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

More courses coming soon!

Rabbi Dr Michael Hilton and Dr Harith Ramli

JUDAISM AND ISLAM: A SHARED HISTORY

6 week live ONLINE course

Tuesday 7.30-9.00 pm UK time

 

Dates:

24, 31 January

7, 14, 21, 28 February 2023

All sessions will be recorded and available to students for 7 days after each session.

The price for this 6-week course is £90

Register and Pay

Course Description:

The similarities and common origin between Judaism and Islam as Abrahamic religions are common knowledge, but less well-known are the degree to which they each interacted across history. This course explores the historical relationship between Judaism and Islam across history, as well as its impact on Jewish and Muslim historical consciousness, by focusing on a number of key themes and examples. This includes choice examples of similarities, differences and influences in approaches to scripture, law, ethics and spirituality. At a time in which mutual understanding between the two traditions is needed more than ever, this course aims to provide a basic framework through which history can be seen from a broader lens than immediate contemporary political concerns.

 

Biographies:

Michael is Rabbi Emeritus of Kol Chai Hatch End Reform Jewish Community, Scholar in Residence at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue London and an Honorary Research Fellow of the Centre for Jewish Studies, Manchester University. His research interests include Judaism and Christianity, and Judaism and Islam.

Dr Harith Ramli is a researcher in the field of Islamic Studies, and is interested especially in the historical development of the Sufi tradition. He has worked as a lecturer in several universities and Muslim colleges in the UK and contributed to the development of Islamic Studies curricula for A-Level as well as several Muslim institutions in the UK and abroad. He is currently lecturing on Islamic history for Usul Academy.

 

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

8-week live on-line course

Tuesday 7.30-9.00pm UK time

Dates:

18, 25 October,
1, 8, 15, 22, 29 November,
6 December 2022

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

The price for this 8-week course is £120.

 

Register and Pay

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 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.

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

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

8-week live on-line course

Tuesday  11.15am – 12.45pm 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 8-week course is £120.

For the students who continue this class the discounted price is £80.

 

Register and Pay

Course description:

Autumn 2022 SEMESTER
Date  

Parashat Hashavuah

Teacher
Tuesday  25 October  

Noach

Rabbi Dr Elliott Karstadt

Alyth Synagogue

 

Tuesday 1 November  

Lech L’cha

Rabbi Dr Charles Middleburgh

Dean, Leo Baeck College

Tuesday 8 November  

Va-yeira

Rabbi Dr Charles Middleburgh

Dean, Leo Baeck College

Tuesday 15 November  

Chayyei Sarah

Rabbi Jordan Helfman

SWESRS

Tuesday 22 November  

Tol’dot

Rabbi Anna Wolfson

Mosaic

Tuesday 29 November  

Va-yeitzei

Rabbi Colin Eimer

LBC and Alyth

Tuesday 6 December  

Va-yishlach

Rabbi Dr Rene Pfertzel

Kingston Liberal Synagogue

Tuesday 13 December  

Va-yeishev

Rabbi Professor Jonathan Magonet

LBC

 

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 Tanya Sakhnovich

THE HISTORY OF THE PALE OF SETTLEMENT

 

4-week online course

Monday 7.30-9.00pm UK time

Dates:

14, 21, 28 November

5 December 2022

 

 

 

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

 

Course description:

The Pale of Settlement is a very important part of Jewish history.  Many Jewish families around the world can trace their roots back to the Pale. The Pale of Settlement was formed in the territory of 5 modern countries: Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, parts of Poland and Moldova. Officially, this was the biggest Jewish ghetto in the history of humanity, which lasted for 126 years and had a profound impact on Jewish and the world’s history at the time.

