Please see below for all the course descriptions (click on the plus button (+) to open up each course).

More courses coming soon!

Lehrhaus 2023-2024!

 

For those of you who studied with us last year – a big THANK YOU for supporting Lehrhaus and we hope to see you back in the new academic year. For those of you who haven’t yet, we extend a big WELCOME to you! Lehrhaus attracted over 600 students from all over the world last year and we hope to see many familiar and new faces next year. We are preparing the programme for 2023-2024, which promises to be rich and varied, with some more discounted prices and free talks in order to make studying with us more affordable.

 

Dr Jo-Ann Myers

Director of Jewish Education

Leo Baeck College

Professor Melissa Raphael

THE FUTURE OF GOD?

Live online free talk

Sunday 5.00-6.30 pm UK time

Date: 4 February 2024

 

The talk will be recorded and available to participants for 7 days after the class.

 

Please note: These talks will be recorded and available to the public on our website in the future. By signing up for these talks you are agreeing to this.

 

Talk description: 

Professor Emerita Melissa Raphael will use the two examples of Jewish post-Holocaust and feminist theology to reflect on the future of the God of liberal Jewish theology. At a time when not only traditional but also modern revised models of the Jewish God seem close to collapse and ‘God-optional’ communities are becoming more prevalent, her discussion will be a timely one. But far from giving up on God, she will suggest that what can sometimes feel like a state of permanent theological revolution may lead not so much to the ‘death of God’ as to the liberation of God from captivity to idolatrous ideas.

Biography: 

As well as teaching at Leo Baeck College in the areas of modern Jewish thought and Jewish responses to evil and suffering, Melissa Raphael is Professor Emerita (Jewish Theology) at the University of Gloucestershire. She has been the Sherman Lecturer in Jewish Studies at the University of Manchester; the Hussey Lecturer in the Church and the Arts at the University of Oxford, and the British Government’s Foreign Office delegate to the International Task Force on Holocaust Remembrance and Research. Professor Raphael is the author of numerous articles and books. Her books include Thealogy and Embodiment: The Post-Patriarchal Reconstruction of Female Sacrality (Sheffield Academic Press, 1996); Rudolf Otto and the Concept of Holiness (Oxford University Press, 1997); The Female Face of God in Auschwitz: A Jewish Feminist Theology of the Holocaust (Routledge, 2003); Judaism and the Visual Image: A Jewish Theology of Art (Continuum, 2009), and Religion, Feminism and Idoloclasm: Being and Becoming in the Women’s Liberation Movement (Routledge, 2019). Professor Raphael was invited to speak at the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 28, on her recent contribution to Jewish ecotheology, and is also an occasional columnist for The Jewish Chronicle.

Testimonials:

”Melissa’s way of teaching and her point of view, and the ability to watch the recording. I didn’t always want to speak when participants were encouraged to, and there was no problem with that. I appreciated that I could switch between attending live or watch the recording.”

”The intellectual challenge of dealing with some complex concepts. Hearing other participants’ points of view and opinions. Professor Raphael’s teaching style and her facilitation skills.”

”Very engaging and interesting teaching, presented in a way that could be understood by many levels
The materials provided by Melissa before the course were also very helpful/interesting.”

 

We will be using ZOOM as our on-line platform for all sessions. Here are some steps to take before the start of the course in order to ensure maximum connectivity and experience. To get you started with Zoom, please click on the link below for some basic information:

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-How-Do-I-Join-A-Meeting-

Please test your connection to Zoom here.

Dr Benjamin Whittle

CONNECTIONS: DISCOVERING LANGUAGE LINKS

Live online free talk

Sunday 3.00-4.30 pm UK time

Date: 3 March 2024

 

The talk will be recorded and available to participants for 7 days after the class.

 

Please note: These talks will be recorded and available to the public on our website in the future. By signing up for these talks you are agreeing to this.

 

Talk description: 

Why is a temple just a big house? When are glaze and dross confused? And what is strange about bowing down to the ground?

Join Dr Ben Whittle for an engaging talk about the connections between various ancient languages, such as Biblical Hebrew and Ugaritic, and discover more about the interesting ways these links can lead to a deeper understanding of both language and texts.

Biography: 

Ben has a PhD in Biblical Hebrew and Greek from University College London, having written a thesis exploring the translation of Hebrew verbs into Greek. He has several years of experience teaching Biblical Hebrew at various levels, and is delighted to have the opportunity to introduce more people to this fun and interesting language.

