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Summer 2014

Gratz College 7605 Old York Road Melrose Park, PA 19027 (215) 635-7300

Adult Jewish Learning with Gratz Fac u l ty The Gratz College Scholars Program is for adults in the community who are not seeking credit but enjoy learning in an intellectual atmosphere with instructors who are highly regarded experts in their fields. Multiple four (4) session courses are offered in the summer semester in a variety of Jewish Studies topics. Ongoing courses are offered in Hebrew and Yiddish language. In addition, the Gratz College Scholars Program sponsors Distinguished Scholar Lectures, Yiddish theater trips, film presentations, and other special events. Please see the website for these event listings at The Scholars Program, Hebrew and Yiddish Courses are presented by the Department of Adult Jewish Learning at Gratz College. For more information, please contact Barbara Rosenau, Director of Adult Jewish Learning at or 215-635-7300 x182


Each Summer Scholars course will run from 10:00am-12:00pm four (4) consecutive days in one week. Summer course tuition is $125 per course. Please join us for an exciting summer of learning!

JUNE 16-19

JUNE 23-26

American Jewry and Israel: The Right to Dissent versus the Need for Unity – Dr. Jerry Kutnick

The Savage in Judaism – Rabbi Jon Cutler

This course will examine the impact of Zionism, contemporary Israel and the situation in the Middle East on the American Jewish community. It will examine this impact in both recent history and contemporary times.

Judaism and The Universe – Dr. Ruth Sandberg Science is moving closer to discovering if life exists on other planets, as well as how humans may some day live on other worlds. What is Judaism's response to this? This course will explore Judaism and the cosmos, including: Biblical, Rabbinic, and Medieval views of the universe; Jewish views of astrology and the influence of the stars and planets on Jewish life; Jewish astronauts and Jewish observance on a space ship; and the Jewish attitude toward life on other planets.

Since the Enlightenment, interpreters of religion in Western culture have typically classified Judaism above other non-Christian religions. In this course we will examine the distinction between Judaism and the ‘savage’ religions, how Biblical Judaism was affected by the surrounding ‘savage’ religions and it’s impact on Judaism today. We will look at dietary restrictions, animal sacrifices, circumcision, sexual prohibitions and rules of contamination. To this day we practice as Jews some of the ‘savage’ religion rituals.

Maintaining Balance:What Jewish Sources Have to Say Rabbi Lynnda Targan The purpose of this course is to explore what Jewish wisdom teaches about finding, developing and maintaining “balance" in our daily and weekly cyclical living. Through a wide variety of texts and modalities, we will examine how to deepen the psychospiritual side of ourselves, the "self," in pursuit of balance and serenity in relationship to work, family and community.

JULY 7-10

JULY 14-17

The Golem That Wouldn’t Die – Dr. Josh Gutoff

The Israeli Mossad: Facing the 21st Century Dr. David Rabeeya

From early Rabbinic writers through contemporary literature, Jewish (and later, non-Jewish) writers have been fascinated by the idea of the golem. We will read some of those works, and try to understand how and why the fantasy of the artificial man became so important to so many serious thinkers.

The course will explore the challenges of the Israeli Mossad as well as the Shin'bet and the military intelligence service in light of the disintegration of the national structure of the Arab world, Middle East and North Africa. Special emphasis will be placed on the methods and tactics used to gather information due to the instant information available in cyber space and the on-going nuclear danger. Participate in a timely discussion involving the current work of Mossad and Iran.

History, Politics & Diplomacy of Arab-Israeli Conflict Dr. Asaf Romirowsky This is an advanced survey of the Arab-Israeli conflict's history, politics, and diplomacy. Divided at 1948-49, we will discuss the conflict's social, political, ideological, and diplomatic origins followed by Israeli and Palestinian national emergence, Arab-Israeli wars, the subsequent diplomacy from each, and the impact of American, European, and Cold War engagement upon the conflict's unfolding.

From Text to Life - The Torah's Ancient Teachings in Our Lives Today – Joanne Doades, M.A. Join us for a fascinating exploration of how lessons from our eternal Torah texts can help us grow spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually in our everyday lives. In this highly interactive class, we will examine traditional and modern commentaries to glean the messages that can guide us toward sacred living and loving in our often chaotic contemporary world.


