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Sunday Seminars
From Serpent to Satan: The Story of Paradise in Archaeology, Biblical Interpretation, and Art
Dr. Adolfo Roitman
10:00am2:00pm | Oct 16

Adam and Eve by Rembrandt

Since ancient times, the story of paradise has puzzled generations of thinkers, scholars, and artists. Why did God forbid Adam and Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge? Why did the serpent deceive Eve? Who was the real deceiver: a natural serpent or Satan himself? Trace the history of interpretation of this biblical unit; immerse yourself in a detailed study of written sources and ancient-through-modern iconographies, and discuss fascinating theological messages hidden in this emblematic narrative of Western civilization.

A Hebrew Marathon
Michal Nachmany
10:00am2:00pm | Oct 23

Want to feel more comfortable in the prayer service but feel inhibited because you cant read Hebrew? Have you been meaning to learn the language but somehow never seemed to have the time? This unique seminar is perfect for you. Come for an intensive Hebrew marathon that will leave you wanting more. Learn the letters and vowels, and by the end of the day you will be reading Hebrew.
A few lines of text from the Kaufmann Manuscript, Tractate Avot 1, 6.7

Skirball 2011 | 3

From Madoff to Weiner: Is Sin a Growth Industry?

Rabbi Daniel C. Goldfarb
10:00am2:00pm | Nov 6

The news of late offers too many examples of people from all walks of life behaving regrettably. Are people sinning more now, and if so why? What are the factorsin the human condition and in lifethat tempt us? What can be said about the impact of the Internet and social networks such as Facebook? Join us for text study and discussion to examine what Jewish sources have to teach us about how and why sin happens and, perhaps, how to prevent it.

Why Bad Things Happen to Good Biblical Characters: The Opposing Cases of Abraham and Job
Judy Klitsner
10:00am2:00pm | Nov 20

Sacrifice of Isaac by Rembrandt

In the very disturbing story of the Akeda (the Binding of Isaac), God commands Abraham to sacrifice his innocent son. When Abraham demonstrates his willingness to comply with Gods order, he is commended for his God-fearing nature. See how the book of Job takes issue with the philosophical assumptions of the Akeda; discover how it radically rewrites Akedas conclusions, and how both stories contain great relevance to deep, ongoing questions about unjust suffering in the world.

The Biblical Jacob: Our Dubious Patriarch

Dr. Neil Gillman
10:00am2:00pm | Dec 4

Jacob Wrestling with the Angel by Gustave Dor

Of our three patriarchs, Jacob is the most problematic. Abraham is a giant; Isaac almost disappears within the pages of the narrative. Of Jacob we are given more information, but much of it raises serious moral issues. A deceiver, Jacob learns quickly that deceivers are invariably themselves deceived. And yet the later tradition gilds the biblical image of Jacob and he emerges as a great Jewish role model. Join us in studying this transformation and the great power of Midrash.

4 | Fall Courses

Evening Courses
Encounter: Islam and Judaism
MONDAY Rabbi Leonard A. Schoolman
The Hortense Jordan Course in Ethics 6:308:00pm | Oct 24, 31 Nov 7, 14, 21, 28 Dec 5

The effects of terrorism and political and religious struggle with Islamic fundamentalism seem to have rendered a tolerant, pluralistic discussion between Islam and other faiths nearly impossible. But is it indeed so? Delve into a comparison of Jewish-Muslim worldview, God ideas, and practices; examine the similarities and differences in customs such as circumcision, burial practices, and kashrut/halal; analyze related passages from the Quran and the Torah and discover the basis for an encounter between the two faiths.

11th Century North African Quran in the British Museum

But Is It True? The Bible, Archaeology, and History

Dr. Regina Stein
6:308:00pm | Oct 24, 31 Nov 7, 14, 21, 28 Dec 5

Your righteousness is eternal, Your Torah is true (Psalms 119:142), but did the events it recounts really happen? Was the exodus from Egypt that we celebrate every Passover an event in history? Can we reconstruct what life was like for the Israelites at the time of King David? Does archaeology contradict the Bibles historicity or confirm it? Explore these questions and more as we discuss the relationship between the Bible, archaeology, and history.

Judaism and Early Christianity: Intersections and Divergences

Dr. Mark Weisstuch
The Jane Moyse Gilder Course in Jewish History 6:308:00pm | Oct 24, 31 Nov 7, 14, 21, 28 Dec 5

The roots of Christianity are embedded in the Judaism of the Second Temple period. Through an examination of core concepts and practices widespread in the Judaism of the timeresurrection, sacrifice, judgment, end time, messiah, Torah/law, concepts of evil/sin and repentance/salvation, modes of interpreting the Bible, prophecy, and the Chosenness of Israeltrace the way in which prevalent ideas of the period were adapted and transformed in the formation of early Christianity.
NOTE: This course will be offered in two parts. Part two will be offered in Spring 2012. Each part can be taken independently. Interested in this course? See also The Vatican and the Jews, p. 7.