 

We will be using ZOOM as our on-line platform for all sessions. Here are some steps to take before the start of the course in order to ensure maximum connectivity and experience. To get you started with Zoom, please click on the link below for some basic information:

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-How-Do-I-Join-A-Meeting-

Please test your connection to Zoom here.

Osian Evans Sharma

BETWEEN HAMMER AND SICKLE: SHMERKE KACZERGINSKI IN THE EASTERN BLOC

Live online free talk

Sunday 5.00-6.30 pm UK time

Date: 7 April 2024

 

The talk will be recorded and available to participants for 7 days after the class.

 

Please note: These talks will be recorded and available to the public on our website in the future. By signing up for these talks you are agreeing to this.

You can register for this talk now using the button below. Zoom link will be sent a couple of days before the talk.

Talk description: 

This is the story of a Yiddish writer and hero of the Vilna Ghetto and his work to keep Yiddish alive in Eastern Europe after the Second World War.

The full description coming soon.

Biography:

I’m Osian (pronounced: Osh’n) Evans Sharma. I was born in London and raised in Norwich. I came back to study at King’s College London and later graduated with a Master’s degree in Jewish Studies at University College London. I am first and foremost an enthusiast in Yiddish Studies. I have taught Yiddish at the Jewish Music Institute’s annual Ot Azoy course, and hope to take and make use of the language in further research.

Testimonials:

A fresh and intuitive approach to the language teaching. Osian is a very kind, inspirational and dedicated teacher.

I really appreciated how patient Osian was with us all. I also liked how structured the class was, in terms of covering important aspects of grammar.

Excellent teacher, very patient. Clearly worked hard to prepare the materials.

 

We will be using ZOOM as our on-line platform for all sessions. Here are some steps to take before the start of the course in order to ensure maximum connectivity and experience. To get you started with Zoom, please click on the link below for some basic information:

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-How-Do-I-Join-A-Meeting-

Please test your connection to Zoom here.

Rabbi Dr Kamila Kopřivová

THE LIVING LEGEND OF THE GOLEM OF PRAGUE

Live online free talk

Sunday 5.00-6.30 pm UK time

Date: 19 May 2024

 

The talk will be recorded and available to participants for 7 days after the class.

 

Please note: These talks will be recorded and available to the public on our website in the future. By signing up for these talks you are agreeing to this.

You can register for this talk now using the button below. Zoom link will be sent a couple of days before the talk.

Register

Talk description: 

Journey with me as we explore together the birth and lives of various legends surrounding the mysterious Golem of Prague and his creator – Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel – the Marahal of Prague

Biography:

Rabbi Dr Kamila Kopřivová was born in the Czech Republic. Before completing her rabbinic training at Leo Baeck College, she studied at Abraham Geiger Kolleg in Potsdam, Germany and the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem. Her PhD thesis, in Jewish studies and Theology, focused on the Maharal of Prague and the way he reads Jewish mystical work. As much as she enjoys reading classical Jewish literature, she finds even more joy in community work in her community in Westminster Synagogue.

 

 

We will be using ZOOM as our on-line platform for all sessions. Here are some steps to take before the start of the course in order to ensure maximum connectivity and experience. To get you started with Zoom, please click on the link below for some basic information:

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-How-Do-I-Join-A-Meeting-

Please test your connection to Zoom here.

Dr Simon Holloway

DREAMING OF DURIN: TOLKIEN’S DWARVES AND BRITISH JEWS

Live online free talk

Sunday 10.00-11.30am UK time ( 7.00-8.30pm AEST)

Date: 2 June 2024

 

The talk will be recorded and available to participants for 7 days after the class.

 

Please note: These talks will be recorded and available to the public on our website in the future. By signing up for these talks you are agreeing to this.

You can register for this talk now using the button below. Zoom link will be sent a couple of days before the talk.

Register

Talk description: 

In an interview given in 1971, Tolkien surprised his listeners by remarking on the similarities between Dwarves and Jews. Even prior to this observation, surface similarities had already been noted, both by Tolkien himself and by others, and many in the years since have sought to establish the degree to which Jewish people were indeed the inspiration behind the Khazad race. In this lecture, we will review the similarities – linguistic, cultural and historical – that might be identified, and will consider them against the evolution of the Dwarves in Tolkien’s writing. By charting the manner in which the Dwarves evolved and took shape in their author’s mind, we will also have the opportunity to remark on Tolkien’s own attitude towards Jewish people – both that which can be corroborated and that which might be inferred.

