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Beit Midrash (Adult Education) Winter Session 2020-2021


The Enrollment Form below is for  Congregation Beth Ahabah members only. Non-members please CLICK HERE to enroll.  

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

Course Descriptions

Winter Session 

Meets November 30, December 7, 14 January 4, 11, 25


First Period

Jewish Cooking with Chef Dan Scherotter

Learn the techniques and history of Jewish Cooking from Chef Scherotter as he prepares recipes from his home. Students will recieve recipes in advance so they can either cook along or cook later. 
Caviar devilled eggs with chives
Black bass, blood orange and roasted garlic 'borsht' 
Seared foie gras 'pastrami', roasted fennel and mustard onions
Original mujadara - farro and lentils
Divided and pan roasted eebf rib eye and rib cap with radicchio and horseradish 
Biancomangiare with chopped pistachios and chocolate
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.

Hebrew 101

Learn the alef-bet and to decode Hebrew word. 
Text: Learn to read HEBREW in 6 weeks! by Miiko Shaffier
Available in paperback or kindle from Amazon



Second  Period

Evolution of Judaism & Birth of Christianity 

(From the Maccabees to Constantine)

What did it mean to be a Jew in the late Second Temple period (2nd century BCE–1st century CE)? Historical Jesus was a product of the Judaism of his time—that is, early Judaism.

In this course, we focus especially on the late Second Temple period, an era that witnessed a series of turbulent events: the temporary dedication of the Jerusalem Temple to Olympian Zeus and the outlawing of Judaism, which led to the outbreak of the Maccabean Revolt; the establishment of an independent Jewish kingdom under the Hasmoneans and the annexation of the Hasmonean kingdom to Rome; the reign of Herod the Great, a cruel man who ruled Judea as client king on behalf of Rome from 40 to 4 BCE.; the division of Herod’s kingdom after his death, followed by increasing Jewish discontent under Roman maladministration, including that of the prefect Pontius Pilate; and the outbreak of a Jewish revolt 70 years after Herod’s death, which culminated disastrously with the destruction of the Second Temple. It was against the backdrop of this turmoil that different Jewish sects and movements emerged, including the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes and the historical Jesus’ movement. All of these groups were Jewish and observed biblical law, but they disagreed on the interpretation and practice of specific points of law, especially relating to ritual purity observance and the sacrificial cult in the Temple which will be compared. We will conclude with the transformation of Judaism from a sacrificial Temple Cult to Rabbinic Judaism and the creation of the synagogue and first Jewish law code (Mishnah) while following the rise of Christianity and its ultimate centralization in Rome under Constantine.

For information, we will draw on various sources, including the Hebrew Bible (Tanak) and extrabiblical literature, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the writings of Philo of Alexandria and Flavius Josephus, Rabbinic Literature, and to a small extent the Christian Bible.



Jewish Prayer 101

Go on a journey through the siddur (prayer book) with Cantor Beck-Berman. Together, we will learn about the basic structure of Jewish services and worship and also how Jewish liturgy has developed over time. (Materials to learn and practice some of the basic Friday night prayers will be provided as an optional enrichment outside of class.)


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Winter Session: Meets Mondays November 30, December  7, 14 January 4, 11, 25

Please choose a First and Second period course 

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

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Please choose a First and Second period course 


Please select all sessions for which you are enrolling.


Sat, January 16 2021 3 Shevat 5781