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Jewish Studies

The Program of Jewish Studies is generously sponsored by Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary.
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Our Jewish Studies classes inspire learners from all knowledge levels and backgrounds looking to add meaning and purpose to their everyday lives. We offer classes with master teachers to help you gain a better understanding of ancient texts or today’s headlines, with classes in Torah and Talmud, Jewish Film and History, Archaeology and current events. Join our community of learners to connect with our tradition and learn how it relates to us today.

  • The Currents in Current Events (Evening Class)

    The Currents in Current Events (Evening Class)

    Your weekly news magazine. We will examine the connections between events both near and far. We will seek history and context in order to be informed, knowing that knowledge is power and fights the despair of helplessness and hopelessness. We might even laugh as we remember Marx (Karl not Groucho) writing that History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce. Read More

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  • The Currents in Current Events (Morning Class)

    The Currents in Current Events (Morning Class)

    Your weekly news magazine. We will examine the connections between events both near and far. We will seek history and context in order to be informed, knowing that knowledge is power and fights the despair of helplessness and hopelessness. We might even laugh as we remember Marx (Karl not Groucho) writing that History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce. Read More

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  • Prophecy in Ancient Israel

    Prophecy in Ancient Israel

    The prophets played an important role in Jewish history. Who were the prophets and what was their message? Why did the people dislike them? Who was qualified to be a prophet? In this class we will examine the history and essential messages of the three major prophets and the twelve minor prophets and place them in the context of Jewish history. Join us for a lively discussion of these great Jewish figures and their contributions to our faith. Read More

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  • Art of Northern Italy

    Art of Northern Italy

    Northern Italy contains some of the world's richest art. Join John Paul Thornton on a virtual tour of Milan, Lake Cuomo and Venice as well as wondrous Verona, Ravenna, Padua and more. Discover ornate cathedrals, glittering mosaics, historic ghettos and little scene museums. Visual presentations bring Italy to life... Read More

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  • Along the Goldeneh Line: Jewish Life and Heritage of Northeast L.A. and the San Gabriel Valley

    Along the Goldeneh Line: Jewish Life and Heritage of Northeast L.A. and the San Gabriel Valley

    "Here in Pasadena it is like Paradise. Always sunshine and clear air, gardens with palms and pepper trees and friendly people who smile at one and ask for autographs." -Albert Einstein U.S. Travel Diary 1930-31 Travel alongside the Metro Gold Line into the San Gabriel Valley with the Whizin Center and Jewish Historical Society of Southern California on this new tour. We'll focus on the area's unique Jewish heritage, which dates back more than a century, and its contemporary community life, home to an estimated 30,000-40,000 Jews between Glendale and Rancho Cucamonga. . Presented in cooperation with the Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys and participating congregations and organizations as we explore sites of historic and current Jewish significance, including: · Temple Beth Israel of Highland Park and Eagle Rock (1930) · Einstein Papers Project at Caltech, highlighting Einstein in Pasadena, his Zionism and Jewish identity, and the groundbreaking effort with Hebrew University of Jerusalem to digitize his archives Judson Studios (1897)--a rare opportunity to visit America's oldest family-run stained glass studio, which has designed and fabricated traditional and contemporary stained, leaded and fused glass for architectural spaces in Los Angeles--including Breed Street Shul, Valley Beth Shalom and Wilshire Boulevard Temple--and around the world. Transportation on a chartered bus leaving from AJU. Read More

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  • Movie Matinees at the Sperber: Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy

    Movie Matinees at the Sperber: Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy

    Our popular new documentary film and discussion series continues. Join us for a screening of Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy. Share your thoughts about the film and enjoy some popcorn! This movie explores the phenomenon that, over the fifty-year period of its development, the songs of the Broadway musical were created almost exclusively by Jewish Americans. Taken in total they comprise the vast majority of what is now commonly referred to as "The American Songbook." Read More

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  • All Aboard for Jewish L.A.: Back to the Beginning, Boyle Heights

    All Aboard for Jewish L.A.: Back to the Beginning, Boyle Heights

    Who says L.A. has no subway and no Jewish History? Not us! Travel back in time with the Jewish Historical Society of Southern California docents Stephen Sass and Jeremy Sunderland -- entirely via metro and on foot -- to the beginnings of Los Angeles and our Jewish community, which dates back to 1841. Focusing on Boyle Heights, the tour includes the Breed Street Shul and the original 1837 site of L.A.'s first synagogue, Congregation B'nai B'rith (forerunner of today's Wilshire Boulevard Temple). Further information and instructions will be sent out to participants prior to the tour. Read More

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  • Movie Matinees at the Sperber: Blind Hero

    Movie Matinees at the Sperber: Blind Hero

    Our popular new documentary film and discussion series continues. Join us for a screening of Blind Hero. Share your thoughts about the film and enjoy some popcorn! This docudrama records the story of an unsung Schindler - a factory owner who hid Jewish employees from the Gestapo, and went to great lengths to save the life of one with whom he had fallen in love. Read More

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  • Movie Matinees at the Sperber:  It is no Dream: Theodore Herzl

    Movie Matinees at the Sperber: It is no Dream: Theodore Herzl

    Our popular new documentary film and discussion series continues. Join us for a screening of It is no Dream: Theodore Herzl. Share your thoughts about the film and enjoy some popcorn! Examines how Herzl, a well-known journalist and playwright, and an assimilated Budapest-born Jew, saw anti-Semitism spreading across Europe, and took upon himself the task of attempting to create a Jewish homeland in Palestine against all odds. Read More

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