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Non-Matriculated Student Programs

RRC COURSES OPEN TO THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY

Each semester, RRC invites adults from the local community to take classes alongside our rabbinical students, and many have welcomed the challenge. Some students work through our trademark core of historical courses; others take single workshops and classes or dive deep into advanced Hebrew. If you are interested, please contact us at 215.576.0800, ext 310, or email Mike Kennedy at mkennedy@rrc.edu.

Spring 2018 courses offered:

Biblical Hebrew – A Distance Learning Course
Instructor: Tamar Kamionkowski
Meeting Details: Online and TBD - Conducted via Zoom synchronously
Course Description: This online course covers the basic verb forms, syntax and vocabulary of Biblical Hebrew in 12 sessions. Depending on a student’s level coming into the course, it may serve as exposure to the language for students who are relatively new to Hebrew or it may serve as a crash course for students whose Biblical Hebrew is rusty. In past years, this course has enabled some relatively beginner students to attain a Hebrew level sufficient for RRC’s Mekhinah (preparatory) Year. This course has also enabled students with advanced-intermediate Hebrew to bump up to the first year of the core program. The course covers: a review of the vowel system and its importance; construct forms or semichut; the conjugations of Qal verbs; an introduction to the strong verbs of other binyanim (Piel, Hiphil and Niphal) and Biblical Hebrew syntax, word order and vav consecutive (or vav hippuch).

All course sessions take place in real time on the Zoom platform.

MEKHINAH MODERN HEBREW II
Instructor:
Sharon Gershoni
Meeting Details: Mondays 4:25-5:15 p.m., Tuesdays & Wednesdays 1:45-2:35 p.m., Thursdays 1:30-2:20 p.m.
Course Description: This course develops Hebrew comprehension and communication skills equivalent to ulpan. Hebrew level alef and lower bet. Through daily conversation, instruction and engagement with texts and spoken material from contemporary Israeli culture, students develop their ability to speak, understand, read and write Modern Hebrew.

MEKHINAH RABBINIC HEBREW II
Instructor: Vivie Mayer
Meeting Details: Tuesdays 9:30-11:20 a.m., Thursdays 10:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Course Description: We will study the language of the Mishna and the Siddur through these two primary texts. In particular we will study the texts of the Passover Haggadah and Mishnah Pesachim and see the relationship between those texts. This is a continuation of Mekhinah Rabbinic Hebrew 1. 

MEKHINAH TANAKH II
Instructor:
Michael Carasik
Meeting Details: Mondays 11 a.m.-12:50 p.m., Wednesdays 9:30-11:20 a.m.
Course Description: This is a continuation of the first semester. We will continue to develop grammar, syntax and vocabulary skills to support comprehension and translation of biblical texts.

INTERMEDIATE MODERN HEBREW 2-3
Instructor: Sharon Gershoni
Meeting Details: Tuesdays 4:10-6 p.m., Thursdays 2:30-4:20 p.m.
Course Notes: Pre-requisite: Intermediate Modern Hebrew 1 or test
Course Description: This sequence develops Hebrew comprehension and communication skills equivalent to ulpan Hebrew higher level bet and lower gimmel, through a mix of immersive learning and extended study structured around conversation and instruction. 

MODERN CORE - CIVILIZATION
Instructor:
Reena Sigman Friedman
Meeting Details: Wednesdays 8:30-11:20 a.m.
Course Description: This survey of modern Jewish history, from the mid-17th century through the mid-20th century, will explore the transformation of Jewish identity and communal life in response to the unprecedented challenges of the modern era. Emphasis will be placed upon the evolution of the rabbi’s role in a changing world.

MODERN CORE - THOUGHT
Instructor: Joel Hecker
Meeting Details: Tuesdays 9:30-11:20 a.m.
Course Description: Students will examine key issues developed by leading thinkers of the 18th–20th centuries, including Moses Mendelssohn, Rav Avraham Yitshaq ha-Kohen Kook, Hermann Cohen, Martin Buber, and Franz Rosenzweig. During this course, students will reflect upon their own developing theologies in light of these thinkers’ ideas.

PARSHANUT HAMIKRA
Instructor:
Jacob Staub
Meeting Details: Tuesdays 1:45-3:35 p.m., Thursdays Beit Midrash 10:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Course Notes: Pre-requisite: Ability to read and translate medieval Hebrew texts
Course Description: This course is an introduction to the most significant medieval commentators on the Torah. Students will read medieval commentators such as Rashi, Rashbam, Ibn Ezra, Radak, Rambam and Sforno. During this course, students will focus on the general presuppositions and methods of medieval biblical exegesis, and on the particular concerns of individual commentators. This semester will focus on commentaries on the Akedah, Genesis 22.

