Chabad Center
Location 509 S Fourth St, Champaign, IL 61820 USA
Phone2173558672
Upcoming Course: Days to Celebrate

Days to Celebrate: Demystifying Lesser-Known Festivals of the Jewish Calendar
During these trying times, everyone is looking for something to celebrate. Fortunately, the Jewish calendar offers us many such opportunities throughout the current season. This five-part miniseries will enrich your appreciation of these special days. Explore their history, discover their significance, and learn about the traditional observances associated with these days.

Course Details
Lesson 1 Counting Down or Gearing Up?

During this time of year, Jews around the world count each day for seven weeks to mark off the days left until Shavuot—the day that we received the Ten Commandments. Why do we count, and what does it mean for us? Is it just an ancient ritual, or can it become a contemporary self-help program that will dramatically improve our lives?

Join us for a discussion on the counting of the Omer and discover its life-changing formula for success. When performed correctly, the counting can become a daily regimen for self-refinement that will improve your relationship with others, your relationship with yourself, and most importantly, your relationship with G-d.

Lesson 2 Never Too Late

If you have procrastinated all your life, is it too late to change? If you haven’t talked to your sibling in decades, is there still a chance for reconciliation? If you have suffered an addiction for years, is there still hope for you? Join us on a journey of life as we explore the mystery of Pesach Sheni; a little-known festival that unlocks the secret of rehabilitation.

Lesson 3 The Secret of Jewish Unity

Why are there so many Jewish factions, and why is Jewish unity so hard to achieve? If we strip away the outer disagreements, what lies at the core of Judaism? This lesson will present biographical sketches of two great Jewish leaders, Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Shimon bar Yocha’i. We will explore the tensions of the Jewish people in their times and discover the balance that lies at the core of Judaism and of Jewish unity.

Lesson 4 Essence to Essence: The Sinai Connection

If Abraham already knew the Torah and taught it to his children, what did we receive at Sinai? This lesson will demonstrate that G-d did not give us the Torah at Sinai; He gave us Himself. We did not give G-d our commitment at Sinai; we gave Him ourselves. G-d was thrilled at Sinai to learn that He matters to us. We were thrilled at Sinai to know that we matter to Him.

Lesson 5 Shavuot DIY: How Do You Do Shavuot at Home?

No matter how quickly society reopens, we are not likely to enjoy large gatherings this Shavuot and will likely need to do it at home. Shavuot includes delightful traditions such as adorning the home with flowers and enjoying dairy treats, and somber customs such as studying Torah all night and Yizkor—remembering our loved ones. It includes rules that are unique to Shavuot and others that are common to all Jewish holidays. We will present and explain these traditions and empower you to do it yourself.

Dates & Times
The course date hasn't yet been announced for this location. Please email rabbi@illinois.edu or call 2173558672 for more info.
Upcoming Course: Cultivating Character

Cultivating Character: Life Wisdom from the Ethics of Our Fathers
Pirkei Avot - Ethics of Our Fathers is a compilation of timeless aphorisms from the sages of old, offering Jewish wisdom on life, morality, and character development. Continuing the ancient tradition of studying its chapters in the weeks between Passover and Shavuot, this miniseries brings the poignant teachings of Ethics of Our Fathers to life, allowing its messages to resonate with participants and inspire personal growth.

Dates & Times
The course date hasn't yet been announced for this location. Please email rabbi@illinois.edu or call 2173558672 for more info.
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Past Courses

The Dilemma

January 2017
The Dilemma

Accredited for Continuing Legal Education (in most states)

Apply mind-bending, brain-twisting, hair-splitting Talmudic reasoning to solve real-life modern dilemmas—situations that actually happened yet seem impossible to solve. What do you do when your gut tells you one thing, and your brain tells you another? Prepare for a mental expedition to mind-wrestle with situations that force us to choose between two reasonable truths.

Analyze, discuss, and debate Talmudic texts with live interactive polling for an authentic taste of original, dynamic Talmud study.

 

How Success Thinks

November 2016
How Success Thinks

Whether it’s at home, in the office, or in your personal life, everyone craves success. This course provides uniquely Jewish ways of thinking to help you develop a growth mindset, identify and cultivate your signature strengths, deal with your weaknesses, and overcome the obstacles to your success.

Strength and Struggle

May 2016
Strength and Struggle

In Strength and Struggle we unlock the secrets of great character by exploring some of the most dramatic narratives and inspiring personalities in all of history. Set in the midst of our nation’s formative years, an era in which our ancestors fought to carve out a civilization among hostile neighbors, these thrilling tales of judges, kings, and prophets reach into the essence of the human condition. Their heroes and antiheroes teach us eternal lessons of struggle and triumph, courage and humility, hope and resilience.

