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Introduction to Judaism 2012 Syllabus
Bruchim Ha’Ba’im (Welcome) to the 2012 Introduction to Judaism Course.
This syllabus contains information about the topics that will be covered each
week as well as the required and recommended readings for each session.
Please do ALL the required readings and as much of the recommended reading
as time and interest dictate. Your learning and the success of the class is largely
dependent on all participants completing the readings prior to each session.
Classes are held at Temple Beth Israel, begin at 7:30pm sharp and
conclude at approximately 9:30pm.
Please carefully note the festivals and other events listed (shaded rows).
The class sessions are timed to anticipate important events in the Jewish
calendar, and your attendance at festivals and other events is an integral part of
the program. Please check with congregations for details of service times.
Etz Chayim Progressive Synagogue 9563 9208
Kedem 9822 5802
Leo Baeck Centre for Progressive Judaism 9819-7160
Temple Beth Israel 9510 1488
Required Texts (usually available at all congregations):
Rabbi Wayne Dosick, Living Judaism – The complete guide to Jewish belief,
tradition, and practice
Also: JCCV diary, Mishkan T’filah, Gates of Repentance, TaNaKh.
Recommended Text (usually available through all congregations):
Louis Jacobs, The Book of Jewish Belief and The Book of Jewish Practice
Introduction to Judaism Course Instructors for 2012:
Rabbi Jonathan Keren Black (JKB) Rabbi Fred Morgan (FM)
Rabbi Kim Ettlinger (KE)
Rabbi John Levi (JL)
Rabbi Gersh Lazarow (GL)
Cantor Michel Laloum (ML)
Introduction to Judaism Coordinator:
Rabbi Fred Morgan – ph 9510 1488, Email: [email protected]
Introduction to Judaism Administrator:
Ellen Frajman—ph 9533 9930, email [email protected]
2012 Intro to Judaism Syllabus
Introduction to Judaism 2012 Syllabus
Semester A
January 31-June 26, 2012
Jan 31
Welcome & Orientation (all students).
“Who/what is a Jew?” The Dimensions of Jewish Life
Dosick pp. 55-71 &155-156
Feb 7
The three pillars of Judaism: God, Torah and Israel;
Focus on ideas of God.
Dosick pp. 1-17
New Year of the Trees--Tu B’Shevat Wednesday,
February 8th
Feb 14
Cycles of Time: Week/Month/Year/Lifetime.
Calendar Overview
Dosick pp. 119-126
Feb 21
Shabbat and the Liturgy of the Synagogue
Mishkan T’filah (Shabbat Services)
Feb 28
Shabbat in the Home and in my Life
Dosick pp.127-130
Purim: Megillat Esther,
the Hiddenness of God, fate and destiny
Dosick pp.156-161
March 6
Purim--Wednesday March 7th/Thursday March 8th
2012 Intro to Judaism Syllabus
Introduction to Judaism 2012 Syllabus
Key Jewish Concepts:
Mitzvah, Kedusha, Chosenness
Dosick pp.17-37
March 13
Pesach and the Omer Period
March 20
Pesach: History, Themes, Preparations
Dosick pp.118, 162-174
**Bring a Haggadah**
March 27
Pesach: the Seder and the Haggadah
Dosick pp.118, 162-174
**Bring a Haggadah**
No Class
April 3
–1st Day
7th April
– 7th Day
13th April
Seder 6th April
Seder 7th April
Check with you Synagogue for service times for days one
and seven. You are strongly encouraged to attend a
congregational seder. Generally, LBC holds one on the first
night. TBI holds one on the second night of Pesach.
Bookings essential.
Omer Period, Modern Holy Days,
Yom Hashoah and issues of Anti-Semitism
Dosick pp.174-176, 181-194
April 17
Israel-based days: Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha’Atzma’ut
Dosick pp. 195-196, 334-341
April 19
Yom Hashoah U’Gevurah – Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Community observances are held on
Thursday night, April 19th.
April 10
2012 Intro to Judaism Syllabus
Introduction to Judaism 2012 Syllabus
April 24
No Class
April 25
Yom Hazikaron – Memorial Day for Israel’s Fallen Soldiers
Community observance evening Tuesday April 24th
Yom Ha’Atzma’ut – Israel Independence Day
Community observances are held on
Wednesday evening April 25th
The Nature of the Synagogue:
Furnishings, symbols, attire.
Dosick pp 211-225
May 1
Visit to Jewish Holocaust Centre
Sunday, May 6th,
Includes presentation by a survivor, tour of museum and
post tour discussion with facilitating rabbi.