New! Interfaith Family Workshop With Rabbi Robyn Frisch, Director and Wendy Armon, Dir. of Community Relations, InterfaithFamily/Phila. 2 Courses— 4 consecutive days each —Tuition: $125 per course July 7 -10: 1:30 — 3:00 pm - Intermarriage in the Bible What does the Bible think of Exogamous Marriage (marriage outside of the group)? In this class we will look at different passages from the Bible regarding exogamy and see that there are conflicting views. We will also explore in depth, through the Biblical text and later rabbinic commentary, several exogamous Biblical marriages, including those of Judah and Tamar; Ruth and Naomi’s son Machlon; and Moses and Zipporah. Finally, we will explore our own views of intermarriage and how they relate to what we learn from the Bible.

July 14 - 17 1:30 – 3:00 pm Parents, Children and Interfaith Relationships: Listening so they will talk. Talking so they will listen. As parents, we have expectations about what our children will be like when they grow up. Sometimes it’s hard to accept our children’s choices, especially when they fall in love with and decide to spend their life with someone who grew up in a different faith tradition. As children, sometimes we expect our parents to accept our choices without appreciating how difficult that may be for them. Almost every family in the liberal Jewish community today is touched by intermarriage, and in this class participants will have the opportunity to discuss their own feelings about interfaith relationships and explore how to best communicate about this sometimes very emotional issue in a way that is both honest and respectful .


Whether you want to learn a bissel Yiddish or become fluent, you’ll find the right level course for you. The Yiddish program at Gratz College is supported by Beverly & David Schorr/DJS Associates. For more information, contact Rita Ratson, Yiddish Coordinator, at or 215-635-7300 x177. At Gratz College

In Center City Philadelphia

Yiddish I - Beginners Class 10:30 am -12:00 Noon - 8 weeks Tuesdays, May 13 - July 1

Yiddish I - Beginners Class 5:15- 6:45 pm - 8 weeks Tuesdays, May 13 - July 8 (no class June 3) Congregation Mikveh Israel 44 N. 4th Street, Philadelphia

Yiddish II 10:30 am - 12:00 Noon - 8 weeks Wednesdays, May 14 - July 9 (no class June 4)

Yiddish II 7:00 - 8:30 pm - 8 weeks Tuesdays, May 13 - July 8 (no class June 3) Congregation Mikveh Israel 44 N. 4th Street, Philadelphia

Hebrew The Hebrew Ulpan program at Gratz College is supported by the Stern Family Institute for Israel Studies. For more information, contact Mira Korn, Ulpan Instructor and Coordinator, at or at 215-635-7300 x136. All summer sessions are 6 weeks – Tuition: $150.00— Beginner and Advanced Levels offered Tuesdays, June 10– July 15— 7:00-9:00 pm at Mikveh Israel, 44 N. 4th St., Philadelphia Tuesdays, June 10– July 15—7:00—9:00 pm at Adath Israel, 250 Highland Avenue , Merion Station Wednesdays, June 11—July 16— 7:00—9:00 pm at Adath Israel , 250 Highland Avenue, Merion Station Wednesdays, June 11– July 16 - 10:00 am– 12:00 pm at Gratz College Registration/Refund Policy For all Scholars classes, full tuition payment is due upon registration. If a cancellation is received by email at least two days . before the course begins, 100% of tuition will be refunded. Minimum class size required to run each level.

Gratz College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected characteristics. 3

