Study the Wisdom of the Sages Online With Hebrew Seminary’s Contemporary Thought Leaders.

Within the vast inner-spaces of the human body and soul lies divinely inspired possibility. Read and reflect with us. Virtually walk hand-in-hand with the great minds of yesterday and discover new creative and compassionate paths for living today and tomorrow.

Register for one of our classes by June 19 and take advantage of our special online summer registration rate of $100; bring a friend for an additional $50.

Let your mind play this summer!

Summer Semester 2020
22 June 2020 – 23 August 2020

                                    Classes Open to the Public

Tuesdays
         
2:00 – 3:00         Rabbi Daniel VaisrubProfessor of Talmud
         The Art of Talmud
         text from BT Avodah Zarah 40b-41a

We will journey our way through a fun Talmudic sugya on Judaism and Art History. Side trips include visits to Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Rome, Troyes, and Ramerupt.

Topics include:

Intro: what is the Talmud, and why should I care?
Ancient idolatry, modern idolatry
Judaism emerging in the midst of a Graeco-Roman civilization
Judaism as layered, emerging tradition
Reading and rereading our ancestors’ teachings
Changing circumstances, changing practices
History of Science — Tosafot, Maimonides, Alexander the Great, and flat earthers
Art and philosophy: what does it mean for something to mean something?
Post-modernism and the Talmud: did the Talmud really beat European philosophers by 1200 years?

Sundays
         1:00 – 2:30         Rahmiel Hayyim DrizinProfessor of Kabbalah
         
Studies In Zohar
This class will examine classic Zohar sections that appear in the beginning of the Holy Zohar, using Daniel Matt’s wondrous translation as a side text.  Continuing from last Semester, with context provided for new students, we will move through the Zohar with an eye towards meditative connection and personal transcendence. 

For questions and to enroll, call 847/ 679-4113 or email, info@hebrewseminary.org

Spring 2020 Classes

Classes Open to the Public

Principles of Kabbalistic Healing

Sundays @ 1:00-2:30 pm

Taught by Rabbi Dr. Douglas Goldhamer

Based on Rabbi Dr. Douglas Goldhamer’s two Kabbalistic healing texts, This is For Everyone & Healing With God’s Love, Rabbi will teach Kabbalistic healing practices that he has used throughout his ministry with great success.

Enrollment in the Principles of Kabbalistic Healing is open to the public as well as Rabbinic students. This class begins on February 16th.

Studies in Zohar

Sundays @ 2:30 -4:00 pm

Taught by Rahmiel Drizin

This class will examine classic Zohar sections that appear in the beginning of the Holy Zohar, using Daniel Matt’s wondrous translation as a side text.  We hope to continue the work from last Semester, moving through the Zohar with an eye towards meditative connection and personal transcendence.  The first class on Feb 2 meets 2:00-3:30 pm.

Sermon and Song

Tuesdays @ 12:45-2:15 pm

Taught by Rabbi Cantor Michael Davis

Since the early years of the Reform movement some two hundred years ago, the Jewish prayer service has been co-conducted by the Rabbi and the Cantor. Word and music are interwoven in prayer. At the same time, the modern era elevated the sermon as a central component of every service.

Following the Christian model, the sermon was the sole responsibility of the rabbi. In recent new years, a new paradigm is developing with cantors delivering traditional sermons or offering “sermons in song”.

This course will explore the possibilities of integrating liturgical and other music into the sermon and teaching parts of the service. This class begins February 4th. Call Hebrew Seminary for prerequisites 847/ 679-4113.

Translating and Interpreting Kabbalistic Texts

Wednesdays @ 1:00-2:30 pm

Taught by Rabbi Dr. Douglas Goldhamer

Translating and interpreting Kabbalistic texts and teachings of the Baal Shem Tov + Degal Menachem Efraim as well as other Kabbalistic practitioners of the middle ages and early modern times. This class begins on February 12th. Call Hebrew Seminary for prerequisites 847/ 679-4113.

Hebrew Seminary Spring Semester
February 2, 2020 – June 4, 2020

Fall Semester 2019

September 8, 2019 – January 23, 2020

Classes below are open to the public with permission of the teacher.