At this time appeared Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one should call him a man. For he was a doer of startling deeds, a teacher of people who receive the truth with pleasure. And he gained a following both among many Jews and among many of Greek origin. He was the Messiah. And when Pilate, because of an accusation made by the leading men among us, condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him previously did not cease to do so. For he appeared to them on the third day, living again, just as the divine prophets had spoken of these and countless other wondrous things about him. And up until this very day the tribe of Christians, named after him, has not died out. Jewish Antiquities by Josephus (circa 93 CE)

Herod's Temple looking Northwest (artist unknown)

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Simply Maimonides: An Encounter with the Greatest Jewish Mind of All Times
Rabbi Alfredo F. Borodowski, PhD
The Harrison S. Kravis Course in Jewish Studies 6:308:00pm | Oct 24, 31 Nov 7, 14, 21, 28 Dec 5

or 2:003:30pm | Oct 26 Nov 2, 9, 16, 30 Dec 7, 14 Could this 13th-century Jew ever have imagined that his name would be on the front of so many hospitals in the 21st century? Philosopher, Talmudic sage, doctor to sultans, jurist, and leader; how did Maimonides become a Renaissance man before the Renaissance even existed? Who was his God? How did he relate to Islam? How did he harmonize philosophy and Judaism? Learn how Maimonides was able to integrate science, faith, and a turbulent personal life into a coherent unity.

Artists Beit Midrash

Rabbi Yael Shmilovitz and Tobi Kahn
7:009:00pm | Oct 24, 31 Nov 7, 14, 21, 28 Dec 5
Ish and Isha. Man and Woman. Strength, wisdom, bravery, beauty, love, vanity, ugliness, holiness often gendered; often in surprising waysall hold the key to the riddle of who we are, to the mystery of being human. In our collective imagination male and female hold typically unique qualities, but what is gender in Torah? Is there such a thing as feminine violence? What does masculine tenderness look like? Is there more to her and him, hee and hu, than meets the eye? Is there an in-between?

Apply your artistic talents to the theme : He and She as you explore Jewish sources, inspiring you to create new visual commentaries on the ancient texts of our tradition. Now in its tenth year, the Artists Beit Midrash is co-facilitated by a rabbi and a renowned artist whose own work blends modern art with the life of the spirit.

Writers Beit Midrash

Shelly R. Fredman
7:009:00pm | Oct 24, 31 Nov 7, 14, 21, 28 Dec 5

Join a group of creative non-fiction and memoir writers to explore texts that inspire and amaze us, encourage us to wrestle with meaning, and stimulate the connections between our writing and our lives. Engage in discussions that will spur creativity and spark imaginative exchange on the theme : He and She.
NOTE: No professional writing experience is required.

6 | Fall Courses

Evening Courses
Ancient Egypt in the Bible: Myth or History?
WEDNESDAY Dr. Diane M. Sharon
The Leon Finley Course in Jewish Studies 6:308:00pm | Oct 26 Nov 2, 9, 16, 30 Dec 7, 14

The relationship between Israel and Egypt goes back to the very origins of the Hebrews in the Bible. Abraham flees to Egypt during a famine in Canaan, and passes off his wife, Sarah, as his sister. Thus begins an ambivalent, and often tempestuous, relationship between the Hebrews and the Land of Egypt. Examine the literary and theological functions of the stories of Israel and Egypt in Genesis, bringing to bear the available archaeological evidence that supports or refutes biblical accounts from Abraham and Sarah to the death of Joseph.
Interested in this course? See also Bible: The Weekly Torah Portion, p. 8.

Semitic tribes entering Egypt: The Beni-Hasan tomb painting (19th century BCE)

Classical Talmudic Stories

Dr. David Kraemer
The Pincus Family Course in Jewish Studies 6:308:00pm | Oct 26 Nov 2, 9, 16, 30 Dec 7, 14

There are certain Talmudic stories that are told over and over again. Stories of the death of Rabbi Aqiba at the hands of the Romans, of the events leading up to the destruction of the Temple, and of Hillel and the convert have become classics. Study these and other great Talmudic stories in depth and askwhy are they so important? What do they teach us about the Judaism that the Rabbis formed as well as our own?

