This is our long-standing flagship weekly class, going strong at UAlbany since the year 2000. We do recycle some older classes after a 5 year hiatus but many are all-new material, originally prepared and presented by Rabbi Mendel Rubin (though sometimes we have a guest or student presenter). Nearly all classes include text materials, and our goal is to be content-rich, creative and relevant, and accessible and meaningful to all levels of Jewish learners. See more about Torah-Tues at the header link, its ongoing now for over 17 years, it is presented at least twice that night, and is served with dinner.
Starting in Fall 2014, we have a weekly Talmud class after the Minyan Brunch, thanks to student request and initiative. One year we learned Talmud Brachos chapter 4, which has 5 double-sided Talmud pages. Another year we did the 10th chapter of Bava Metziah “HaBayit vhAliya” about upstairs downstairs tenant/neighbor relations. For Fall 2017 we’re looking to do selected stories and inspiring segments from Talmud tractate Taanit. We use both the original and translated Talmud texts, and learn one segment per week. Especially for something like the Talmud stories we’re doing this year, prior Talmud experience shouldn’t be necessary. Enjoy it over a nice bagel brunch. And btw, while Sunday’s Minyan Brunch has become mostly a guys thing, girls are welcome, especially for the Talmud study.
New for Fall of 2017! This new initiative (reincarnating something similar from our start at Shabbos House way back in the 20th century) is thanks to a special newly established fund to bolster Kosher Dining. Raizy or Mendel or both, will be at Kosher Dining each Monday 12:30-1:15pm (exact times may change once we figure out people’s class schedule patterns) for conversations, or a Lunch and Learn. We’re thinking more informal style yet substantive. If you have a meal plan just swipe in, for students who don’t – thanks to this fund, and as long as it lasts – we will swipe you in or reimburse you for Kosher lunch costs. You do not have to be there the whole time, its flexible, but we’re trying to commit (while allowing for exceptions) to be there each Monday for 45 minutes and to have something interesting to talk about or learn together.
“A woman’s wisdom builds her home” as the verse says in Proverbs (14:1) and indeed, the Lubavitcher Rebbe emphasized this refers to both one’s own family as well as to the family of Israel, the Jewish people. Raizy will be doing a women’s-only class just after lunch on Shabbos afternoons during the Mincha prayer. For now the topic is Mishlei, the Book of Proverbs, which is a wonderful fountain of Jewish wisdom and a great springboard for discussion.
LAW & ORDER
Started irn Spring 2015, “Law and Order” is a 15-minute class on the background and modern application of a specific Jewish law or observance, Halacha (law) or Minhag (custom). On the “early Fridays” (late Fall and early Spring without DST) “Law and Order” is at 6pm before the Orthodox Kabbalat Shabbat services. This class is also thanks to student initiative and interest.
ONE-ON-ONE & SMALL GROUP LEARNING
Shabbos House offers numerous unadvertised one-on-one or small group study opportunities. UAlbany students, contact Rabbi Mendel and Raizy if there is something specific you’d like to study together, whether for just one time or on a weekly basis.
INFORMAL ACTIVE LEARNING
Believe it or not, you can learn a lot just by hanging around at Shabbos House. Students who come regularly for cooking and Shabbos prep on Thursday nights have great conversations about a wide range of subjects. Another great informal learning opportunity is Shabbos morning Minyan and the in-between tidbits and discussion. There’s also some quality relaxed learning at the last meal of Shabbat “Seudah Shlishit” especially on longer Shabbat afternoons in the late Spring and early Fall with our “ding-a-ling” Pirkei Avot hotline. Minyans are also great opportunities for informal learning. We pepper tidbits of commentary and inspiration throughout the service and add a little spice and commentary in between the Aliyot of the Torah Reading. Not only will you learn more about prayer, but it’s a good time of camaraderie and community and it’s amazing how much Jewish learning and custom you will pick up.
TASTE OF YESHIVA
This periodic program rotates between local Chabad Houses, and creates a 90-minute environment Beit-Medrash-style Torah study with Chavrusa (peer) learning and a short lecture/presentation, and occasionally different learning formats as well. We did it in the past and look forward to bringing it back sometime in the future.
JUDAIC STUDIES AT THE UNIVERSITY
While no longer offering a major at this time, Judaic Studies at UAlbany offers a wide range of academic for-credit University classes (some cross-listed with other departments and requirements) from Holocaust Studies to Zionism, Middle East politics and Jewish literature going back to the Bible all the way to modern day Jewish/Israeli writers. See the Judaic Studies webpage at Albany.edu for more information and which classes are offered this semester.
JLEARN STUDY PARTNERS ON THE PHONE
This option allows you to set up a learning arrangement on your times and terms, with a real live person who may be close by or thousands of miles away. There is no charge, and considerable effort is put in to make a good study partner match-up. Visit www.JNet.org to find out more or sign up.