Adult Education

Adult education events offered by Eitz Chayim are open to the public.

  • On Tuesdays we meet in the library at 7:30 am to study the weekly Torah portion.
  • At other times during the school year, we provide programming on a wide variety of topics ranging from a Jewish perspective on contemporary events to Jewish literature, philosophy, and texts.  Stay tuned to the updates for information.

Jews and Christians in the First 400 Years: Meah Select Fall 2017

Posted by Penina on August 18, 2017 in Adult_ed, events, General, Meah_select

Jews and Christians in the First 400 Years
Instructor: Rabbi Micha’el Rosenberg, PhD
Ten Mondays 7:00 – 9:15 p.m. Starting 10/16/17
Class Calendar Below       Course Fee $360

  Eventbrite - Jews and Christians in the First 400 Years: Meah Select @ Eitz Chayim

Financial aid and information about class:
Sara Riedner Brown, Associate Director, Me’ah (617) 559-8708  meah@hebrewcollege.edu

Logistics at Eitz Chayim
Penina Weinberg, Meah Liaison   peninaw01@gmail.com

People often think of Christianity as a “daughter” religion of Judaism, breaking away from the earlier, more ancient religion in the first century CE to become its own, distinct religious identity. But is that a proper reading? Is it more accurate to see both Judaism and Christianity as denominations that arose contemporaneously in the first few hundred years of the common era? Through the study of ancient texts, we will gain a more nuanced understanding of the early beliefs and practices of Jews, Christians and Jewish Christians. We will also explore how these groups eventually gave rise to two distinct religions and what this early history teaches us about contemporary intra-Jewish debates, radical theologies, and Jewish-Christian relations. Scroll to end for exact schedule for classes beginning on October 16, 2017. more »


Muslim and Jewish stories on the Biblical Narratives: Meah Select Winter/Spring 2018

Posted by Penina on July 17, 2017 in Adult_ed, events, General, Meah_select

Muslim and Jewish stories on the Biblical Narratives
Instructor: Shari Lowin, PhD
Ten Mondays 7:00 – 9:30 p.m. Starting 01/29/18
Class Calendar Below       Course Fee $360

Eventbrite - Muslim and Jewish stories on the Biblical Narratives: Meah Select @ Eitz Chayim

Financial aid and information about class:
Sara Riedner Brown, Associate Director, Me’ah (617) 559-8708  meah@hebrewcollege.edu

Logistics at Eitz Chayim
Penina Weinberg, Meah Liaison   peninaw01@gmail.com

As brother religions vying for the same sacred history, Islam and Judaism trace the genesis of their spiritual and biological communities back to the very same founding parents. Yet Islam is not Judaism, Muslims are not Jews, and vice versa. Rather, the two traditions are, and understand themselves to be, distinct entities with distinct value systems. By comparing the Jewish and Muslim accounts of the shared Biblical ancestors, as well the often colorful exegesis on these narratives, this course will investigate various matters of moral and ethical concern to these communities and the lessons thereby imparted by each tradition. more »


Calendar and Cosmos: Meah Select Spring 2017

Posted by Penina on December 24, 2016 in Adult_ed, events, Meah_select

Calendar and Cosmos: Time as Sacred Dimension in Judaism
Instructor: Rabbi Nehemia Polen, PhD
Ten Wednesdays 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Starting 2/8/17
Class Calendar
Cost $360    Register for this class

Financial aid and information about class:
Sara Brown (617) 559-8708  meah@hebrewcollege.edu

Our course will trace how natural cycles of time structure the rituals and experiences of Judaism.  We will learn about the evolution of the Jewish calendar and will examine calendar controversies in Jewish history, as far back as the Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls. A special focus will be early narratives about the sun and moon, as expressed in rabbinic texts and the Kabbalah. The Talmudic myth of the moon’s diminution will serve to frame a discussion of the total solar eclipse that will take place in the United States this summer.  Our course aims to cultivate a deeper appreciation for the natural rhythms of our amazing universe and how they impact on our social and spiritual experience of life.

Rabbi Nehemia Polen, PhD  is a leading expert in Hasidism and Jewish thought. A widely published author, his books include “The Holy Fire: The Teachings of Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapira, the Rebbe of the Warsaw Ghetto” (Jason Aronson Inc., first ed., 1977); “The Rebbe’s Daughter” (Jewish Publication Society, 2002), based on Polen’s research as a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow and recipient of a National Jewish Book Award; and “Filling Words With Light: Hasidic and Mystical Reflections on Jewish Prayer” (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2004), written with Lawrence Kushner. Polen holds a doctorate from Boston University, where he studied with and served as a teaching fellow for Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel. Prior to his career in Jewish academia, Polen served for 23 years as a congregational rabbi.


Fateful Encounters – Meah Select Fall/Winter 2016-17

Posted by Penina on August 7, 2016 in Adult_ed, Meah_select

Fateful Encounter: Relations between Jews and Muslims in the Medieval and the Modern Islamic World
Instructor: Jacob Meskin, Ph.D
Ten Wednesdays 7:00 – 9:00 p.m Starting 11/2/2016


This course is intended to provide both a general overview, and some detailed vignettes of Jewish life under Islamic rule, primarily during the Middle Ages, and also during Modern times. Analyzing the complex relationship between Jews and Muslims in medieval Islamic societies, in particular, constitutes a fascinating intellectual and spiritual adventure in itself. However, studying the medieval period also turns out to be crucial for gaining a full understanding of relationships between Jews and Muslims in our times today.

Jacob Meskin, PhD both teaches in and trains faculty for Hebrew College’s Jewish adult-learning program, Me’ah, and is one of the co-authors of the curriculum for Parenting Through A Jewish Lens, in which he also teaches. In addition, he works as a consultant on adult Jewish education and teacher training in the Boston area. Prior to joining Hebrew College, Meskin was the inaugural holder of the Ruderman Chair in Jewish Studies at Northeastern University and taught at Princeton University, Rutgers University, the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Yeshiva University, Williams College and Lehigh University. His articles have appeared in Modern Judaism, The Journal of Religion, Soundings, Levinas Studies, Judaism, Cross Currents and in several edited volumes.

Wednesdays, 7:00 – 9:00 pm

Full Class Schedule:

November 2 – 1st Class   
November 9
November 16
November 23  – No Class   
November 30
December 7
December 14
December 21
December 28  – No Class-Winter vacation week
January 4
January 11
January 18  – Last Class

January 25Snow Day