A certain gentile came before Shammai and said to him, Make me a Jew, on condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot. Thereupon he repulsed him with the builders cubit which was in his hand. He then came before Hillel, who converted him. Hillel said to him: What is hateful to you, do not to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the commentary. Go and learn it. Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Shabbat 31a

Rav Kook and the Heroism of the Holy

Dr. Daniel Rynhold
6:308:00pm | Oct 26 Nov 2, 9, 16, 30 Dec 7, 14

The philosopher-mystic Rabbi Abraham Isaac ha-Kohen Kook (1865-1935), better known as Rav Kook, cuts an unusual figure in the world of early 20thcentury Jewish philosophy. Discover the philosophy that led this ultra-Orthodox Rabbi to become a Zionist admired by religious and secular Jews alike; learn how he valued both atheism and the theory of evolution, and how his legacy was subsequently used and abused on the Israeli political scene.
Interested in this course? See also Nietzsche and Judaism, p. 8. And narrow-mindedness, which causes one to see all that is outside the bounds of ones own nation, even if it be outside the bounds of the Jewish people, as naught but ugliness and impurity is one of the worst kinds of darkness, which completely destroys the whole structure of spiritual good for whose light every noble soul yearns. Rav Abraham Isaac Kook

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Revelation and Authority: Whose Judaism Is It?

Dr. Neil Gillman
6:308:00pm | Oct 26 Nov 2, 9, 16, 30 Dec 7, 14

According to Jewish tradition, the Torah was given at Mount Sinai. What exactly was given? In modern times, scholars began asking whether the Sinaitic moment happened at all, and contemporary thinkers wonder whether it even matters. What is revelation? What is interpretation? Who decides? What is the nature of religious authority? Study approaches ranging from fundamentalist to radical as we explore different Jewish models of revelation including recent theological statements by thinkers such as Arthur Green and Benjamin Sommer.

A myth [is] a structure through which a community organizes and makes sense of its experience. The world out there does not impinge itself on us in a totally objective way. Myths are the spectacles that enable us to see order in what would otherwise be confusion. Neil Gillman, Sacred Fragments

The Vatican and the Jews

Dr. Ariella Lang
The William Rosenwald and Ruth Israels Rosenwald Course in Contemporary Jewish History 6:308:00pm | Oct 26 Nov 2, 9, 16, 30 Dec 7, 14

The relationship between Jews and Christians for most of their 2000-year history has been an uneasy onepunctuated by expulsion, forced conversion, massacres, and other forms of violence. Examine the relationship between Jews and the Catholic Church, beginning with the Inquisition period, through the emancipation era and leading up to and during the Holocaust. Is there a link between officially sanctioned images of the Jew on the part of the Vatican and the social and political anti-Semitism of the 20th century?

Prague never lets you go . . . this dear little mother has sharp claws. Franz Kafka, letter to Oskar Pollak

Prague Cemetery

Prague in Jewish Letters

Dr. Freema Gottlieb
6:308:00pm | Oct 26 Nov 2, 9, 16, 30 Dec 7, 14

What does the holy city of Prague signify in Jewish writing? Delve into works by Kafka, Ivan Klima, Jiri Weil, Frantisek Langer, Pragues famed chief rabbi Judah Bezalel Loew (the Maharal), Philip Roth, Aharon Appelfeld, W. G. Sebald, and Milan Kundera. Ask yourself: how does Pragues peculiar blend of architectures from medieval times and the tumbling gravestones of the Old Jewish Cemetery come to signify the erasure of memory of a lost European Jewish culture?

8 | Fall Courses

Daytime Courses
Bible: The Weekly Torah Portion
TUESDAY Arlene Agus
The Robert S. and Kimberly R. Kravis Course in Jewish Studies 12:302:00pm | Oct 18, 25 Nov 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

Each week, in synagogues throughout the world, Jews read an identical section of the Torah.This yearly cycle is both study and ritual, an ongoing immersion in the rhythm, wisdom, history, and timeless foundation of Jewish civilization. Enter the world of the Hebrew Bible beginning with Chapter One, Verse One. Meet generations of commentators, contend with challenging texts, and acquire the tools to trace new levels of meaning in these Five Books of Moses.
Interested in this course? See also Ancient Egypt in the Bible: Myth or History? p. 6.

