Midreshet Spring 2023 Session

Classes begin on Wednesday 2/01 and Thursday 2/02. Full vaccination required to attend in person.
 Registration Deadline: January 25

S1. Famous and Infamous Jewish Families

Wednesdays, 9:30-10:45

  • 12 sessions in person (online participation allowed only if necessary)
  • Cost: $210
  • Instructor: Leslie Goldress
This course will explore some prominent Jewish families in the United States and across the world. We will first look at a biographical overview of the entire family and then focus on each notable family member, chronicling that individual’s rise to prominence. Some of the families that we will include are the Rothschilds, the Warburg, Seligman and Schiff families of “Our Crowd”, as well as the Sassoon, Netanyahu and the Soloveichik families. A few “infamous” Jews like Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel and Meyer Lansky will not be overlooked.

S2. The Bible From an Historical Point of View

Wednesdays, 11:00-12:15

  • 10 sessions with instructor online
  • Cost: $180
  • Instructor: Dr. Martin Cohen

How does the Bible co-exist with science and history? Let’s explore the Tanakh (Jewish Bible) together, discarding midrashim and other legends, and look at the text from historical and scientific points of view. Topics will include the Creation and Flood stories, the Exodus, the rise of social justice and true monotheism, the explanations for rampant evil (and what to do about it,) and the surprising roles of many women in a patriarchal society.

S3. Not for Prophet

Thursdays, 9:30-10:45

  • 12 sessions in person or online
  • Cost: $210
  • Instructor: Rabbi Brian Leiken
"To be a prophet is both a distinction and an affliction" according to Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. Some run towards prophecy, some run away from it. Yet the prophet is much more than a willing or unwilling mouthpiece. What were they like? Using Heschel's book The Prophets, we will examine who these men were, what drove them to prophecy and their meaning to our lives today.

Instructor Bios

Dr. Martin O. Cohen has lectured once a month for the past two decades on Jewish history and bible at the Orangetown Jewish Center, and has taught at other synagogues and Jewish culture clubs. He taught Jewish history for three semesters at the Reuben Gittleman Hebrew Day School. Dr. Cohen is a mainstay instructor with the Learning Collaborative at New City Jewish Center and with the Road Scholar (nee Elderhostel) summer program. Dr. Cohen has been a faculty member at Midreshet Rockland for many years.

Leslie Goldress has taught Melton and Midreshet since their inception in Rockland. A Jewish educator for over 50 years, she has a graduate degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Leslie served as Educational Director of the NCJC for over 20 years. She has taught Dramas of Jewish Living, a Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning core class, Melton graduate courses on American Jewish Experience, Contemporary Jewish Issues, Israel, and the Development of the Jewish Denominations.

Rabbi Brian Leiken has been the Senior Rabbi at Temple Beth Sholom since June of 2012.  He is passionate about social justice, Jewish history, and the study of modern American Judaism.  As the religious leader of Temple Beth Sholom, Rabbi Leiken has transitioned the temple into a relational synagogue, one that is built upon the inter and intra-relationships between the clergy and its members. He attended the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion where he was ordained in May of 2007.

Financial need scholarships and spouse discounts are available.

For more information, contact Barry Kanarek at bkanarek@jewishrockland.org or (845)362-4200 ext 170.