Jewish-Christian Bible Study: every second Monday, 6:00 to 7:00 PM, Small Dining Hall
A new and innovative program now being offered at the CJL, this is a unique opportunity for students of faith from decidedly different backgrounds to share in their Scripture and to find accord in their lived experiences as religious college students. Rabbi Elie Bercuson, co-director of JLIC at Princeton, leads the group with one of the university’s Evangelical Christian chaplains. Half of the students in attendance are Jewish; half are devoted Christians. With open respect for each other’s beliefs and ways of life, we study passages from the Hebrew Bible (“Tanakh”) which address topics of deep significance to everyone: covenant, chosenness, the Land of Israel, and prophecy—to name just a handful. This class teaches many lessons, but one in particular: that individuals who take their religious traditions seriously can and should work together to bring light to this world.
Topics in Tractate Chagiga: Tuesdays, 5:45-6:45, Small Dining Room
With Aviva Sterman
In this class we will explore sections and stories from the first two chapters of Tractate Chagiga. This tractate grapples with the questions at the heart of Jewish festivals. Who has the responsibility to contribute to communal festivities, and who is not expected to contribute? What are the necessary components of a communal religious experience? Like many holiday-based tractates, Chagiga struggles with the loss of a central house of worship in Jewish life. The discussions in Chagiga also try to understand what it means for an individual and a community to approach G-d, and what boundaries exist in that relationship. In this course we will focus on the stories present in this tractate, but will do some more legal sections as well. The class will be targeting those with some familiarity with rabbinic texts. We will sometimes reference discussions in other sections of the Talmud or look into medieval scholarship on a given topic, but we will primarily be analyzing the text. If you can’t join us every week – no worries! Each session will be a stand-alone class. So join us in the small dining room on Tuesdays! Food from the dining hall will be available to upperclassmen and graduate students.
Lunch and Learn: Wednesdays, 12:00 to 1:00 PM, Feinberg
Over Chinese or Indian or some other type of delicious lunch, students from all walks of Jewish life on campus join Rabbi Elie or Ilana Bercuson, or a guest speaker, to study a topic of relevance to young Jews in this day and age. We cover such issues as, to name just a few: the secular state in the eyes of Jewish law; Jewish views of superstition; and honoring one’s parents from afar. All texts are provided in both English and their original language (usually Hebrew), ensuring that everyone is able to participate—for the debate is always lively! All are welcome, from beginners to advanced students. Everyone has something to contribute!
Advanced Talmud (“Gemara Shiur”): Wednesdays, 7:20 to 8:20 PM, Beit Midrash
A traditional, yeshiva-style study of the Talmud in depth (“b’iyun”), taught by Rabbi Elie Bercuson, geared towards intermediate to advanced students with backgrounds in this type of class. Each semester we focus on a particular chapter within a given tractate, examining along the way medieval (“Rishonim”) and modern (“Acharonim”) commentaries. This provides students, both women and men, with the opportunity to maintain and enrich the skills of Talmudic analysis which they have been developing for some time already. All sources are provided in their original Hebrew or Aramaic.
Hebrew Reading Crash Course
with Rabbi Sara Rich
In this course, created by the National Jewish Outreach Program, you will learn the names and sounds of the entire Hebrew alphabet, as well as the skills you need to read any Hebrew word. Whether you would like a refresher or are entirely new to reading Hebrew, you are welcome to join. Please email Rabbi Sara Rich (slrich@) to register.
Hebrew “B’Sababa” Table
Refresh your knowledge of Hebrew and discuss relevant topics like Israeli politics and culture with your friends. The discussion is free for all levels of Hebrew to join- If you prefer actively participating or just listening. Contact Slav (vleibin@) for more information.
Russian Table: Friday lunch
Come and have lunch with American food served, but Russian vibes. If you are interested in practicing your Russian skills, remember those unique soviet cartoons or just complain about the Russian grandma this is the space for it. There are also monthly social meeting- going out for ice cream or just watching a movie together. Contact Slav (vleibin@) for more information.