards to the mitzvot of Sefirat Ha’omer, Kiddush, lechem mishnah, havdalah, tefillin, tztizis, hallel, and many more.
Note: If there is an area of study within the subject at hand, that is of interest to a student, please bring it to my attention and I will try to accommodate the class.
Love Dating and Marriage
Mrs. Esther Mendelowitz
So you think you're ready to date? Before jumping head-first onto the dating scene, find out what Judaism has to say about creating and maintaining an intimate relationship. You'll learn hashkafa and practical guidelines for finding the right one—and staying together ad meah v'esrim
Mrs. Chana Deutsch
In an open and comfortable setting, we will explore different areas of Judaism and how they apply specifically to the Jewish woman . Starting with the sources in the Torah itself, we will then work through the philosophies behind these ideas, and finally, learn how to take these concepts and apply them practically into our lives.
First semester - The Feminine Jewish Self
How do we retain our individuality and femininity in a Torah lifestyle? Through the study of the Torah sources we will learn a fresh approach on how to express and nurture our inner-selves.
Second semester - The Jewish Family
Through an in-depth study of the laws of Taharat Hamishpacha, we will gain an understanding of the Torah's view of relationships, marriage and family life as well as a comprehensive approach to hilchot niddah.
Mrs. Tali Kagan
In our weekly shiur we will transform our selves through exploring our middot, our strengths and our weaknesses, and gain a deeper understanding of how to better cope with life.
Let's delve into Torah concepts together with Life Coaching Skills, and form the basis for our life-long task of personal growth.
Bein Adam Lachavero
Rabbi Pinchas Langer
In this shiur we will examine some of the relevant and more common underlying values and conduct modes of social interaction, as directed by Torah Law.
Among other topics, we will discuss:
Ve'ahavta le'reacha kamocha
Hocheach tochiach et amitecha
Lo ta'amod al dam re'acha
The Anavah of Hillel
Mrs. Esther Mendelowitz
Using the seferTomer Devorahby Rav Moshe Kordoviro as our guide, this course gives practical, life-changing skills to uncover the G-dliness inside of us. By emulating Hashem's middot, we learn how to reach our potential as human beings. This knowledge will put you on the road to greatness!
Every few classes will deal with one virtue, character trait or attribute, as we learn how to identify, restrain and even get rid of those negative aspects in our personality, while we strengthen and improve the positive ones. Each class will feature real-life scenarios as a means through which to implement and apply our Sages' teachings into our own lives.
Controversal Topics in Halacha
Rabbi Eli Ozarowski
Agunah problem & Pre-nuptual agreements
Birth control- when is it allowed?
Money laundering, Cheating on taxes and the 5 Syrian rabbis
Genevas Daas , cheating on tests, and misleading customers
Surfing the net during work time-is it allowed?
THe Conversion controversy in Israel
Downloading Copyrighted music
Did Moshe really write the whole Torah?
Did 9/11 happen because of our sins? Why do bad things happen to good people?
Women serving in the army
Causing Civilian casulaties during war- is this allowed?
Professional Confidentiality & the women who had affairs
IS it permitted to read the New Testament?
Gambling & playing lotto in halacha
Mechitzah in shul- who needs it anyway?
Modern Topics in Halacha
Rabbi David Abrahamowitz
- To understand how psukim have evolved into practical Halacha.
- To improve our text reading and analytical skills.
- To research contemporary issues which are practical to our daily lives.
- To obtain a thorough knowledge and deep understanding of pertinent halachic issues.
- To be determined individuals who persevere to understand the course work, thereby
reaping the rewards of fulfillment and knowledge.
II. My objective as teacher:
- To present the class in a manner that will be educational for ladies from different
backgrounds. This will consist of both chavruta and lecture components.
- To choose topics relevant to our daily lives or interests.
- To add depth to our comprehension and appreciation of “the evolution of Halacha”,
thereby enhancing our love for Hashem and His mitzvot.
Excerpt from many different texts will be used throughout the course. Some of them include; Tanach, Mishnah, Gemorah, Shulchan Aruch, Mishnah Berurah, Igros Moshe, and works of Rav Ovadiah Yosef.
Some of the topics to be covered will be: kol isha, smoking, kibbud Av v’Em, yichud, yishuv Eretz Yisroel, gelatin and cholov Yisroel.
Note: If one of the students has a request as to what area of Halachah she would like to study, and I find it to be apropos for our class, I will try and incorporate it into our itinerary.
