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Beit Midrash (Adult Education) 2021-2022

THE ONLINE ENROLLMENT FORM IS BELOW THE COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

The Enrollment Form below is for Congregation Beth Ahabah members.
In-person classes are for members only and in-person attendees MUST be vaccinated against COVID-19 and wear a mask at all times while inside the building.
N
on-members may register for hybrid/virtual classes. 
Each class is
 $54 a session. Hybrid/Virtual Classes available as noted.

Schedule
First Period: 6:30pm-7:20pm
Second Period: 7:30pm-8:20pm

Course Descriptions

FALL SESSION ADULT CLASSES
Mondays October 11th, 18th, 25th, November 1st, 8th, 15th
— First Period (6:30pm–7:20pm) —
introduction to talmud and midrash  (virtual option available)
INSTRUCTOR: Rabbi Scott Nagel
Jews have been described as ‘The People of the Book’, and the canon of Jewish texts remain central to Jewish learning and decision-making. In this introductory course we will explore the post-Biblical literature of Judaism, specifically that of The Talmud (LAW) and Midrash (LORE). The course will include origins, explanation of terms, and structure and content of: MISHNAH, TOSEPFTA, THE JERUSALEM AND BABYLONIAN TALMUD, and the many books of MIDRASH. We will look at what these texts teach us about Jewish decision-making; how Judaism embraces argument, difference, and disagreement; and how these texts are used and influence they way we practice and study Judaism today.
Jewish Cooking with Chef Dan Scherotter: Fall Menu
INSTRUCTOR: Chef Dan Scherotter
Jewish Cooking stretches far beyond kasha, cabbage and brisket. This class will explore, how Jews have navigated the myriad challenges imposed by dietary restrictions and mother nature throughout the European diaspora. Season by season we will prepare dishes each week that collectively form a banquet, from appetizer to dessert. Each term teaches a different meal, various cooking techniques, and ingredients that pair with the Jewish holiday calendar. By the end of the term you will have a complete banquet cookbook for the season. From caviar to sabayon, these dishes highlight the influence of Jews on fine dining as we know it.
INSTRUCTOR: Chef Dan Scherotter came to Beth Ahabah after two decades as a top chef in San Francisco, at his own Italian restaurants, as president of the restaurant association, and as a culinary arts instructor in an inner city high school. He previously trained in Bologna, Italy for two years, and at William and Mary as a philosopher. Here in Richmond he is helping others develop concepts and menus. Chefs who do Italian food tend to do their research into history rather than molecular gastronomy, and Dan is no different. He found that in studying European cooking that the imprint and echo of the Jews is far and wide, just as we’ve adopted foods of the countries where we’ve traveled and lived. These meals reflect that symbiosis.
 
— Second  Period (7:30pm–8:20PM) —
JEWISH COWBOYS AND SETTLERS: JUDAISM IN THE OLD AMERICAN WEST  (virtual option available)
INSTRUCTOR: Rabbi Scott Nagel
Two stereotypes about the Old West that have survived through the decades are the idea that cowboys were tough and adventurous and the belief that there weren’t many Jews. In fact, the West was where unmarried Jewish men headed in the 1800s when they couldn’t find good jobs in New York or Chicago. And the reality is that a significant number of Jews left their mark in the West, to the extent that the Western States Jewish History Association has proclaimed the period of 1849 to 1899 in the Wild West to be the third golden age of Jewish history, after the time of King Solomon and the 13th century in Muslim-ruled Spain.
“It was a time when we were free to do the best we could, using our intelligence, creativity, hard work ethic and Jewish Values,” according to the association’s online Jewish Museum of the American West. “During this period we found ourselves in a totally free, capitalistic society.”
Jews became sheriffs, marshals, mayors, legislators and even a Native American chief.  One Jew even married Wyatt Earp. And yes, denim jeans were invented by a Jew, Levi Strauss, but I bet you didn’t know that Slim Jims were also invented by a Jew. Join us for an exploration of the Jewish Wild West full of interesting, funny and touching stories to remind us that Jews have always been, and will remain pioneers.
SHABBAT EVENING PRAYERS with hebrew review
INSTRUCTOR: Rabbi Dennis Beck-Berman
We will take a deep dive into the Hebrew prayers of the Shabbat Evening service using the Mishkan Tefillah, the Reform Prayerbook, and exploring the meaning of the prayers and key words. No previous Hebrew knowledge necessary.
INSTRUCTOR: Rabbi Dennis Beck-Berman has served Congregation Brith Achim in Petersburg, Virginia since 1993. A retired military chaplain, he is the founding President of OHALAH: Association of Rabbis for Jewish Renewal, Pathways (formerly Petersburg Urban Ministries), and the Richmond Council for Jewish Education. He taught at Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Pennsylvania, U.S. Military Academy, served on the governing boards of numerous local, state and national charitable, professional, and interfaith organizations and institutions, and performed chaplaincy in nursing homes, hospitals, and prisons.
 