Nietzsche and Judaism

WEDNESDAY Dr. Daniel Rynhold
The Hans A. Vogelstein Course in Jewish Studies 12:302:00pm | Oct 26 Nov 2, 9, 16, 30 Dec 7, 14

Friedrich Nietzsche, the 19th-century German philosopher, is one of the most fascinating and controversial thinkers of the modern era. What he had a to say about religion in general and Judaism in particular is not very complimentary. But is it possible to see Nietzsche as more than a virulent anti-Semite who provided Nazism with its conceptual underpinnings? Examine the relationship between Nietzsche and Judaism and look at how his potent critique of religion has been dealt with by a number of modern Jewish thinkers.

One must have loved religion and art like mother and nurseotherwise one cannot grow wise. But one must be able to see beyond them, outgrow them; if one remains under their spell, one does not understand them. Nietzsche

Portrait of Friedrich Nietzsche

Interested in this course? See also Rav Kook and the Heroism of the Holy, p. 6.

Simply Maimonides: An Encounter with the Greatest Jewish Mind of All Time*
Rabbi Alfredo F. Borodowski, PhD
The Harrison S. Kravis Course in Jewish Studies 2:003:30pm | Oct 26 Nov 2, 9, 16, 30 Dec 7, 14
*See page 5 for course description.

or 6:308:00pm | Oct 24, 31 Nov 7, 14, 21, 28 Dec 5

Early Morning Talmud

THURSDAY Rabbi Ysoscher Katz
7:309:00am | Oct 27 Nov 3, 10, 17 Dec 1, 8, 15

Always wondered what that Talmud thing is all about, but havent found the serious context to uncover it? Love Talmud and want to return to that counterintuitive discourse? Join an intimate group of dedicated Talmud students of all levels for a foray into the mind of the Talmud. With the destruction of the Second Temple Jewish life changed from a Temple-centered lifestyle, in which men were away from home for extended periods, oblivious to their obligations towards their families, to a lifestyle that is home-centered. Study the fourth tractate of Ketubot and see how the Rabbis engineered an infrastructure for a vibrant and functional society, namely to determine the responsibilities men have towards their wives, children, parents, and community in this new reality, and explore the degree to which their views of a healthy society are in consonance with contemporary values and sensibilities.

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Save the date!

As part of a two-day conference called Genesis and Revolution: On Gender, Power, and Authority in Jewish Life, jointly sponsored by The Skirball Center and the Shalom Hartman Institute, we will be hosting a special lecture open to the public. More details to follow.

A partnership of

Do you know
about The Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning?

The Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning at Temple Emanu-El was launched in 2001 to provide a new kind of Jewish learning experience for adults in the New York City area. Skirball offers opportunities for in-depth study of the great Jewish texts and ideas in a warm and open environment.

Skirball offers three semesters of Jewish learning throughout the year. Our Fall semester begins in October 2011. Skirballs program includes Sunday Seminars and other stand-alone events, as well as evening and daytime courses that meet once a week. Most weekly classes are 90 minutes long and extend over 7 or 8 weeks so that in-depth learning and a sense of community can be realized. Early morning study groups, special lectures, and other events are scheduled throughout the year.

For many people, Jewish study is the primary way of expressing their Jewishness. At Skirball we are creating a Jewish home for adults of all ages and backgrounds who share in Judaisms passion and enthusiasm for learning.

Skirball students are seekers and thinkers from all streams of Judaism, and from throughout the tri-state area. Students range in age from 20 to 90+, and many are in their peak years of career development or community leadership. Our courses attract beginners and advanced studentsoften in the same classroom. Texts are translated; for most courses no background in Hebrew is required. Skirball faculty are master teachers scholars from many different disciplines, from all streams of Judaism, from the United States, Israel, and around the world.

We are located around the corner from Temple Emanu-El, at 10 East 66th Street, between Fifth and Madison Avenues. Some courses are held at One East 65th Street. Skirball can be reached by bus: M1, M2, M3, M4, M18, M66, M72; and by subway: N/R/Q 5th Avenue Station, 4/5/6 59th Street Station or 68th Street Station, F Lexington Avenue/63rd Street. Selected courses, events, and learning opportunities are held at other sites. Check the course guide for course location.


