Congregation Beth Ahabah is pleased to be offering the Union for Reform Judaism’s A Taste of Judaism® program, which is a 3-week course FREE and open to the public on Nov. 22, 29, and Dec. 6 from 6:30- 8:30 p.m.
The course is designed for those who would like to learn about the foundations of Judaism or those who may be searching for an entryway into Jewish life. Jewish or not, ALL are welcome.
For individuals who have little or no experience with Judaism, entering a Synagogue can be overwhelming and intimidating. They may worry: Will I be accepted? Will my questions be welcomed? Will I be pressured to make a commitment?
In A Taste of Judaism® all will be welcomed, all questions will be welcomed and answered, and there will be NO pressure to make any commitment. A Taste of Judaism® aims to ease those concerns and eliminate any perceived barriers and makes it easy to explore Judaism.
The course is just three sessions with no course books and no homework, is offered free of charge, and course content assumes no previous knowledge of or exposure to Judaism. Each two-hour class explores a different aspect of Judaism: Jewish Spirituality, Jewish Ethics, and Jewish Community.
The course will serve to strengthen the Jewish community itself, by giving couples from multiple faith backgrounds, adult children of inter-faith couples, and non-affiliated Jews an easy, low barrier way to connect with each other and the Jewish community and start the conversation about what Judaism means personally for each one of them and their families.
Additionally, in our rapidly growing, increasingly mobile, and more universal society where Jews and Judaism come into contact with almost every part of our culture, Congregation Beth Ahabah believes it is important to invite the entire community in to learn about what it means to be a progressive Jew in 2021.
Course for Everyone
Rabbi Scott Nagel, who will be teaching the course, explained that the course is designed for everyone: For Jews who are looking to build a foundation for further and/or deeper study; For people who have recently discovered Jewish roots in their family, or who are welcoming a Jew into their family through marriage and want to understand what this means; and for people who are not Jewish who want to learn about Judaism and their Jewish neighbors.
Welcoming the stranger is an integral part of Judaism and one of Judaism’s most time-honored virtues. Our tradition commands us to be welcoming, warm, open, inclusive people. This command appears in the Torah 36 times, more than any other commandment.
Additionally, welcoming guests is one of the few mitzvot described in the Talmud for which we receive the rewards both in this world and in the world to come.[i] In this day and age, the reason for welcoming the stranger is clear. If we take the time as community to engage in a comfortable and informal educational gathering explaining what Judaism is today and starting relationships with Jews of modernity, we are building a safer world for everyone tomorrow. It is much harder to hate a human being whom you know and understand.
The Union for Reform Judaism has been running A Taste of Judaism® for more than 30 years in hundreds of communities across North America. In this time, A Taste of Judaism® has helped over 100,000 people deepen their knowledge and connection to Judaism. Congregation Beth Ahabah is proud to offer this program to the greater Richmond Community.
If you or someone you know would be interested in registration or learning more about the program know please visit:
[i] Shabbat 127a