Biography:

Dr Simon Holloway is the Manager of Adult Education and Academic Engagement at the Melbourne Holocaust Museum. He holds a PhD in Classical Hebrew and Biblical Studies and a Masters in Ancient History. Simon delivers lectures on the history of the Holocaust, Nazi racial science and Jewish resistance, while his research interests involve the identification of biblical and rabbinic allusions in Jewish documents produced during the Shoah. In his private time, Simon indulges a fascination with fantasy literature, and an obsession with the writings of JRR Tolkien.

 

We will be using ZOOM as our on-line platform for all sessions. Here are some steps to take before the start of the course in order to ensure maximum connectivity and experience. To get you started with Zoom, please click on the link below for some basic information:

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-How-Do-I-Join-A-Meeting-

Please test your connection to Zoom here.

Rabbi Professor Jonathan Magonet

DAVID BECOMES KING

4-week live online course

Tuesday 7.30-9.00 pm UK time

Dates: 

6, 13 20, 27 February 2024

 

All sessions will be recorded and available to participants for 7 days after the class.

The price for this 4-week course is £60.

You can pre-book your place by emailing lehrhaus@lbc.ac.uk and you will be asked for payment about two weeks before the start of the course.

Course description: 

The Book of Samuel is one of the masterpieces of world literature. While the overall story can be read and appreciated in translation, the full richness and subtleties of the narrative deserve spending time with the Hebrew text. This year we will continue our reading using the insights of rabbinic tradition and modern literary approaches to the text. Newcomers will quickly catch up on what has been covered before and together we will explore the unfolding drama of David’s rise to power.

 

Biography: 

Rabbi Professor Jonathan David Magonet is a British Jewish theologian, former Vice-President of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, and a biblical scholar. He is highly active in Christian-Jewish dialogue, and in dialogue between Jews and Muslims. For twenty years he was the Principal, now retired, of Leo Baeck College, the first liberal Jewish seminary for all of Europe created after World War II. He lectures regularly on Bible at the College, in Germany and Japan and is the editor of the College’s journal European Judaism. He is part of the team creating new editions of the prayer books of the Movement for Reform Judaism.

 

Testimonials:

”The professor’s whole demeanour was very friendly and inclusive (I am a Christian), and I really liked his fascinating insights about the literary aspects of the text studied. Although I have studied it before I learned a good deal that was new to me, especially points that are not easy to detect in translation. Although it was a continuation of an existing class, over time I felt able to contribute and I feel I was listened to and my thoughts considered with respect.”

”Rabbi Magonet’s delightful, inclusive manner and his creative interpretation of the material. His outstanding and original scholarship. The arc of the story and connections with other parts of the Tenach.”

”The critical analysis of the text and the multiple connections to other biblical passages and other historical material. This provides a deep contextual view of the story itself and its relevance in historical and local perspective. Also, the convivial atmosphere of the presentation and the discussions.
Rabbi Jonathan is quite approachable and I have learned much from the lectures, the materials provided but equally from his responses to my questions.”

”The story of an experienced and superb lecturer thanks to whom I am starting to understand some important aspects of the biblical story. Rabbi Magonet is an excellent narrator, ready to communicate with the participants and to develop a dialogue.”

 

 

We will be using ZOOM for all sessions. Here are some steps to take before the start of the course in order to ensure maximum connectivity and experience. To get you started with Zoom, please click on the link below for some basic information:

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-How-Do-I-Join-A-Meeting-

Please test your connection to Zoom here.

Janet Berenson

CREATION: WILL THE REAL MYTH PLEASE STAND UP

6-week live online course

Monday 7.30 – 8.30pm UK time

Dates:

5, 12,19 February,

4, 11, 18 March 2024

 

 

 

All sessions will be recorded and available to participants for 7 days after the class.

Special promotional price for this 6-week course is £30.

You can pre-book your place by emailing lehrhaus@lbc.ac.uk and you will be asked for payment about two weeks before the start of the course.

Course Description:

Most of us will have an image of the story of the Garden of Eden in our minds, but how closely does it match the text that we find in Genesis Chapters 1 and 2.  Together we will do a close reading of the text of both chapters, looking at the Hebrew and how its translations have informed our beliefs.  Every culture has a creation myth, and we Jews of course want to be different. I would argue that we have two!  Come along and help to uncover unexpected questions and provide some of your own answers. No Hebrew knowledge is required, but it is of course welcome and helpful.

Biography: 

Janet Berenson began her journey in Philadelphia, where she was raised and educated at the University of Pennsylvania and Gratz College, studying literature, folklore and anthropology at Penn and qualifying as a Jewish educator in parallel at Gratz.

Janet worked within the Reform Jewish community within the Centre for Jewish Education,  initially in children’s supplementary Jewish education. From there she moved to become a Community Development worker for the Movement for Reform Judaism and a Consultant in Family and Teenage Education for the Leo Baeck College. She is also a Senior Examiner in Religious Studies for one of the national Examination Boards.