13 -15 Selwyn Street, Elsternwick. Small entry fee
payable on the day.
May 8
Beliefs in Afterlife and the Messiah in Judaism
Dosick pp. 43-50, 313-322
May 15
Concepts of Social Justice: Tzedakah and Tikkun Olam
Dosick pp.37-43, 249-256
Shavuot, the Giving of Torah and the Scroll of Ruth
Dosick pp 176-181, 85-92
May 22
Shavout “Tikkun” evening of May 26th
May 27th – Reading of 10 Commandments
May 29
Prayer, the Siddur and the Structure of the Service
Dosick pp 201-225, 226-245
2012 Intro to Judaism Syllabus
Introduction to Judaism 2012 Syllabus
Jewish Life Cycle Rituals
June 5
Birth to Bar/Bat Mitzvah
Dosick pp. 17-19, 285-295
June 12
Marriage, creating a Jewish Home;
Jewish stance on Divorce
Dosick pp. 295-303, 269-275
June 19
Death and Bereavement
Dosick pp.303-312
June 26
Final Session of Semester:
Ask the Rabbi
Semester B
July 24- December 18, 2012
Welcome & Orientation (all students).
Tisha b’Av, Scroll of Lamentations,
issues of loss and exile
Dosick pp.196-19
July 24
Tisha b’Av – 25 hour fast day.
PJV service at TBI on Saturday July 28th , 7.00pm
2012 Intro to Judaism Syllabus
Introduction to Judaism 2012 Syllabus
Jewish History
Biblical Period,
From the Beginning to the Maccabees
Dosick Timelines pp. 358-373
August 7
Rabbinic Period,
From the
Temple to the Babylonian Talmud
Dosick Timelines pp. 358-373
August 14
Middle Ages,
From the Gaonic period through Spain to the 1700s
Dosick Timelines pp. 358-373
August 21
Enlightenment and Modernity,
Late 1700s to Today
Dosick Timelines pp. 358-373
August 28
Zionism and Israel,
And their impact on contemporary Judaism
Dosick pp.323-334, 342-357
July 31
Festivals of Tishrei
Sept 4
Overview of the Months of Elul & Tishrei
Preparing for the Days of Awe
Dosick pp. 119-126
Sept 11
Rosh Hashanah: History, Themes and Practices:
The Shofar
Dosick pp.117, 130-134
Yom Kippur: Themes and Practices;
Teshuvah, Book of Jonah
Dosick pp.134-146
2012 Intro to Judaism Syllabus
Introduction to Judaism 2012 Syllabus
First Day Rosh Hashanah Monday September 17th
(The erev (evening) service is on Sunday night Sept 16th
Jewish New Year)
Second Day Roshanah, Tuesday September 18th (No Class)
Shabbat Shuvah September 22nd
Sept 25
Yom Kippur Wednesday September 26th
(Kol Nidre on evening of Tuesday September 25th)
Day of Atonement, 25 hour fast.
No Class
First Day Sukkot Sunday September 30th
Erev Sukkot Saturday September 29th
(for seven days)
Sukkot, Scroll of Ecclesiastes,
Issues of Global Responsibility
Dosick pp.147-151
Oct 2
In the
Simchat Torah; The Place of Torah and
Rejoicing in Jewish Life
Oct 9
Reviewing the High Holydays and the Chaggim
Oct 16
Life in the Diaspora:
Jews and non-Jews living together.
Where Judaism Differs
Dosick pp. 247-249, 275-284
The Diversity of the Jewish People,
Focus on Melbourne Jewry.
Dosick pp.56-64
Oct 23
2012 Intro to Judaism Syllabus
Introduction to Judaism 2012 Syllabus
Jewish Literature
Oct 30
The Tenach, The Hebrew Bible
And its significance for Jews
Dosick pp. 73-85, 92
Nov 6
No Class Cup Day
Nov 20
Torah she-b’al peh:
“Oral Torah” and its components;
Mishnah and Talmud
Dosick pp. 93-105
Jewish Genres and Classics of Law,
Mysticism, Philosophy and Story-Telling
Dosick pp.106-118
Nov 27
Issues about how to eat Jewishly
Dosick pp.256-268
Dec 4
Chanukah: Issues of Jewish Identity,
Resistance and Power
Dosick pp.151-155
Chanukah December 9th- December 16th
1st Candle December 8th
Dec 11
2012 Intro to Judaism Syllabus
Ask the Rabbi, review and mesibah!
Chanukah Party!
No required Reading