“A Toolbox for Jewish Learning” Classes in English and Spanish

The new “Introduction to Judaism” course starting this winter

Everything You Wanted to Know About Judaism

Are you from the Los Angeles eastside or the greater San Gabriel Valley, and looking for a learning opportunity to help you more deeply connect with the Jewish tradition? At congregation Beth Shalom of Whittier the new “Introduction to Judaism” course for this winter is uniquely formatted to help people learn about the practical tools of Judaism. This class is not just for converts, it is also geared for those who want to become better informed about Judaism.

This class is meant for those looking to connect with Jewish rituals, theology and beliefs. It touches on Jewish history, prayer, calendar and holidays, life cycle events, Bible and much more!

Join Rabbi Osnat Margalith on Sundays for our next 18-week course.

A Spanish version of this class will be taught by Shmueli Gonzales. (That’s me!)

Classes meet from 11am to 1pm

beginning December 7th, 2014.

Contact the synagogue office or myself for more information and reservations.

This class is required for those interested in converting.

Introduction to Judaism courses in English and Spanish

Grab a leaflet here in English or Spanish

Regarding Conversion to Judaism: While converting to Judaism is not a requirement for people to participate in this program, this class is a required course for all those seeking to convert. This course covers all the material needed to satisfy the essential educational requirements for the conversion process in an exciting, engaging, hands-on format. This course is intended to provide basic training for Jewish living, as well as to prepare those who are seeking conversion to Judaism to approach the conversion beit din (rabbinic court) with confidence.

Congregation Beth Shalom of Whittier and our clergy are proud members of the “Sandra Caplan Community Conversion Beit Din of Southern California” – the publicly operated and not-for-profit beit din which oversees conversions for all the progressive movements in our region.

In order to uphold klal Israel – the unity of the Jewish people – and to provide the dignity of recognition of our local converts throughout out all of the progressive movements – Conservative, Reconstructionist, Reform, Renewal and trans-denominational – our congregations have collectively agreed to cease the contentious and messy practice of “private conversions” in Southern California. Private conversions, which are often not recognized by other congregations or denominations.

In place of that ad-hoc way of functioning and to end the related confusion, the local Jewish community has collectively organized this publicly operated, transparent and not-for-profit conversion court. One which performs all it’s conversions under the proper halachic standards; supervised and signed-off by rabbis representing all the various movements, thus assuring one recognition of their conversion across the spectrum of the progressive Jewish denominations; over 150+ rabbis in total. In our region we have chosen to embrace public accountability and display pluralism at it’s best!

We are also proud to align with this progressive regional body, which rightfully welcomes people from diverse backgrounds and life experiences. In their own words:

“We welcome candidates for conversion to apply regardless of their race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, height, weight, physical or mental ability, or marital status.”

For more information about the Sandra Caplan Community Conversion Beit Din or to see if your local rabbi is a participating member, please be sure to also refer to their helpful website!

About our Spanish Program: Congregation Beth Shalom of Whittier is proud to once again offer the “Introduction to Judaism” courses in Spanish. We will be covering the same exciting material as the English course during our Spanish sessions. As a congregation with a very active Latino membership – and which regularly makes use of the Spanish language in our liturgy as well – we are very much committed to making all the resources of the community available for the Spanish-speaking.

I am very pleased to contribute to this wonderful educational opportunity, to service our local community and the needs of our Latino families!

Grab a leaflet here in English or Spanish, or find more information on the website of the synagogue!

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