Beginning September 23, proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required to access the SJCC.Get all the details here.

Cultural and Educational Classes

For more information contact Sue Potechin
Adult Education & Cultural Programs Manager
spotechin@jccottawa.com • (613) 798-9818 ext. 254

 

  1. To register click on the purple Login/Register tab at the top right of the page and follow the prompts.
  2. All of the below courses and lectures will be held via Zoom. After registering you will receive your Zoom invitation the day before classes begin.
  3. Course registration is stopped three days before courses/lectures begin.

Stimulate your mind and your soul at the SJCC. Learn a new language, take a literature course to discuss current affairs, or, be part of the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning. It’s always a good time to learn something new!

Melton Registration

Please click here to register for Melton programs via their website. 
All fees are in USD.

 

Biblical Women: Emerging from the Margins Through Midrash (Hybrid – option to be in person or online)

In this ten-lesson course, learners will delve into reading classical and modern midrash, exploring some of the major female figures of the Bible, and gaining multiple perspectives on their characters, relationships, and choices. By utilizing the midrash’s strategy that reads texts very closely, the “behind the scenes” will be uncovered—clarifying issues that are seemingly unaddressed in the biblical text but can be found when looking for textual hints.  Learners will discover how the form and content of midrash changes as contemporary writers and artists add their interpretations to ancient traditions. In the fertile ground of midrashic study, these biblical women emerge from the margins of the biblical text becoming full characters whose legacies guide and inspire.

The course will answer questions like:

  • What became of Eve when she leaves the Garden of Eden?
  • How did Sarah react to the Binding of Isaac?
  • What conversations transpired between sisters Rachel and Leah as co-wives of Jacob?
  • What motivated Lot’s wife to look back at the destruction of Sedom?
  • What thoughts went through Yocheved’s mind when she placed Moses in the Nile?
  • What factors motivated Pharoah’s daughter’s defiance of her father’s decree?
  • What behind-the-scenes interactions occurred between Deborah, the judge, and Yael, the Kenite, in the battle against the Canaanites and their general Sisera?
  • Did Hannah come to terms with her vow to have the son for whom she had desperately prayed serve in the Sanctuary, separated from her?

September 23 – December 2 (10 weeks)
Thursdays, 10:00 – 11:30 am
Instructor: Rabbi Debra Eisenman

No class: November 25

Rabbi Debra Eisenman represents the seventeenth generation of Rabbis in her family. She has been a Florence Melton Instructor for nearly ten years and was honored to receive the title of “Master Instructor.”  She is committed to bringing innovative, interactive, pluralistic, and spiritual learning to the adult Jewish community.

After holding pulpits in Illinois and New York, Rabbi Eisenman and her family moved to Boca Raton and she became the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Tikvah. She transitioned to becoming the head chaplain at the hospice care center in Boca Raton. Rabbi Eisenman currently resides with her husband Marc Gelberg in West Palm Beach, Florida and is the proud mother of Samantha, 18 and Joey, 16.

Leadership Defied and Defended (Numbers/Bemidbar) (Hybrid – option to be in person or online)

The fateful journey of Israel’s wandering in the wilderness presented numerous tests for Moses and Aaron. Over and again their leadership was questioned with various personalities rising to challenge them. In exploring the biblical narratives describing the 40-year journey, learners will be surprised to note the timeless nature of the stories and how their lessons can be applied to solving communal challenges of the present and future. This course introduces literary tools often used in biblical scholarship encouraging us to pause and rethink commonly held beliefs about perceived heroes and rebels of the narrative so familiar to us.

October 18 – December 20 (10 weeks)
Mondays, 10:00 – 11:30 am
Instructor: Rabbi Steven H. Garten

OMG, Can You Believe? (Hybrid – option to be in person or online)

In this six-week exploratory course, we’ll dive into the BIG questions around God and God’s relationship to Humankind. We’ll examine the many different understandings of God, free will, and mitzvot expressed by Jewish philosophers, rabbis, leaders past and present—and you. We’ll explore the divine, the prophetic, and even the supernatural, as we amplify and dissect your deepest God-questions. Just do not expect to leave with any final answers.

