• whiz hpnew

Jewish Studies

The Program of Jewish Studies is generously sponsored by Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary.
 Hillside Logo 1

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.

  • L.A. Art Now Tour: An Insider's View to Local Art Histories, Narratives, & View

    L.A. Art Now Tour: An Insider's View to Local Art Histories, Narratives, & View

    This L.A. art historical and contemporary art overview features lectures, discussions, and visits to a few of the most vital art destinations. Our visits and excursions will help each participant open themselves up to the pleasures, and (yes!) even beauty that can be found in the best of today's art. Our adventure begins at AJU with an introductory discussion about the current Contemporary Art scene, keeping in mind Bruland's favorite motto: "Fear No Art." Each week, we'll meet a local artist or visit a gallery, studio or workshop presenting contemporary exhibitions. Past tours have included visits to The Broad, the Museum of Contemporary Art and artists' studios. We'll conclude with a discussion to celebrate our learning. Read More

    Register
  • Art: Compassion, Healing and Social Change

    Art: Compassion, Healing and Social Change

    The dynamic history of Visual Art as a tool for humanitarian causes and cultural enlightenment is the topic of this new series with speaker John Paul Thornton. We focus on artists from the Renaissance to Contemporary times who raise awareness with their work about poverty, refugee communities, racial tolerance, human rights and political revolution. Along the way we examine the times which impacted the creation of these works and how they might reflect the issues of our own world today. Read More

    Register
  • 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

    Register
  • 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

    Register
  • 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

    Register
  • Great Classic Jewish Trials - The Inquisitions

    Great Classic Jewish Trials - The Inquisitions

    Major religious trials share a lot in common. They are public exhibitions beyond the facts in the cases and are meant to caution the people as much, or more, than punish the alleged miscreant. Often the "crime" itself is of little importance and is, in fact, simply a challenge to authority. Read More

    Register
  • Marranos: The Sephardic Crypto-Jewish Experience

    Marranos: The Sephardic Crypto-Jewish Experience

    Topics covered: •Jewish life in Germanic, Moorish, and Reconquesta Spain •Major events leading up to the massacres of 1391 and the expulsion decree of 1492 •Jewish turncoats who fanned the flames of violent anti-Semitism •New Christians, Old Christians, and the concept of lipieza de sangre •Procedures of the Inquisitors •The religion of the crypto-Jews Varieties of Spanish converso communities around the world, including the Xuetas of Majorca, Spain, the Anusim of Belmonte, Portugal and Crypto-Jews of the American Southwest Read More

    Register
  • 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

    Register
  • 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

    Register
  • Bagels on the Boardwalk: A Tour of Jewish Venice Beach with the Jewish Historical Society

    Bagels on the Boardwalk: A Tour of Jewish Venice Beach with the Jewish Historical Society

    On Independence Day, 1905, Abbott Kinney opened "Venice of America" as a resort on the Pacific for high-brow patrons of the arts and culture modeled after its Italian namesake. Ten years later, with its amusement piers and carnival atmosphere, the area became known as "Coney Island of the West." From the first High Holy Day services in 1914, Jews have been a part of the scene that makes Venice, California a place unlike any other. Join us for a midsummer half-day's walking tour with the Jewish Historical Society of Southern California focusing on Jewish Venice’s past, present and future. We'll start with bagels, shmoozing and a special screening of the Academy Award-winning documentary Number Our Days with members of Jewish Family Service's Israel Levin Senior Center, then enjoy sunshine and cool summer breezes as we trace the area's colorful Jewish history. Read More

    Register