The Jewish Course of Why

February 2016
The Jewish Course of Why

Give your Judaism the intellection you know it deserves. Prepare to tackle the quizzical, queer, and seemingly-unanswerable questions about Jewish belief and practice.

Ever wondered why there are so many Jews in Hollywood? Why Jews eat gefilte fish and cholent and wish each other mazal tov and l’chaim? Why the Bible sanctions slavery and animal sacrifices? What is the cause of antisemitism? What does Judaism say about Christianity? About the role of women in Jewish life? You will also gain insight into mysterious Jewish practices, strange biblical narratives, and enigmas of Jewish identity.  

 

Survival of a Nation

June 2017
Survival of a Nation

Experience an inspiring and thrilling account of what was then considered the most improbable and astonishing victory in all of military history.

Drawing on ideas of great Jewish writers and thinkers from throughout the ages, Survival of a Nation presents the Six-Day War as you’ve never experienced it before.

Its six sessions confront the impossible yet important questions of our time with affectionate and fervent patriotism, while also remaining realistic, and morally anchored.

Great Debates

October 2017
Great Debates

Debate is not only encouraged within Judaism but resides at the very heart of our history and theology. Great Debates in Jewish History explores six fundamental conflicts that pitted the greatest Jewish minds against each other—six instances of divergent perspectives, including several that are still debated today.

Discover stirring and surprising accounts that span two millennia of Jewish disputation, reflecting the panorama of Jewish history and its monumental political, ethical, and spiritual challenges. Encounter the gripping narratives of six fascinating eras, the intellectual tension and points of view they unearth, and the light they shed on the most fundamental of Jewish beliefs.

Judaism's Gifts to the World

January 2020
Judaism's Gifts to the World

By most indications, modern society is a model of moral progress. Yet when it comes to everyday values, we still grapple with the big ones…

   - What are our responsibilities toward the less fortunate?
   - How do we fashion a more moral and equal society?
   - How can we make a move toward more cohesive family living?

Join us to unpack six of the world’s most cherished values and how they were delivered to humankind by the Torah. By tracing their fascinating journey to the mainstream, we’ll discover a timeless core of purpose, integrity, and clarity in each value—a powerful gift of guidance as we navigate our own daily choices.

Worrier to Warrior

December 2019
Worrier to Warrior

We yearn to feel happy, self-assured, and enthusiastic, yet we’re consumed by feelings of doubt, regret, insecurity, and suffering. Do our delicate positive emotions have a fighting chance at being in control? This course explores negative emotions in a completely new light, offering spiritual mechanisms that allow us to remain upbeat no matter what life brings.

What Is?

April 2018
What Is?

Imagine that you were able to rethink everything you knew about the universe, the laws of nature, your own consciousness, and the very idea of existence and reality. Imagine the new insights you will gain, the fresh perspective with which you will embark on the journey of life each morning.

What is? does exactly that. Drawing on the wisdom of Chassidic teaching, the most basic building blocks of existence are reexamined from the bottom up, revolutionizing our understanding of life, reality, and our place in the world.

Communication: Its Art and Soul

January 2018
Communication: Its Art and Soul

Can you express yourself effectively in 140 characters or less? Should you?

The rise of the internet, mobile phones, and social media has completely changed the way we relate, interact, and communicate with one another—and it’s high time we reclaim this lost art.

In Jewish philosophy, communication is more than just a tool: it is who we are. Humans are defined as communicative beings with a communicative soul, and aligning ourselves with this soul is our raison d’être.

In Communication: Its Art and Soul, we contrast Jewish thought with scientific discovery to unearth the essence of communication and how to utilize its powers to better ourselves, our relationships, and all of society

Journey of the Soul

October 2015
Journey of the Soul

Journey of the Soul explores the mysteries surrounding the spiritual dimension of our existence—our destiny that continues even after we’ve shed our earth-bound body suit. We examine the transition of the soul into the hereafter, the kinds of legacies that are valued even after we’ve forsaken this earthly existence, and the accompanying emotional journey and rituals that help the soul and those closest to it prepare for its new reality.