Rabbi Eli Lewis
We will touch the foundations of medical Halacha and get down to details on various medical and Halachic cases. In addition we'll learn to understand the Jewish approach to ethical dilemmas to do with different medical situations.
Rabbi Eli Ozarowski
Can you wait less than 6 hrs between meat and milk?
What do you do when you find a meat fork in the milk dishes?
Can you use the same oven for milk & meat?
Can you eat a salad at a non-kosher restaurant?
These important questions & many more will be discussed in this class, a must for anyone who wants to keep a kosher kitchen. We will be going through all the basics of Kashrut in the home, and students will emerge equipped with knowledge of what to do in many practical situations as well as knowing when they must ask a shailah. Below is a brief summary of issues that will be covered (not necessarily in this order), among others, in this class.
Understanding the prohibition of Basar Bchalav, Waiting between milk and meat,Eating in Non-kosher restaurants, Mixing milk & meat together by accident, Tevilat Kelim,Hagalat Kelim/koshering,Bishul Akum, Chalav Yisrael,Insects in vegetables,Drinking NYC water with copepods.
Rabbi Erez David
Shabbat is one of the most essential aspects of Judaism. Besides being more frequent than most Mitzvot, its proper adherence is a declaration of our belief in Hashem. The goal of this class is to broaden and deepen our understanding of the melachot of Shabbat. We will begin each melacha with primary sources and end with practical modern day applications. There will be an emphasis on understanding the rules and parameters of the melacha and the students will demonstrate their ability to apply them. The allotted time for the course is not nearly enough to cover all of Hilchot Shabbat; we will therefore be studying those melachot which have most application to us.
Throughout the course of the year we will be studying many "Melachot". Each melacha is followed by some laws which will immerge from the particular Melacha, for example: Dash (Threshing): Squeezing fruit, Squeezing sponges, Borer (Sorting): Sorting food, Peeling fruits and vegetables, Bishul (Cooking): Warming foods, Using a blech, Making tea and coffee, and many more important and relevant Halachot in our regular Shabbat keeping.
Rav Yaacov Shapira, founding head of Midreshet Yeud
Every Tuesday at 3:30 we will all gather to study a gemara source or two and clarify them. The purpose of our studying is to understand, together, the topics that have to do with Midreshet Yeud's unique philosophy and its educational purposes.
A source sheet will be handed out with the gemara in Hebrew as well as in English. During the first few minutes you will study the source, assisted by guiding questions. This will be followed by a very short lecture on the topic. The lecture will be given in simple Hebrew, but we will be using English words from time to time.
Important: All students of Midreshet Yeud must partake in this Shiur Klali, even if they don’t understand every word. The time you take to participate and to experience the Hebrew will eventually pay off.
Rabbi Hillel Van-Leeuwen
The Siddur is the most-often used Jewish book. תפילה Relates to all of us, on a daily basis. Tefila shiur is a discussion-based class and a wonderful opportunity to work on our תפילות!
During the first semester we will practice "עיון תפילה" – choosing one piece of תפילה every week [from the daily Siddur, as well as some תפילות from Shabbat and Chagim] and studying it in-depth, focusing on its theme, its author and its relevance to us.
During the second semester we will try to improve our "עבודה שבלב", by dealing with the theological and philosophical aspects of developing our relationship with our creator through תפילה. We will tackle fundamental questions such as why does G-d need me to praise Him, why aren't my prayers answered, must I stick to the standard structure and text, and many more.
Students should bring an Artscroll Siddur to this class.
The Jewish Bookshelf
Rav Yisrael Levinger
This class opens a window to the world of Jewish thought. It enables the student to purchase a basic understanding of, and familiarity with, the fundamental books that make up the bookshelf titled "Jewish Philosophy" or in Hebrew – Machshevet Yisrael.
To each book / persona we will dedicate usually one class, which is divided to three:
a.Historic background, so that we understand the historic and cultural context of the book, and to better understand the author's life, achievements and writing style.
b.Independent study of a selected excerpt from the book, affording us a glimpse of at least one fundamental principal the author believes in.
c.Summary of the class.
The Magical 613
Rabbi Eli Lewis
This shiur will provide us with a deep glimpse into Sefer HaMitzvot - the encyclopedia of our 613 commandments. Throughout the year we will try to scan through the entire book and acquire an overview of the Torah and its Mitzvot; encounter well known mitzvot as well as less famous ones, and examine their application in our lives today.
