Past Courses

Shiva, Ritual and Grief in Judaism – With Jean Berman

Sunday mornings – October 7, 14, Nov. 11, 18
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: Congregation Bet Ha’am
Suggested tuition: $48
4 sessions
Enrollment: Minimum 10 /Max. 15

Do you know why simplicity and equality are core values in Judaism’s care for the deceased and mourners, or that Jews have been practicing “green burial” for millennia? Jewish rituals over the end-of-life continuum are guided by honor for the deceased and comfort for the mourners. This course is about reclaiming our holistic, wise approach to death and mourning.

Jean Berman is a graduate of the Gamliel Institute’s comprehensive Chevrah Kadisha program and has taught for the Institute. She is on the board of Kavod v’Nichum (honor and comfort), and is a member of the Portland Chevra Kadisha.

Seven Women Prophets of the Bible – Sara to Esther – With Ellie Miller

Tuesday mornings: Oct. 9, 16, 23, 30; Nov. 6, 13, 20, 27
9:30 – 11:00 AM
Location: Congregation Bet Ha’am
Suggested tuition: $96
8 sessions
Enrollment: Minimum 10 /Max. 22

In the Talmud (Megillah 14a), we learn that seven women in the Hebrew Bible are identified as prophets. In this course, we’ll delve into each woman’s story as told in the text. Some are better known, like Sarah and Miriam, while others, like Abigail and Huldah, are not as well known. Why are these women singled out? What do their stories teach us? What does it mean to be a prophet, male or female? Are there other women who might have been included in this elite list? What criteria might we use?

Adam to Joseph: A Biblical View of Parenting Challenges and Their Relevance Today With Ellie Miller

Monday evenings: Oct. 15, 22, 29; Nov. 5, 19, 26 (No class Nov. 12 for Veterans Day)
6:00 – 7:30 PM
Location: JCA
Suggested tuition: $72
6 sessions
Enrollment: Minimum 10 /Max. 22
Registration deadline: Friday, October 12
Free childcare available – must register before Tuesday, October 9 for childcare

There’s no escaping the fact that our traditional Bible stories are filled with parental angst. From the death of a child, problems of infertility, children seeing us at our worst rather than our best, to sibling rivalry over and over, we learn that our forebears struggled mightily in their role as parents. What are our takeaways from these struggles? What are the lessons we can apply to our own lives and our family situations?