  1. In our first session we will briefly talk about the Jewish Renaissance of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the unprecedented magnitude of independence of Jewish communities within the Commonwealth. We will start a conversation about the rise of the autonomous communal structure of the Jewish community. We will learn about the formation of the Pale and how it influenced the future of the Jewish community within its vast territory.
  2. In our second session we will learn what the common factors between Tsar Nikolas I and Hitler were and about the important lessons Jews didn’t learn from their own history. We will also read various people’s testimonies of the effects of Nikolas I’s policies on the life of ordinary Jews. We will discuss what consequences those policies had on the future of the Jewish community of the Pale. We will learn how Tsar Nicholas I’s deep prejudice against Jews and Poles helped both peoples to unite for a brief moment in the fight for Poland’s independence.
  3. In our third session we will meet Pesach Avramson and Yoshke Berkovits. They were abducted as children (aged 12) from their homes in Belarus by a chaper [child-snatcher] to become cantonists-soldiers in the Russian Army. We will learn about their daily jobs and why they had to do them. We will learn about the impact of Nikolas I’s policies on the Jewish community and why Kahals had to be abolished. We will welcome the reign of Alexandra II who was a Reformer! We will see whether it brought some relief to our ancestors’ suffering in the Pale of Settlement at the time.
  4. In our fourth session we will talk about Jews and their involvement with Russian Revolutions. We will learn about the Enlightenment Era in the Pale and the birth of Jewish intelligentsia. We will talk about the birth of Orthodox Judaism in the Pale and the influence of both Jewish intelligentsia and Orthodox Judaism on the course of Jewish and world history. We will discuss the growth of a new type of anti-Semitism and how the Jewish community was affected by it. We will learn why Jews got involved with the revolutionary movements and what the consequences were of those stormy times on the future of the world’s Jewry.

 

 

Biography: 

Rabbi Tanya Sakhnovich was born in Minsk, Belarus. After obtaining her MA in History of Art and Theory of Music she taught at Minsk Pedagogical University until deciding to dedicated her life to Progressive Judaism. This year Rabbi Tanya celebrates her 20th anniversary of working for the World Union for Progressive Judaism in Eastern and Western Europe. In the last 13 years after her Ordination, Rabbi Sakhnovich served Nottingham Liberal Synagogue and The Liberal Synagogue Elstree, and will be joining the rabbinic team of Edgware & Hendon Reform Synagogue in November.  Rabbi Sakhnovich is passionate about music, inter-faith and eco-living. She co-founded the Salaam-Shalom Kitchen project in Nottingham 7 years ago and is currently its trustee. She is also part of the Eco-Synagogue’s rabbinic team and its a Trustee. Rabbi Sakhnovich was the first single-parent student-rabbi of Leo Baeck College, which she serves now as the coordinator of community placements for student rabbis.

 

 

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 Fred Morgan

BACK TO “BACK TO THE SOURCES”

4-week online course

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

Dates:

22, 29 November

6, 13 December 2022

 

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

The “textbook” we’ll be using is Barry Holtz, Back to the Sources.  It’s readily available in hard copy and also on Kindle (£6.99, AU$24.99 according to my researches in Amazon).  It would be good if everyone could read Holtz’s Introduction and also the three sections on the Bible.  We’ll be looking more closely at some of the ideas and materials introduced in these chapters.

 

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

For students affiliated to Progressive Jewish communities in Australia the price of this course is £48. Please check the discount box on the registration page.

Register and Pay

Course Description:

Barry Holtz first published “Back to the Sources”, a ground-breaking collection of essays on the major areas of classical Jewish literature, in the mid-1980s.  It remains today one of the best introductions to the subject ever produced.  The diverse authors of these essays write in a style that is both scholarly and accessible to lay people.  Each session we’ll look at one of the essays to unpack its insights into that genre of rabbinical literature: midrash, talmud, Biblical commentary and medieval philosophy.  Along the way we’ll update the bibliographies.  By the end of the course, we’ll have a comprehensive overview of the classical sources of our Jewish heritage and how they both mould and reflect Jewish understandings of the world.  “Back to the Sources” is readily available in hard copy and on Kindle through online booksellers.

 

Biography: 

Fred Morgan taught Religious Studies with specialisation in the religions of India at the University of Bristol before entering LBC for rabbinic studies.  After receiving s’mikhah from the College in 1984, he served at North West Surrey Synagogue for 13 years. His association with the College continued through this period, teaching courses in midrash and in contemporary Jewish thought to both rabbinic and MA students, and filling various academic and administrative roles.  In 1997 he was made an Honorary Fellow of the College.  (He was made Hon Fellow of LBC for a second time in 2009, to mark his 25 years in the rabbinate.)

In the same year Rabbi Morgan took up the post of Senior Rabbi at Temple Beth Israel in Melbourne, Australia.  During his tenure at TBI he twice served as Chair of the Assembly of Rabbis in Australia, New Zealand and Asia.  Over the years he has spent extended periods working with progressive communities in Budapest, Perth, Wellington and Singapore, as well as briefer periods with other communities across Australia and Asia.

In 2013 Rabbi Morgan was appointed Emeritus Rabbi at TBI, and he was also awarded Membership in the Order of Australia for his services to the Jewish community and to interfaith relations.  Subsequently he served as Professorial Fellow at the Australian Catholic University, and as Rabbinic Advisor to the Union for Progressive Judaism in Australia, New Zealand and Asia.  He has also taught for the Melton Adult Jewish Learning program for several years, and he has recently begun teaching by Zoom for the University of the Third Age.