Tuesday

12:45 – 2:15 Rabbi Cantor Michael Davis
Midrash Rabbah & Homiletics* 

Wednesday 

10:00 – 11:30 Rabbi Pinchas Eisenbach / Linda Clark
Talmud – Pastoral Counseling                                               

Thursday

10:00   – 10:45
Minyan with Tefillin * 

11:00 – 1:00 Rabbi Daniel Vaisrub
Talmud — Avot

Sunday

12:00 – 1:30 (Begins Oct. 27) Rabbi Dr. Douglas Goldhamer
Practical Application of Kabbalah*

1:30 – 3:00 Rahmiel Hayyim Drizin
Zohar—Beginning of the Zohar: “The Thirteen-Petalled Rose”*

*Class descriptions:

Midrash Rabbah & Homiletics 

From the earliest times of the synagogue, rabbis have interpreted the Torah to their congregations. In ancient times, this tradition was called Midrash. Later, the techniques of storytelling, intertextual reading, commentary and down-to-earth inspiration became known as homiletics. Whether you are a rabbinic student or a leader in a havurah, these are necessary skills that you can bring to your community. If you are curious about rabbinic school, this is a good course to check it out. THIRD YEAR STUDENTS enrolled in this class will have the opportunity to deliver a sermon at Congregation Bene Shalom.

Practical Application of Kabbalah


Do you want love? Do you want more money? Do you want to have more time for yourself? Do you want more time to help others (which also brings God into the world.) Do you want to feel God in your life just as you do with your best friend? This class is for you!

Rabbi Dr. Douglas Goldhamer will share his translations of Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapiro’s (1889-1943) works and other works written by Kabbalists such as Isaac Luria and Chaim Vital and others on the practical application of the Kabbalah. Rabbi Goldhamer says, “I was amazed during my study this summer to learn how the Kabalah should be used and could be used very practically in your life.”

Zohar–Beginning of the Zohar:  “The Thirteen-Petalled Rose”

The first class on September 8th will be an introduction to the High Holidays, and is open to all.

Minyan with Tefillin

All are invited!

Rabbi Dr. Douglas Goldhamer will begin the semester teaching the mitzvah of wearing Tefillin and demonstrate how to don them. Faculty is invited to share their Shacharit minhagim by leading services from time to time. Students will take turns leading prayers with the goal of leading services. This minyan will serve as Hebrew Seminary’s Hebrew Practicum (as well as a mitzvah and chavarah building!) There is no tuition charge or creditfor this practicum.

This class will start after the High Holidays.

Call Alison Brown for more information 847/ 679-4113.

Seminary Class Open to the Hebrew Reading Public

An 8-week class, beginning June 25th – August 13, 2019

Tuesdays 1:15 – 2:45                                
Midrash Tanhuma & Homiletics 
Rabbi Michael Davis

From the earliest times of the synagogue, rabbis have interpreted the Torah to their congregations. In ancient times, this tradition was called Midrash. Later, the techniques of storytelling, intertextual reading, commentary and down-to-earth inspiration became known as homiletics. Whether you are a rabbinic student or a leader in a havurah, these are necessary skills that you can bring to your community. Hebrew Seminary is offering a special, introductory rate this summer. If you are curious about rabbinic school, this is a good course to check it out.

Special auditing tuition rate $200

Rabbi Michael DavisProfessor of Midrash

Cantor Davis received a traditional yeshiva education and is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in musicology. He trained as a cantor in Israel, where he also served as a chaplain in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Cantor Davis received his investiture (cantorial ordination) in the United States, from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s School of Sacred Music. Cantor Davis is a member of the American Conference of Cantors (ACC) where he has served on the Certification Committee for ordaining cantors at the School of Sacred Music-Hebrew Union College. Cantor Michael Davis joined Lakeside Congregation as its first cantor in 2003.  In 2015 he was ordained as a rabbi at Hebrew Seminary.  Rabbi Cantor Michael Davis currently serves as rabbi at Makom Shalom in Chicago.  He has served on the faculty of the Hebrew Seminary training future rabbis in classic Hebrew and Aramaic text since 2009.

Spring Into Study: Spirituality and Spiritual Direction

We’ve added an exciting new class to our

Spring 2019 semester
February 3 – May 30, 2019

Tuesdays

11:30 – 1:00                                                                    

Rabbi Menachem Cohen               

Spirituality and Spiritual Direction: A Jewish Perspective

This class will give an introduction to Spiritual Direction, alternatively known as Spiritual Guidance or Accompaniment, and introduce students to Jewish contributions and approaches to the field. Anyone who wishes to offer such spiritual guidance must also be doing their own spiritual work, so this class will introduce students to and encourage them to engage in spiritual practices from our tradition. The class will include Jewish liturgy, text (incl. Torah, Talmud, Mussar, Hasidut), and how our calendar is a spiritual guide. Some texts will be read in Hebrew and students taking the class for credit will be asked to do some translation. Multiple modes of learning will be used, for many styles of learners (lecture, story-telling, student presentations, case studies, role plays, and mostly discussion).