7:30pm | Thursday, Nov 17, 2011 | FREE

10 | Fall Courses

Pictured left to right, beginning with top row ARLENE AGUS is Jewish Resource Advisor to Jewish Child Care Association and an executive consultant to Jewish family foundations. She is a contributing author to Beginning Anew: A Womans Companion to the High Holidays and What Happens After I Die? RABBI ALFREDO F. BORODOWSKI, PhD, is the Executive Director of The Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning. Previously, he served as Executive Director of The Hartman Institute North America. Alfredo was ordained as a rabbi by the Seminario Rabinico Latino Americano and received an MA in Rabbinic Literature and a doctorate in Jewish Philosophy from JTS. He also holds a law degree from the University of Buenos Aires. He published Isaac Abravanel on Miracles, Creation, Prophecy, and Evil in 2003 (Peter Lang Press). SHELLY R. FREDMAN teaches writing at Barnard College. She received an MFA from Washington University and has taught at the University of MissouriSt. Louis Honors College. Her work has appeared in Best Jewish Writing 2002, First Harvest, the Chicago Tribune Magazine, Lilith, and a number of anthologies and literary magazines. DR. NEIL GILLMAN is Professor Emeritus of Jewish Philosophy at JTS. A world-renowned thinker and teacher, Neil is the author of several seminal books on Jewish theology, most recently Doing Jewish Theology: God, Torah and Israel in Modern Judaism (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2008). RABBI DANIEL C. GOLDFARB is the Director of the Conservative Yeshiva of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism in Jerusalem. He is a native of Boston, and a graduate of Harvard College, Columbia Law School, and JTS. He made aliya in 1976 and worked as an attorney before joining the Yeshiva in July 2000. He has taught at Limmud in England and New York and at synagogues in Israel, Europe, and North America. DR. FREEMA GOTTLIEB was a peripatetic teacher of Torah in the Prague Jewish community and Bohemia and visiting professor of Midrash in Pragues Charles University. She has written the meditational text for a book of photographs of symbols on Jewish gravestones: Mystical Stonescapes in Pragues Old Jewish Cemetery and in Bohemia. TOBI KAHN is an internationally acclaimed painter and sculptor whose work has been shown in over 40 solo exhibitions and over 60 museum and group shows. He is the cofounder of Avoda Arts and has taught at the School of Visual Arts in New York since 1985. RABBI YSOSCHER KATZ is the Director of the Beit Midrash Program at Yeshivat Chovevi Torah and the Director of Judaic Studies at the Luria Academy. He received ordination in 1986 from Rabbi Roth, dayan of UTA Satmer. Rabbi Katz studied at Brisk Yeshiva and at Yeshivat Beis Yosef, Navaradok and is a graduate of the HaShaar Program for Jewish Educators. He lectures widely and teaches adult education classes in numerous venues. He was a leading teacher of a daf yomi class in Borough Park for over eight years. JUDY KLITSNER is a senior faculty member at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, where she has taught courses in Bible and biblical exegesis for nearly two decades. She lectures widely to diverse and multidenominational audiences in Israel, the U.S., and Europe and is the author of the recent groundbreaking book, Subversive Sequels in the Bible: How Biblical Stories Mine and Undermine Each Other (Jewish Publication Society, 2009). DR. DAVID KRAEMER is Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at JTS, where he is also Joseph J. and Dora Abbell Librarian, overseeing the greatest collection of Judaica in the Western world. Among his many publications is his recently published Jewish Eating and Identity Through the Ages (Routledge, 2008).

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DR. ARIELLA LANG has a PhD in Italian Studies from Columbia University. She has taught at both Barnard College and Rutgers University, and her interests include Vatican-Jewish relations, Holocaust studies, and the relationship between religion and national identity. She has published a number of articles in these areas, and her book, Converting a Nation: A Modern Inquisition and the Unification of Italy, was published in 2008. She currently works at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University. MICHAL NACHMANY is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Michal has taught liturgical, biblical, and modern Hebrew for more than 20 years at synagogues and other institutions throughout New York City. DR. ADOLFO ROITMAN is the Lizbeth and George Krupp Curator of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Head of the Shrine of the Book at The Israel Museum in Jerusalem. A native of Argentina, he holds a Licenciado from the University of Buenos Aires, an MA in Comparative Religion, and a PhD in Ancient Jewish Thought from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is also an ordained conservative rabbi. Adolfo is the author of four books, including The Bible in the Shrine of the Book: From the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Aleppo Codex, as well as numerous articles. DR. DANIEL RYNHOLD serves as Associate Professor of Modern Jewish Philosophy at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, Yeshiva University, having previously held a post at Kings College London since 2001. Educated at the universities of Cambridge and London, Daniel was a fixture on the adult education circuit in the United Kingdom, and is the author of Two Models of Jewish Philosophy: Justifying Ones Practices and An Introduction to Medieval Jewish Philosophy (2009).

