Rabbi Lotker Zoom Classes – September, October

Virtual Classes – via Zoom

A Taste of Judaism & Jewish Literacy
with Rabbi Mike Lotker

Wednesdays & Thursdays, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
9/29/21 – 2/10/22

Rabbi Lotker’s Zoom Room –  https://zoom.us/j/8190896166

The three-part Taste of Judaism class, designed to introduce the main tenets of Judaism, will be followed by a 15-week Jewish Literacy class. These classes are ideal for Jews, for their spouses, for those who are exploring conversion, and those who simply wish to broaden their knowledge about the fundamentals of Judaism’s extraordinary history, beliefs, and faith. The 15 sessions of Jewish Literacy touch on most of the areas of concern and interest to adults who wish to explore the holidays, sacred literature, history, spirituality, mysticism, and living a full Jewish life. This class is required for conversion candidates. 

Jewish Literacy, Wednesday nights.  This class is intended for non-Jews interested in conversion to Judaism, non-Jews just interested in learning more about Judaism, and to Jews who would like an in depth exploration and discussion of our traditions.

Conversion Discussion, Thursday nights.  For those of you contemplating conversion (no commitments necessary at this time), Rabbi Lotker will host a much smaller and more informal session on Thursday evenings following our main class on Wednesdays.  This will be an opportunity for non-Jews to raise question and engage in discussions that you might not feel comfortable with in the larger sessions.

New for this year: Each week we will have a Thursday evening small session for those who are not Jewish and especially those interested in Conversion to Judaism.

Texts: No texts required for the 1st Three “Tastes” sessions
For the Jewish Literacy sessions, the following texts will be used:

  • Lotker, A Christian’s Guide to Judaism, Paulist Press 2004 (available from Rabbi Lotker or online)
  • Olitzky & Isaacs, The Complete How To Handbook for Jewish Living (3 Volumes in 1), KTAV, 1993 (available online)

Introductory Sessions (3 session overview)

  • 9/29 A Taste of Judaism—God (Jewish views of God, spirituality etc.)
  • 10/6 A Taste of Judaism—Torah (Jewish sacred texts, Jewish way of life)
  • 10/13 A Taste of Judaism—Israel (the land, people, and modern state)

Sacred Time

  • 10/20 The Hebrew Calendar, cycle of holidays and Shabbat
  • 10/27 The High Holy Days
  • 11/3 Chanukah, Purim, Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot

Sacred Literature

  • 11/10 Bible
  • 11/17 The Mishna & Talmud
  • 12/1 Midrash, Halacha, Jewish legal codes and issues
  • 12/8 Jewish mysticism: Kabbalah & Zohar
  • 12/15 The Prayer book

Jewish History

  • 12/22 All of Jewish history in 90 minutes
  • 1/5/22 Judaism and Christianity—the parting of the ways
  • 1/12 The 20th century (Zionism, antisemitism and the Holocaust)

Living a Jewish Life

  • 1/19 Temple and Synagogue: Home and kashrut
  • 1/26 Life Cycle: Brit Milah, B’nai Mitzvah, marriage (and inter-marriage), divorce, funerals
  • 2/2 Jewish community: Conversion, movements, synagogue life, etc.
  • 2/9 What does Judaism say about sexuality and ??? (students select topics)

And here are some key things to remember as we begin:

  • The first three sessions (Sept. 29, Oct. 6 and Oct. 13) will be a broad overview called “A Taste of Judaism.”  Since there’s so much to cover, these first 3 sessions may last a bit longer than the 90 minutes planned.
  • The following 15 sessions called “Jewish Literacy” will be a more detailed investigation of Judaism.
  • Thanks to the sponsorship of the Jewish Federation of Ventura County, there is no charge for these classes.  Those wishing to make a contribution to the Federation may do so at https://www.jewishventuracounty.org/ways-to-give
  • There will be two books to buy for the Jewish Literacy class but nothing to buy for the “Taste” sessions.
  • Sessions will be recorded and available for viewing on my website https://www.lotker.com/Lotker.html and on my You Tube Channel.

Will the sessions be recorded?  Yes and they will be sent to you by email and also posted on my YouTube channel.

Is There a Fee?  No, the classes are sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Ventura County and Joel & Barbara Aaronson & The Affordable Living Choices Trust in my role as Community Rabbi.  You can donate to them here at  https://www.jewishventuracounty.org/ways-to-give.

How do I register?  Simply Email Rabbi Lotker lotker@aol.com (you will get class reminders and alerts of changes -if any)

Can Bring a Friend?  Sure!  Just pass along this e-mail