Sign In Forgot Password

Update this content.

Advanced Learning Institute: Mondays 9:30-10:30 AM (Pacific)

Looking for in-depth Jewish learning? Join our ongoing group of adult learners and engage with gifted Jewish scholars from around the country. 

Upcoming Classes 
Nov 21 | Jewish Migration & Jewish Music in Europe (1550-1650) Part III
Nov 28 | Jewish Migration & Jewish Music in Europe (1550-1650) Part IV
Dec 5   | Jewish Migration & Jewish Music in Europe (1550-1650) Part V
Dec 12 | Jewish Migration & Jewish Music in Europe (1550-1650) Part VI
Dec 19 | 
Mahloket Matters Part II
Dec 26 | No Class
Jan 2   | No Class
Jan 9   | From Catastrophe to Hope: Devastation and Repentance
Jan 23 | From Catastrophe to Hope: Repentance and a Change of Plans
Feb 6   | From Catastrophe to Hope: Joel in the New Testament and Jewish Liturgy
Feb 13 | From Catastrophe to Hope: Joel and Us

To view recordings of past classes click here.

Jewish Music & Migration in Europe 1550-1650

The era of Shakespeare, Galileo, and Newton was also one of great migration and musical growth for Jewish communities across the Mediterranean. This class will uncover the little told history of these diverse Jewish musical cultures which form the foundation of Jewish soundscapes today. Join us on this musical journey taught by Cantor Matt Austerklein.

October 31st | Germany | Recording
November 7th | Italy #1: Salamone Rossi, Leon Moderna, & Jews in the Italian Arts | Recording
November 14th | BREAK
November 21st | Italy #2: Music of Shylock's Venice w/guest teacher Avery Gosfield | Recording
November 28th | Turkey | Recording
December 5th | Bohemia and Poland | Recording
December 12th | Amsterdam


We look forward to having you join the ALI series taught by Cantor Matt Austerklein beginning on Monday, October 31st.
Thank you!


Matt Austerklein is a musician, scholar, and innovator in the American cantorate. Growing up in Alexandria, Virginia, he received a rigorous training in Jewish liturgy and music from his bar mitzvah tutor and from his two cantors. He fell in love with the cantorial arts while studying abroad in Vienna, Austria, where he also studied voice with mezzo-soprano, Paulette Vineyard Herbich.

​Matt graduated summa cum laude from the College of William & Mary in Virginia with a BA in Music in 2006. Already while in college he led his first full High Holy Days as musical prayer leader. He went on to receive a Master of Sacred Music and cantorial ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2011.

​Matt has served with distinction as Cantor of Congregation Beth El of Montgomery County in Bethesda, Maryland, and at Beth El Congregation in Akron, Ohio. Over his past decade as a congregational cantor, he has cultivated diverse skills to support Jewish communities, including pastoral care, teaching Jewish text and traditions, communal song leading, music education with guitar, event programming, playwriting, fundraising, choral directing, and strategic planning. He serves as an ongoing mentor to new and student cantors, and currently serves on the Cantorial Coaching Faculty of Hebrew College.

From Catastrophe to Hope: The Biblical Book of Joelwith Rabbi David Lazar

The account of Joel’s words is short but it packs a wallop: it’s vivid and colorful, even scary. While some scholars assume Joel was one of the early prophets—a contemporary of the First Temple in Jerusalem—many claim he was actually one of the last prophets, writing in Jerusalem in the time of Second Temple and yearning for the time when the Dispersed would return to the Land.

Join us for a close reading of this fascinating little book, in an attempt to understand the circumstances surrounding its composition, use of other biblical materials and how it has been understood over the centuries. 
Jan 9   | From Catastrophe to Hope: Devastation and Repentance
Jan 23 | From Catastrophe to Hope: Repentance and a Change of Plans
Feb 6   | From Catastrophe to Hope: Joel in the New Testament and Jewish Liturgy
Feb 13 | From Catastrophe to Hope: Joel and Us

We look forward to having you join the ALI series taught by Rabbi David Lazar beginning on Monday, January 9th.
Thank you!


Born in Los Angeles in 1957, Rabbi Lazar has lived and practiced across the spectrum of Jewish observance, from his liberal Conservative familial roots to Orthodoxy in his teens, followed by his move to Israel, where he began his rabbinical studies while serving in the IDF Armor Corps. In 1981, while  farming in the Gaza Strip, he met and married Sascha Meijers; they are the parents of five grown daughters and proud grandparents of three.

Since his ordination by the Schechter Institute in 1993, Rabbi Lazar has led congregations in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Stockholm, and Palm Springs. As a Jewish educator in a variety of frameworks, he continues to promote inclusive Jewish practice and interfaith dialogue. Rabbi Lazar was among the earliest international LGBTQ advocates, performing the first gay wedding in Israel in 2001, years before same-sex marriage was legal there. His non-profit service includes the Israel AIDS Task Force, the Jerusalem Open House, and the Rabbinical Assembly.

David and Sascha Lazar now live in Palm Springs, California, where Rabbi Lazar serves as spiritual leader of Or Hamidbar.

For more details about Rabbi Lazar’s affiliations and service, click here.

Mahloket Matters How to Disagree Constructively 

Rabbi Marcia Tilchin will be teaching a six-session curriculum created by the Pardes Center for Judaism and Conflict Resolution (PCJCR) titled  Mahloket Matters: – The Beit Midrash Way. The methodology of wrestling with conflicting opinions, found on every page of classic Jewish texts, can be used to increase one's desire and ability to understand and engage more constructively with conflicting political / social opinions and improving civil discourse.

Each unit examines a central question which is first analyzed through a biblical conflict story and then examines contradictory historical precedents that can be used to support or refute opposing responses to the central question of the unit. 

The six sessions will be offered once a month. 
Oct 24  | Introduction
Dec. 19 Unit 1: Meet or Refuse to Meet? From Korah and Moses to Political Adversaries Today
Jan. 30 | Unit 2: Fear War Or Trust Peace?
Feb. 27 | Unit 3: Xenophobia Or National Security?
Mar 27  | Unit 4: Land For a People or People For a Land?
Apr 24  | Unit 5: "Fake News" or Uncovering the Truth

We look forward to having you join the ALI series taught by Rabbi Marcia Tilchin beginning on Monday, October 24th.
Thank you!






Rabbi Marcia Tilchin is a 5782-5783 Mahloket Matters Fellow through the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem.

Sat, December 10 2022 16 Kislev 5783