In 2001 she wrote Kabbalah Decoder under her then name of Janet Berenson-Perkins, which has been translated into several languages and is considered to be an excellent and accessible introduction to the principles of Kabbalah. As well as being a published poet, Janet is also featured as a speaker in a dvd about relationships, Love Talk, released in January 2009.  Janet began teaching adults for the WEA in 2010, exploring literature, women’s studies, and philosophy.  In parallel with her professional life as teacher and trainer, she was writing and publishing poetry and short stories.

Janet is now an independent consultant, trainer, inspirational speaker and teacher enjoying semi-retirement.  She nurtures her soul with her continuing study and teaching of literature, creative writing, meditation and mysticism.

Currently Janet is working on a collection of short stories, entitled 23 Pairs, exploring the impact of genetic characteristics on all aspects of life.

 

We will be using ZOOM for all sessions. Here are some steps to take before the start of the course in order to ensure maximum connectivity and experience. To get you started with Zoom, please click on the link below for some basic information:

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-How-Do-I-Join-A-Meeting-

Please test your connection to Zoom here.

Rabbi Dr Margaret Jacobi

THE VALUE OF A LIFE

4-week live online MORNING course

9.00-10.30am UK time (8.00-9.30pm AEDT)

Dates: 

Thursday 8, 15, 29 February

Wednesday 6 March 2024

 

 

All sessions will be recorded and available to participants for 7 days after the class.

 

 

The price for this 4-week course is £60.

You can pre-book your place by emailing lehrhaus@lbc.ac.uk and you will be asked for payment about two weeks before the start of the course.

Course Description:

From warfare to euthanasia, how we value a life is at the heart of decision-making. The course will look at Jewish teachings from the Talmud on the subject, covering:
1. The death penalty cases and a person as a world
2. Pikuach nefesh, the duty to save life, and its limits
3. The right to self-defence – the rodef (pursuer)
4. The beginning and end of life – abortion and euthanasia

Biography: 

Rabbi Margaret Jacobi recently retired after 28 years as rabbi of Birmingham Progressive Synagogue. Originally trained as a medical doctor she has a PhD in Talmud.  She is joint Chair of the Liberal Judaism Bet Din and Chair of Tzelem (the rabbinic call for social and economic justice). She is also a magistrate.

 

We will be using ZOOM for all sessions. Here are some steps to take before the start of the course in order to ensure maximum connectivity and experience. To get you started with Zoom, please click on the link below for some basic information:

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-How-Do-I-Join-A-Meeting-

Please test your connection to Zoom here.

Rabbi Robyn Ashworth-Steen

DIFFICULT WOMEN OR INSPIRATIONAL PROPHETS

4-week live online course

Tuesday 7.00-8.30 pm UK time 

Dates:

5, 12, 19, 26 March 2024

 

 

All sessions will be recorded and available to participants for 7 days after the class.

The price for this 4-week course is £60.

You can pre-book your place by emailing lehrhaus@lbc.ac.uk and you will be asked for payment about two weeks before the start of the course

Course Description:

Rabbi Jill Hammer wrote, ‘Women prophets are particularly troublesome’.  In this four-part course we will meet some of the most difficult women in the Tanach and seek to redeem their reputations. We’ll look for the most marginal and maligned women who were not even recognised as prophets by our own tradition.  We’ll explore the nature of a prophet and the power created in bringing these women together in our readings and see how our study can lead to change in our Jewish world and beyond.

 

Biography: 

From October 2023 Rabbi Robyn will be studying for a PhD in Rabbinic Leadership and Biblical Studies with the University of Leeds under a AHRC scholarship.  Since her undergraduate degree in Theology and Religious Studies at Newnham College, Cambridge, Robyn worked as a Human Rights lawyer and then began training for the rabbinate at Leo Baeck College.  Upon ordination she worked as Manchester’s first female rabbi at Manchester Reform Synagogue, for a number of years.  Robyn is currently co-chair of the Assembly of Reform Rabbis and Cantors in the UK.  Robyn regularly appears in UK media,  is a Pause for Thought contributor and her work has been published in various books and journal.  Robyn is interested in creating safe, anti-oppressive, relational, textured, activist communities built by individuals who are enabled to step into their own power and collectively organise for a more just world.

Testimonials:

Dear Rabbi Robyn. Thank you so much for your ‘Wandering Jews’ course. I found the course as enjoyable as it was stimulating and mind broadening.  It was a great achievement to combine scholarship and rigorous enquiry with fun and joy as you did.  My knowledge and understanding of The Torah both written and oral were enhanced and my appreciation of  their relevance to ideas of time, space, society and action developed.

