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.
Maharat Victoria Sutton — Mondays @ 12:00 pm


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. 
R. Yonatan Cohen — Tuesdays @ 12:00 pm. 

Voices of Zionism w/Steve Zipperstein: In a series of presentations, we will explore the full range of Jewish voices wrestling within the Zionist movement. We’ll examine Zionist dreams and realities, concepts of home, refuge, liberation and catastrophe in a complex and fractious movement. Among the thinkers evaluated will be Leon Pinsker, Ahad Ha’am, Theodor Herzl, Jabotinsky, and Rav Kook.
Steven J. Zipperstein is the Daniel E. Koshland Professor in Jewish Culture and History at Stanford. He is the author and editor of eight books including “Elusive Prophet: Ahad Ha’am and the Origins of Zionism” (1993) which won the National Jewish Book Award and has been translated into Hebrew.
His most recent book, published by WW Norton early next year, is entitled “Pogrom: Kishinev and the Tilt of History.” Zipperstein is an editor of Yale’s “Jewish Lives” series, an editorial board member of Jewish Review of Books and lives in Berkeley with his wife Susan Berrin.
Steve Zipperstein — Tuesdays @ 7:30 pm, November 14, 28, December 5

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


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!
M. Victoria Sutton — Wednesdays, 7:30—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.  
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.
R. David Rue Saturdays @8:30 am-9:15 am

Zemirot of Shabbat with R. David Rue—Shabbat Day: Each Shabbat we will study one Zemer (Shabbat Song), learn the tune, study the text and ask some questions for further thought. Class will meet in the beit midrash during kiddush, 15 minutes after kiddush begins.
R. David Rue Saturdays 15 minutes after kiddush begins