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.

The Visualization of Hebrew Grammar through Ancient Hand Signs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Skokie, Illinois, June 7, 2017. You may be familiar with Hebrew trope as the melodies you hear in services, but trope is best known for helping readers understand the texts. Trope brings Torah to today through the use of pauses to break verses into bite-sized phrases and clarify the meaning of Jewish texts. Hebrew Seminary’s summer semester begins June 27th and includes trope and text study classes in a way that facilitates a broader understanding of the present and illuminates our tomorrows.

This summer’s trope theory class with Rabbi Cantor Michael Davis includes an exploration of its ancient hand signs. Trope is an essential tool for unpacking the ancient sacred Hebrew of the Tanakh which is often written in succinct prose or poetry. Chironomy, or hand signals, is an ancient way of indicating the musical turns of chanting. Combined with an understanding of the grammar of trope, this is a way of performing the language of the Torah through hand gestures. Hebrew Seminary’s Trope Theory & the Visualization of Hebrew Grammer through Ancient Hand Signs class is open to auditing students.

Rabbi Michael was born in England and grew up in Israel, where he trained with the Chief Cantor of the Great Synagogue of Jerusalem and in leading Israeli seminaries.  He has been a nationally recognized cantor for over 20 years and was the first president of Reform Cantors of Chicago and is founder of the Open Hillel Rabbinical Council. Rabbi Cantor Michael Davis has been on Hebrew Seminary faculty for eight years and received smicha, rabbinic ordination from President Rabbi Dr. Douglas Goldhamer in 2015.

Hebrew Seminary has been an inclusive and egalitarian community for the study and practice of Judaism since its founding in 1992. Our ordained Rabbis and Jewish educators support underserved Jewish populations. Those interested in Hebrew Seminary’s rabbinic program are invited to visit a class this summer. For more information about our summer schedule visit http://blog.hebrewseminary.org/389-2/. To make arrangements to visit our program contact Alison Brown at 847/679-4113 or abrown@hebrewseminary.org.

Summer Semester 2017

HEBREW SEMINARY

Summer Semester 2017

A Purposeful Torah Pause

June 25  –  August 24, 2017

 

Pause with us this summer.
Pause with purpose
to pursue rabbinic ordination or consider it.

 

Rabbi Cantor Rob Jury returns this semester with a practical rabbinics class, Shabbat Liturgy, and Rabbi Daniel Vaisrub is offering a “companion” Talmud class, Ancient & Modern Approaches to Shabbat.

Rabbi Shari Chen is offering a new Practical Rabbinics class: Preparation in Reading & Signing the Torah.  Students will learn how to prepare themselves to read Torah at the Bimah for services.  This will include reading without vowels, translating from Hebrew to English and an introduction to biblical ASL signs.  ASL interpreter Cathy Silvern will instruct the students in key signs for select readings.

The focus of the Torah readings will be Jewish holidays beginning with the High Holidays.  Among the reading will be: Bereshit – Vayeira 22:1; Devarim – Nitzavim 29:9; Devarim – Nitzvin 30:11; Vayikra – Kedoshim 19:1; Vayikra – Emor 23:1.

Rabbi Cantor Michael Davis is offering two new summer courses:

Trope Theory &

the Visualization of Hebrew Grammar through Ancient Hand Signs

You may be familiar with trope as the ancient art of chanting Torah and Haftarah. In fact, there are at least seven different systems of trope within the Eastern European modes alone, the system that is standard in the U.S. Outside of our Ashkenazi tradition there are many other Jewish musical systems, equally varied and ancient.

What unifies all these trope traditions is their grammatical function as a set of syntactical markers. Trope is a highly sophisticated system – much more so than English punctuation. It is an essential tool for unpacking the ancient sacred Hebrew of the Tanakh which is often written in succinct prose or poetry. The commentators through the ages have used trope as a means of interpretation through punctuation.

Chironomy, or hand signals, is an ancient way of indicating the musical turns of chanting. Combined with an understanding of the grammar of trope, this is a way of performing the language of the Torah through hand gestures. 

Jewish Peoplehood in Modern Times – A Study of Zionism(s)

A central challenge that faced Judaism in modernity is how to self-define as a people in an open society. One of the solutions to this challenge has been Zionism in its many forms: cultural, political and religious. “Zionism(s)” exist as systems of thinking and being that are separate from either the Israeli or the American Jewish communities. We will study the context, content and implications of various forms of Zionism as well as their reception.

Our main textbooks with be: “The Zionist Idea” ed. Arthur Hertzberg and “The Jew in the Modern World” eds. Paul Mendes-Flohr and Judah Reinharz.

Also, allow us to share a taste of Fall 2017 when Rabbi Goldhamer will be offering two classes:

Sundays 12:00 – 1:30 pm starting October 15th, 2017
Chassidic and Kabbalistic Literature featuring the Baal Shem Tov and Levi Yitzchak Berditchev and including Sefer Degel Machaneh Ephraim and Kedushat Levi.

Students should be familiar with Hebrew.

Rabbi Goldhamer writes: I look forward to teaching this class because even though both teachers, the Baal Shem Tov or Besht and Levi Yitchak Berditchev, lived several hundred years ago they were very involved in the current politics of their time especially as it affected the Jewish community.  Yes, they were very serious scholars but they were all very serious political commentators.  The Besht invited all people, including a cossack or two, to study with him.  And Hebrew Seminary invites you!

Biblical Commentary
Enrollment open to Hebrew Seminary graduates, thesis students and students who have completed their Hebrew language requirements.