I learnt much about the Biblical and Rabbinic texts studied and how they are relevant to contemporary thought. Rabbi Robyn succeeded in combining effective teaching and control of the learning process with openness of mind, fun and a sense of joy.

I found the teacher had such a lovely approachable style it was a joy in lockdown to log in and really got the class interacting with each other to delve further into the discussion topics. Was pleased the weekly reading was sent after the class for the following week each week – made it easy to digest.

 

 

We will be using ZOOM for all sessions. Here are some steps to take before the start of the course in order to ensure maximum connectivity and experience. To get you started with Zoom, please click on the link below for some basic information:

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-How-Do-I-Join-A-Meeting-

Please test your connection to Zoom here.

Rabbi Dr Judith Rosen-Berry

MARTIN BUBER’S SPIRITUAL ANARCHISM: THEN AND NOW

4-week live online course

Thursday 7.30-8.30pm UK time 

Dates: 

7, 14, 21 and 28 March 2024

 

This course is dedicated to the memory of Tony Leah, z’’l, member and Chair of Adult Education at Sukkat Shalom Reform Synagogue in Wanstead. Tony was an ardent supporter of Lehrhaus and he was a Life Long learner.

In addition to this 4 week course, a separate talk relating to Buber, will be given at the synagogue by the rabbi of Sukkat Shalom,  Rabbi Dr Tali Artman. All participants of this course are invited to attend this in-person talk at no cost at Sukkat Shalom, or if unable, will receive the recording. Date and timings to be confirmed soon.

 

All sessions will be recorded and available to participants for 7 days after the class.

The price for this 4-week course is £40.

Members of Sukkat Shalom Reform Synagogue, Wanstead, are invited to join this course at no cost. Please tick the discount box on the registration page.

You can pre-book your place by emailing lehrhaus@lbc.ac.uk and you will be asked for payment about two weeks before the start of the course.

Course Description:

The time leading up to Pesach is a good moment to explore themes of liberation and freedom. For four weeks we will be studying, discussing and reflecting on some of the central texts written by the modern Jewish thinker Martin Buber that centred on his idea of “sacred anarchism”. This subject will give participants on the course an opportunity to explore not only how the Jewish community might express a spiritually anarchic approach to its current ways of being and thinking; but also to question such modern constructs as religious authority, human sovereignty, liberal autonomy and populism, and ask how these ideologies impact on contemporary Jewish life. Buber’s “spiritual anarchism” is a unique blend of politics, religion and mysticism – which is arguably as relevant today as it was when Buber first engaged with this thinking.

Biography: 

Rabbi Dr. Judith Rosen-Berry received smicha from Rabbi Sheila Shulman z”l, in 2009. She went on to work as the Rabbi of the Beit Klal Yisrael liberal community. After that she taught modern Jewish philosophy and theology at Leo Baeck College. Now living in Oxford she continues to teach and write about liberal Jewish theology.
Testimonials:
The course was really excellent, Rabbi Rosen-Berry brought her expertise to bear in an accessible and informative fashion. The set reading for the course was comprehensive and stimulating, discussions with other students were enjoyable and illuminating.
Excellent fluid teaching ,encouraged discussion high standard of participation. Excellent original content.
The content, particularly philosophical, which the course leader brought, and their discussion / interpretation of that material. I also enjoyed receiving material about each upcoming session allowing me to prepare and consider the themes through the week prior to each session.

 

We will be using ZOOM for all sessions. Here are some steps to take before the start of the course in order to ensure maximum connectivity and experience. To get you started with Zoom, please click on the link below for some basic information:

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-How-Do-I-Join-A-Meeting-

Please test your connection to Zoom here.

Professor Melissa Raphael

JEWISH PHILOSOPHICAL AND CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES ON THE HOLOCAUST

4-week live online course

Monday 7.30-9.00 pm UK time

Dates: 

18, 25 March

1, 8 April 2024

 

 

 

All sessions will be recorded and available to participants for 7 days after the class.

 

The price for this 4-week course is £60.

You can pre-book your place by emailing lehrhaus@lbc.ac.uk and you will be asked for payment about two weeks before the start of the course.

Course Description: 

After the liberation of Auschwitz and Belsen in 1945, Jewish thinkers and artists felt compelled to radically rethink the terms of their intellectual and cultural engagement.

The introductory first session of this illustrated course will examine the implications of the Holocaust as not only a turning point in the history of Jewry and Christendom, but also of modern humanity itself.

