Education ► Adult Education
Access to Judaism Classes
Specially prepared for members and friends of Sukkat Shalom Reform Synagogue and Woodford Liberal Synagogue by Rabbis Larry Becker and Richard Jacobi. Welcome! Thank you for your interest in this course. As course tutors, we aim to provide you with a programme and format that provides:
All the essential education in Judaism needed by someone choosing to become Jewish.
Stimulus and learning for those already Jewish who want to enrich their Judaism (by attending the whole course, or individual sessions).
A complement to experiencing Jewish life at home and in synagogue community.
A launch-pad for further learning, both formal and informal.
Teaching will be mainly by us, supplemented by others as required. For those converting to Judaism, your sponsoring rabbi will act as your personal tutor throughout the course.
The course will consist of:
Background reading / research before each class, usually prompted by questions.
Classes, usually on Wednesday evenings after the Hebrew class, starting around 8:30pm and finishing at 10:00pm.
As you become more experienced, possibly leading a class, with your preparation supported by one of the tutors;
For those converting to Judaism in the Liberal movement, and others who might wish to consolidate their learning, essays on two selected subjects. More details will be given to those people needing or wanting them.
Opportunities to spend time with and learn from other members of the communities. Apart from attending services and other congregational activities, and ‘getting stuck in’, we will aim to give each person converting to Judaism a contact person to mentor them; other participants might also want someone to help them in their learning.
Those who are converting to Judaism will need to achieve a basic proficiency in the Hebrew of the prayer book (siddur). The Hebrew class is meeting on Wednesday evenings at 7:30pm (before the Access to Judaism class) and the cost of the class will be shared among the participants in it.
The course will be swap roughly every half-term between Woodford Liberal Synagogue (WLS) and Sukkat Shalom Synagogue (SSRS).
Rabbi Richard Jacobi, Rabbi Lisa Barrett and Rabbi Larry Becker
Take it to the Text - Ancient lenses on contemporary questions.
Student Rabbi Deborah Bausten will be presenting 3 evenings that enable a dialogue between contemporary social issues and classical Jewish texts. Study texts from Torah, Talmud, and modern Jewish thinkers that help us to see today's social questions from new angles. All sessions are free and open to non-members as well as members. The classes begin at 7:30.
Thursday 14th March 2019. Community in Crisis- What happens when relationships in a society break down?
Classical Jewish texts and commentaries offer multiple examples of fractures in the social fabric. What can they teach us about the conversations around leadership and trust in our society today? Does Jewish tradition suggest a blueprint for healing ruptures in community?
Thursday 28th March 2019. Jews, the Pariah People- Do Jews belong?
Our key texts of Torah and Talmud were given and created in moments of exile, which has prompted Jewish thinkers through the ages to ask whether 'Judaism' sees Jews as natural outsiders. Hannah Arendt and others have argued that Jews are a 'pariah people'. How did our ancestors see themselves and what does it mean to talk about belonging as Jews in 2019 Britain?
Thursday 4th April 2019. Living in a Global World- Who is our neighbour, and what is our responsibility to them?
When it's possible to know more about someone on the other side of the world than someone on our street, what does it mean to talk about loving our neighbour? Meet modern thinkers and classical texts that look at the question of kinship and geography.
The LAND OF ISRAEL הָאָרֶץ
In today’s political and cultural climate, we do not often enough speak proudly about the land of Israel in our long and rich tradition and of the more recent Zionist dream and its extraordinary realisation in The Land.
The Land, הארץ, is therefore the theme of the next Lehrhaus on the Road course which Sukkat Shalom Reform Synagogue is hosting this coming May. We will again welcome Leo Baeck College and their inspirational teachers who will present a unique, wide-ranging and world-class programme.
Our first session is with Dr Tali Artman-Partock who will teach
יְרוּשָׁלַיִם - Jerusalem, the centre of the world
Thursday, 2nd May, from 7.45 – 10.00pm
Our second session is with Dr Laliv Clenman who will teach
Israel is higher than all the lands:
Israel and the Diaspora in Ezra-Nehemiah and the Babylonian Talmud
Thursday, 9th May, from 7.45 – 10.00pm
Our third session is with Dr Jeremy Schonfield who will teach
Promised land(lessness) in Jewish prayer
Sunday, 19th May, from 10.30am –12.15pm
Our fourth session is with Rabbi Colin Eimer who will teach
לִבְנוֹת וּלְהִבָּנות - To build and be built: How the State of Israel was and continues to be created
Thursday, 23rd May, from 7.45 – 10.00pm
Our fifth and last session is again with Rabbi Colin Eimer who will teach
What does the word הָאָרֶץ (The Land) mean in Jewish thinking?
Thursday, 30th May, from 7.45 – 10.00pm
Join us as we celebrate the chain of tradition that ties us both as a people and as individuals with The Land. The Synagogue Council has approved a substantial subsidy for our members and there are even lower prices for returning students.
To enroll please go to
or phone Jarek at Leo Baeck College on 020 8349 5600.