Judaism Decoded

May 2015
Judaism Decoded
Just as science follows the scientific method, Jewish tradition has its own system to ensure its authenticity remains intact.
Judaism Decoded sheds light on the mysteries surrounding biblical interpretation. How do we know our interpretation is true? If it is true, why is it subject to differences of opinion? And with so many interpretations to choose from, how do we know which one reflects its original intent?
Discover the sheer elegance of the “source code” on which Torah law is built; enjoy the razor-sharp reasoning, intelligent debate, and compelling arguments of the Talmudic dialectic; and get a fascinating, behind-the-scenes glimpse of the most intellectually sophisticated religion in existence.

Living with Integrity

February 2013
Living with Integrity

Are you obliged to keep all commitments? What are the responsibilities of the sandwich generation? Are the ungracious deserving of our charity? How far should we go to give the benefit of the doubt? A discussion on personal ethics and the Jewish view on laws that test the limits of our integrity.

This course is eligible for CLE credits in the following US States: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

This course is also eligible for CPD credits in England and British Columbia.

The Kabbalah of You

October 2012
The Kabbalah of You

 Are you all you can be? How can you unleash the infinite power of your soul within? This course provides a mystical roadmap to living a life of happiness, fulfillment, and self-actualization by revealing how you can thrive and be more than just alive.

The Art of Marriage

April 2012
The Art of Marriage

Judaism views a loving marriage as a spiritual as well as a human ideal. 

“The Art of Marriage” is a six session course that will show participants how to attain that for themselves and their spouses, with timeless lessons from both modern and ancient Jewish texts such as the Talmud and Zohar.

 

 

Money Matters

January 2012
Money Matters

Is Judaism socialist or capitalist? Who is responsible for preventing poverty? Is unionization a Jewish ideal? Must Walmart pay its workers a livable wage? Where would you draw the line? An ethical, Talmudic, and legal debate on the economic issues of our time.

Curious Tales of the Talmud

May 2013
Curious Tales of the Talmud

Everyone loves a good story. Knowing this, the sages of the Talmud used stories to encode messages about life that are far too deep and profound to communicate directly. This course decodes some of these extraordinary Talmudic mysteries to uncover layer within layer of insight into the nature of life, the universe, G-d, and man.

Life in the Balance

November 2013
Life in the Balance

Modern medicine has brought us near miracles. It's also brought us some of the most difficult decisions we'll ever have to face. Are we obliged to prolong life even at the cost of terrible suffering? Should we legalize the sale of organs, such as kidneys, to save the lives of transplant patients? May a woman with a multiple-fetus pregnancy opt for fetal reduction, thus forfeiting the lives of some to possibly save others? When it seems that every available option is morally questionable, how do we decide?

 

The Art of Parenting

January 2015
The Art of Parenting

As parents, we worry about the well-being of our kids; about their future, and about our role in shaping it. In The Art of Parenting, we scale the challenges that face us as parents and explore timeless insights from Jewish wisdom to instill values, foster independence, and ensure the long-term success and emotional well-being of our children.

How Happiness Thinks

November 2014
How Happiness Thinks

Since the dawn of time, man has been ever-fascinated by the workings of the human brain. Only recently, scientists have been discovering the underlying dynamics that shape and influence our frame of mind--new ways to cope with anxiety and stress, steps that we can take to crystallize our self-concept, and practical tools we can use to build the resilience and grit to ride through any challenge life throws our way.

Surprisingly, Torah and the Talmud have for centuries advocated various approaches to achieving happiness; ideas that are only now being confirmed through scientific observation. How Happiness Thinks offers a Jewish roadmap to happier living. Every lesson contains poignant insights into how our minds operate with practical steps you can take to boost your happiness levels to places unimaginable.

Paradigm Shift

May 2014
Paradigm Shift

Paradigm Shift is an elevator ride to the heights of what is possible. Synchronize yourself with the mission for which you were placed on earth, and learn to recognize the inherent goodness and perfection in yourself, in others, and in every circumstance of your life.

Distilled into six succinct lessons, this empowering course offers a revolutionary outlook on life, culled from the wisdom of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory.

This course is offered in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Rebbe’s passing.

To Be a Jew in the Free World

February 2014
To Be a Jew in the Free World

What was it like for our ancestors to say goodbye to the shtetl, to set out to discover new lives for themselves, along with all of the liberties the free world had to offer? At the dawn of the enlightenment, how did our parents adapt their Judaism to the developments of a modern age? And what can we learn from their struggles to connect deeply with our own Jewish identities?

 

 

Fascinating Facts

November 2011
Fascinating Facts

Does Judaism believe in guardian angels? Why do Jews use matchmakers? Who wrote the handwriting on the wall? A fun course in Jewish cultural literacy, full of surprising facts, myths, and mysteries surrounding Jewish tradition and practice.