Rabbi Yaacov Don
So you're spending a year in Israel?
Do you know what's happening in the country you're living in?
This course is for those of you how want to be updated with the dynamic fast moving Israeli news pulse.
In this course we watch, hear, explain, debate, analyze and discuss Israeli current events.
We will deal with Israel's security situation, and try to walk our way through the maze of Israeli politics.
We will engage in discussions about complex issues derived from the different cultural groups that make up Israeli society.
Note: The spoken language in Israel is Hebrew, therefore, basic skills will be needed in order to understand many of the movie clips and media inserts presented in the course.
The Hisrtory of Zionism
Mr. Yehuda HaCohen
The history course covers the period between the haskala and founding of the state, bringing concepts from midrashim, the Maharal, Ramchal, Rambam and Rav Kook to explain events and personalities from a Torah perspective. The main personalities focused on in the course are Moses Mendelsohn, Rav Hirsch, Abraham Geiger, Rav Yehuda Chai Alkalai, Moshe Hess, Richard Wagner, Yehuda Leib Pinsker, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, Herzl, Nordau, Ahad Ha'am, Weitzmann, Trumpeldor, Jabotinsky, Uri Zvi Greenberg, Ben-Gurion, Yair and Begin.
Mr. Ze'ev Orenstein
Understanding, Advocating and Inspiring - the David Project year-long course is a comprehensive Israel-Education Curriculum, developed by The David Project: Center for Jewish Leadership.
During these weekly meetings we will view, analyze, evaluate and discuss various aspects of the
Jewish-Muslim conflict [both local and global], as well as other anti-Semitic items of importance, focusing on the way these burning issues are presented in the Israeli and in the world media.
We will also go on several field trips in which we will visit points of interest and meet people with life-stories relevant to our curriculum.
Mrs. Chana Deutsch
This series of classes will include an overview of all twenty-four books of Tanach - one book per class. We will analyze the book through the study of its structure and content with the intent of getting a feel for the events that occurred as well as understanding its religious underpinnings and personal message.
A New Look at Sefer Bereshit
Sefer Bereishit consists of stories we have learned since we were children- but revisiting the text as adults can give us a new and deeper understanding of our history and the origin of our nation. Through close study of the text we will reexamine these stories and gain greater insight into the timeless messages of the creation of the world, the flood, the selection of the children of Avraham as a chosen nation, the unique qualities of the Avot and the conflicts that they faced.
Ester and Ruth
Mrs. Ahuva Balofsky
These two megillot, with their somewhat unique focus on the roles of women, are familiar to most of us.This course offers the opportunity to look more closely at the stories we have known since childhood, separating pshat from drash and examining the textual challenges that prompted the various interpretations which we may have encountered.The goal of this course is to develop a more mature and deeper relationship with two texts beloved by children and adults throughout the centuries.
We will examine each megillah as a whole, then look at its constituent parts, and finally consider how the pieces fit together.Active participation in the course is expected, as “the timid student does not learn”.The course will employ a combination of small group work (chevruta study), class discussion and frontal teaching.Student questions are encouraged.
Students must bring חמש מגילות מקראות גדולות "פאר והדר" עם פירוש המלבי"ם to all classes.Additionally, as we may find ourselves comparing different texts, students must come to class with a complete Tanach.For those who feel the need to obtain a good English translation, the Artscroll is more user-friendly, while the JPS is more accurate.Students are encouraged to approach me with any questions they may have.After class, I can be reached by email at Ahuva_Balofsky@edu.yorku.ca or by phone at 052-702-8003 or 03-534-4210.(Incidentally, students are also always welcome for Shabbat).
Tough stuff in Tanach
Mrs. Ahuva Balofsky
Throughout this course we will examine a number of themes, stories and ideas related by the Tanach that raise theological, ideological and moral questions for us, its modern readers.We will attempt to shatter our own preconceived notions of our biblical heritage and discover some of the riches the Tanach has to offer.Among the topics we will explore are:
Imperfect role models: Noach in his generation, Avraham, man of faith? The leadership of Moshe
·Nadav and Avihu
·Pinchas and Eliyahu
King David, his origins and heritage
Yetziat Mitzrayim: Crime and Punishment in Tanach
“Politically incorrect” halachot: Amalek: mandated genocide, Korbanot , G-d in the bedroom
Additionally, we will endeavor to develop skills and general knowledge of Tanach which will enable us to tackle new passages on our own, raise important questions, and seek satisfying answers.
