It’s been a tumultuous few months, and we hope you’ve been safe and well. Along with all the heartache, upheaval and trauma in our perilous pandemic world, there has also opened up a surprising new space for online education—in particular, online Jewish education.
Like all of you, we’re alert to the needs around us, not just for our own safety but for justice and equity in our wider world. We’ve returned to learning amidst debates and inquiries raging on every side—on race, politics, culture, identity and memory—topics we’ve visited many times, but on which we always have more to learn. And like you, we’re eager to learn together in actual spaces again when the time comes—whenever that may be.
We’ve had a short, but exciting summer session. Our summer classes first took us to New England for a piece of lost Jewish history in Burlington, Vermont, and an improbable visual feast. Later in the summer our Challah Workshop from Jerusalem was our first international event and included practical tips on making challah as well as a discussion of the Jewish traditions and Halacha (Jewish law) concerning challah. If you missed any of these classes, our website has links to their recorded videos.
We’re now beginning a full fall semester, online as long as necessary. We’ll start with a very timely but controversial topic – Jews and Refugees – that we’ll be examining more closely with its text history. Then we’ll go to a topic few of us know much about – the world of Romaniote Jews.
The Jewish Study Center was founded in 1978 as an independent nonprofit institute of adult Jewish education in the Washington, D.C. area. Our mission is to provide classes and programs of Jewish study in the widest possible breadth of topics in an atmosphere where any person, regardless of background or level of current involvement, can feel comfortable studying and establishing a serious relationship with the Jewish tradition.