Chabad House of Western Michigan
Location 2615 Michigan NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506 USA
Phone2699037916
Website Chabadwm.com
Upcoming Course: 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?
  • Does assisted suicide honor or devalue human life?
  • 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.

Course Details
Lesson 1 The Gift of Social Responsibility

To the ancients, poverty and suffering were unfortunate facts of life for the unlucky to bear alone. It was the Torah that introduced the radical concept of social responsibility. So, what’s the true nature of that responsibility? Whose is it? And how should I relate to those receiving my help?

Lesson 2 The Gift of A Guiding Purpose

Abraham, the first Jew, discovered something that shook the foundations of the pagan society around him: there was one—only one—G-d, Creator of Heaven and earth. Monotheism drastically changed the way humanity has viewed life, purpose, and progress ever since. Discover how.

Lesson 3 The Gift of Respect for Life

It might seem axiomatic that human life is valuable, but a hard look at history reveals that the concept was once considered utterly radical. To discover how respect for life became a universal value, we’ll explore the underlying questions: What makes us human? And what are we here to do?

Lesson 4 The Gift of Equality and Individuality

Mastery over others was long deemed a birthright: some were born to rule; others to be ruled. Today, civil people agree that no one is intrinsically inferior or superior. This shift is thanks to the Torah’s revelation that we are all equally created in G-d’s image: just as G-d cannot be redundant, no human can be.

Lesson 5 The Gift of Work/Life Balance

Originally, those who labored did so endlessly. The Torah introduced us to Shabbat, mandating that Jewish people pause from work for a full day each week to focus on life’s purpose, on worship, and on family. As the modern world begins to recognize the benefits of Shabbat, our call to set aside that time of focus is more critical than ever.

Lesson 6 The Gift of Escaping the Cycle

Early societies considered human history locked in an endless cycle of war, conquest, peace, and more war. The Torah insists otherwise: we can, must, and will change the world for the better; war will eventually cease; justice and kindness will ultimately prevail. Today’s world is more eager than ever to hear this empowering message. Our closing lesson will suggest ways we can share it.

Dates & Times
The course date hasn't yet been announced for this location. Please email jewishlearningwm@gmail.com or call 2699037916 for more info.
Upcoming Course: Secrets of the Bible

The Bible is rich in tales, from the Garden of Eden to Noah’s Ark, from the selling of Joseph to Moses’s breaking of the Tablets. But what do these stories truly tell us? Review six famous and infamous biblical stories, and investigate the questions and mysteries they raise under the lens of the Torah’s mystical insights. The results bear both cosmic significance and practical relevance.   

Dates & Times
The course date hasn't yet been announced for this location. Please email jewishlearningwm@gmail.com or call 2699037916 for more info.
Endorsements Endorsements, Reviews and Comments of JLI's Courses and Programs.
Past Courses

The Dilemma

February 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

May 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

November 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.

Crime and Consequence

February 2019
Crime and Consequence

When innocent people are wrongly convicted...
When "correctional facilities" turn first-time offenders into hardened criminals...
When known murderers walk free on a technicality …
Fairness in justice simply cannot be left to chance.

In Crime and Consequence, we explore 3000 years of Jewish wisdom concerning criminal convictions, sentencing, crime prevention, and rehabilitation. We challenge our thinking, pondering the application of Talmudic principles to real and complex, modern-day cases, and we get to the heart of questions such as:

Should we consider testimonies given in exchange for a reduced sentence as reliable evidence?
What is the goal of punishing criminals? is it to gain retribution for the victim, keep criminals off the streets and safeguard from future crime, set an example and instill the fear of law, or to rehabilitate the criminal and reintroduce him to society?
Is life-without-parole a justifiable penalty? Is it within our right to sentence a man to death? When would these be warranted? Is there a better way?

Wrestling with Faith

October 2018
Wrestling with Faith

Most people, even the devout, struggle with beliefs about G-d. It is easy, for example, to affirm the basic tenets of Judaism during a prayer service, but when it comes to trusting G-d with our daily decisions, many share a secret, painful fear that G-d isn’t really looking out for them. Many of us have been brought up under the assumption that mainstream science is incompatible with our Jewish faith. So when we see compelling evidence for biological evolution, for example, we feel forced to choose between science and our faith. Wrestling with Faith was created to tackle questions like these—the “big issues” that keep people from an intimate relationship with G-d. The course acknowledges the often unspoken doubts and fears that all people share, and seizes their invitation for us to dig deeper for the answers.

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

January 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

May 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

April 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.