Commentators will include Rashi, Ramban, Kedushat Levi, Degel Ephraim, and Maor VaShemesh.

Students will translate biblical commentary from two schools of exegesis: Nigleh-Revealed and Nistar-Hidden.  Students will see that translated texts from the Nistar school are very similar to one another and translated texts from the Nigleh school are very similar to each other.  Nistar commentaries are full of hidden secrets and include metaphorical, remez and sod interpretations.  Nigleh commentaries s are very straightforward.  None-the-less, Nigleh commentary can be quite tricky at times.  Therefore the students’ ability in the different translation styles will constantly be tested.

Students will use the following texts:

Mikraot Gedolot : Meorei HaChassidut (5 vol.)
hard cover (184362)
Mikraot Gedolot – Hamaor : Torah (medium size – 5 vol.)
hard cover – boxed set (18722)

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 since our founding in 1992.  Our ordained Rabbis and Jewish educators support underserved Jewish populations.

Hebrew Seminary has the highest commitment to traditional scholarship. This includes Talmud, Bible, Kabbalah and Hebrew, all taught by an outstanding faculty led by our President, Rabbi Dr. Douglas Goldhamer.  Hebrew Seminary is all about learning to hear the voice of God in our texts and in each other.  Our program is intensive and inspiring.

HEBREW SEMINARY
A RABBINICAL SCHOOL FOR DEAF & HEARING

4435 W. Oakton, Skokie, IL 60076
847-679-4113 • fax: 847-677-7945
info@hebrewseminary.org • hebrewseminary.org

 

Spring 2017 Semester Begins February 12th.

Rabbis are servant leaders and teacher students.

Rabbis make a difference and stand open to possibility.

 

Visit us and visualize your possibilities.

Spring 2017 semester begins February 12th

Sundays
Zohar

Mondays
Liturgy – Weddings
Hebrew – multiple levels
Talmud – advanced

Wednesdays
Mishnah
Prophets

Thursdays
Intro to Talmud
Hebrew

Hebrew Seminary welcomes auditing students.  Hebrew Seminary has been an inclusive and egalitarian community for the study and practice of Judaism since our founding in 1993.  For more information, call Executive Director Alison Brown at 847/ 679-4113.

Yes, Jews Do Believe in Reincarnation!

Judaism maintains that there are five levels to the human soul.  As a result, our actions not only have a direct impact on our soul, deciding how, when and where we will reincarnate – but a person’s actions also have a direct impact on the corresponding spiritual worlds which exist in our physical universe.

When we perform good acts, it unifies the levels of our soul to the extent that, when we pass, we will either reincarnate in another person, or as an angel of God.  The study of reincarnation, or in Hebrew gilgul, is an extremely fascinating disciple and practice in Judaism.   Hebrew Seminary President Rabbi Dr. Douglas Goldhamer, master Kabbalist, says, “I am more excited about sharing my Aramaic and Hebrew research of the soul in Judaism than any other discipline I have ever taught.”

Get your soul in shape!  Call 847/679- 4113 to register.  Ask about our other fall courses!

Hebrew Seminary’s Reincarnation Class
begins October 30, 2016
12 noon – 1:30 pm for 10 classes
non-credit tuition $150

The 21st Century Rabbi

I recently asked Hebrew Seminary faculty member Rabbi Laurence Edwards, Ph.D, what areas of Jewish studies do you view as most important to the 21st century Rabbi?

In some ways it might seem that Jewish study for rabbinic students today would be pastoral care, psychology, crisis counseling, and such.  Yes, it is important to know these subjects, but in my view it is most important that a rabbi be a teacher and student.  One must never stop studying and delving deeper into Jewish studies.  That is the only thing that gives the title of rabbi any credibility.  Rabbis need to know the history, the texts, and the literature.  We need to be competent in both text and tradition.  If we don’t have that, then the authenticity is gone.  I don’t feel that I totally live up to this standard, but I aspire to it.

 

Hebrew Seminary invites those considering the rabbinate to sit in on a class during the upcoming fall semester.  Or, better yet, audit a class and experience the learning, capture the connection!  847/679-4113

Fall Semester 2016 – 2017

September 18, 2016 – February 3, 2017

(Breaks: Oct. 2–18; Oct. 24-25; Nov. 24-27; Dec. 25 – Jan. 7)

Kabbalah: Reincarnation – Rabbi Dr. Douglas Goldhamer

Zohar – Rahmiel Hayyim Drizin

Biblical Hebrew – Rabbi Shari Chen & Rabbi Cantor Michael Davis

Talmud – Rabbi Cantor Michael Davis & Rabbi Daniel Vaisrub

Practical Rabbinics: Liturgy for Life Cycle Events – Rabbi Rob Jury

Practical Rabbinics: Weddings & Funerals – Rabbi Cantor Michael Davis

Psychology: Interviewing Skills for Rabbis – Dr. Stephanie Kutzen

 

Rabbinical School Classes: Year ‘Round Sunshine!

Hebrew Seminary’s summer semester begins June 26th and continues for nine weeks until August 25th.  If you have felt the calling, now would be a great time to visit a class and bask in the rays of Judaism’s ancient wisdom. 

Contact Alison Brown to schedule the likely answer to your calling!

847/ 679-4113

Tuesday             Psychology / Human Life Cycle

Shulchan Aruch

Midrash

Wednesday       Biblical Hebrew I

Chanting

Chumash and Rashi

Biblical Hebrew II

Thursday          Talmud I

Hebrew Grammar IV

Comforting the Bereaved/ Nachum Aveilim