The course will then move on to consider why most post-Holocaust theologians interpreted God’s apparent failure to prevent the catastrophe as a necessary act of self-concealment.  Is the concept of a God who is present in his very absence of any help to us today, especially after the 7th October massacres in Israel?

The third session of the course will reflect on the controversy sparked in the early 1960s by Hannah Arendt’s view of Adolf Eichmann as less a monster than a mediocrity, morally stupid by nature, and made more so by a totalitarian state that had destroyed the individual’s capacity for thought.  Her opponents’ view that it was preposterous to suggest that anyone who organized the transport of millions of innocent people to their death was anything other than a moral monster will also be presented.

The fourth and final session of this course will use the work of Mark Rothko, Aharon Gluska, Yosl Bergner, Arie Galles and others to ask whether even modern Jewish ideas of the afterlife could survive into post-Holocaust Jewish art.

 

Biography: 

As well as teaching at Leo Baeck College in the areas of modern Jewish thought and Jewish responses to evil and suffering, Melissa Raphael is Professor Emerita (Jewish Theology) at the University of Gloucestershire and an Associate Lecturer at the University of Chichester. She has been the Sherman Lecturer in Jewish Studies at the University of Manchester; the Hussey Lecturer in the Church and the Arts at the University of Oxford, and the British Government’s Foreign Office delegate to the International Task Force on Holocaust Remembrance and Research.
Professor Raphael is the author of numerous articles and books. Her books include Thealogy and Embodiment: The Post-Patriarchal Reconstruction of Female Sacrality (Sheffield Academic Press, 1996); Rudolf Otto and the Concept of Holiness (Oxford University Press, 1997); The Female Face of God in Auschwitz: A Jewish Feminist Theology of the Holocaust (Routledge, 2003); Judaism and the Visual Image: A Jewish Theology of Art (Continuum, 2009), and Religion, Feminism and Idoloclasm: Being and Becoming in the Women’s Liberation Movement (Routledge, 2019). Melissa is an occasional columnist for The Jewish Chronicle.

Testimonials:

”Melissa’s way of teaching and her point of view, and the ability to watch the recording. I didn’t always want to speak when participants were encouraged to, and there was no problem with that. I appreciated that I could switch between attending live or watch the recording.”

”The intellectual challenge of dealing with some complex concepts. Hearing other participants’ points of view and opinions. Professor Raphael’s teaching style and her facilitation skills.”

”Very engaging and interesting teaching, presented in a way that could be understood by many levels
The materials provided by Melissa before the course were also very helpful/interesting.”

 

 

We will be using ZOOM for all sessions. Here are some steps to take before the start of the course in order to ensure maximum connectivity and experience. To get you started with Zoom, please click on the link below for some basic information:

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-How-Do-I-Join-A-Meeting-

Please test your connection to Zoom here.

This course will be taught by a variety of LBC faculty teachers

This course will be taught by a variety of LBC faculty teachers.

10-week live online course

Tuesday  11.15am – 12.45 pm UK time

Dates: please see below

 

 

All sessions will be recorded and available to participants for 7 days after the class.

The price for this 10-week course is £150.

For the students who continue this class the discounted price is £100 (please tick the discount box on the registration page).

Register and Pay

You can pre-book your place by emailing lehrhaus@lbc.ac.uk and you will be asked for payment about two weeks before the start of the course.

Course description: 

Date  

Parashat Hashavuah

Teacher
Tuesday  6 February  

Mishpatim

Rabbi Dr Charles Middleburgh

Dean and Director of Jewish Studies, LBC

Tuesday  20 February  

T’tzavveh

Rabbi Daniela Touati

Keren Or Liberal Synagogue, Lyon

 

Tuesday  27 February  

Ki Tissa

Rabbi Rene Pfertzel

Rabbi, Kingston Liberal Synagogue

Tuesday  5 March  

Va-yakhel

Rabbi David Yehudah Stern

Rabbi, Radlett Reform Synagogue

Tuesday 19 March  

Va-yikra

Rabbi Alexandra Wright tbc

Senior Rabbi, LJS

Tuesday  26 March  

Tzav

Rabbi Dr Elliott Karstadt

Rabbi, Alyth Gardens

Tuesday  30 April  

Acharei Mot

Rabbi Igor Zinkov

Rabbi, LJS

Tuesday 7 May  

K’doshim

Rabbi Mark Goldsmith

Rabbi, EDHS

Tuesday 21 May  

B’har

Rabbi Mark Solomon

SENIOR LECTURER – Leo Baeck College

 

Tuesday 28 May  

B’chukkotai

Rabbi Dr Charles Middleburgh

Dean and Director of Jewish Studies, LBC

 

 

Testimonials:

What did you enjoy most about this course?

