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.

Jewmba and Israeli Dancercise

Let Cantor Attie lead you into dance at the Temple!

Dance is inextricably bound to Jewish culture, history, and community. As your week winds down, prepare for a high-energy beginners’ level workout infused with Jewish learning led by Cantor Attie. As the upbeat sounds of a Middle Eastern marketplace fill the room, we’ll move to the rhythms of a lively warm-up routine and slowly introduce Israeli dance steps. No dance background required. Dress in comfortable shoes and breathable clothing.

Thursdays, 7:00 – 8:30 pm

Jan. 8, 15, 22, 29; Feb. 5, 12

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





Introduction to Modern Hebrew

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


A Scholarly Deconstruction of Jewish Humor….Just Kidding!

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

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

Rabbi Sydney Mintz and Judi Leff Our intergenerational interactive group will explore Jewish humor from the historical to the hysterical, showcasing past and present examples of our oral, written, visual, stand-up, and I have to sit down because I am laughing too hard kind of humor. We will talk. You will talk back. We will interrupt each other. We will teach you how to write a Jewish joke and a not-so-Jewish joke. We will give you popcorn to nosh on. But not while you are laughing. We will tickle your funny bone and make you into a comedy history maven with Jewish content clips from famous television shows, stand-up routines, scripts, movies, monologues and more!!


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