Students are encouraged to approach me with any questions they may have or with suggested topics for study.I can be reached by email at Ahuva_Balofsky@edu.yorku.ca or by phone at 052-579-0903 or 03-534-4210.(Incidentally, students are also always welcome for Shabbat).
Students must come to class with a complete Tanach.I recommend the 3-volume Mikraot Gedolot Tanach, as it also contains many of the perushim we will be referring to.For those who feel the need to obtain a good English translation, the Artscroll is more user-friendly, while the JPS is more accurate.
Machshava - Jewish Thought
Topics in Mahshava
Mrs. Miriam Wolf
In this course we will discuss some of the foundational topics in Jewish Philosophy. We will use mainly primary sources to approach the subjects Topics covered include Emunah BaHashem, Torah and Mitzvot, the Oral Law, the concept of Chosen people, Tefillah and more
Insights to Kabala
Rabbi Eli Deutsch
The purpose of this course is to teach the history and diversity of Jewish mysticism. Students will learn about the fundamental aspects of Kabala, such as the Ten Sefirot, Male and Female, the Astrological Signs and Lurianic Kabala. In addition to lectures, Kabalistic texts will be studied in class where the student will gain insight into the experiences and beliefs of the ancient Kabalists. By the end of the course the student should have a sound understanding of key issues and concepts of Jewish mysticism and the worldview of the Jewish mystics from the different periods of time.
Topics we will study: Understanding the Foundations of Kabala; Infinite, Finite, & the Constricting Effect; Good, Evil, & The Role of Humanity; Light & Darkness in Kabala; Freedom and Slavery in Kabalistic Thought; The Names of G-d & The Four Worlds; The Ten Sefirot; Male & Female in Kabala; Suffering, Death, and Reincarnation; Unity & Peace: Universality in a Divided World; Sights & Sounds: The Senses in Kabala; The Soul and Spiritual Work; Meditation & Materialism; Joy & Depression: The Emotions in Kabala; Surrounding Light, Inner Light, & the Match Made in Heaven; The Land of Israel & the People of Israel: Understanding the Kabalistic Connection; Overview of Kabala Personalities and their Works
Converts and Converting
Rabbi Yaacov Don
This course will attempt to give you, the future university student studying outside of Israel, an in-depth perspective in dealing with the most important issue of Jewish survival in our days: assimilation.
The course is built chronologically in that sense that we inquire, learn, and discuss Jewish texts, old and new, up to contemporary sources.
The course will deal with six main topics.
I.Is Judaism a race or a religion?
II.Does Judaism regard the convert in a negative or in a positive manner?
III.How does one become Jewish?
IV.The history of assimilation in Judaism.
V.Halacha and assimilation.
VI.Possible solutions to the assimilation challenge.
Note -This course requires the ability to deal with texts written in basic Hebrew.
Rational for Mitzvot
Rabbi Erez David
While shopping at the supermarket looking for a ‘hechsher’, did you ever wonder why Hashem wants us to be on a specific diet?Why are there so many animal sacrifices in the Torah, what’s that all about? Why do we make funny noises with a ram’s horn on Rosh Hashana?
This class will explore the many reasons offered by the classic and modern commentaries to the Mitzvot. This will include Rambam, Ibn Ezra, Ramban, Sforno, Sefer haChinuch, Chizkuni, Kli Yakar, Abarbanel and Rav Shimshon Rafael Hirsch.
The Mitzvot studied will relate to the Parsha, upcoming holiday or will be chosen based on interest of the students. The students will also have an opportunity to research a mitzvah of their choice and present it to the class.
HaRav & The Rav
Rabbi Yisrael Levinger
In this class you will become familiar with the philosophy of the two greatest religious-Zionist thinkers of the 20th century. Their work is especially relevant to us, as modern-Orthodox Jews who live, by definition, on the borderline between tradition and modernism, Torah and science, the holy and the secular. We will see the different approaches to the secular world and its secular culture; we will explore various ways to deal with the tension between this world and the world of Halacha – whether through the harmonious viewpoint of Rav Kook, or through the dialectical perspective of Rav Soloveitchic.
When learning Rav Kook's writings, we will also try to get a deeper understanding of some fundamental terms in the realm of faith, such as the divinity of Torah, prophecy, divine intervention, truth and more.