Midreshet Rockland Spring 2019

Classes are set to begin Wednesday, February 6 and Thursday, February 7


9:30-10:45 am

W.1 What’s This All About?

Many important sections of the Bible (Tanakh) are either unfamiliar to most or completely misunderstood. In this course, we will intensively study some of the text, line by line, to better understand what the authors were trying to say. We’ll cover some books such as Esther entirely, and selected portions of others, such as Samuel (Saul vs. Samuel, and David and problems with his children,) in part. Depending upon the rate at which we progress, this course may be continued in the fall.

12 sessions
Instructor: Dr. Martin O. Cohen

Hendrick ter Brugghen, Esau Selling His Birthright, c. 1627.

W.2. Love, Intrigue and Deception part 2

This course will continue to 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 It is not necessary to have taken the first session. All students are welcome.

12 sessions
Instructor: Leslie Goldress


11:00 am -12:15 pm

W.3 Israel in Theory and Practice:

A look at the development of modern Zionism through the 21st century and how the many visions of Zionism co-exist in Modern Israel. We will use readings from The Zionist Ideas by Gil Troy, My Promised Land by Ari Shavit, Like Dreamers by Yossi Klein Halevi, and others.

Instructor: Rabbi Joshua Finkelstein



9:30-10:45 am
T.4. The Politics, History and Meaning of the Jewish Prayer Service

We will learn about the origins of Jewish prayer — from the time of the Mishnah in the 2nd century to the creation of the fixed Ashkenazic siddur that we use today. Utilizing rabbinic texts and Rabbi Larry Hoffman’s My People’s Prayer Book series, we will uncover the hidden histories of certain prayers and come to understand what they meant in their original time-periods. In taking this class, students will have a whole new understanding of Jewish prayer and will begin to understand the daily service as a true sacred drama in which the history of Judaism and the meaning of our lives is being played out.
12 sessions
Instructor: Rabbi Brian Leiken





11:00 am-12:15 pm
T.5 Not Your Zayde’s prayer book

The siddur is a compilation of Jewish prayers through which the big ideas and emotions of Judaism through the ages bubble up. It can connect us to our past, to other Jews all over the world. But many of us may have difficulty connecting these ancient words to our modern spiritual needs. In this class we will use the siddur to understand the emotional needs to which the siddur was an answer, and work to redefine its messages so that they speak to us today. This course is geared equally to those who attend synagogue regularly and those who don’t attend at all. It doesn’t matter which movement of Judaism that you identify with. Bring your imagination and your own spiritual longings.
12 sessions
Instructor: Rabbi Jill Hackell



A visual overview of the life and work of Russian Jewish artist, Marc Chagall. Utilizing color slides, readings, and a variety of “show and tell” objects, the class will focus on the history and development of Chagall's unique and multifaceted style.
8 sessions
Instructor: Rabbi David Berkman



12:30 -1:45 pm
T.7 Jerusalem: the holy modern city:

In the news and what's behind it. Visit the neighborhoods, the peoples, and the sites to understand what they are and how they became what they are. rom the Temple Mount to the settlements, we will look at how Jerusalem, the holy city, is the city of people, politics and perspectives.
10 sessions
Instructor: Sharon Halper



$260 per 15-session 1¼ hour course

$210 per 12-session 1¼ hour course

$185 per 10-session 1¼ hour course

$150 per   8-session 1¼ hour course

$50 off the total two or more courses

Spouse discount: take additional $25.00 off total cost

Payment plans are available      

Minimum number of 10 students needed for each course.



For information or to sign up, please contact
Roberta, 845-362-4200 x. 130