Menachem Cohen received smicha from Hebrew Seminary in 2003. He is the Founder of the Mitziut Jewish Community, and since 2006 has worked at The Night Ministry on the streets of Chicago with LGBTQ and/or homeless youth. He is currently finishing his certificate in Spiritual Direction at Loyola University, where he is currently doing his internship running personal growth/spiritual direction groups using role playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons, with the youth in The Night Ministry programs. He is also a game designer, and partner at AlleyCat Comics. Most important, he is a dad.

 HEBREW SEMINARY

A RABBINICAL SCHOOL FOR DEAF & HEARING

4435 W. Oakton, Skokie, IL 60076

847-679-4113

e-mail: info@hebrewseminary.org • hebrewseminary.org

Spring into Study! 2019 Semester Begins Feb 3rd

Hebrew Seminary’s Spring Semester begins February 3 and continues through May 30, 2019.

Below is our schedule of class offerings. Call for more information regarding our Hebrew classes or if you would like to visit one of these classes. We welcome part-time and auditing students.
Contact Alison Brown at 847/679-4113

Mondays                  

10:00 - 11:30      
Practical Halachah: Shabbat
Rabbi Eisenbach

Tuesdays               

1:15 – 2:45
Weddings & Funerals
Rabbi Davis

For many Jews, the only time they will have a meaningful, personal interaction with a rabbi is at a funeral or wedding.

This course will have both textual and practical components. Students will study some halacha to understand the origin of liberal practice and to be aware of some common requests that come from the world of traditional Judaism. A strong focus will be placed on funerals and weddings. Students will study the interactions of rabbi and families step-by-step including examples from Rabbi Davis’ experience. Online resources and other tools will be studied.

Wednesdays                                                                                                                                  

10:30 -12:30
Modern Jewish History
Rabbi Edwards                        

This class will use the Mendes-Flohr & Reinharz, The Jew in the Modern World (Oxford), Second Edition text book. The class will meet for 13 two-hour sessions. From the Emancipation through today, this course will enable students to understand the broad social, political and religious forces which created contemporary Jewish identities. Particular focus on acculturation and modern religious movements; antisemitism and the Holocaust; Zionism and the birth of the State of Israel; the American Jewish experience.

1:00 - 3:00
Parashat Hashavuah, with Rashi Commentary
Rabbi Rosenbaum 

Jump into this text-based course to enhance your ability to read and interpret biblical narrative. Students will also become comfortable reading Rashi in his biblical commentary to address problematic passages of the biblical text. Rabbi Rosenbaum will introduce other midrashic materials as time permits.

Thursdays  

12:00 – 1:30pm
ASL
Deborah Fink                                 

2:00 – 4:00 
Talmud: Ben Sorer U’Moreh & Intro Gittin
Rabbi Vaisrub

This course begins with a focus on the 8th chapter of Sanhedrin, Ben Sorer U’Moreh which discusses the rabbinic treatment of the biblical “wayward and rebellious son” who is, according to Torah, to be put to death. We will look at the Rabbis’ reframing of this biblical concept as a core model of halachic change, and a way in to the Rabbis’ perspective on the Torah, in general, and problematic commandments, in particular.

Time permitting, Rabbi Vaisrub’s class will begin an introduction to the Laws of Divorce focusing on Gittin 90a/b. Discussion will begin with a history of divorce as it appears in the Hebrew Bible, and continue with the Rabbis’ development of the intricate laws of divorce, including the grounds for divorce as well as the procedures for divorce.

Sundays 

12 noon – 1:30pm                                          
Chassidic Teachings & Meditations
Rabbi Goldhamer

Rabbi Dr. Douglas Goldhamer will be teaching and sharing theory and meditations, some in Hebrew and others in English. Students will learn Kabbalah and the early Chasidic masters, their ideas and their meditative activities.

1:30 – 3:00pm 
Zohar – Petachat Eliyahu from the Tikkuney HaZohar (17b)
Rahmiel Hayyim Drizin

Fall 2018 Semester Begins September 26th

In Avodah Zara (19a), we learn that one who learns Torah from only one teacher will never see blessing.  At Hebrew Seminary, I had the opportunity to learn from such a diverse group of faculty: not only from across the denominational spectrum, but who had such varied life experiences, and engaged in a wide range of practices.  I also greatly appreciated that each one of those teachers was deeply engaged in text, in thinking about God (and their personal relationships with God), and in the different ways in which they participated in the collective endeavor of klal yisrael.

