About 160 Swedes and Danes attended the first inter-Scandinavian Limmud Jewish learning event.
On any given night, upward of 75 Jewish men and women cram into a building at 1453 S. Robertson Blvd. to study Torah, discuss religious texts and educate themselves on what it means to live a Jewish life.
When he greets students next month who have enrolled in his four-session class “The Sepulveda Pass: From Creation to Carmaggedon,” instructor and historian Erik Greenberg will be returning to familiar territory.
Adina Jalali, a 15-year-old student at Yeshiva High Tech in Los Angeles, has many Ashkenazi friends, but when her parents recently offered her the chance to visit Israel for the first time, she opted for a trip that would resonate with her Sephardic upbringing.
LimmudLA honored its founders, Linda Fife and Shep Rosenman, in an evening of dinner, music and study on Sunday, Sept. 9, at the Los Angeles River Center and Gardens. LimmudLA is the local outlet of an international model of interdisciplinary, interdenominational, no-boundaries Jewish conferences and events. Founded in the United Kingdom more than 30 years ago, Limmud now conducts 60 conferences in 30 countries, all of them almost entirely run by volunteers.
Formal adult education in America is more than 100 years old as a popular concept, having started at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1907. As a Jewish concept, it is embedded in the Torah. Before going to the Holy of Holies in the Temple on Yom Kippur, the high priest would spend the night in study.
As tourists flock this year to the Israel to celebrate the Jewish State's 60th anniversary, they may find themselves thumbing through Hebrew phrasebooks to order at a restaurant, to haggle in a shuck or to figure out how to get back to the hotel.
When Simone Gold walked into Shalom Time at Borders Books in Westwood, the first thing she noticed was that she was not dressed quite as conservatively as many others in the audience, who wore long skirts and sleeves.
But her 2-year-old son was enjoying the Jewish songs, dances and shtick, and the endeavor seemed so sincere, she stayed, and even hung around to schmooze afterward.
About 60 people, mainly women, listen intently to Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg as she teaches her class on the weekly Torah portion at the Jerusalem College for Adult Education.
University students sit next to retirees, young mothers and professionals as Zornberg discusses Exodus and what is meant by the Jews having left Egypt b'hipazon (hastily).
She calls upon the traditional commentaries -- midrash and Rashi. But her signature is also mixing in heavy doses of original interpretations, pulled from the secular disciplines of psychology, philosophy and English literature. Zornberg contrasts the closed, self-contained Egyptian pharaoh, who could not admit to human needs, to the human trait that allows for doubts, passions and limitations.
With a faculty of noted scholars, Sinai Temple has adapted an "adult education" program with an eclectic curriculum that is carefully designed to satisfy a wide range of interests, from serious courses in Jewish spirituality, and discussions of the Jew's role in Society to special classes in Jewish rituals, and interactive sessions for improving synagogue skills, Hebrew reading and lessons in cantillation. Two seminars are scheduled: from October through January and February through May.