Instructor Bios Wendy Armon is Director of Community Relations for InterfaithFamily/Philadelphia. With expertise in management consulting and grant writing she enjoys developing new projects and engaging in new collaborations throughout the Philadelphia community. With a BA English from Brandeis University and an MA in Public Management from University of Maryland, she appreciates the opportunity to apply these skills in the nonprofit community. Rabbi Jon Cutler, a native of Philadelphia, PA, earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from Temple University in religious studies. He earned a Master of Hebrew Letters and was ordination as a Rabbi from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Wyncote, PA. He earned his Doctor of Ministry from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, New York, NY. Rabbi Cutler is a Captain in the US Navy serving on active duty for 5 years and 23 years in the Navy Reserve. He presently is the Deputy Command Chaplain for the US 6th Fleet, US Forces Europe and Africa. He served three congregations in his civilian career and is presently is a part time hospice chaplain for Abramson Center for Jewish Life. Joanne Doades received an MA from Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, and Certification in Jewish Family Education from the BJE of Greater New York, in conjunction with Fordham University. Joanne was the Director for Curriculum Development at the Union for Reform Judaism, and author of Parenting Jewish Teens: A Guide for the Perplexed (Jewish Lights, 2007), and several other articles about Jewish learning. She teaches a weekly Women’s Torah Study class in her community in Northeast Philadelphia. Rabbi Robyn Frisch is the Director of InterfaithFamily/Philadelphia and the spiritual leader of Temple Menorah Keneseth Chai. Robyn graduated from The Wharton School of UPenn and NY University School of Law. She was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Robyn has served as a congregational rabbi, hospital chaplain, religious school director, family educator, adult education instructor, Rosh Hodesh group leader and Jewish camp rabbi. She enjoys working with interfaith couples and families to create personal and meaningful life-cycle events. Rabbi Joshua Gutoff, Ed.D. holds a B.A. in literature from Yale College and an M.A. and Ed.D.from The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), where he also received his rabbinic ordination. His dissertation is on Talmud education and the moral imagination and he is the author of a number of widely-read articles on Jewish thought. Mira Korn is the Coordinator of the Hebrew Ulpan program. She has been a Hebrew instructor at Gratz College for many years. Mira has a BA in Hebrew Literature from Hebrew University Dr. Jerry Kutnick served as Associate Professor of History and Jewish Thought, Director of Continuing Education and then Dean for Academic Affairs at Gratz College from 1984-2012. He is an author and lecturer on intellectual Jewish history, with expertise in American Jewry and American Zionism. Dr. Kutnick received his B.A. and M.A. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and his Ph. D. from Brandeis University. Rabbi David Rabeeya, Ph.D., was born in Baghdad, Iraq. After migrating to Israel in the formative years of the state, he earned his B.A. in literature and history from Hebrew University and an M.A. in Semitic languages from Tel Aviv University. He received his Ph.D. in Arabic from Dropsie University with a dissertation on the Jewish, Muslim and Christian dialects of Baghdad. In 1997 he was ordained a rabbi and serves unaffiliated members of the Jewish community. Dr. Asaf Romirowsky is a Middle East historian and analyst. He is a graduate of Hebrew University in Jerusalem and holds a PhD in Middle East and Mediterranean Studies from King’s College London, UK. He has published widely on various aspects of the Arab-Israeli conflict and American foreign policy in the Middle East, and on Israeli and Zionist history. He is coauthor of the recently published, Religion, Politics, and the Origins of Palestine Refugee Relief. Rita Ratson is the Coordinator of the Yiddish Language and Culture programs at Gratz College. She is an official translator for the National Yiddish Book Center. She has recently published, along with her associate in this endeavor, the “Yiddish Notebook”, as a classroom aid for the Yiddish student. Dr. Ruth Sandberg is the Landau Professor of Rabbinics at Gratz College. As an academic and an ordained rabbi, her expertise is in comparative religion, Jewish law, Rabbinics and Midrash. Rabbi Lynnda Targan is an award-winning writer, oral historian and communications expert. She is a co-founder of the Women’s Midrash Institute and presides over many life cycle events and services with her original evolving liturgy for healing services, baby namings, prayers and meditations, etc.

Support Gratz College Gratz College has many ways to give. Support the annual fund, Make a bequest, Create an endowment. Join the Hyman Gratz Society, Fund a charitable gift annuity. And many worthy projects to support…Continuing Education, The Tuttleman Library, Gratz College degree programs, The Jewish Community High School of Gratz College, Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Please make your tax deductible gift today. For more information about Planned Giving, contact Beth Schonberger, or 2150-635-7300 x 153 4

Summer 2014 scholars brochure  

The Gratz College Scholars Program is for adults in the community who enjoy learning in an intellectual atmosphere with instructors who are...

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