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.
We also encourage you to join the Beit Midrash currently offered on our Shabbat Saturday mornings at 10:30 AM.
Our classes provide the opportunity for deeper immersion on specific topics including, but not limited to:
Now you know your Alef-Bet and you can read Hebrew comfortably if not fluently. It’s time to add some vocabulary, learn about basic grammatical concepts and finally understand what the Torah and the Sidur have said all along, without the need for anyone else’s translation. Besides, Rabbi Olivier has found a great workbook and will be leading this class, so you know it’s going to be fun!
This class is for those who have taken the Hebrew 101 class, or are proficient in reading Hebrew. If you are unsure, contact Rabbi Olivier.
Spectrum of Consciousness
It’s election year in America. Whatever side of the proverbial aisle we find ourselves, we often wonder: “How can ‘they’ think/vote the way they do? What is wrong with people?!” In most cases our infuriating frustration stems from a shared flaw in human design; what teachers have called: “The Myth of The Given.” It refers to the assumption most of us make that there is a given reality “out there,” the perception and understanding of which is universal. In other words, the world that I perceive is the same for everyone.
Through this class, Rabbi Olivier will invite us to deconstruct this myth and help us unpack how consciousness evolves both individually and universally as a gorgeous multicolored spectrum. It might, for sure, help us face the upcoming elections more mindfully. Most critically, however, it might just change everything.
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.