Academy for Adult Interfaith Studies announces Spring Classes

Monday, February 3, 2003

Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s
Academy for Adult Interfaith Studies announces Spring Classes

Some of the most gifted scholars in the Greater Cincinnati community, including faculty and students from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Xavier University, The Atheneum of Ohio, Islamic Education Center, and the University of Cincinnati, teach courses for the Academy for Adult Interfaith Studies of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Six non-credit, continuing education courses in religious studies are available to men and women of different faiths and backgrounds who have a shared desire to explore areas of religion in a spirit of free inquiry and in a relaxed, enjoyable environment. Spring semester course subjects include the Empty Tomb Narratives of the New Testament, Hinduism, the Middle East, the process and role of conversion in Judaism, biblical Hebrew, and modern Hebrew. Most courses meet once a week at the College-Institute beginning the week of March 3, 2003.

Dr. Michael J. Cook, Professor of Intertestamental and Early Christian Literatures at HUC-JIR, will instruct Empty Tomb Narratives: Drawing “Conclusions” from “Endings,” an examination and analysis of the differing narratives that appear at the end of the Gospels. The harmonization of these divergences into Easter traditions will also be explored.

Meera Sehgal, a Ph.D. student in sociology at the University of Wisconsin, will teach An Introduction to Hinduism, the next in the Introduction to Religion series offered by The Adult Interfaith Academy. This course will provide an overview of the religious systems of Hinduism, its scriptures, gods and goddesses, festivals, and its diverse beliefs and practices as expressed through ritual, mythology, poetry, painting, sculpture, and architecture.

Assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Cincinnati, Dr. Elizabeth Frierson, will instruct History of the Middle East. This lecture and discussion course will explore the history of the Middle East and North Africa from the rise of Islam to the present. Political and religious development of the Muslim world as well as social history of ordinary people, cultural history, and art and architectural history will be explored through primary source documents, music, textiles, art, architecture, and popular culture.

Frederick Reeves, a rabbinical student at HUC-JIR, will teach the internet course, I Have Been a Stranger in a Strange Land: A Look at Jewish Conversion. This course will examine how one converts to Judaism and the role that converts have played in the Bible, the Talmud, through the long years of Jewish history, and today in the complex effort of defining who is a Jew in the state of Israel. Lessons will be posted to student e-mail boxes on Mondays and a virtual dialog will take place throughout the week with course instructor.

Jeff Cooley, a graduate student at HUC-JIR, will instruct Introduction to Biblical Hebrew, a 12-week course that will cover the basics of morphology, grammar, syntax, and pronunciation. Students will finish the course with a solid grounding from which they will be able to continue studying the language either formally in the classroom, or informally on their own or with a private tutor. There will be approximately two to four hours of homework per week.

Native Israeli and experienced Hebrew teacher, Mazal Rosenblatt, will instruct Introduction to Modern Hebrew, a 12-week course that will emphasize idiomatic Israeli conversational Hebrew. The class will use discussion, music, newspapers, and other interactive techniques. Attendance and work outside of class will be expected.

The cost of one Adult Interfaith Academy course (not including Hebrew courses) is $50. Participants wanting to enroll in more than one course will be charged $10 for each additional course. The fee for either Hebrew course is $100. No previous knowledge of Hebrew is required for these courses. A limited number of scholarships are available based on need. To register for courses or for more information about the Academy for Adult Interfaith Studies, contact Marcia Cruse at 221-1875, ext. 353.


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu