Welcome to Lehrhaus @ Leo Baeck College
Home of Adult Jewish Learning

Leo Baeck College trains rabbis and educators equipped for the 21st century. It is where the leaders of Progressive Judaism are nurtured, and where the heart of Progressive Jewish thought is developed.

In addition to our academic programmes, the College offers adults the opportunity to study with our world-renowned faculty on a range of subjects as part of the Lehrhaus, our adult Jewish learning programme following in the footsteps of the Frankfurt Lehrhaus established in 1920 by Franz Rosenzweig

This coming year sees the return of many exciting courses plus the addition of online learning opportunities to enable even more people to study with us.

We are also delighted to offer Modern Hebrew Ulpan on-line classes as part of the Lehrhaus along with classes for different levels and experience.

The Lehrhaus is a non-profit adult learning programme. We aim to cover our teaching and administration costs only. Any surplus allows us to subsidise some courses where the minimum number of participants isn’t reached or to support some learners with additional discounts.

We welcome anyone interested in furthering his or her Jewish knowledge and invite you to contact Jarek Lodzinski on +44 (0)20 8349 5600 or lehrhaus@lbc.ac.uk. for more information.

To register for any of our courses, please email: lehrhaus@lbc.ac.uk

We now accept online payments for all courses.

Before making any payment online, please read our terms & conditions and our refund policy.

Please see below for all the course descriptions (please click on the plus button for all information).

Upcoming  courses (still more to come):

DR CHANI SMITH

Learn to leyn in 4 lessons  (waiting list)

4 week live ONLINE course

Thursday 7.30-9.00pm UK time

Dates: 7,14,21 May, 4 June 2020 

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

Book early – spaces are limited!

 

Course Description:

Have you always wished you could leyn in shul? “Leyn” is the Yiddish word for chanting the Torah portion according to traditional melodies, called teamim  or cantillation accents. This course is a chance to learn the art of Torah cantillation from home in 4 weeks. While 4 lessons may be a short time for the task, it is possible to achieve with practice between these weekly lessons. One pre-requisite is the ability to read pointed Hebrew and another is enthusiasm for learning to leyn. There is a limit of 10 participants on this course. So join us and come out of lockdown able to leyn.

 

Biography:

Dr Chani Smith is a lecturer of Torah reading and cantillation on the rabbinical programme at Leo Baeck College. She is a scholar of Jewish thought and a professional musician (flautist and composer). She published the popular booklet/CD “Learn to Leyn”, as well as a scholarly book, “Tuning the Soul: Music as a Spiritual Process in the Teachings of Rabbi Nahman of Bratzlav”.

 

If you are interested in this course and you want to pre-book your place, please contact Jarek at lehrhaus@lbc.ac.uk

The price for this 4-week course is £30.

Chani is very kindly giving her time for free. This enables us to pass on a 50% discount to all who signs up for this course. So instead of £60, this course is £30. This is a wonderful opportunity not to be missed!

The Lehrhaus is a non-profit adult learning programme. We aim to cover our teaching and administration costs only. Any surplus allows us to subsidise some courses where the minimum number of participants isn’t reached or to support some learners with additional discounts.

 

We will be using ZOOM, an on-line platform for all our 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.

For a clear audio connection, we ask that you please use headphones with a microphone.

 

DR SANDRA JACOBS

inūma ilu awīlum: When Gods Were Men”

 – An Introduction to the Bible

in Its Ancient Near Eastern Setting (waiting list)

6-week online course

Tuesday 7.30-9.00pm UK time

Dates:  12,19,26 May, 2, 9, 16 June 2020

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

Book early – spaces are limited!

 

Course Description:

The Hebrew Bible, a corpus of writings spanning at least 800-900 years prior to its canonization, developed alongside the socio-cultural and political literary conventions of its host cultures. This online course will provide an introduction to Hebrew Bible in its ancient Mesopotamian context, to include the following sessions:

  1. Creation and Cosmos: “When Gods Were Men”
  2. Antediluvian Heroes: Noah, Atrahasis and Utnapištim
  3. Scribes, Writing, and the Role of Heavenly Tablets
  4. (i) Diversity Rules: Reading the Covenant Code with Hammurabi

(ii) More Diversity? Footprints of Assyria in Biblical Law.

  1. Judaeans in Babylonia? The āl-Yāḫūdu, bīt-Abīrâm and ālu-ša/bīt- Našar
  1. Virtual British Museum Trip: Mesopotamian Galleries & Assyrian Reliefs.

 

Biography: 

Dr Sandra Jacobs is a researcher who specializes in biblical and ancient Near Eastern law. Her doctoral thesis appeared as The Body as Property: Physical Disfigurement in Biblical Law (Library of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Series 582; London and New York: T & T Clarke/Bloomsbury Academic, 2014, repr. 2015). Having taught at Leo Baeck College since 2013, she currently delivers the Year Five module Between the Testaments: An Introduction to Second Temple Jewish Literature. See:  https://kcl.academia.edu/SandraJacobs

 

If you are interested in this course and you want to pre-book your place, please contact Jarek at lehrhaus@lbc.ac.uk

The price for 6-week course is £90.

All returning Lehrhaus students will enjoy a 10% discount and a 20% discount if signing up for more than one course in the semester.

The Lehrhaus is a non-profit adult learning programme. We aim to cover our teaching and administration costs only. Any surplus allows us to subsidise some courses where the minimum number of participants isn’t reached or to support some learners with additional discounts.

 

We will be using ZOOM, an on-line platform for all our 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.

For a clear audio connection, we ask that you please use headphones with a microphone.

 

 

DR ALINDA DAMSMA

The Origins of Jewish Mysticism  (waiting list)

4 week live ONLINE course

Thursday 7.30-8.45 pm UK time

Dates: 14 May – 4 June 2020

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

Book early – spaces are limited!

Course Description:

This 4-week online course takes the student on an inspiring and exciting journey through the early Jewish mystical traditions: from the prophet Ezekiel’s tantalizing vision of the divine chariot to the perilous heavenly journeys of the Talmudic sages. We will meet the mystics who contemplated mystical doctrines and engaged in esoteric practices. We follow them as they embark on their heavenly ascent, and witness how they magically adjure angels from heaven to take possession of the Torah. Our textual journey culminates in the vision of God enthroned in the highest of heavens, as mesmerizingly described in the enigmatic Shiur Qomah genre, which portrays God’s body parts in an extremely grotesque and anthropomorphic manner and attributes mystical names to his limbs. By the end of the course the student will understand how early Jewish mystical and esoteric speculation has helped to shape the Kabbalah. There are no language requirements; an anthology of primary mystical sources will be read in English.

 

Biography:

Dr Alinda Damsma teaches Biblical Hebrew in the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at University College London (UCL). She received her Bachelor and Master of Divinity from the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam (2003) and her PhD from the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, UCL (2008). She formerly taught Biblical Hebrew at various levels at Leo Baeck College (also Biblical & Targumic Aramaic), King’s College London and the University of Oxford. Her past publications focused on Aramaic, the Targums, and Jewish mysticism, including her monograph The Targumic Toseftot to Ezekiel (Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2012). She is currently working on two monographs: a grammar of the Zohar, and a study on the perception of magic, divination, and witchcraft in the English Bible translations, particularly the King James Version and its predecessors, and their impact on the early modern witch-hunts. Her research interests are the Hebrew Bible, Bible translations, Semitics (specifically Paleo-Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic), Jewish mysticism, and magic and witchcraft in biblical & post-biblical times.

 

If you are interested in this course and you want to pre-book your place, please contact Jarek at lehrhaus@lbc.ac.uk

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

All returning Lehrhaus students will enjoy a 10% discount (£54)  and a 20% discount if signing up for more than one course in the semester (£48) (excluding ULPAN).

The Lehrhaus is a non-profit adult learning programme. We aim to cover our teaching and administration costs only. Any surplus allows us to subsidise some courses where the minimum number of participants isn’t reached or to support some learners with additional discounts.

 

 

We will be using ZOOM, an on-line platform for all our 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.

For a clear audio connection, we ask that you please use headphones with a microphone.

 

LIAT ARAHONOVICH

ULPAN – Modern Hebrew

 ONLINE courses

Dates:  Spring 2020

All sessions will be recorded and available to students for 4 weeks after each session.

Book early – spaces are limited!

 

 

The Lehrhaus is a non-profit adult learning programme. We aim to cover our teaching and administration costs only. Any surplus allows us to subsidise some courses where the minimum number of participants isn’t reached or to support some learners with additional discounts.

 

Beginners B1:

10-week ONLINE course

Dates: 28 April – 7 July 2020 (no class on 23 June)

Tuesday 5.15 – 7.15pm UK time

For students who do not know the Hebrew alphabet either in block or script

For students who are unable to communicate at all in Hebrew

The price for 10-week course is £200

 

Beginners/Intermediate B4 

Thursday 4.00-6.00pm

Dates: 23 April- 2 July ( no session on 25 June)

Course Description:

This course is the continuation of B1-B3 courses but new students are welcome. Students will be assessed by the teacher before entering this level.

The price for 10-week course is £200

 

Intermediate I2:

10-week ONLINE course

Dates: TBC

 

  • For students who can read and write in Hebrew block and script with confidence
  • For students who are able to communicate in Hebrew about day to day subjects but want to improve their ability to speak, to watch Israeli films, listen to Israeli radio and read Israeli newspapers
  • For students who do not know or have partial knowledge of the past and/or future tenses

*Students will be assessed by the teacher before entering this level

The price for 10-week course is £200

 

Testimonials:

‘’Liat is an excellent teacher and ensured that all of us were working at our own levels.
The small group made it possible to practice spoken Hebrew with each other.
I enjoyed learning with the group.’’

”First of all, the fact that it was available! I have often considered signing up for Hebrew classes in London but the fact that this would require me to schlep up to town one evening every week after a working day ultimately put me off. (If I were 20 or even 10 years younger, I might have been up for it.) When I found that the LBC Lehrhaus programme was offering weekly online classes in Hebrew for beginners, I had to give it a go, especially as I had had such a positive experience with an online Lehrhaus course in the autumn.

As always with these courses, the teacher is the vital element. Liat has been fabulous. Her approach is interesting in that she uses a text that allows us to move forward each week while also revisiting and hopefully consolidating previous learning. Friends expressed surprise that we didn’t move beyond the present tense but I can see the sense in that. Liat was getting us accustomed to using verbs and so, at this early stage in our acquisition of Hebrew, it didn’t make sense to over-complicate things. She was also encouraging and supportive but focused: after all, we were there to achieve a particular goal and so it wouldn’t have made sense to allow us to take things easy or not to correct us when required.

I also enjoyed the sense of ‘group-ness’ that Liat created with us. Within a few weeks, the group felt like a safe, supportive space in which to get things wrong and try things out. I’m not sure how we achieved this together but it was important. (Liat may have been adopting a deliberate strategy of drawing everyone in.) The creation of a WhatsApp group was a great idea and may have contributed to that sense of group-ness as we exchanged messages in Hebrew, teased each other and did quite an amount of laughing.”

”The rapport between the students, the pace of learning and the teaching methods of the tutor are excellent.”

 

We have made a short video of our ON-LINE Beginner’s Ulpan class to give you a taste of what is on offer:

Biography: 

I have been teaching Ivrit for many years, working with the WZ Organization, the London Jewish Community Centre (JW3), Hampstead Suburbs Synagogue, and more.

 

If you are interested in this course, please contact Jarek at lehrhaus@lbc.ac.uk

 

 

 

We will be using ZOOM, an on-line platform for all our 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.

For a clear audio connection, we ask that you please use headphones with a microphone.

 

RABBI DR RENE PFERTZEL

Reading troubling texts from Torah 

4-week live ONLINE course

Thursday 3.00-4.30pm UK time

Dates: 4,11,18,25 June 2020

Book early – spaces are limited!

