Exploring Judaism


Exploring Judaism is Or Shalom’s umbrella of adult classes for those on the path to discovering Judaism and for those wishing to deepen basic understandings of Jewish holidays, Shabbat, modes of prayer, ritual and more.

Read through our course offerings below. Registration for the 2021-22 year of learning is now open.

Living A Jewish Year

Living a Jewish Year is our entry-level exploration. This class delves into each of the Jewish holidays in real time, offering historical perspective, multiple entryways into celebration, and guided ritual and spiritual experience. Some time is also spent on what it means to observe Sabbath, including a communal Friday evening meal. No prerequisites are required.

Registration requires an interview (for new students) with Rabbi Hannah Dresner, to determine suitability: rabbihannah@orshalom.ca.

Course Details
Dates: Mondays, Aug. 30, 2021; Sept. 27, 2021; Oct. 25, 2021; Nov. 29, 2021; Jan. 17, 2022; Feb. 28, 2022; March 28, 2022; April 11, 2022; May 9, 2022; plus one Friday evening TBA
Time: 7 to 9 p.m.
Location: In person, at Or Shalom Synagogue
Taught by Or Shalom’s rabbi, Rabbi Hannah Dresner

Financial Investment
Entering non-members: $540
     limited need-based scholarships available; contact Rabbi Hannah Dresner
Returning students: Free of charge
Or Shalom members of at least one year: Free of charge, space permitting

Prayer Book Hebrew (Levels 1 and 2)

Prayer Book Hebrew teaches Hebrew alphabet decoding and then reading from the Et Ratzon Siddur, Or Shalom’s prayer book, offering familiarity with the Shabbat morning services, including some vocabulary and an introduction to congregational music. 

Level 1 (for beginner-beginners)

Course Details
2021 Dates: Wednesdays, Oct. 13; Oct. 20; Oct. 27; Nov. 3; Nov. 10; Nov. 17; Nov. 24;
Dec. 1; Dec. 8; Dec. 15
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.
Location: In-person, Or Shalom Synagogue
Taught by Harriet Frost

Financial Investment
Course: $198
Class text (required; will be distributed in class), Shalom U’vracha, the New Hebrew Primer: $20

Level 2 (for those who know the alphabet)

Course Details
2021 Dates: Thursdays, Oct. 14; Oct. 21; Oct. 28; Nov. 4; Nov. 11; Nov. 18; Nov. 25; Dec. 2; Dec. 9; Dec. 16
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.
Location: In person, Or Shalom Synagogue
Taught by Harriet Frost

Financial Investment
Course: $198
Class text (required; will be distributed in class), Et Ratzon Siddur: $55

Keva and Kavanah – Topics in Jewish Liturgy and Ritual

Keva and Kavanah – Topics in Jewish Liturgy and Ritual explores modes of Jewish prayer with an emphasis on liturgy. Includes introduction to the quality of prayer at different times of day, week and year, guidance in the rituals of Shabbat, as well as a deeper dive into the Shabbat morning service and its expressions.

This course is meant for those with some exposure to Jewish practice. Please have a look at our entry-level course, Living a Jewish Year, if this doesn’t describe you. If you are unsure which course would be a good fit for you, please contact Rabbi Hannah Dresner.

Course Details
Dates: Mondays, Oct. 4, 2021; Nov. 8, 2021; Dec. 6, 2021; Jan. 10, 2022; Feb. 7, 2022
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Location: In person, Or Shalom Synagogue
Taught by Rabbi Hannah Dresner

Financial Investment
Non-members: $198
Or Shalom members: $36

Online registration is closed. Please contact the office to inquire about registration.

3 Responses to Exploring Judaism

  1. Tammy says:

    Is your “Exploring Judaism” class open to non-Jews?

    • admin says:

      Yes, Exploring Judaism is open to non-Jews interested in learning more about Judaism, sometimes they are people considering conversion, or people who love someone Jewish and want to learn more about Jewish customs and culture.

  2. Pingback: Coming Up This Winter at Or Shalom | Or Shalom Synagogue – אור שלום

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