Having different teachers every week. studying the text in detail. Meeting new rabbis. Giving the opportunity of younger rabbis to teach. It has been great. I think I only missed one, and I listened to the recording.

The college has made a real effort. It is much appreciated. The group is small, but we seem to react well. you provide a variety of leaders and they want to make an effort. The Torah portion of the week is a very good idea.

All rabbis were happy to incorporate into their lectures our comments. They were all well prepared and interesting and reflective speakers.

 

We will be using ZOOM  for all sessions. Here are some steps to take before the start of the course in order to ensure maximum connectivity and experience. To get you started with Zoom, please click on the link below for some basic information:

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-How-Do-I-Join-A-Meeting-

Please test your connection to Zoom here.

 

Dr Chani Smith

INTRODUCTION TO THE ZOHAR

5-week live online MORNING course

Wednesday 11.00-12.30am UK time (8.00-9.30pm AEDT)

Dates: 

10, 17 April

8, 15, 22 May 2024

 

All sessions will be recorded and available to participants for 7 days after the class.

 

Special promotional price for this 5-week course is £60.

Register and Pay

You can pre-book your place by emailing lehrhaus@lbc.ac.uk and you will be asked for payment about two weeks before the start of the course.

Course Description:

The Zohar is a compilation of kabbalistic writings, written mostly at the end of the 13th century and beginning of the 14th century. It is canonised as ‘The Holy Zohar’ and continues to inspire and arouse the spirits of all who yearn for a connection with the Torah and the divine. Written in Aramaic in a dense symbolic and coded language, it is not ‘user friendly’, and an introduction to its special style and content is needed when encountering this awe-inspiring literature.  In these five sessions we’ll introduce some of the central doctrines of kabbalah, such as the ein-sof and the sfirot, and read a selection of texts from the Zohar where we’ll travel with the Shekhina, Rabbi Shim’on Bar Yohai, an ancient ass-rider, a rose and more.

Biography: 

Chani Smith (PhD) teaches cantillation at LBC. She studied Kabbalah and musicology at the Hebrew University and wrote a book “Tuning the Soul” about music as a spiritual process in the teachings of R. Nachman of Bratzlav. Currently she researches biblical commentary based on the cantillation accents. Chani is a flautist and composer.

Testimonials:

This is such a fascinating subject, which has always seemed fairly impenetrable. It was wonderful to have a knowledgeable, sensitive guide in Chani, who made the passages and concepts we looked at so much more accessible.

Chani is a wonderful teacher and put so much into each session. Please pass on my admiration and thanks!

Excellent content, and absolutely fabulous teacher. She had a great methodology which enabled me to actually start learning and better understanding what I consider to be something very difficult! I loved every single minute of it.

 

We will be using ZOOM for all sessions. Here are some steps to take before the start of the course in order to ensure maximum connectivity and experience. To get you started with Zoom, please click on the link below for some basic information:

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-How-Do-I-Join-A-Meeting-

Please test your connection to Zoom here.

Rabbi Mark Goldsmith

SELLING JUDAISM – HOW CAN MARKETING TECHNIQUES BE APPROPRIATELY APPLIED TO SYNAGOGUES AND JEWISH ORGANISATIONS?

4-week live online course

Wednesday 8.00-9.30 pm UK time

Dates: 

1, 8, 15, 22 May 2024

 

All sessions will be recorded and available to participants for 7 days after the class.

The price for this 4-week course is £60.

If you are working or volunteering in a Reform Judaism or Liberal Judaism community in the UK, this course will be discounted from £60.00 to £45.00 per person. To pay the £45 discounted fee tick the discount box on the Register and Pay page.

Register and Pay

You can pre-book your place by emailing lehrhaus@lbc.ac.uk and you will be asked for payment about two weeks before the start of the course.

Course description: 

Join Rabbi Mark Goldsmith for an exploration of Jewish Business Ethics as it applies to marketing religious organisations.  Are there limits as to what is appropriate and what are they?  Is branding right for Synagogues?  How about price promotions for memberships or classes?  Can you use social marketing tools to apply different messages to different parts of the congregation?

Rabbi Mark has been part of these decisions for the past thirty years in several Synagogues and Jewish organisations and before then established and ran a business that lived or died by its marketing prowess.  He is Rabbi at Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue, Trustee and Rabbinic Advisor to the Shoresh Trust and EcoJudaism.

