Jewish texts deal with significant questions about the meaning of life, from the theological and the philosophical to the legal and practical, guiding not just how we look at the world, but how we live in the world. Classes are offered most days of the week, many taught by Rabbi Cohen, several others led by community members. All classes at CBI, unless otherwise noted.


Key Books in Tanach:  Daniel, Ezra & Nehemiah with Maharat Victoria Sutton: These narratives tell the story of the Jewish people between the First and Second Temples. From the writing on the wall to the lion’s den, we will explore the life and times of the prophet Daniel in the Babylonian court. Next, we turn to Ezra and Nehemia, pivotal figures in the establishment of the Second Commonwealth. As we journey through this critical time in Jewish history, we will learn about these amazing figures, their challenges and choices, and how they can inform our own experiences both in the Diaspora and in Israel. Class is not meeting on President’s Day, February 19.
Maharat Victoria Sutton — Mondays @ 12:00 pm

Shirat Hatefillah — Prayer Poetry: Since the relationship between “religious” and “secular” aspects of modern Israeli society is usually portrayed in terms of a kulturkampf–a culture war–exploration of the creative output of people who straddle both worlds is particularly compelling.  Together we will study contemporary Israeli poets who explore theological themes and the paradoxical iconoclasm of their poetry.
Rachel Brodie holds a master’s degree in Rabbinic Literature from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America and a B.A. in Literature and History from Brown University. Rachel lives in Berkeley with her de facto “bashert” Adam Weisberg and their two de jure daughters, Sophia and Ariella.
Rachel Brodie — Mondays @ 7:30 pm, February 19

Latte N Learn: at the Starbucks at 2128 Oxford St in Berkeley. Rabbi Akiva can carpool to and from Beth Jacob if you reserve a spot that day. Also parental permission must be given via email. Carpool leaves at 7:10 and is back by 9:00. 8th graders invited too!
Akiva Naiman—Mondays @ 7:30 pm @ Starbucks


Laws of Shabbat: In this class we will re-use R. Eliezer Melamed’s well-organized, clear and concise halakhic (Jewish legal) writings as a springboard to deepen our understanding and our observance of the laws of Shabbat. Each class will focus on a specific area of religious practice and move from general principle to practical details.  Class is not meeting on Tuesday, February 20 & 27.
R. Yonatan Cohen — Tuesdays @ 12:00 pm. 


Midrasha’s Tanach and Talmud (for Teens)
This course is an informal but intensive study group focusing on close thematic readings of the Tanach and Talmud in translation.
Mickey Davis — Wednesdays @ 6:00 pm

Open Sources – Beit Midrash: Learn independently with a hevruta (study partner). Learners of all levels welcome. Want to study with a partner, and not sure where to begin? Contact M. Victoria Sutton with any questions ( and we will help you find a partner and get started! 
*New! Hilchot Shabbat Chabura – Guided small group study of the Laws of Shabbat. Parallel to Rabbi Cohen’s Laws of Shabbat class, the group will use R Eliezer Melamed’s Laws of Shabbat to deepen their understanding of Shabbat observance. Book available for order at Afikomen. Please let M. Victoria Sutton know if you would like to join.  Class is not meeting on February 28.
M. Victoria Sutton — Wednesdays, 7:45—9:00 pm. 

Jewish philosophers: Rabbi Eliezer Berkovits: The class is currently reading and discussing selections from “Essential Essays on Judaism” presenting Berkovits’ most significant essays, exploring vital issues within Judaism and Jewish society, including: Jewish morality and law, Jewish nationhood, and Jewish theology. No background necessary.
Muni Schweig — Wednesdays @ 8:00 pm @ the Schweig home


Talmudic Wisdom: Join us for a weekly class that explores key sugyot (talmudic units) that discuss major Jewish questions of practice and thought.  Class is not meeting on February 23, March 2.
R. Yonatan Cohen • Fridays @ 9:00 am


Study of Kima Kima (Step by Step) by Rabbi Chaim Drukman:  Kima examines the sources that deal with the redemption of the Jewish people from the Bible, Talmud, Midrashim and the early Rabbinic sources.  Kima Kima provides deep insights into modern Israeli Orthodox thought and philosophy of delivery from exile to redemption and the important part that the State of Israel has played in this process. Class is not meeting on February 17.
R. David Rue Saturdays @8:30 am-9:15 am

The Poetry of Rav Kook with R. David Rue—Shabbat Day:  We will be studying the poetry (primarily) of Rav Kook that has been turned into songs. Each class will meet in the beit midrash 5 to 7 minutes after kiddush begins. Class is not meeting on February 17.
David Rue Saturdays, 5-7 minutes after Kiddush begins