It was truly a blessing to me to begin to understand that there was no single, monolithic way to be (or to do) Jewish, and what that might mean in my own life and personal practice.  My education at Hebrew Seminary went well beyond the subjects of the classroom, and included a wealth of personal advice.

— Rabbi Dena Bodian,Hebrew Seminary, Smicha 2010

 

Hebrew Seminary Course Descriptions

Fall Semester 2018

September 26 – January 24, 2019

Monday

10:00 – 11:30
Jewish Halachah: Pastoral Counseling

Tuesday

11:00 – 1:00
Rabbi Michael Davis
Advanced Biblical Hebrew

1:15 – 2:45
Rabbi Michael Davis

(History) Beyond the Pale:
Exploration of Cherem Across the Ages

Wednesday

10:30 -12:30
Rabbi Marcey Rosenbaum

(Bible) Parashat Hashavuah, with Rashi Commentary
This class will include practice reading texts aloud, pausing to then translate with a goal towards fluency.

Thursday

12:00 – 1:30pm
Debbie Fink
American Sign Language – multi level

This will be a multi-level class beginning with a four-week review of chapters 1-8 to bring everyone up to speed from the summer break. Page-by-page work will begin with Chapter 9 and include plenty of time for conversational practice.

2:00-4:00
Rabbi Daniel Vaisrub

(Talmud) The Status of the Heresh in Jewish Law
We will begin our inquiry into the status of the heresh (a deaf person) in Jewish law by first laying the groundwork of the fundamental concepts and principles that underlie Jewish law altogether—the notion of the individual as being created b’tzelem elohim (in the image of God), and the resulting kavod habriot (human dignity) ascribed and granted to the individual as a result. We will then look at the notion of halachic obligation and its relationship to these fundamental Jewish concepts. Finally, we will look at the specific case of the heresh, and ask the questions: Who exactly is the heresh? What is the halachic status of the heresh? How does the status of heresh differ from that of those who are blind, etc.? What might the intentions of the Rabbis have been in assigning this status to the heresh? Punitive? Protective? Descriptive? How does the ability to communicate (verbally, in writing, in gesture, etc.) affect the status of the heresh? How does the ability of others to communicate with the heresh affect his/her status? While often grouped with the “shote v’katan,” how is the status of the heresh different? What is the halachic trajectory of the status of the heresh, i.e., how has that status evolved? What does it mean to be “lav bar da’at”? What are the components of da’at? Do we have insights into the reality of the life of the heresh that would change any of the above rabbinic definitions or halachic decisions? If so, what are they? Should the halachic status of the heresh be changed? If so, what are the various approaches we might take to change the halachic status of the heresh? 

Sunday

 12 noon – 1:30pm (begins Oct 14th)
Rabbi Dr. Douglas Goldhamer & Linda Clark
Astrology, Kabbalah & Hebrew Commentaries

Jewish astrology includes a spiritual belief in God. To live out this belief and follow the stars requires some flexibility as medieval and early modern Torah commentaries and Kabbalistic texts reveal. In Astrology, Kabbalah & Hebrew Commentaries, Rabbi Dr. Douglas Goldhamer will enthusiastically share these often overlooked texts as well as the historic backstory.

Hebrew Seminary students will be taught how to translate mystical Hebrew texts by such scholars as Rashi, Ibn Ezra and the great mystic Nahmanides.

Linda Clark will teach contemporary astrological principles and schools of thought and discuss how the modern perspective compares and contrasts with the Jewish texts.

Ms. Clark has been actively learning Astrology since her youth. She is a member of the American Federation of Astrology, the Magi Society and the International Society for Astrological Research.

Rabbi Goldhamer will provide copies of the Jewish texts assigned for student translation and study.

1:30 – 3:00pm
Rahmeil  Drizin

(Zohar) Petachat Eliyahu from the Tikkuney HaZohar (17b)

Learn about the secrets of the universe in the famous section Petachat Eliyahu from the Tikkuney HaZohar (17b) that is found in the beginning of many Sefardic and Chassidic prayerbooks.

We are told by the Chida that reciting this selection is beneficial for opening one’s heart to successful prayer.

Call Hebrew Seminary at 847/ 679-4113 for more information on these classes.

