Midreshet Rockland Fall 2018 Session 

NOTE: Classes begin on Wednesday, 10/3 and Thursday 10/4 

Sponsored by the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Rockland County Adult Education Center



9:30-10:45 am

In this course we will explore three to four topics each week covering a wide range of subjects of Jewish interest. These will include, but not be limited to: Bible study (from a historical perspective), Jewish history (both ancient and modern), saviors of the Jews, Jews in space (really!), Israeli “miracles,” and a whole host of fascinating topics. This class is guaranteed to hold your interest. 12 sessions
Instructor: Dr. Martin O. Cohen


W.2 Love, Intrigue and Deception
This course will focus on some of the most interesting, intriguing and difficult stories in the Bible. Explore the story of Jacob and Esau- tough talk about cheating; the love triangle between Jacob, Rachel and Leah; the selling of Joseph by his brothers and the rape of Tamar. Other Biblical stories will also be studied in depth. Modern video clips will enhance our understanding of the texts. Come prepared to unpack the deeper meaning of these stories and add your own commentary. 12 sessions
Instructor: Leslie Goldress


11:00 am -12:15 pm

W.3 “Doomed to Succeed:” Israel’s complicated relationship with the U. S.
Israel holds a unique place in the world. At the same time it is the focus of our prayers, the target of world condemnation, the destination of religious pilgrimage, the most open society in the Middle East, and the center of world religions. In short Israel is a complicated place. Throughout its history, the State of Israel has had a special relationship with the United States, sometimes fraught with tension and sometimes extraordinarily supportive. Ambassador Dennis Ross has written Doomed to Succeed: The U.S. - Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama. Ross points out the relationship between the U.S. and Israel is complicated and not always as good as it may seem or as tense at it may feel. We will use this book as a jumping off point a to examine the U.S. – Israel relationship from Presidents Roosevelt through Trump, in light of world events and what it means for Israel, the United States, and the world. Reading this book is not required. Join us for us for our fascinating discussions! 12 sessions
Instructor: Rabbi Joshua Finkelstein



9:30-10:45 am

T.4 Ancient Rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity
This course explores the common roots of ancient Rabbinic Judaism and early Christianity in the first five centuries CE. We will study both the theological similarities between the two movements and the ways in which they developed into distinctly different religious traditions. Topics to be covered include: reward and punishment; heaven and hell; immortality of the soul; resurrection; martyrdom; and the messiah. The Jewish background of Jesus and Paul will also be discussed. While the course concentrates primarily on the ancient period, we will also discuss the strained relationship between Judaism and Christianity in the medieval world and where that relationship is today. 12 sessions
Instructor: Rabbi Brian Leiken


11:00 am-12:15 pm

T.5 Re-reading the rabbis: A woman’s voice
In her book, the title of which I’ve borrowed for this course, Rabbi Judith Hauptman, Professor of Talmud at JTS, looks through a woman’s eyes at issues such as marriage, divorce, sexuality, rape, inheritance, the ability to give testimony, and participation in ritual obligations – bringing a much-needed perspective to these subjects. This is the view we will take in this class as we look at Torah, Talmud and more modern interpretations of the roles of women in Judaism. 12 sessions
Instructor: Rabbi Jill Hackell


THURSDAY LUNCH & LEARN 12:30 -1:45 pm

T.6 Who Are We? And How Did We Get Here?
The (supposed) (complex) (uncertain) History of major Jewish ethnic communities. Are you a Goldberg? or a Garji? Perhaps a Farshforoosh? or a Russo? a Smith? or a Serouya? This 10 week exploration of the Jewish world, using primary sources, DNA data and historical records will examine the Jewish trek throughout the world that has resulted in the multi-national/multi-cultural/multi-shaded identity we call JEWISH! 10 sessions Instructor: Sharon Halper