Jewish Culture

Jewish Culture

chalom-adult IISHJ Seminars in Jewish Culture explore the many musical, experiential and ceremonial expressions of the Jewish experience through culture. From the calendar and the life cycle to varieties of Jewish ethnicity and Jewish music, "living Jewish" is a creative journey in Secular Humanistic Judaism. Visit our Resources page to explore Secular Humanistic celebrations of Jewish culture.

JC 100) Introduction to Jewish Calendar and Holidays - A review of the holiday calendar of the Jewish people with an exploration of the historical roots of Jewish holidays and of their place in the celebration life of Secular Humanistic Jews. How to blend traditional and modern humanistic themes is at the heart of the discussion. CR: 1

JC 110) Introduction to Life-cycle Ceremonies - A review of the Jewish ceremonies that celebrate life-cycle events. The ceremonies of birth, puberty, marriage, and death are explored from both traditional and secular perspectives. CR: 1

JC 120) Independent Study in Jewish Culture - This course is completed independently using Part II - Jewish Culture of the Introduction to Secular Humanistic Judaism curriculum by Rabbi Adam Chalom. Acceptable written responses to all discussion questions must be completed for credit. CR:1

JC 130) History of Jewish Music (was JM 100) - The story of Jewish music from ancient times until the present, with a special emphasis on folk music as well as liturgical creations. Required for the Musicians Program. CR: 1

JC 150) Ashkenazic Jewish Culture - An introduction to the history, culture, and literature of the largest Jewish Diaspora experience. Topics include the settlement of the Jews in Northern and Eastern Europe, the development of Yiddish, the story of the Jews in Poland and Russia, and the Holocaust. CR: 1

JC 160) Sephardic and Oriental Jewish Culture - An introduction to the history, culture, and literature of half of Jewish life. Topics include the settlement of Jews in Western Asia, North Africa, and Spain , the development of unique Eastern languages and cultures, and the migration to France and Israel . CR: 1

JC 170) Israeli Jewish Culture - An introduction to the history, culture, and literature of the modern State of Israel. Topics include the emergence of the Zionist movement, the establishment of the State of Israel, the development of Modern Hebrew, great Israeli writers, and the issues of contemporary Israeli life. CR: 1

JC 180) North American Jewish Culture - An introduction to the history, culture, and literature of the largest Diaspora community. Topics include Jewish migration to North America , the transformation of the Jew, radical religious movements, and the emergence of an American Jewish Literature. CR: 1

JC 190) Jewish Culture Elective - covering a variety of topics related to Jewish culture. CR:1

JC 200) Celebration of Jewish Calendar and Holidays - A detailed study of the Jewish calendar and holiday celebrations, both their origins and observances through the ages. Emphasis on the practical skills of creating and leading communal celebrations. Required for Leadership, Educators, Spokesperson and Musician Programs. CR: 1

JC 210) Celebration of the Jewish Life Cycle - A detailed study of Jewish ceremonies and observances surrounding major events of the life cycle. Learning to create appropriate ceremonies for Secular Humanistic Jews is the major objective of this seminar. Required for Leadership Program. CR: 1

JC 220) Music of Secular Humanistic Judaism (was JM 200) - Understanding the wide range of music available for the celebrations of Secular Humanistic Judaism and how this music can be used. Required for the Musicians Program. CR: 1

JC 210) Music Direction for Communities - A practicum in the management of choirs, singing groups, schools and participating audiences. Required for the Musicians Program. CR: 1


Jewish Diversity Through Hanukkah

JC 410) Life Cycle Ceremonies - A course designed to explore both the history and development of Jewish celebrations of life cycle events, from birth to death, as well as the practical skills of creating original Jewish and secular ceremonies. Reading proficiency in Hebrew required. Required for Rabbinic Program. CR: 3 Download a syllabus for JC 410

JC 501) Jewish Calendar, Holidays, Liturgy and Celebration 1 - A discussion of the history of Jewish holidays, customs, and ceremonies, with emphasis on celebrating personal and community events in the spirit of a Secular Humanistic Judaism. Focus will be on the Fall Holidays. Reading proficiency in Hebrew required. Required for Rabbinic and Master's Degree Programs. CR:3 Download a syllabus for JC 501/502

JC 502) Jewish Calendar Holidays, Liturgy and Celebration 2: - A continuation of JC 501: Jewish Calendar, Holidays, Liturgy and Celebration 1, which is a prerequisite for this course. A comprehensive discussion of the history of Jewish holidays, customs, and ceremonies, with emphasis on celebrating personal and community events in the spirit of a Secular Humanistic Judaism. Focus will be on the Winter and Spring Holidays. Reading proficiency in Hebrew required. Required for Rabbinic and Master's Degree Programs.  CR: 3 Download a syllabus for JC 501/502

JC 550) Cultural Traditions of the Jewish People - Ashkenazic Culture. Graduate-level version of JC 150 (see above). Required for Rabbinic and Master's Degree Programs. CR: 2

JC 560) Cultural Traditions of the Jewish People - Sephardic Culture. Graduate-level version of JC 160 (see above). Required for Rabbinic and Master's Degree Programs. CR: 2

JC 570) Cultural Traditions of the Jewish People - Israeli Culture. Graduate-level version of JC 170 (see above). Required for Rabbinic and Master's Degree Programs. CR: 2

JC 580) Cultural Traditions of the Jewish People - North American Jewish Culture. Graduate-level version of JC 180 (see above). Required for Rabbinic and Master's Degree Programs. CR: 2