October 6 – November 10 (6 weeks)
Wednesdays, 8:00 – 9:30 pm
Instructors: Rabbi Liz Bolton, Rabbi Daniel Mikelberg, and Rabbi Deborah Zuker

LANGUAGE

Hebrew Chug (on Zoom)

Want to practice your Conversational Hebrew but you don’t have anyone to practice with? Join Sue for an informal hour of conversation and an opportunity to meet other Hebrew speakers. (Sorry…not intended for fluent speakers for now).

Thursdays, 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm (11 weeks)
September 30 – December 16
$36 Members • $45 Non-Members
Instructor: Sue Potechin
No Class: November 4

Yiddish Conversation Circle (on Zoom)

… for lovers of Yiddish

Wednesdays, October 6 – December 22 (12 weeks)
2:00 pm – 3:15 pm
$40 Members & Non-Members
Instructors: Ellen Caplan and Judith Weinman
Space limited.

Spanish for Beginners (on Zoom)

Join Samantha in your journey to learning Spanish! This course will teach you basic vocabulary and grammar for traveling through the Hispanic world. With a dash of history and a pinch of music culture, this class will be a recipe for success if you are looking to learn how to converse in Spanish.

Mondays, 1:00 – 2:00 pm 
November 1 – December 6 (6 weeks)
$118 SJCC Member •  $136 Non Member
Instructor: Samantha Ruckenstein

Samantha Ruckenstein is a PhD candidate in Hispanic Studies at McGill University. She completed her Master’s in Hispanic Literatures and Cultures with a specialization in Medieval studies at the University of Toronto. She is an intern with the Canadian Association of Hispanists, a Digital Humanities Scholar at the Centre for Early Modern Visual Culture at Mount Allison University and has been a course instructor at McGill University and TA at both McGill University and the University of Toronto. We welcome her as a new instructor at the Soloway JCC. 

 

Hebrew Beginner Level 2 (on Zoom)

In a continuation of Hebrew Beginner Level 1, participants will practice their conversational Hebrew with some minimal reading. Develop better control of your Hebrew vocabulary and focus on comprehension and pronunciation. Expanded greetings, numbers (regular and ordinal), conjugations in present tense and more.

Tuesdays, October 12 – November 30 (8 weeks)
10:30 am – 12:00 pm
SJCC Members $150 • Non Members $165
Instructor: Ella Dagan

LITERATURE

Literature for the Cycle of the Year (Hybrid – option to be in person or online)

The cycle of the year and seasonal changes inspire the literary imagination.  This course will examine poems, short stories and excerpts from longer literary works that respond to nature, the seasons and the emotions and experiences that they evoke.  We will also study works of poetry and fiction related to the Jewish holidays through the cycle of the year (different from the works that were previously studied in the literature-for-the-Jewish-holidays course).  The course will encourage an appreciation of how the cycle of the year and the connection to nature help to shape and enrich the human spirit.  Many of the texts we study will be freely available on the Internet (older texts not subject to copyrights).  For newer texts that are not freely available on the Internet, you will not need to read the texts in advance (the instructor will present them in a manner that will be accessible also to people who have not read the texts).  If you would like to receive a reading list before the first class, please email Gefen Bar-On Santor at gbaronsa@uottawa.ca

Tuesdays, October 5 – November 9
1:30 – 3:00 pm
SJCC Members $150 • Non Members $165
Instructor: Gefen Bar-On Santor

Adventure Stories: Fact, Fiction & the Fantastic (Hybrid – option to be in person or online)

Adventure stories have long confronted their characters with unfamiliar locales, unexpected incidents, and a thrilling mix of danger and opportunity. Such stories can involve a variety of approaches and genres as well, from mystery writing to travelogues to flights of the imagination. How do the conventions of storytelling frame these adventures? How do authors shape our response by choosing what details to reveal, and when? How do people who have lived through dramatic or unusual events convey that experience to an audience? Through discussions of writing by authors like G.K. Chesterton, Margaret Laurence, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Katherine Anne Porter – as well as excerpts from classical, medieval, and early modern texts – participants will explore these and other questions.

Wednesdays, November 10 – December 15 
9:30 – 11:30 am
$150 SJCC Members • $165 Non Members
Instructor: Nick Milne, PhD

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