Did you know that Jewish law contains 613 commandments from the Torah (the first five books of the bible) that are called mitzvot? Are Jews a cultural or religious group? Was the Torah written by man or by God?
In our Exploring Our Religious Landscapes series, we’ve had a wonderful chance to visit many houses of worship and learn about different faiths. And participants have been extremely enthusiastic about the experience. When asked in a recent survey, many loved the survey courses, but they also requested opportunities to learn about different traditions in more depth.
So, our next series, which begins in January, will provide a deeper dive into the various denominations within each religion, starting with Judaism and continuing through Christianity and Islam.
The Judaism series will include visits to orthodox, reform, conservative, and humanistic congregations. And we want to thank Rabbi Yechiel Morris of Young Israel, Rabbi Mark Miller of Temple Beth El, Rabbi Steven Rubenstein of Congregation Beth Ahm, and Rabbi Jeff Falick of the Birmingham Temple for hosting the program and helping us develop the curriculum.
This will be a daytime series, with each visit running from 9 am – noon. Visits will begin with breakfast and conversation time, continuing with a tour, an informative session on each denomination and finishing up with a question and answer session. Each participant will receive a textbook created especially for the series with the help of all of the presenting Rabbis.
This will be an opportunity to learn about how the different denominations compare on topics such the provenance of the Torah, and to learn about issues that are specific to each denomination, such as the sects within Orthodox Judaism.
We will delve into the history of Judaism and each of its movements, discuss various traditions concerning the Sabbath, and explore topics like same sex marriage, who is a Jew, conversion, and the ritual roles of men and women within the denominations.
Dates and Locations
Young Israel of Southfield: Tuesday, January 17th, 9am – 12pm
Temple Beth El: Wednesday, February 8th, 9am – 12pm
Congregation Beth Ahm: Thursday, March 23rd, 9am – 12pm
The Birmingham Temple: Wednesday April 26th, 9am – 12pm
Photo by: By Alex Proimos from Sydney, Australia (Jewish Star; Star of David) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons