Learning at Bet Alef is a lifelong pursuit, and we encourage our members and others in our community to explore Jewish spirituality and mysticism with us. Rabbi Olivier’s skilled leadership and training provide our community with a wealth of opportunities to explore Jewish tradition, texts, mysticism, and meditation, as well understanding the broader threads of Kabbalah, holidays, and major life cycle events (birth, marriage, children, death). Our classes are offered on a rotating basis each year, so we encourage people to keep subscribed to our newsletter in order to learn which courses are currently being offered.
Our classes provide the opportunity for deeper immersion on specific topics including, but not limited to:
Have You Ever Wanted to Learn Hebrew?
Did you ever think to yourself that, one day, you’d like to learn to read the actual Hebrew in our prayer book but have always felt daunted by the prospect of learning a new alphabet and deciphering these most ancient characters?
What if someone told you that you could learn to do just that in only 12 weeks, would you give it a shot?
Rabbi Olivier is inviting you to embark on a journey through the Alef-Bet and master reading one of the most ancient languages still spoken today. As he always does, our rabbi will sprinkle studying the Hebrew letters with Kabbalistic teachings, add a dusting of historical background and, of course, a good dash of humor.
– 12 sessions back-to-back on Tuesday evenings starting April 30th and ending July 16th.
– This class is for beginners and the many of us who might need a little refresh on our Hebrew.
– 10 people minimum required for the class to proceed.
Where? Bet Alef Living Room
What time? 7-8:30PM
How much? $180 for members, $220 for non-members
E-mail Rabbi Olivier to register.
Please purchase Behrman House’s “Shalom Uvracha: The New Hebrew Primer; Print Edition” ahead of the class. You can find it by clicking here.
Monthly Torah Study
The Torah is not just an ancient document or scroll, but a vital source of meaning, purpose and guidance. As a great Talmudic sage in Pirkei Avot (First Principles) once said about Torah “Turn it and turn it again, for everything is in it. Reflect on it and grow old and gray with it. Don’t turn from it for nothing is better than it.” [Avot, 5].
This course offers an introduction to the basic tenets, rituals, and prayers of Judaism and the mystical aspects that keep them relevant thousands of years later. This course typically runs for 12 sessions over 6 months.
Introduction to Kabbalah
Through this course you will…
- Learn the basic history of the unfolding of Jewish mysticism over the ages.
- Discover the core principles of Kabbalah and its key teachers.
- Meet the work of Rabbi Isaac Luria and the teachings that became known as Lurianic Kabbalah.
- Unpack the complexities of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life.
- Be a hands-on mystic yourself:
* Interpret Torah through the lens of Kabbalistic principles.
* Study a page of the Zohar and/or the Sefer Yetzirah.
* Experience the writings of mystical Chasidic Masters.
* Practice Kabbalistic Meditation
Course span: 12 teaching sessions over six months
These 1 or 2 day workshops give members and those new to Judaism the knowledge and skills to aid preparation for the High Holy Days, Passover, and other major holidays of the Hebrew calendar
Preparation for Dying
The Jewish High Holy Days are an invitation to explore our mortality from one year to the next, never knowing whether any of us might reach the next Rosh HaShanah. Rabbi Olivier has created a year-long workshop to reflect, heal, make whole and step fully into our own life, embracing its fragility and preciousness. Preparing for Dying is the most life-affirming process anyone can enter into.