RABBI LEONARD A. SCHOOLMAN has been engaged in interfaith adult education for more than 15 years, founding and directing the acclaimed Center for Religious Inquiry at St. Bartholomews Church in New York. Rabbi Schoolman has been a leader in bringing Jews and Muslims to the same table and advocating new understandings of Judaism by Muslims, and of Islam by Jews. He has participated in and led visits to Israel and Jordan by Jewish, Christian, and Muslim interfaith groups. DR. DIANE M. SHARON is a member of the faculty in Bible at the Academy for Jewish Religion. She has taught at JTS, Fordham University, General Theological Seminary (Episcopal), and other institutions of higher learning. Her area of expertise is the Hebrew Bible in its context in the ancient Near East, comparative religion, and womens studies. RABBI YAEL SHMILOVITZ is the Program Director of the Skirball Center. She is a graduate of the University of Haifa and was ordained by HUC-JIR, where she also received a master of arts in Religious Education. A native Israeli, Yael is co-author of Resilience of the Soul: Developing Emotional and Spiritual Resilience in Adolescents and Their Families (URJ Press). DR. REGINA STEIN has taught for the Wexner Heritage Foundation, CLAL, and the Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel, as well as the Academy for Jewish Religion, JTS, Temple University, and the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. She is formerly the National Director of the Hadassah Leadership Academy. DR. MARK WEISSTUCH received his doctorate in Theater History from the City University of New York. He has taught courses on the Second Temple, general Jewish history, the history of the Jews in Poland and Eastern Europe, and various subjects related to the Holocaust. Mark is Administrative Vice President of Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York.

12 | Fall Courses

The Mystery of the Jewish Zodiac and the Blessings of Complexity

A letter from the Executive Director
You may be wondering what a zodiac is doing on the front of the Skirball course guide. Have we at Skirball suffered a crisis of idolatry? And even more perplexing: A closer look at the picture on the cover reveals that written above each of the zodiac symbols is a Hebrew word! Well, it may be surprising, but this stunning mosaic was meticulously crafted for a 6th-century synagogue in Beit Alpha in northern Israel. A Greek inscription honoring the memory of the two artists who made the mosaic, Marianus and his son Hanina, is found on the entryway to the synagogue. The zodiac depicts the names of the twelve astrological signs in Hebrew. In the center, we see the sun being whisked away by four galloping horses. The women in the four corners of the mosaic represent the four seasons. Many are unaware that there ever was a relationship between Judaism and the zodiac, but in reality, this mosaic is not a rare deviation from Jewish practice and style. In fact, similar ones have been found in flourishing and central towns such as Sepporis in the Galilee. In addition to its exquisiteness, we selected this mosaic as emblematic of the Judaism we cherish and seek to share. The world is traversing uncertain and difficult times. In periods of crisis and insecurity, it is easy to fall prey to intellectual and spiritual regression. Uncertainty craves simplistic solutions; doubt likes easy answers. It is a seductive and deceitful proposition we must resist. And thus we present the Beit Alpha mosaic as a representative of an open conversation, of a Judaism that always engages in an interesting, challenging dialogue with surrounding cultures and current realities. Further, this mosaic reveals another mosaic: the thematic kaleidoscope of Skirballs Fall offerings, ranging from archaeology to modern Jewish literature. We are not a one-size-fitsall institution, because that is an unrealistic model of Judaism. What we offer is a wide variety of topics and approaches, so that there is something for everyone. And just as a mosaic's imperfect pieces join together to create beauty and meaning, each of you who come to study at Skirball holds a piece of the puzzle forming the endless dialogue that makes up the whole of Judaism. You are responsible for taking your fragment and doing something meaningful with it to create a beautiful mosaic. Welcome to the Fall semester. Rabbi Alfredo F. Borodowski, PhD, Executive Director

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he Skirball Center links people to Jewish study that is relevant and meaningful. For many, Jewish study is the primary way of expressing their Jewishness. At Skirball we are creating a Jewish home for adults of all ages and backgrounds who share in Judaisms passion and enthusiasm for learning.

General Information
TO CONTACT US Phone Fax Email Web 212.507.9580 212.570.0826 info@adultjewishlearning.org adultjewishlearning.org
Cancellation Policy and Missed Classes The Skirball Center reserves the right to cancel courses for insufficient enrollment. Tuition cannot be pro-rated if you cannot attend all class sessions. The Skirball Center is unable to record class sessions that you miss. Please arrange to borrow notes or have a classmate record the class for you, instead. Photocopies of hand-outs from missed classes will be provided in person or via mail, upon request, and without charge. Library Privileges All students enrolled in a 7-week Skirball Center course have borrowing privileges for one year at the Ivan M. Stettenheim Library, Congregation Emanu-Els own extensive collection. For information including hours call 212.744.1400, ext. 361, or visit www.emanuelnyc.org/library. For the Visually Impaired The Jewish Braille Institute can make it possible for any visually impaired or blind person to participate in courses at The Skirball Center. Given reasonable lead time, JBI can prepare relevant reading materials in the appropriate format. For more information or to volunteer in the JBI studios call 800.433.1531. Administration Rabbi Alfredo F. Borodowski , PhD, Executive Director Rabbi Yael Shmilovitz, Program Director Michele Davison, Office Manager/Registrar Rachel Honeyman, Director of Communications