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

 

 

Course description:

Every Shabbat morning, Jews around the world read a portion of the Torah, the five first books of the Hebrew Bible. If some of the narratives and laws seem straightforward to modern readers, many of them are puzzling and even disconcerting. How do we read and respond to these troubling biblical narratives and laws? In this course, we will read some of these texts, try to understand how the medieval commentators, the mefarshim, read and understood them, and how we can relate to them today as modern readers. Texts will be read in English translation alongside the Hebrew original.

If you are curious to know more, please join us for this fascinating four-week course on “Troubling Texts of the Torah”.

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. He is currently the chair of the EUPJ Rabbinic Conference and works closely with the EUPJ management.

 

If you are interested in this course and you want to pre-book your place, please contact Jarek at lehrhaus@lbc.ac.uk

The price for this 4-week course is £30.

Rene is very kindly giving his time for free. This enables us to pass on a 50% discount to all who signs up for this course. So instead of £60, this course is £30. This is a wonderful opportunity not to be missed!

The Lehrhaus is a non-profit adult learning programme. We aim to cover our teaching and administration costs only. Any surplus allows us to subsidise some courses where the minimum number of participants isn’t reached or to support some learners with additional discounts.

 

We will be using ZOOM, an on-line platform for all our 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.

For a clear audio connection, we ask that you please use headphones with a microphone.

 

RABBI DR DEBORAH KAHN-HARRIS

Breath in a Time of Breathlessness: An Exploration of נפש  in the Hebrew Bible

1-day live ONLINE presentation

Wednesday 7.00-8.30pm UK time

Date: 17 June 2020

Book early – spaces are limited!

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

 

Presentation description: 

Of the most distressing symptoms of the Covid-19 pandemic, the most harrowing surely has the loss of breath, the most foundational aspect of human life. In this one off presentation, I will explore the meaning of the word for breath/e in Biblical Hebrew. What does it mean, what does it come to mean, and what might the variety of its meanings and usages in the Tanakh teach us about how we view breath, breathing, and our humanity today.

 

Biography: 

Rabbi Dr Deborah Kahn-Harris was raised in Houston, Texas and received a BA in Art History from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. She came to the UK in 1989 to study at the Oxford Centre for Postgraduate Hebrew Studies, before entering the semicha programme at Leo Baeck College. Ordained in 1996, she subsequently worked for the Reform Synagogues of Great Britain (RSGB, now MRJ) initially as a university chaplain, building up student and young adult work until a new department was formed around her work. Rabbi Dr Deborah Kahn-Harris was appointed Director of Student and Young Adult Work, sitting on the Senior Management Team of the RSGB. In 2001 she departed to live in Jerusalem for a year, where she taught in several places, including on Machon and Ta Shma.

After a brief stint at as temporary assistant rabbi at Temple Beth Israel in Melbourne, Australia, she returned to the UK where her working time was divided between serving on the rabbinic team at Sha’arei Tsedek North London Reform (previously Southgate and District Reform Synagogue), teaching at Leo Baeck College, working on a PhD in Bible at the University of Sheffield and teaching Bible and Jewish Studies at SOAS in 2007-09. From 2009-2010 Rabbi Deborah Kahn Harris was co-vice chair of the Assembly of Reform Rabbis UK. She also co-hosted an intra-Jewish dialogue project with her husband, Dr Keith Kahn-Harris. Her PhD is entitled ‘A Hammer for Shattering Rock: Employing Classical Rabbinic Hermeneutics to Fashion Contemporary Feminist Commentary on the Bible’ which was completed during summer 2011. Rabbi Deborah Kahn-Harris is currently Principal of Leo Baeck College, where she also teaches Bible.

 

If you are interested in this course and you want to pre-book your place, please contact Jarek at lehrhaus@lbc.ac.uk

The price for this 1-day presentation is £20.

 

The Lehrhaus is a non-profit adult learning programme. We aim to cover our teaching and administration costs only. Any surplus allows us to subsidise some courses where the minimum number of participants isn’t reached or to support some learners with additional discounts.

 

 

We will be using ZOOM, an on-line platform for all our 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.

