Beit Midrash

Kehilat Hadar runs a weekly Beit Midrash series [in partnership with Mechon Hadar] at the West End Synagogue, at 190 Amsterdam Ave at 69th St. We meet on weeknights from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. (see calendar for exact dates and times). The cost is $5 per session. See the list below of upcoming classes or visit our calendar for the entire current Kehilat Hadar Community Beit Midrash schedule.

We are excited to continue to build the learning component of our community. We look forward to seeing you! Please e-mail contact@kehilahadar.org with any questions.

The Kehilat Hadar Beit Midrash has previously been sponsored in part by generous grants received from UJA-Federation of NY and from the Bronfman Youth Fellowship in Israel

  1. Leadership and Community: The Case of Elijah the Prophet, taught by Dr. Devora Steinmetz

    Date: 

    December 16, 2008 - 7:30pm

    Leadership is a term often used yet rarely defined.  This exciting Beit Midrash series will mine Jewish law, tradition and legend, searching for what it means to succeed or fail as a leader.

    Event Types: 

  2. Service of the Heart: The Foundation of the Amidah Taught by Rabbi Elie Kaunfer

    Date: 

    January 13, 2009 - 7:30pm

    The Talmud famously debates the origin of the Amidah, the central Jewish prayer. Is it modeled on sacrifice, or on actions of the Avot (patriarchs)? Join us as we take a fresh look at this Talmudic passage, examine its Biblical sources, and ponder the meaning of "service" in our prayer life.

    JCC of Manhattan.
    Cost: $5/session or $15 for the entire course.

    Event Types: 

  3. Noah and Jonah: Escaping the Self, Repairing the World taught by Taught by Judy Klitsner

    Date: 

    January 20, 2009 - 7:30pm

    Noah and Jonah both face existential peril following missed opportunities to mend the world. We will look for signs of tikkun within the prophets, and note the nexus between repair of the self and tikkun olam.

    Event Types: 

  4. The Physical, the Spiritual, and the World As It Is: The Hasidic Idea of Avodah She-B'Gashmiut Taught by Rabbi Ben Skydell

    Date: 

    January 27, 2009 - 7:30pm

    One of the central contributions of Hasidut to Jewish practice is the concept of Avodah She-B'Gashmiut, or, "Worship through the Physical World."  In this class, we will explore this concept, its origins, practice, and development throughout the history of Hasidic thought.

    Rabbi Ben Skydell is an instructor of Talmud and Jewish Philosphy at the North Shore Hebrew Academy High School in Great Neck, NY. He also teaches Jewish Thought at Yeshivat Hadar and Drisha.  His semicha is from RIETS-Yeshiva University.

    Event Types: 

  5. "Irrelevant, Dull, Oppressive, and Insipid": So Why Be Jewish? Taught by Rabbi David Levin-Kruss

    Date: 

    February 17, 2009 - 7:30pm

    Abraham Joshua Heschel famously dismissed much of modern religion with these words. By going back to the reasons for being Jewish, this session examines what binds us and how, ironically, those very ties are also what separate us.
    Beit Midrash of the JCC in Manhattan (334 Amsterdam at 76th St)
    $5 per class or $25 for the series

    Event Types: 

  6. Once a Jew, Always a Jew? Taught by Shmuel Kadosh

    Date: 

    February 24, 2009 - 7:30pm

    Can a Jew forfeit his or her Jewishness?  It is an oft repeated maxim that a Jew, no matter how sinful, is still considered a Jew.  However, this was not always the case.  In the early medieval period, a fierce debate raged about the Jewish status of those who apostatized.  Some considered conversion to another faith a complete revocation of the apostate's Jewish identity.  Others wanted to keep the apostate within the community, as a "sinful Jew."  In this class, we will examine the medieval debate about Jewish identity and its echos in contemporary discourse.

    Event Types: 

  7. The Madness of Ben Zoma: A Crisis of Liminality Taught by Yael Unterman

    Date: 

    March 3, 2009 - 7:30pm

    Ben Zoma is one of the players in the mysterious Talmudic "Four entered the Pardes" story. We are informed that he "goes insane", but what was the nature of this insanity? What boundaries did he blur, and how did he end up standing near the Temple Mount staring abstractedly at the sky? And what can we learn from his story?
     
    Tuesdays, February 17-March 31
    7:30-9:00 p.m.
    Beit Midrash of the JCC in Manhattan (334 Amsterdam at 76th St)
    $5 per class or $25 for the series
     

    Event Types: 

  8. Eve and Sarah: Biblical Women as Forbidden Fruit Taught by Judy Klitsner

    Date: 

    March 17, 2009 - 7:30pm

    In a close examination of the narratives of Eve and Sarah, we will highlight a disturbing motif of women's exclusion by God and man. We will then reexamine these same texts to look for signs of repair.

    Beit Midrash of the JCC in Manhattan (334 Amsterdam at 76th St)
    $5 per class or $25 for the series

    Event Types: 

  9. Tax Evasion Through Kilayim: A Case Study in (Un)Intention Taught by Jaclyn Rubin

    Date: 

    March 24, 2009 - 7:30pm

    The Torah forbids wearing kilayim, a mixture of wool and linen. Are there ever cases where one is allowed to wear kilayim? Perhaps in order to sell them? Or to avoid paying taxes? In this class, we will examine when wearing these garments can be considered a different act entirely, and the act of wearing itself an unintended consequence. In the process, we will explore questions of tax evasion, assimilation with non-Jewish neighbors, and transgressing commandments to save life.
     
    Beit Midrash of the JCC in Manhattan (334 Amsterdam at 76th St)

    Event Types: 

  10. O Father, Where art Thou? The Matrilineal Principle and Jewish Identity Taught by Rabbi Ethan Tucker

    Date: 

    March 31, 2009 - 7:30pm

    In this session, we will review the history of the matrilineal principle, while paying particular attention to those rabbinic sources that complicate what is often presented as a simple formula for determining Jewish identity. We will try to get at the root of why the matrilineal principle has re-emerged as controversial in contemporary Jewish life and to suggest fresh paradigms for thinking through this issue.
     
    Beit Midrash of the JCC in Manhattan (334 Amsterdam at 76th St)
    $5 per class or $25 for the series

    Event Types: 

Pages