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9.20.13 Issue

by Mark Kirchhoff , Administrative Assistant, The Center for Jewish Life

The Center for Jewish Life announces a series of classes and educational opportunities covering a broad range of topics with exciting methods of instruction. From learning with music to pondering conspiracies to Hebrew learning through speaking plus much more, there is something here for everyone. You may register for these classes by contacting Mark Kirchhoff at or 402.334.6463.

Friday Learning Series, 11 a.m.–noon, at Kripke Jewish Federation Library. Shir Ivrit, Oct. 4, 18, 25 with Eliad Eliyahu Ben Shushan. Music and song are a part of every culture, and Eliad Eliyahu Ben Shushan begins the Friday series with Shir Ivrit (sing Hebrew). Eliad is Omaha’s Community Shaliach and the Education Coordinator for our Partnership2GETHER program. Eliad has made an art of using song with young students to teach and entertain. Now, he brings that same passion, fun, and education to adults. When asked what these Hebrew singing classes are all about, Eliad responded joyfully, “Do you want to learn Hebrew? Do you love to sing? Do you want to learn about important milestones of Israel? Are you unable to devote hours and hours each week to accomplish this? Then come to the Shir Ivrit workshop! You will love it!” In Shir Ivrit, you will have the opportunity to learn popular Israeli songs, understand the words, and practice the melody. Each song that is chosen has an impressive history, story and background that reflect a milestone in the history of Israel. For those registered and requesting it, Eliad will send links to the songs and the words so that participants will have some familiarity with them prior to each class. Eliad was born and raised in Akko in the Western Galilee. In the army he served as singer of the Northern entertainment group. He has written and composed songs for two albums. His first CD, Shirat Hael, reached the top of the charts in Israel. Cost for the series is $35, discounted to $27 for those in good standing with the Federation’s Annual Campaign. For those who may not be able to attend all four classes, consider purchasing a class card, valid for use at agency short classes on a class-by-class basis. (See below for details.)

Jewish Conspiracy Theories Continued, Nov. 1, 8, 22 with Rabbi Jonathan Gross. Rabbi Gross will continue to intrigue and befuddle class members as he presents Jewish Conspiracy Theories Continued. Last May Rabbi Gross presented a three-part Jewish conspiracy theories series that was so popular, CJL is bringing it back this fall.  Gross commented that “Investigating conspiracy theories on one level is interesting and challenging. But once you become absorbed with the story, you realize that you have to learn more about the history, the facts, and the surrounding context of the story to understand it completely.”  Participants last May were impressed at the depth and breadth of the conspiracies and at Rabbi’s ability to unravel the webs in such a clear, understandable manner. If you were perplexed by or missed out on last May’s series which included The Stolen Crown of Aleppo, The Kidnapping of Yossele Schumacher Class and The Modern Sabbateans, wait and see what mysteries await you beginning Nov. 1. “This subject matter is so sensitive that I am loathe to put it in print. People will just have to attend the classes in order to declassify the subject matter and learn how these conspiracies affect us today,” said Rabbi Gross. The classes are offered for $26, reduced to $21 for those in good standing with the Federation’s Annual Campaign.

Moroccan Jews, Nov. 29, Dec. 6, 13, 20, with Moshe Gershovich. No doubt, magic carpets, belly dancing and Casablanca come to mind when thinking of Morocco. But Moroccan Jews? Join Dr. Moshe Gershovich in exploring the rich history of the Moroccan Jewish community during this survey, beginning with the early history of this fascinating group and moving through to modern times. The classes cost $35, discounted to $27 for those in good standing with the Federation’s Annual Campaign.

Other offerings from the Center for Jewish Life will include

Hebrew Beyond the Page, Oct. 7 – Nov., 6:30 – 7:45 p.m. with Mor Sheinbein. Adult Hebrew instructor Mor Sheinbein has responded to the request from a number of Hebrew learners to present a class to continue learning beyond the agency’s annual Hebrew 101 and 102 classes.  That is just what she has done in offering “Hebrew Beyond the Page.” This series of six classes advances beyond the standard Hebrew 101 and Hebrew 102 classes and will focus on verbal communication as well as teaching about the structure and reasoning of Hebrew. CJL is particularly excited about offering these classes since they represent a continuing interest from people learning Hebrew. The classes cost $53, reduced to $41 for members in good standing with the Federation’s Annual Campaign. Because the classes build from one week to the next, “Hebrew Beyond the Page” is not available on a class-by-class basis.

Introduction to Judaism, Oct. 7 – March 3 with Miriam Gross, will be the instructor for the “Introduction to Judaism” course. This is a 20-week evening course beginning on Oct. 7 designed to introduce the adult learner to the wealth and richness of Judaism as a religious culture.  The purpose of the course is to offer a gateway into Judaism for those who are exploring their spiritual options.  It is also a starting point for Jewish adults who are looking for a comprehensive course to give them the background to continue Jewish learning. Those interested should contact Mark Kirchhoff at or 402.334.6463 to ensure that they receive the final details for the course. The course begins with a discussion of What is Judaism? Additional topics include Written Torah, Oral Torah & Rabbinic Writings, Jewish Ethics, Jewish Life Cycle, Shabbat, and many others. The course requires study reading from one week to the next and is offered at the price of $180.

Also, mark your calendars now for two special events in November. The Jewish Book Month luncheon will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 13 with featured speaker Lynne Meredith Golodner, author of The Flavors of Faith, the first in a planned series Holy Breads. On Sunday, Nov. 17, Omaha will be a part of the Global Day of Jewish Learning with local scholars leading discussions on the theme, Creating Together. Details about these events will be published in a future edition of the Jewish Press.

Contact Mark Kirchhoff at 402.334.6463 or to register for any of these learning opportunities. For your convenience with the Friday Learning Series classes, a class card is available for $50. The card may be used for eight sessions on a one-by-one basis and is sold for a savings over entire class registrations. Classes are offered through the Center for Jewish Life (CJL), an agency of the Jewish Federation of Omaha. The mission of CJL is to maximize involvement of Omaha’s Jewish community in imaginative, compelling and meaningful Jewish experiences.