For a clear audio connection, we ask that you please use headphones with a microphone.

 

RABBI DR MICHAEL HILTON

Classical Greek – Beyond the Alphabet

6-week ONLINE course

Wednesday 2.30-4.00pm UK time

Dates: 1 July – 12 August 2020 (no class on 22 July)

Photo: Frank Dabba Smith

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

Book early – spaces are limited!

 

Course Description:

This course is the continuation of a 6-week B1, B2 course but new students are welcome. Students will be assessed by the teacher before entering this level.

Classical Greek was not just the language of Homer and Plato but was also the language of the oldest known translation of the Hebrew Bible into any other language, known as the Septuagint.  If you’ve ever struggled trying to learn the Hebrew alphabet, reading Greek will seem glorious simple. The phrase “It’s all Greek to me” is only for those who’ve never even tried.  This course is Classical Greek for complete beginners – including the alphabet. Even early on, we’ll get a chance to look at some Greek Bible texts which are strangely different from the Hebrew.

Required book (essential purchase) Greek to GSCE Part I: Revised edition for OCR GCSE Classical Greek by John Taylor, Bloomsbury, London 2016

 

Biography: 

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

 

If you are interested in this course and you want to pre-book your place, please contact Jarek at lehrhaus@lbc.ac.uk

The price for 6-week course is £90.

The Lehrhaus is a non-profit adult learning programme. We aim to cover our teaching and administration costs only. Any surplus allows us to subsidise some courses where the minimum number of participants isn’t reached or to support some learners with additional discounts.

 

We will be using ZOOM, an on-line platform for all our 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.

For a clear audio connection, we ask that you please use headphones with a microphone.

 

 

LEHRHAUS COURSES – CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICY

Cancellation by You

You are asked to let us know as soon as possible – either by email to info@lbc.ac.uk or any other Leo Baeck College email address as provided as main contact at the time of booking (or by calling 020 8349 5600) – if you are unable to attend a Leo Baeck College event or course you have paid for.

In the event of you having to cancel your booking, our refund policy will depend on the type of event you were booked on and how much notice we are given. In general:

  • More than 28 days’ notice – Provided you let us know a minimum of 28 full days before the day of the event / start of the course, you will be refunded 100 percent of the ticket / course price.
  • Between 28 and 7 days’ notice – If you let us know between 28 and 7 full days before the day of the event / start of the course, you will be refunded 50 percent of the ticket / course price.
  • Less than 7 days’ notice – If you let us know less than 7 full days before the day of the event, we will not be able to offer you any automatic refund. In certain circumstances we may adopt a different policy so please contact us directly.

You do not need to supply your credit card details again simply your name, the course or event code and the receipt number given to you when your booking was confirmed.

Payment will be returned to the original account.

Transferring a Booking

In cases where a refund is not possible, or where only a partial refund is possible, you may opt instead to send a friend in your place for no additional charge, subject to the following restriction(s):

  • We kindly request that you, as the person who has made the booking, vouch for the person you have transferred your booking to.
  • We kindly request that you, as the person who has made the booking, let us know in advance of the transfer so that we can inform security (where security has been provided) of the name change.

We do reserve the right to decline any booking transfer in certain circumstances but will inform you in such instances.

Cancellation by Us (Leo Baeck College or designated agent provider)

Cancellation may be necessary in exceptional circumstances and Leo Baeck College reserves  the right in its absolute discretion to cancel an event. If this occurs you will be offered a full  and prompt refund of all monies you have paid. However, if cancellation of an event occurs, Leo Baeck College will not pay any compensation, nor be responsible for any costs or expenses incurred by you as a result.

PLEASE NOTE:

Once students have paid for a course/s they will be sent a registration form in order to complete the enrollment process.

All fees require payment in full before the start of a course.

Courses will only run with a minimum number of students and the College reserves the right to cancel any course. In this instance, the fee paid by the student will be reimbursed.

Once a course has started unfortunately we are unable to reimburse any fees to students who withdraw from a course.

We will be using images and short recordings from the courses for our publicity and marketing purposes.