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Lifelong Learning

Visit the Adult Education Handouts and Readings page here.

Other Topics

The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls

We thought KI members might be interested in looking at digitized copies of the more well-known documents found at Qumran, commonly known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Israel Museum, Jerusalem and the Shrine of the Book have combined to present this extraordinary site where viewers may get a closeup view of the scrolls and learn more about them.

Many members may recall the travelling exhibit on the Scrolls that came to Grand Rapids in the spring of 2003. This is your chance to get a close-up view once again.

The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls Site

Conversion Class Outlines and Materials

Rabbi Zimmerman conducts classes on Jewish culture, history, life-cycle, and literature for conversion candidates. Listed below are the RRA’s recommendations for conversion requirements, the training outline Rabbi Zimmerman uses based on these recommendations, and a list of recommended reading materials for candidates.

Community Learning Activities

  • Taking the Torah Home

    "Taking the Torah Home" is a unique way of studying Torah (parashat ha'shavuah), a way which we call the "vertical Torah." Instead of studying with just one or two sources and the text itself ("horizontal" study), we study simultaneously from sources across all Jewish denominations and also bring in major Christian commentators. Our sources include a wide range of scripture translations, including the ArtScroll, Jewish Study Bible, Etz Chaim, JPS Torah Commentary, Soncino Chumash, W. Gunther Plaut, Everett Fox, Robert Alter, Richard Elliott Friedman; and major commentaries such as those of Rashi, Ibn Ezra, Nachmanides, the Anchor Bible, Nehama Leibowitz, and Nahum Sarna.

    Our sources also include very early texts such as the writings of Josephus, the Pseudepigrapha, the Enuma Elish, and the Amarna letters, as well as books and articles on biblical archaeology, paleosociology, and anthropology. Finally, we use sources from the Muslim and Christian religions such as the Qu'ran and the King James and New International Bibles and their commentaries, and a wide variety of sources from the Web including commentaries from the sites of the Orthodox Union, Jewish Theological Seminary, and Union of Reform Judiasm as well as other sources of current commentaries.

    In addition to Torah and haftarah study, we have also studied the books of Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, Ezekiel, 1 Maccabees, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Job, the twelve "Minor Prophets," and the book of Psalms. We are currently engaged in studying the responsa literature of the various Jewish movements.

    This group has been meeting since early in 2002, and we've been told that our "vertical Torah" approach to study is unique. Please join us to see for yourself. We meet Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m. at Shaarey Zedek in the library. You can find out more about the class by Conducted by local community members.

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