Advanced Learning Institute

Looking for in-depth Jewish learning? Join our ongoing group of adult learners and engage with gifted Jewish scholars from around the country.
The Advanced Learning Institute meets on Monday mornings, 9:30 – 10:30am via Zoom.
To join the class, or just drop in from time to time,
please fill out the form below so we can send you the Zoom link and password.

Email Joy@JewishCollaborativeoc.org with any questions.

Upcoming ALI Classes

Dr. Laura Krauss: Monday November 16 at 9:30am
Hagar As Portrayed In Art From the 9th to the 20th Centuries

Laura Krauss

Humans are creative people. We like to re-spin traditional themes, characters, and plot lines then weave them into our own timelines. This class will trace the biblical text about Hagar as artists, poets, filmmakers, academics, and songwriters reshape the tropes with new questions, new insights, and new landscapes.

Reverend Dr. Laura Krauss earned her doctorate exploring Hagar from the ninth to the 21st century in global art. (And loved every minute of the adventure!). She is a pastor, scholar, and artist. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, currently she is pastoring a church virtually; she lives in LA and the church is in Colorado. Krauss received her Doctorate of Ministry in International Feminist Theologies. Her thesis was a Biblical Reception exploration of artists depictions of Hagar across the centuries, religions, and cultures. She recently mounted a one-person art exhibition: Ordinary Landscapes (an homage to rural Colorado with photographs and conceptual art).

Dr. Reinhard Krauss: Monday November 23 and 30 at 9:30am
Abraham’s Sacrifice As Understood By Christian, Muslim and Jewish Exegesis

reinhard-kraussThe Torah and the Qur’an both tell a story of Abraham’s near sacrifice of his son. At first sight, both narratives are nearly identical. In this study, we will closely examine each text and discover that they contain crucial differences which shed light on the larger framework of Jewish and Muslim theology and ethics, including contemporary beliefs and practices of the two traditions.

Dr. Reinhard Krauss is the Executive Director of the Academy for Judaic, Christian, and Islamic Studies. Since 2008 he has taught Inter-religious Studies as a Lecturer at the Center for the Study of Religion at UCLA. In addition, he is a member of the faculty of the New Theological Seminary of the West, and of Bayan Claremont, a Muslim graduate school in Southern California. A native of Germany, Dr. Krauss studied at the German universities of Tübingen and Bonn and received his Ph.D. in Theology from the University of St Andrews in Scotland. He is an accomplished academic translator, including being one of the main contributors to the new English edition of the works of the German theologian and pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a key leader of the resistance against Hitler’s Nazi regime.

Cheryl Cohen: Monday December 7 and 14 at 9:30am
November 7: “There’s An Elliot Whistle(?) on the phone.”
December 14:   “A Jewish Maidel in Muslim Lands”

Cheryl Cohen 1
Cheryl Cohen, a regular member of our ALI group, will be sharing with us some of her personal encounters with famous people she has met in the world of Jewish Studies, including Elie Wiesel.  During the eight years she was Special Programs Coordinator of the prestigious Jewish Studies Program at Indiana University, Cheryl organized conferences and visits to campus by numerous well known scholars.

During her second week, Cheryl will share some of the multicultural experiences she had during her seven years of teaching overseas and her continued travels to, so far, some forty-five countries. A teacher for thirty-five years, Cheryl is a consultant on cultural diversity and has been an instructor at both Cal State Long Beach and San Bernardino.

It our pleasure to bring great learning to ALI participants every week. Your voluntary contributions make this possible. Please consider a gift of $500 to enjoy a full year of learning. Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated. Click here to contribute.

Please invite your friends to join you. All are welcome.

If you are interested in learning more and to register, please fill out the form below. Thank you!


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