 

Biography: 

Rabbi Mark Goldsmith gained S’michah at Leo Baeck College in 1996.  He is Rabbi at Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue having previously served Alyth Synagogue, Finchley Progressive Synagogue and East London and Essex Liberal Synagogue.  He teaches Homiletics and Jewish Life Cycle at Leo Baeck College and helps with the Rabbinic Practice courses and vocational training.

 

Testimonials:

”What did you enjoy most about this course?
Mark’s careful preparation and systematic approach, with well chosen examples and good interaction and involvement with the participants.”

”The rabbi teaching the course was so enthusiastic about the subject and that came over so clearly from the outset. He really knew the subject and clearly was passionate about it. The course content was pitched at a wonderful level and was so very enjoyable and enlightening.”

‘Mark Goldsmith is an excellent teacher. The issues are very relevant. They bring together business ethics, English law and Jewish law. I admire his pedagogic method. There was good interaction with the students.”

 

We will be using ZOOM for all sessions. Here are some steps to take before the start of the course in order to ensure maximum connectivity and experience. To get you started with Zoom, please click on the link below for some basic information:

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-How-Do-I-Join-A-Meeting-

Please test your connection to Zoom here.

Dr Renée Reitsma-Jurman

THE PROBLEM OF EVIL: WHEN PEOPLE CAUSE SUFFERING

4-week online course

Wednesday 7.00-8.30 pm UK time

Dates: 

29 May
5, 12, 19 June 2024

 

All sessions will be recorded and available to participants for 7 days after the class.

The price for this 4-week course is £60.

Register and Pay

You can pre-book your place by emailing lehrhaus@lbc.ac.uk and you will be asked for payment before the start of the course.

Course description: 

Traditional approaches to the problem of evil, also known as theodicies, often focus on the question of how a good and omnipotent God can permit suffering. How can we marry the concept of a just God with events such as the Holocaust? In this course we will focus on Jewish responses to these questions that seek an answer not in our understanding of God, but in re-thinking the nature of humanity. What does the existence of huge amounts of suffering, caused and willed by people, tell us about human nature? Can we understand ourselves Jewishly, while acknowledging the suffering in the world? In order to answer these questions, we will be reading George Steiner’s seminal paper ‘How To Civilize Our Gentlemen’, and look at Jewish thinkers such as Erich Fromm, Primo Levi, Emmanuel Levinas as well as contemporary Jewish voices.

Biography: 

Dr. Renée Reitsma-Jurman is a philosopher and librarian living in London with her wife Rabbi Emily Reitsma-Jurman. She wrote her PhD thesis on Nietzsche and sin, and is also interested in philosophy of music and the philosophy of disability. She is passionate about helping people discover lesser known thinkers, and hopes to encourage intellectual curiosity.

 

We will be using ZOOM for all sessions. Here are some steps to take before the start of the course in order to ensure maximum connectivity and experience. To get you started with Zoom, please click on the link below for some basic information:

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-How-Do-I-Join-A-Meeting-

Please test your connection to Zoom here.

Lehrhaus Free Talks:

Spring 2023 Live on-line free talk: FROM SLAVERY TO CREATIVITY – OR HOW TO SURVIVE PHARAOH – Professor Jeremy Schonfield
Spring 2023 Live on-line free talk: WHAT’S JEWISH ABOUT JEWISH ART? – Professor Melissa Raphael
Spring 2023 Live on-line free talk: BEING PROGRESSIVE AND SPIRITUAL – Rabbi Dr Rene Pfertzel

Lehrhaus Online Courses:

Spring 2023: “A PRIEST, A VICAR AND A RABBI ARE AT A FUNERAL…” – THE STORY BEHIND THE PICTURE – Rabbi Colin Eimer
Spring 2023: THE FOUNDATIONS OF SOCIAL JUSTICE IN JUDAISM – Rabbi Fred Morgan – MORNING COURSE
Spring 2023: Promotion 50% off -THE SAGA OF THE ANCESTORS – Rabbi Dr Rene Pfertzel
Spring 2023: THE JEWISH BODY – PIERCING, TATTOOS & COSMETIC SURGERY – Rabbi Emily Reitsma-Jurman
Spring 2023: THE SAGES – Dr Simon Holloway
Spring 2023: JUDAISM AND ISLAM: A SHARED HISTORY – Rabbi Dr Michael Hilton and Dr Harith Ramli
Spring 2023: DAVID BECOMES KING – Rabbi Professor Jonathan Magonet
Spring 2023: LBC SHIURIM – Faculty and Alumni of Leo Baeck College
Spring 2023: JEWISH CREATIONS – Professor Melissa Raphael

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