YOU MAY REGISTER BY Phone, fax, or online. Registration form and payment can also be sent to: Skirball Center One East 65th Street New York, NY 10065 PAYMENT INFORMATION Checks should be made payable to: Skirball Center We accept: MasterCard VISA American Express Discover

Getting There By Bus: M1, M2, M3, M4, M18, M66, M72 By Subway: N/R/Q 5th Ave./59th St. 4/5/6 59th St. or 68th St./Hunter College F Lexington Ave./63rd St. Scholarship Limited scholarships are available. Contact The Skirball Center to inquire. All inquiries remain strictly confidential. If you would like to contribute to our scholarship fund, please indicate so when you register. Refund Policy For ongoing classes, a full refund may be requested after the first Fall class meeting. After the second class, a credit of 75% will be given that may be used towards any course and is good for one year. No credit will be given after the third class. No refunds will be given for Sunday Seminars. All classes take place at 10 East 66th Street, except for Sunday Seminars, special lectures, and Early Morning Talmud, which take place around the corner, at One East 65th Street.

Advisory Council Dr. Steven Bayme Roger Bennett Dr. David Gordis Dr. Frances Gottfried Dr. Lisa Grant Dr. Michelle Lynn-Sachs Dr. Kerry Olitzky Dr. David M. Posner Fred Rosenbaum Dr. Robert Seltzer Barry Shrage Dr. Ronald B. Sobel Leah Strigler Marcia Waxman

Leadership Circle Vicki Abrams Robert Baum Sonia Simon Cummings Sheila Foster Barbara C. Freedman Marc Haves Edward Kerson Lori Perlow Robert Schwalbe Marcia Waxman



Registration Discounted early registration fees

are highlighted below. Early registration must be received BY SEPTEMBER 26.


2 From Serpent to Satan: The Story of Paradise in Archaeology, Biblical Interpretation, and Art (Oct 16) A Hebrew Marathon (Oct 23) Roitman $60 F101



2 3


$60 $60


F102 F103

PAYMENT METHOD Check off payment method. Send form to: Skirball Center One East 65th Street New York, NY 10065 Check made payable to Skirball Center Credit Card: MasterCard VISA American Express Discover

From Madoff to Weiner: Goldfarb Is Sin a Growth Industry? (Nov 6) Why Bad Things Happen to Good Biblical Characters: The Opposing Cases of Abraham and Job (Nov 20) The Biblical Jacob: Our Dubious Patriarch (Dec 4) Klitsner






4 4 4 5 Encounter: Islam and Judaism But Is It True? The Bible, Archaeology, and History Judaism and Early Christianity: Intersections and Divergences Schoolman Stein Weisstuch


$240 $240 $240

$270 F201 $270 F202 $270 F203


Simply Maimonides: An Encounter with the Greatest Borodowski Jewish Mind of All Times Artists Beit Midrash Writers Beit Midrash Shmilovitz/ Kahn Fredman

$240 $290 $290

$270 F204 $325 F205 $325 F206


5 5

Tuition reductions may not be combined. Discounts do not apply to 1-day events. Please indicate which discount, if any, applies. An individual registering for more than one full-semester course: take 20% off each additional course Members of Temple Emanu-El: take 15% off each course Senior citizen (age 65 and older): take 10% off each course Age 30 and below: take 10% off each course

8 Bible: The Weekly Torah Portion Agus $240 $270 F301

8 8 Nietzsche and Judaism Rynhold $240 $240 $270 F401 $270 F402 Simply Maimonides: Borodowski An Encounter with the Greatest Jewish Mind of All Time Ancient Egypt in the Bible: Myth or History? Classical Talmudic Stories Rav Kook and the Heroism of the Holy Revelation and Authority: Whose Judaism Is It? The Vatican and the Jews Prague in Jewish Letters Sharon Kraemer Rynhold Gillman Lang Gottlieb

6 6 6 7 7 7

$240 $240 $240 $240 $240 $240

$270 F403 $270 F404 $270 F405 $270 F406 $270 F407 $270 F408


(discounts do not apply to 1-day events)

Yes, I want to support Jewish

learning at The Skirball Center. Enclosed is my tax-deductible contribution in the amount of

8 Early Morning Talmud Katz $240 $270 F501

$ _________________________ .

