Chabad Center for Jewish Life
Location 3370 HOPYARD RD, Pleasanton, CA 94588-5105 USA
Phone8182200423
Upcoming Course: Secrets of the Bible

A lush garden...a snake...forbidden fruit...temptation...the sin of knowledge...shame...mortality...
What is really going on?

Revisit six seemingly absurd stories you likely remember from Hebrew school. Uncover their hidden themes and eye-opening insights into the mysteries of life.
~ What is the deeper meaning behind these stories?
~ How did they shape the Jewish worldview?
~ What wisdom do they hold for you today?

Sign up for a thought-provoking experience, sure to deepen your understanding of Judaism and enrich your life!

Course Details
Story One Would you choose knowledge over paradise?

Would you rather be objective and unengaged or passionate and invested? Why is temptation more compelling than reason? What’s the big idea behind Adam and Eve eating the fruit of knowledge and the resulting human struggle with self-consciousness?

Story Two How do you see past another's failures?

If a person you love lets you down, is the relationship over? How do you build a resilient connection that will survive any storm? The secret is buried in the theme of the Great Flood: why G-d created a world only to destroy it, and how He guarantees there will never be a repeat.

Story Three Will the real you please stand up?

At some point, we're all conflicted: torn between a drive to do good and the temptation of lust, greed, and power. In this session, you'll meet your inner Jacob and Esau—the recluse and the hunter—and understand their lifelong conflict. Why does Isaac prefer the materialistic Esau? And why does the wholesome Jacob resort to deception to obtain his father's blessings?

Story Four Your life and its goals: are they compatible?

You may love what you do, or where it gets you, but seldom both. Uncover this tension in the strange relationships between Jacob and his wives and between Joseph and his brothers, and explore ways to navigate the delicate balance between personal growth and practical impact.

Story Five Why is inspiration so short-lived?

The worship of a golden calf at Sinai was tantamount to infidelity under the wedding canopy. In some way, this is the story of our lives. Why do New Year’s resolutions barely last a day? We are so easily impressionable, yet our stimulation doesn’t linger. Discover a powerful hack for creating lasting impact from two sets of tablets and the worship of a golden calf.

Story Six Does a higher station make You a better person?

If all people were created equal, why do some occupy more elevated positions than others? You weren’t dealt the same hand as your neighbor; does this make you inferior to them? Explore Korach’s challenge to Moses’s leadership to gain insight on privilege and every person's unique contribution to society.

Dates & Times
  • OPTION #1

    • 6 Tuesdays, Nov 3rd - Dec 8th 2020
      10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
    • $75.00
    • register
  • OPTION #2

    • 6 Tuesdays, Nov 3rd - Dec 8th 2020
      7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
    • $75.00
    • register
  • OPTION #3

    • 6 Thursdays, Nov 5th - Dec 10th 2020
      8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • $75.00
    • This course will be held virtually. Virtual login info will become available upon registration.
    • register
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Past Courses

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

November 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.

With All My Heart

May 2019
With All My Heart

Whether you’re seeking relief from stress; you’re hoping for focus, clarity, and connection to a raw and vulnerable place deep within you; or you just want to start each day from a positive, humble, and grateful frame of mind, this course is for you.

Jewish wisdom teaches profound techniques to give wings to our emotions and words to our yearnings, allowing us to make contact and communicate with something larger than ourselves and feel comfort and shelter within a reality that’s more whole, more intense, more real, and more beautiful.
 

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.