Thought-provoking classes,
open to all.

Join us.

Through our Community Education program, the Academy brings leaders from the broader community to share and discuss timely, intriguing and inspirational topics. Whether you're interested in getting your feet wet in hopes of enrolling later on, or you're just interested in a particular topic, we're honored to have you join us.

Community Education classes, unless otherwise noted, meet in the evenings at UCLA @ Hillel and are also available for participation online via Zoom. Most classes consist of six (6) sessions that meet once per week. Registration fees vary by class.

These classes are open to all -- including current students -- but do not include any credits that count toward a professional or Master's degree.

Our Winter 2019 Program includes these three classes:

Telling the Story of Freedom

Preparing for yet another Exodus by a Deeper Look into the Haggadah of Passover

Join Rabbi Ronnie Serr for 6 sessions leading up to Passover 5779 as he brings his unique perspective and approach to this sacred tradition. In each two-hour session, you’ll examine specific themes and topics related to Passover, including The Seder Night, Telling Freedom, The Ten Plagues, Celebrating Passover, Blessing after the Meal, Singing Halle and Afikoman Songs.

Class Length: 6 sessions on consecutive Tuesdays in March and early April
Class Dates: 3/5, 3/12, 3/19, 3/26, 4/2, 4/9
Meeting Time: 7:00-9:00pm
Class Location: UCLA @ Hillel or Online via Zoom
Tuition: $90 (Register Here)

Rabbi Ronnie Serr learns and teaches the love of HaShem, the love of Israel and the love of Torah following the teaching of the Baal Shem Tov. He holds a private Orthodox rabbinical ordination. A graduate of Tel Aviv University, the Hebrew University and UCLA, he currently works in technology as a web database developer following careers in journalism, translation and book publishing.

A Taste of Talmud

The six meetings of this class will be co-taught by Rabbi Eli Schochet and Rabbi Corinne Copnick and will cover a variety of Talumdic topics, including:

Session 1: We'll begin with an overview of the Oral and Written Talmud, and how it developed. Then we'll discuss the Talmudic "Pursuit of Truth" with a rabbinic quandary about the tradition of singing a bride's praises. What if she is beautiful? What if she is ugly?
Session 2: The subject of discussion this week will be the extensive "Property Laws" in the Talmud. Who is responsible for what?  Do boundaries make good neighbors?
Session 3: The third lecture will focus on the personal pain--and damage to reputation--that can be inflicted by thoughtless or hurtful words.  As an example, the famous Talmudic story of "Ona'at Devarim" will be explored.
Session 4: What is aggadic narrative? In this session, we will discuss the literary characteristics of Talmudic stories as a guide to contemporary creative storytelling and give some examples of traditional Talmudic stories.
Session 5: Did you know that the Talmud ‘s way of resolving complex issues is reflected in our own U.S. justice system.? First we’ll explore this method of looking at a problem from many points of view. Then, with insights from Talmudic scholar Ruth Calderon, we will discuss how the tale of “A Bride For One Night” (B. Yoma 18b) resonates in an age of “Me Too.”
Session 6: Who Were the Talmud's Editors and What did They Do? The role of the many editors who participated in the fashioning of the Talmud over time is a noble story: in fact, the final editor was called “The Prince.” In this session, we'll discuss who they were and what they did.

Class Length: 6 sessions on consecutive Tuesday in March and April (Rabbi Schochet will teach the first 3 sessions and Rabbi Copnick will teach the last 3)
Class Dates: 3/5, 3/12, 3/19, 3/26, 4/2, 4/9
Meeting Time: 7:00-9:00pm
Class Location: UCLA @ Hillel or Online via Zoom
Tuition: $90 (Register Here)

Rabbi Eli Schochet has been a distinguished rabbi for many years. A graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary, Rabbi Schochet, went from JTS to the pulpit at Beth Kodesh in Canoga Park in 1960, where he stayed for nearly 40 years. Rabbi Schochet has enjoyed an extension of his rabbinical career as a faculty member of both the Academy for Jewish Religion Los Angeles (AJRCA) and American Jewish University AJU. He has written seven books, founded the Kadima Hebrew Academy, and has had several important leadership positions in the Jewish community.

Rabbi Corinne Copnick ( graduated from AJRCA as an ordained rabbi in 2015. Currently, she serves as a trained dayan and on the Board of Governors at the Sandra Caplan Community Bet Din in Los Angeles. After graduation, she initiated an independent, pluralistic house of study, Beit Kulam, which celebrates inclusion. She also serves as a Guest Staff Rabbi for a quality cruise line, which has afforded her the opportunity to explore Jewish life in various parts of the world.

Introduction to the Yiddish Language

Learn basic reading, writing, conversational skills, and basic grammar of a unique rich and juicy heritage language language, the 1,000-year language of Ashkenazi Jews. This course will utilize specialized handouts as well as a textbook. (More information to be shared at the first class session).

PLEASE NOTE: All students are required to have prior knowledge of the Hebrew alphabet (printed and cursive).

Class Length: 6 sessions on Wednesdays in late February, March and early April
Class Dates: 2/20, 2/27, 3/6, 3/13, 4/3, 4/10
Meeting Time: 7:00-9:00pm
Class Location: UCLA @ Hillel or Online via Zoom
Tuition: [Registration closed as this class has already begun]

Instructor: Miri Koral has a passion for Yiddish, which she has been exercising for over 20 years as an educator, translator, prize-winning bilingual writer, dialect coach for TV and film, events producer, and international speaker. She is the Continuing Lecturer in Yiddish at UCLA and the Founding Director of the California Institute for Yiddish Culture and Language, which is known for its Yiddish cultural and educational programming (  Her original works and translations have appeared in numerous print and on-line publications. Her most recent book-length translation is a biography entitled, Jacob Dinezon, the Mother Among Our Classic Yiddish Writers, by Shmuel Rozhanski (Jewish Storyteller Press (2016). She holds degrees from Barnard College and Columbia University and is a native Yiddish speaker.