Summer is a perfect time to visit Hebrew Seminary and find out what we are all about.

What makes Hebrew Seminary unique and different is that we struggle to find the text in God. Yes, we want our rabbis to be teachers, scholars and pastors. That’s what a rabbi should be. But Hebrew Seminary teaches its students to also be healers and spiritual guides.

Hebrew Seminary Summer Semester 2018
June 25 – August 23, 2018

Mondays
10:00 – 11:30                                          Rabbi Pinchas Eisenbach
Pastoral Counseling

Tuesdays
11:00 – 1:00                                             Rabbi Michael Cantor Davis
Advanced Biblical Hebrew

1:15 – 2:45                                               Rabbi Michael Cantor Davis
High Holiday Liturgy

Wednesday
10:30 -12:30                                            Rabbi Marcey Rosenbaum
Jewish Calendar & Holidays **

12:45 -2:45
Biblical Hebrew                                     Rabbi Shari Chen

Thursday
10:30 – 12:00                                          Rabbi Daniel Vaisrub
The Status of the Heresh in Jewish Law

12:30 – 2:00                                             Rabbi Daniel Vaisrub
Talmud

1:15 – 2:45                                                 Rabbi Shari Chen
Biblical Hebrew

3:00 – 4:30                                               Dr.Stephanie Kutzen
Rabbinical Skills in Crisis Intervention & Self-care as First Responders

 

To visit classes, please call Alison Brown @ 847/ 679-4113.

Jewish Calendar & Holidays **
This class is open to the Hebrew reading public.
The first hour will look at the Yomim Tovim from the aspect of ritualized time and the second hour will focus on Torah and commentary to view the holidays.

Practical Applications of Kabbalah for Your Daily Life

“Practical Applications of Kabbalah for Your Daily Life”

A ten-session class

With Rabbi Dr. Douglas Goldhamer

Sundays, February 25 – May 6

12:00 – 1:30pm

Kabbalah has many important practical applications that can impact your life on a daily basis – your health, your finances, your relationships with others.  Learn how to connect with Hashem, and activate the Divine within you.  In this class, noted scholar and author Rabbi Dr. Douglas Goldhamer will focus on the fundamental principles of Kabbalah and how it can change your life for the better.  If you are new to the mysteries of Kabbalah, or want to learn practical applications of Jewish Mysticism for your life, this is the class for you.

 

Hebrew Seminary’s 2018 Spring Semester
begins February 11.

Visit Hebrew Seminary and visualize your possibilities!

847 – 679 – 4113

 

Hebrew Seminary’s Inaugural Rabbi Dr. Douglas Goldhamer Scholarship Award

“Being the child of two Holocaust Survivors, it is extremely important to me that families have comforting funeral services for their loved ones. I realize this is a calling for me,” writes Charlene Brooks Clinkman, recipient of the 2017-2018 Hebrew Seminary Rabbi Dr. Douglas Goldhamer Scholarship Award. Student Rabbi Charlene is a cantorial soloist and professional singer. She also uses sign language to accompany many of her liturgical songs and prayers. Charlene’s repertoire additionally includes Kabbalistic prayers and meditations which she often teaches as part of Congregation Bene Shalom’s Saturday morning Kabbalistic services in Skokie.

The Rabbi Dr. Douglas Goldhamer Scholarship Award is made available through funds established by the Golder Family Foundation and the Hebrew Seminary Board of Directors and Advisory Board. Hebrew Seminary students are eligible to apply after completing at least one year or full-time course work, or its equivalent. The application deadline for the 2018 – 2019 school year is July 23, 2018.

Rabbi Goldhamer will teach, “Chassidic and Kabbalistic Literature,” beginning October 22nd as part of Hebrew Seminary’s Fall semester. This class, on Sunday afternoons through January 21st, is open to auditing students. For information about our 2017 Fall Class schedule, please visit www.hebrewseminary.org. To make arrangements to visit our program contact Alison Brown at 847/679-4113.

Hebrew Seminary graduates serve in a variety of roles – as pulpit rabbis, educators, chaplains, in public service and serving those with special needs, including the deaf community. Hebrew Seminary has been an inclusive and egalitarian community for the study and practice of Judaism for 25 years. Our program encourages the highest commitment to traditional scholarship, such as Talmud, Bible, and Hebrew, as well as the spiritual discipline of Kabbalah. This teaches our students to be scholars, educators, and leaders, as well as spiritual guides who can hear and share the voice of God with members of their communities.