Tauber Jewish Studies

Indulge your appetite for deeper Jewish knowledge while building community, chevra, along the way. These classes are taught by our clergy or high-level guest lecturers and meet approximately six times over the course of a trimester.


Surrounded-but Lonely: The Lonely Man of Faith – Exploring the writings of Rabbi Joseph Soleveichik

This Downtown Tauber class will be taught by Rabbi Ryan Bauer.

One of the great and most influential Jewish thinkers of the 20th century was Rabbi Joseph Soleveichik. He was the teacher of some of the greatest thinkers of this generation including David Hartman and Yitz Greenberg. In this class we will engage with each other through the words and thoughts of Soleveichik as he guides us through the inner life of the religious Jew.

Thursday afternoons 12:00 – 1:00pm – Mechanic’s Institute (57 Post Street, San Francisco)

October 22, 29; November 5, 12, 19; December 3, 10, 17

Emanu-El members: $54, Non-members: $75



Introducing the Tauber Beit Midrash

In Hebrew, "Beit" means house and the word "Midrash" comes from the root “to seek” or “to investigate.” A Beit Midrash is a House of Study. The Tauber Beit Midrash here at Emanu-El offers unique access to the rich tradition of Jewish textual interpretation in a welcoming and intellectual environment. It is open to those who have studied before, and to those who have never looked at a daf, a page of rabbinic literature.

Each Sunday, when religious school is in session, our Tauber Beit Midrash will open with a class offered by a leading teacher in our community. The teacher will unpack a classical text from the  Bible or rabbinic literature, like  a text from Talmud, the compilation of Mishna – the first major redaction of the oral law, and Gemara – rabbinic commentary on the Mishna, as well as codes, liturgy, mystical writings; each with English translation. Participants will gather with coffee in hand, if they so choose, and study in chevruta – partnership. The teacher will then bring participants back together for discussion and explanation.

Monthly, the Beit Midrash will be followed with a presentation on Applied Judaism, as students encounter an issue or phenomena in society as presented by experts in their field. It is hoped that the values explored in the text study will inform the discussion in this section.

Sunday mornings from 9:30am – 11:30am, starting on Sunday, October 11

Free and Open to the community. No pre-registration required. While we  hope you’ll be able to attend every session, this is not a course. Each class is stand-alone. Join us for as many as you can.


Other Golden Ages: Jewish Cities before the Modern Era

Jews not only flourished in Spain during the Middle Ages, but in a number of other important urban centers. Each meeting of this course will focus on an important ancient or medieval center of Jewish life and culture, including Constantinople, Baghdad, Cairo, Rome, and the Ashkenazi Jewish cities of the Rhineland. By uncovering the fascinating but often overlooked histories of Jews in these far-flung places, we will use Jewish texts, archaeology, art, and a range of other resources to show both continuities among Jews and their differences. 

This course will be taught by Professor Fred Astren, chair of the Jewish Studies department at San Francisco State University.

Thursday evenings, 7:00 - 8:30pm

October 22, 29; November 5, 19; December 3, 10, 17

Emanu-El members: $54, Non-members: $75



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.



© 2012 Congregation Emanu-El 2 Lake Street, San Francisco, CA 94118
Phone: (415) 751-2535
Fax: (415) 751-2511