Weekly Adult Education Classes

Classes taught by Rabbi Hillel Lavery-Yisraëli

Class schedule is always subject to change. Please contact the office to sign up and confirm attendance. info@iccj2004.org or (718) 591-5353.

Sundays, immediately after 9:00 am minyan (in-person with breakfast, and on Livestream) Introduction to Kabbalah

Begin to become acquainted with the complex concepts, ideas and systems of medieval Jewish mysticism. Is it authentic Judaism? We will attempt to become acquainted with the basic concepts and themes, study some texts both from the ‘traditional’ angle as well as a more scholarly/academic one, and see if and how it can relate to our modern lives.

Monday evenings, immediately after 7:30 PM minyan (hybrid: in-person and on Zoom)
Weekly Talmud
Tractate Avodah Zarah (Idolatry)

Avodah Zarah (Hebrew for ‘foreign worship’, i.e. ‘idolatry’) is a tractate of the Talmud mainly containing discussions on laws for Jews living among, and peacefully interacting with Gentiles, especially idolaters. While Judaism is famously non-proselytising and very live-and-let-live, it is also sometimes viscerally opposed to polytheism and worshipping physical objects.

This tractate deals with a fine balance: how do we remain authentic to our tradition while being respectful of others? How do we accept others rights to worship differently, without actively encouraging practices we believe to be inherently wrong? These discussions were pertinent 1500-2000 years ago when the Talmudic sages lived among Zoroastrians and Greco-Roman pagans, and are equally relevant to us today, albeit in a somewhat different way.

Thursday afternoons, 12:30 PM (in-person and on Livestream)
Lunch and Learn
Changing topics

Email (info@iccj2004.org) or call (718) 591-5353 for more details.

Shabbat afternoons, approx. 30 minutes before Candle Lighting (in-person only) Se’udah Shelishit Discussion Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah

Every Shabbat afternoon between Mincha and Ma’ariv we study selection of Maimonides’ Code of law while enjoying a light meal, singing, and celebrating the last minutes of Shabbat.

Fresh Bet Midrash

led by Rabbi Yonah Lavery-Yisraëli

Sunday evenings, 6:30 PM (in-person only)
Talmud, Tractate Horayot

Fresh Meadows has a Fresh Bet Midrash! Students learn Talmud using traditional, rigorous methods, learning texts in their original languages, Aramaic and Hebrew. It’s hard work, but the reward is a deeper, more intuitive understanding of the material. With the aid of an ocean of dictionaries and a desire to learn, you can do it too! And once you taste the freedom of reading for yourself, you won’t want to go back.

Any adult Jew is welcome. Open level. Beginners will level up through the natural challenge of grammar and vocabulary; advanced students will have extra reading from rishonim and aḥaronim.

Connect with your ancestors’ wisdom today. Contact Rabbi Yonah Lavery-Yisraëli at freshbetmidrash@proton.me for an application form.