RABBINIC CORE - CIVILIZATION
Instructor:
Mira Wasserman
Meeting Details: Wednesdays 8:30-11:20 a.m.
Course Description: An exploration of the religious cultures of the Jews during the Second Temple and rabbinic periods. We will begin by investigating the diversity of Jewish communities in Roman Palestine and the diaspora while the Temple still stood, examining different conceptions of Jewish identity, of Scripture, and of the biblical past among different Jewish groups. For most of the semester, our focus will be on the texts, institutions, and culture of the Rabbis who came to define Jewish life following the destruction of the Temple. How did rabbinic Judaism come to be the dominant expression of Jewish life? How do rabbinic institutions and ideas emerge in interaction with Hellenistic Rome, Christianity, and Sasanian Babylonia? We will study the historic conditions that were the context for the emergence of the rabbinic textual tradition, and explore the complexities of using rabbinic texts as evidence for the cultures of the Jews in late antiquity.

RABBINIC CORE - INTRODUCTION TO RABBINIC THOUGHT & LITERATURE
Instructor:
Sarra Lev
Meeting Details: Tuesdays 9:30-11:20 a.m., Thursdays 1:30-3:20 p.m.
Course Description: This course is designed to introduce students to the major forms and genres of rabbinic literature. Students will touch on a few of the best-known texts, learn what questions to ask, learn how to read and understand them, and discuss why they matter, even millennia later. Texts will be studied in the original language; the class will consist primarily of reading and interpreting the selected texts.

TANAKH 2
Instructor:
Elsie Stern
Meeting Details: Mondays 11 a.m.-12:50 p.m., Thursdays Beit Midrash 10:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Course Description: Students will work with lexical resources and critical commentaries to build biblical Hebrew-translation skills and to cultivate the ability to recognize nuances in the text. The course engages readings that explore biblical texts from a variety of perspectives. During the first semester, students will focus on narrative texts; during the second, they will focus on poetic texts, especially those that are haftarot or appear in the liturgy.

THE MACHZOR: KOL BO SKILLS FOR THE YAMIM NORA'IM
Instructor:
Margot Stein
Meeting Details: Thursdays 10:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Course Notes: Pre-requisite: Completion of liturgy skills or permission of the instructor
Course Description: This course will focus on increasing facility with the High Holiday Machzor. We will: learn correct nusakh and High Holiday trope; understand the prayers in the context of the moments when they occur; practice formulating meaningful kavvanot; compare traditional, Reconstructionist and other contemporary renderings of key prayers; envision creative approaches to various sections of the service; gain confidence in managing unexpected challenges, such as an absent Torah reader or running way over allotted time. You will be a prepared, confident kol bo for 5779!

JEWISH IDENTITY
Instructor:
Julia Yares
Meeting Details: This class meets online, Thursdays 1:30-3:20 p.m.
Course Description: This course explores contemporary Jewish identity from academic and practical perspectives. We will explore a) contemporary theories of identity, b) the constructions and experiences of American Jewish identity/ies in the mid 20th century to the present, and c) the implications of contemporary experiences of Jewish identity for rabbinic work.

TALMUD 3
Instructor:
Sarra Lev
Meeting Details: Thursdays 10:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Course Notes: Pre-requisite: Completion of Talmud 1-2.
Course Description: This course builds on the skills and knowledge developed in Talmud 1-2 with a focus on developing skills to enable the reader to independently analyze a sugya. The material of the course changes from year to year and students will be able to take multiple instances of this course.

DARSHANUT
Instructor:
Jacob Staub
Meeting Details: Wednesdays 9:30-11:20 a.m.
Course Description: A workshop in honing the ability to compose and deliver divrei Torah (Biblical homilies) based on a variety of available resources: collections of midrash, Hasidic writings, Musar writings. Each student will compose and deliver six drashes and will receive feedback from fellow students and professor. We will alternate weeks of study together from a given resource with weeks of delivering divrei Torah based on that resource.

RABBI AS ACTIVIST: LEADERS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY AND JUSTICE
Instructor:
Mordechai Liebling
Meeting Details: Mondays 2-3:50 p.m.
Course Description: The course will combine text, experiential exercises and activist involvement. It will cover fundamental teachings on Judaism and the environment, a deepening of our personal connection to the earth, the intersectionality of environmental justice and the basics of nonviolent direct action. A unique and influential component will be activism. During the course of the semester, all matriculated students will be required to devote at least eight hours to an environmental campaign.

 

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For the new site, please visit https://www.rrc.edu.