Judaism 101 returns in 2021. It is open to all, member and non-members, those seeking to learning about Judaism from a standing start, and those simply wishing to reignite their interest and top up their knowledge. The first three sessions will be on:

18th March: CSI Israel – how they solved murder mysteries in the Torah

When a murder victim is found, the Book of Deuteronomy tells us, and we don’t know who the killer is, the best thing to do is fetch a cow and break its neck. What is this all about? This 1-hour session will explore the ritual of the ‘egla arufah’ and look at how our ancestors understood the importance of protecting victims of crime.

15 April: Because we were slaves – anti-racism in Judaism

Launching YLJC’s support for York’s bid to become an anti-racist city, this session will look at Jewish teachings around racism, anti-racism and identity.

13 May: A mighty hand and a shot in the arm – pandemic Judaism

We’re not the first Jews to live through a pandemic, and we’re certainly not the first to suffer diseases. From rabbis urging vaccines, to rabbis urging gherkins, how has Judaism dealt with sickness and plague in the past?

Shavuot learning

We all know that the hero[ine] of the Book of Ruth is Ruth. But is she? Using some modern commentaries, we’ll explore how identities change throughout the book, and maybe come to realise that the real hero is a character who only appears in two or three verses!

10 June: How a fight in a butcher’s shop led to hundreds of marriages ending

One of the Talmud’s most detailed stories starts with a fight in a butcher’s shop, and ends with everyone in a Babylonian city getting divorced. Let’s find out what on earth happened – and in doing so, we’ll discover a long- forgotten Jewish caste system and see just how subjective everything in our lives really is.

1 July: Reading the Bible, the Jewish way

Did Pharaoh secretly survive the Red Sea and become the King of Nineveh who met Jonah? Did Esau try to turn up at his mum’s funeral and disrupt the service? No verse of the Bible means only what it says. We can only truly understand it through the layers of different styles of commentary. This session will explore the many approaches to reading our oldest texts.

8 July: A wedding night story

Rabbi Akiva’s son had a rather interesting (and tame) wedding night – but there are three different versions of the story recorded in three different places. What actually happened? And what can we learn from it about marriages and Torah?

Venue:  Sessions will be online via Zoom until further notice. If you need sign detail, please email here.

Event Calendar