Tauber Jewish Studies Electives

Indulge your appetite for a taste of Jewish culture, history, and the arts with one of our bite-sized electives. These classes are taught by our clergy or guest lecturers and meet approximately six times over the course of a trimester.

Introduction to Modern Hebrew

Sundays, 9:15 am
Spring: Jan. 25; Feb. 1, 8, 22; Mar. 1, 15, 22, 29; Apr. 12, 19, 26; May 3

Emanu-El Member Cost: $250, Cost: $275


Don't miss this incredible opportunity to build a linguistic foundation with a full semester of Hebrew learning. You'll be introduced to the Aleph Bet,  Modern Hebrew vocabulary, and the basics of conversation and idioms. Hebrew songs are integral parts of the course. 

Yaffa Tygiel has taught Hebrew for three decades. She has taught at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Hebrew College in Boston, San Francisco State University, University of San Francisco and Sonoma State University. A native of Israel, she received her teaching credentials from the Israeli army and the Hebrew University.


The Golden Age Of Spain and its Influence on Contemporary Jewish Life

One of the most exciting chapters in Jewish history is marked by Muslim sovereignty in Spain—an era that lasted over 700 years. We are excited to offer a fall, winter and spring elective devoted to this fascinating time in our history. A trip to Spain to round out this experience is also in discussion!

Winter (THOUGHT)

With Rabbi Jonathan Singer
Thursdays, 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Winter semester: Jan 8, 15, 22, 29; Feb 5, 12

The Golden Age of Spain produced some of the greatest thinkers of Jewish history. Their writings that developed in a society that was open to interchange between different religious and intellectual communities inspire we who live in similar milieus today.

Emanu-El Member Cost: $36, Cost: $50


Spring (CULTURE)

With Cantor Barak
Thursdays, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Mar 19, 26, April 16, 23, 30, May 7

Following up on the first two trimesters of this popular course, we will indulge in a sweet taste of the cultural richness of the Golden Age. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear about the thriving arts and cultural scene during this fascinating time in our history. Students currently enrolled in the winter trimester must register separately for spring and new students are welcome to join for this trimester.

Emanu-El Member Cost: $36, Cost: $50


They Tried To Kill Us, They Failed, Let's Laugh: Jewish Humor From Torah to Transparent

On Thursdays at 7:00 – 8:30 pm, Mar. 19, 26, Apr. 16, 23, 30, May 7

Emanu-El Member Cost: $36, Cost: $50

Join humor mavens Rabbi Sydney Mintz and Judi Leff as they deconstruct the whats, wheres, whos and whys (why nots?) of Jewish humor. Topics include Text and Humor: Torah and Talmud; Jewish Humor Through The Ages; Jewish Humor in American Radio, Film and Television; Why Are Jews So Funny - Burlesque, Vaudeville and Yiddish Theater; and a panel discussion with local Jewish comedians. Of course there will be a chance to develop and share your own Jewish humor - stories from your own Jewish experience.


The Tauber Jewish Studies Program is made possible by The Laszlo N. Tauber Family Foundation, reflecting the dynamic, generous, and enduring spirit of Dr. Laszlo N. Tauber.

A program of the Madeleine Haas Russell Institute of Jewish Learning.



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Phone: (415) 751-2535
Fax: (415) 751-2511