Cost of classes (above) PLUS contribution:
$ ___________________

I want to make it possible for students with financial need to attend The Skirball Center. Enclosed is my contribution to the Scholarship Fund in the amount of $ _________________. My gift is in memory/in honor of _________________________________________________ Please notify __________________________________________________________________


Thank you!
Endowment for Our Future
Anonymous Thomas Epstein*

These friends and students have made generous contributions to The Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning.
Annual Support for Our Program
Contributions made between June 1, 2010 and May 31, 2011 Leaders Anonymous The Skirball Foundation Benefactors Anonymous The Nathan Cummings Foundation The Charles and Carol Grossman Family Fund Sustainers Anonymous Neil and Juliet Cooper Bettijane L. Eisenpreis Geller & Company Carol Grossman Paul J. Isaac, Esq. Edward W. Kerson Painted Flower Fund Perlow Family Foundation Ethel Romm Dr. Robert and Janie Schwalbe The Julius Stulman Foundation Supporters Stephen Dubner Larry and Lisa Frankel Judith Hannan Elliot S. Leibowitz Rosalind Pretzfelder Dr. Ronald and Joanne Sobel Marcia and Robert N. Waxman Gerald and Shirah Zeller Friends Milton Adesnik Harold Anfang Carol Anshien Michelle Ashley Michael Blumenstein Murry and Leona Brochin Beth Flusser Deborah Fogarty Ellen French Richard and Barbara Glickman Caroline Harris Frances A. Hess Mark H. Heutlinger and Bonnie Cutler Henry and Terri Jasen Andrew J. Ely and Rachel Kanter Dr. Ralph and Jessica Kaslick Earle and Judith Kazis Stephen and Susan Kippur Robert Libbey Myra R. Lipman Michael and Anita Malina Masters Group Design Patrick Moriarty Rabbi Leon A. Morris and Dasee Berkowitz David Rheingold Dr. Lee R. Robbins Norbert Robbins Paula Roga David and Charlotte Rosensweig Jennifer and Joshua Rubenstein Darone Ruskay and Rabbi Stephanie Ruskay Dr. Jill Salberg Viviane Sallay Alan R. Samuels Charlotte Schluger Arthur and Myrna Schore Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller Ellie Silk Arlene Sokolow Rabbi Abigail N. Sosland Sara Stein Stephen Steinig Peter Tyor Rona E. Weinstein Alvin Weiss and many others Skirball students (between 2001 and 2011)

Leon Finley* For the Leon Finley Course in Jewish Studies Richard Gilder For the Jane Moyse Gilder Course in Jewish History Charles and Carol Grossman Family Fund-NYCT* Josephine C.S. Jordan* For the Hortense Jordan Course in Ethics Henry Kravis For the Robert S. and Kimberly R. Kravis Course in Jewish Studies; and the Harrison S. Kravis Course in Jewish Studies Lionel I. Pincus* For the Pincus Family Course in Jewish Studies William Rosenwald* For the William Rosenwald and Ruth Israels Rosenwald Course in Contemporary Jewish History The Skirball Foundation John Vogelstein For the Hans A. Vogelstein Course in Jewish Studies The Women's Auxiliary of Temple Emanu-El In honor of Dr. Ronald B. Sobel

Because ideas can transform us. Because Jewish texts belong to each and every one of us. Because we need not take our texts literally in order to take them seriously. We need your support.
Please use this form to send a contribution to The Skirball Center.
One East 65th Street, New York, NY 10065 | Or donate online at www.adultjewishlearning.org

Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York One East 65th Street | New York, NY 10065

Visit www.adultjewishlearning.org for additional information.


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Who studies at Skirball?

Jews and Orthodox Jews, Conservative Jews, Reconstructionist Jews. Im just a Jew Jews. Non-Jews. Secular Jews. Twenty-five
year olds, eighty-five year olds. Forty year olds and sixty

Women and men. Reform

year olds. Straight Jews and gay Jews. Atheists, theists, agnostics.

Manhattanites and Brooklynites. Im from Queens. The Bronx. Jersey. Israelis,

Canadians, Germans, Brits.
all's e-mail Join Skirb a few ly list! It's on Text: y. clicks awa

Hebrew-speaking Jews, Russian-speaking Jews, Yiddish-speaking Jews. Seasoned

ARNING JEWISHLE 8 to to 2282

d! get starte

learners. I haventsince my

Bar Mitzvah! Jews who

say: I want to learn.

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