WINTER SESSION ADULT CLASSES
Mondays January 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st, February 7th
— First Period (6:30pm–7:20PM) —
JUDAISM AND ECOLOGY  (virtual option available)
INSTRUCTOR: Rabbi Dennis Beck-Berman
We will explore Biblical, Rabbinic, Kabbalistic, and modern Jewish views on today’s ecological issues.
INSTRUCTOR: Rabbi Dennis Beck-Berman has served Congregation Brith Achim in Petersburg, Virginia since 1993. A retired military chaplain, he is the founding President of OHALAH: Association of Rabbis for Jewish Renewal, Pathways (formerly Petersburg Urban Ministries), and the Richmond Council for Jewish Education. He taught at Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Pennsylvania, U.S. Military Academy, served on the governing boards of numerous local, state and national charitable, professional, and interfaith organizations and institutions, and performed chaplaincy in nursing homes, hospitals, and prisons.
Jewish Cooking with Chef Dan Scherotter: winter Menu
INSTRUCTOR: Chef Dan Scherotter
Jewish Cooking stretches far beyond kasha, cabbage and brisket. This class will explore, how Jews have navigated the myriad challenges imposed by dietary restrictions and mother nature throughout the European diaspora. Season by season we will prepare dishes each week that collectively form a banquet, from appetizer to dessert. Each term teaches a different meal, various cooking techniques, and ingredients that pair with the Jewish holiday calendar. By the end of the term you will have a complete banquet cookbook for the season. From caviar to sabayon, these dishes highlight the influence of Jews on fine dining as we know it.
INSTRUCTOR: Chef Dan Scherotter came to Beth Ahabah after two decades as a top chef in San Francisco, at his own Italian restaurants, as president of the restaurant association, and as a culinary arts instructor in an inner city high school. He previously trained in Bologna, Italy for two years, and at William and Mary as a philosopher. Here in Richmond he is helping others develop concepts and menus. Chefs who do Italian food tend to do their research into history rather than molecular gastronomy, and Dan is no different. He found that in studying European cooking that the imprint and echo of the Jews is far and wide, just as we’ve adopted foods of the countries where we’ve traveled and lived. These meals reflect that symbiosis.
 — Second  Period (7:30pm–8:20pm) —
the EVOLUTION OF HALAKHA (JEWISH LAW)
A brief overview of halakha (Jewish Law) as it evolved from Mishnah to Mamonides’ Mishnah Torah to the Shulchan Aruch and Modern Responsa.
INSTRUCTOR: Rabbi Dennis Beck-Berman has served Congregation Brith Achim in Petersburg, Virginia since 1993. A retired military chaplain, he is the founding President of OHALAH: Association of Rabbis for Jewish Renewal, Pathways (formerly Petersburg Urban Ministries), and the Richmond Council for Jewish Education. He taught at Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Pennsylvania, U.S. Military Academy, served on the governing boards of numerous local, state and national charitable, professional, and interfaith organizations and institutions, and performed chaplaincy in nursing homes, hospitals, and prisons.
Jewish Mysticism: The Kabbalistic Tree of Life  (virtual option available)
INSTRUCTOR: Cantor Sarah Beck-Berman
According to Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism, there are 10 Divine Emanations, called Sephirot, which are described as channels of Divine creative life force or consciousness through which the unknowable Divine essence is revealed to mankind. These Sephirot have come over time to also represent ten aspects of the soul or human personality, or ten structural forces in nature. These ten Sephirot are typically represented in a diagram called the Tree of Life.
Join Cantor Beck-Berman in learning the basics of this Kabbalistic system in a creative class presenting the Sephirot in ways anyone can understand and make use of in their day-to-day life! No previous knowledge of Kabbalah, Hebrew, or unknowable Divine essence is required!
 
SPRING SESSION ADULT CLASSES
Mondays February 21st, 28th, March 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th
— First Period (6:30–7:20pm) —
writing personal prayers:
creating and maintaining an intimate connection with the divine
INSTRUCTOR: Rabbi Scott Nagel
If you were to ask a Jewish person if Jews prayed, you would likely be told that we do. If pressed further about what Jews do, you would likely be told that Jews recite the words of the siddur/ prayerbook, or that they say blessings. If you pressed further, to ask if Jews pray directly to God, with their own words, outside of the synagogue or recognized ritual moment, you would likely get a negative response. Yet, there is a long history of Jewish personal prayer, expressed directly to God. These are prayers of joy and thanksgiving, of sorrow and hopelessness, of need and anticipation. Some of these prayers include petitions – “please help me” – but some are simply a statement of the truth – “this is how I feel. Are You there?” Despite this history, Jewish personal prayer as spiritual practice is hardly known, and even less engaged in. The absence of such prayer in Jewish life lessens the potential for communal and liturgical prayer to be meaningful. One step toward that goal is to identify practices – Jewish practices – of personal prayer that might be accessible and meaningful for us as contemporary Jews. In this class we will examine Jewish personal prayer models and develop our own person prayers with the goal of making our own prayer more reflective of our intention, sense inner growth, and desire to create relationships with ourselves, our community, our world, and the Divine. Together we will seek to develop and grow our spiritual lives. This is surely something worth praying for.              
Jewish Cooking with Chef Dan Scherotter: SPRING Menu
INSTRUCTOR: Chef Dan Scherotter
Jewish Cooking stretches far beyond kasha, cabbage and brisket. This class will explore, how Jews have navigated the myriad challenges imposed by dietary restrictions and mother nature throughout the European diaspora. Season by season we will prepare dishes each week that collectively form a banquet, from appetizer to dessert. Each term teaches a different meal, various cooking techniques, and ingredients that pair with the Jewish holiday calendar. By the end of the term you will have a complete banquet cookbook for the season. From caviar to sabayon, these dishes highlight the influence of Jews on fine dining as we know it.
INSTRUCTOR: Chef Dan Scherotter came to Beth Ahabah after two decades as a top chef in San Francisco, at his own Italian restaurants, as president of the restaurant association, and as a culinary arts instructor in an inner city high school. He previously trained in Bologna, Italy for two years, and at William and Mary as a philosopher. Here in Richmond he is helping others develop concepts and menus. Chefs who do Italian food tend to do their research into history rather than molecular gastronomy, and Dan is no different. He found that in studying European cooking that the imprint and echo of the Jews is far and wide, just as we’ve adopted foods of the countries where we’ve traveled and lived. These meals reflect that symbiosis.
An Exploration of Global Jewish Communities:
Australia, China, Ethiopia, India, Iran, and Yemen  (virtual option available)
INSTRUCTORS: Rabbi Scott Nagel and Cantor Sarah Beck-Berman
Together we will explore the uniqueness and sameness of Jewish communities from around the world and discover how surrounding cultures have influenced and been influenced by the Jewish communities. We will look at rituals and practices, cuisine, music, and communities with the goal of expanding our knowledge and ideas about who is a Jew and what it means to be a Jew, while also expanding possibilities for our own practices and expressions of Judaism. Each session will be an exploration into a new region and culture!
SHABBAT MORNING PRAYERS with hebrew review
INSTRUCTOR: Rabbi Dennis Beck-Berman
We will take a deep dive into the Hebrew prayers of the Shabbat Morning service using the Mishkan Tefillah, the Reform Prayerbook and exploring the meaning of the prayers and key words. No previous Hebrew knowledge necessary.
INSTRUCTOR: Rabbi Dennis Beck-Berman has served Congregation Brith Achim in Petersburg, Virginia since 1993. A retired military chaplain, he is the founding President of OHALAH: Association of Rabbis for Jewish Renewal, Pathways (formerly Petersburg Urban Ministries), and the Richmond Council for Jewish Education. He taught at Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Pennsylvania, U.S. Military Academy, served on the governing boards of numerous local, state and national charitable, professional, and interfaith organizations and institutions, and performed chaplaincy in nursing homes, hospitals, and prisons.

Beit Midrash 2021-2022 Registration

 

First Name

Last Name

email

Cell Phone #


Fall Session: Meets Mondays October 11th, 18th, 25th, November 1st, 8th  15th.

Winter Session: Meets Mondays January 3rd,10th,17th, 24th, 31st  and February 7th.

Spring Session: Meets Mondays February 21st, 28th March 7th, 14th, 21rd, 28th 


If a second household member is enrolling please enroll them below. 

Last Name

First Name

email


Fall Session: Meets Mondays October 11th, 18th, 25th, November 1st, 8th  15th.

Winter Session: Meets Mondays January 3rd,10th,17th, 24th, 31st  and February 7th.

Spring Session: Meets Mondays February 21st, 28th March 7th, 14th, 21rd, 28th 


 

Wed, October 27 2021 21 Cheshvan 5782