For the past 12 years Rabbi Morgan has led Jewish-themed tours to destinations around the globe, including several tours to Central and Eastern European destinations, India, Morocco, the Balkans, South America, the Silk Road in Central Asia and outback Australia. His tour to the Caucasus has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He is married to Sue and they have three children and three grandchildren.

Testimonials:

‘I really enjoyed Rabbi Morgan’s great knowledge and accessibility in class. Joining the class in Melbourne, I enjoyed the comments of the English and European participants. I wish the course had lasted a couple more weeks. We covered a lot of ground in 4 weeks – would have been good to have had more time for more discussion. I hope Rabbi Morgan will run more courses with Lehrhaus. I thought Zoom was very successful for this course in joining people on different continents and in different countries. It all worked very smoothly and easily and I am a complete technophobe.”

”Rabbi Fred’s course was fantastic.  He is so encouraging and inclusive. Thanks to Lehrhaus for the course and I am interested in future courses with Rabbi Fred.”

”It was interesting and thought provoking. Rabbi Morgan’s classes are always very enjoyable.”

”This was a wonderful class and I would happily do another class with Rabbi Morgan!”

 

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 Rene Pfertzel

BETWEEN PRESENCE AND ABSENCE: THE TEMPLE OF JERUSALEM

4-week online course

Thursday 7.30-9.00pm

Dates:

3, 17 & 24 November

1 December 2022

 

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

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

For students affiliated to Kingston Liberal Synagogue the price of this course is £30. Please check the discount box on the registration page.

To pre-book your place on this course please email Jarek on lehrhaus@lbc.ac.uk. When the course is confirmed we will send you the link to register and pay.

 

Register and Pay

Course Description:

Announced in several places in Torah, described in the Books of Exodus, Kings, and Chronicles, built, and destroyed and rebuilt again, the Temple of Jerusalem played a major role in Biblical religion. The Romans took it down for the last time in 70 CE, and yet, it is still there in our texts, in our liturgies, and even in our controversies. Progressive Jews do not pray for the building of the Temple, whereas Orthodox Jews do. In this course, we will explore the textual sources, the archaeological evidence, but also the vision that Ezekiel has of the Temple of the world to come, and the role that the Temple of Jerusalem played in certain esoteric movements. For example, the Temple of Jerusalem is central to the Freemasonry narrative.

Biography:

Before his Rabbinic ordination in July 2014, Rabbi Dr René Pfertzel held various teaching positions in France. He earned a teaching degree in 1990, the “Agrégation d’Histoire”, and taught in French High Schools, as well as a year at the Sorbonne in Paris, where he taught a course in Anthropology of Judaism. He earned a PhD in Biblical Studies from the University of Strasbourg, France, in 2004. He examined the unofficial corrections of scribes (Tikkuney Soferim) that can be revealed by comparing the different textual traditions of the Hebrew Bible.

He began working with Progressive communities in France in the 1990s, mainly in his hometown, Strasbourg. He had also a long term partnership with the Liberal community in Lyons, Keren Or, which he served as Rabbi between 2014 and 2016. After two years of commuting between Lyons and London, where he served the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in St Johns Wood, Rabbi René Pfertzel decided to work full-time with Kingston Liberal Synagogue, a constituent of Liberal Judaism.

Testimonials:

”This was the third course I have taken at Lehrhaus over the past few years, and once again I really enjoyed Rabbi René’s engaging teaching style. He is such a good teacher!”

”I enjoy the participation of the other attending the course to the discussion, even if I do not intervene (too shy, I’m sorry). There was no doubt about the preparation of the teacher and the atmosphere created. The fact that is on line and the possibility to watch again the recording.”

”Excellent professor, without equal. Rabbi Rene Pfertzel is the perfect mixture of intellect, curiosity and heart. He is a first class communicator, gentle and probing. His classes were intellectually stimulating, well-organized, thought-provoking.”

”The course enabled me to achieve my aims because of (a) the informational/didactic input provided by René; (b) the invitations to reflection that he offered through the questions that he posed to the group; and (c) the engagement of my fellow course participants who shared their thoughts and experiences in an open, trusting way.”

 

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 on-line course

Tuesday 7.30-9.00pm UK time

Dates:

7, 14, 21, 28 February 2023

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

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 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.

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