Hartman Institute series to probe Israel, diaspora

The Israel-based Shalom Hartman Institute — a think tank and programmer of Jewish education — has partnered with several Bay Area Jewish institutions on a study series that will consider, among other things, American Jews’ connections to Israel.

The next trimester of “Engaging Israel: Foundations for a New Relationship” is being offered in San Francisco at the Contemporary Jewish Museum (starting Tuesday, Jan. 7) and Congregation Emanu-El (Thursday, Jan. 9), and at the JCC of the East Bay in Berkeley (starting Jan. 22).

In a blurb, the stated goal of the series is “to respond to growing feelings of disenchantment and disinterest toward Israel among an ever-increasing number of Jews worldwide by creating a new narrative regarding the significance of Israel for Jewish life.”

The course will probe questions about Jewish sovereignty and Israeli military power, and each session will include a video lecture from and dialogue with Rabbi Donniel Hartman, the president of the Hartman Institute. On-site instructors include Bay Area–based scholars and rabbis.

The course offered at Emanu-El will meet Thursdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m., and the course at the CJM will be on Tuesdays from noon to 1 p.m. Each trimester runs through the end of February, with another beginning in March. One of the co-sponsors is the S.F.-based Jewish Community Relations Council. The cost at Emanu-El is $25 for members, $40 for nonmembers; at the CJM, it’s $25 for members, $100 for new participants (which includes museum membership). For more information, visit www.emanuelsf.org/TauberIkarim.

The Berkeley sessions will be held on Wednesdays from 7 to 9 p.m. and are co-sponsored by Lehrhaus Judaica. The cost is $75 for JCC of the East Bay members, $90 for nonmembers. For more information, visit www.tinyurl.com/jcceb-hartman.

“Engaging Israel: Foundations for a New Relationship” is also being offered at Temple Isaiah in Lafayette, under the auspices of Lehrhaus Judaica. The classes are less frequent than the other locations, but they are free thanks in part to a grant from the Koret Foundation. The next session is Wednesday, Jan. 8 from 6:45 to 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.tinyurl.com/isaiah-hartman.