Jewish Learning Loft (Evenings)
Location 333 s Desplaines st # 406, Chicago, IL 60661 USA
Phone773-633-5560
Upcoming Course: Outsmarting Antisemitism

Rise above the Hate

We cannot let antisemitism define our Judaism, but we cannot ignore it either. As direct memory of the Holocaust fades, Jews around the world are wondering whether the patterns of past centuries are returning, in both the Old and New Worlds, where Jews experience more hate crimes than any other group.

Are Jewish people doomed to be stuck in this cycle forever? Is there a way to escape this history of hate?

Outsmarting Antisemitism takes this dark subject on squarely, with a sense of unabashed optimism, profound faith, and a distinctly Jewish approach.

Through illuminating source texts and captivating case studies, this course considers the sources of this ancient scourge, along with the appropriate strategies for overcoming it. It’s time to find the confidence to fight hate with hope and to stand tall against antisemitism with positivity, purpose, and plenty of Jewish pride!

Course Details
Lesson 1 The Eternal People

By taking another look at the statistics, studying our people’s remarkable perseverance, and exploring the concept of Providence, we can find eternal cause for confidence and optimism while we implement plans to secure ourselves and our communities.

Lesson 2 No Apologies

We look at some of the explanations for antisemitism that have been offered throughout the ages to emerge with an important principle: the problem with hating Jews lies not with the Jews but with the haters. Internalizing this hate is not a healthy response.

Lesson 3 The Promised Land

Today, hatred of Jews commonly manifests itself as antagonism toward the Jewish State. This class distinguishes all-out antisemitism from some more nuanced sub-strains. It also examines the state of Israel education and the very nature of Jewish nationhood.

Lesson 4 Change of Heart

Psychology, neuroscience, and recent history show us that neither friend nor foe should ever be taken for granted. With a bit of subtlety and conviction, and always with trust in G-d, we find that the dark days of the past are no cause for pessimism ahead.

Dates & Times
The course date hasn't yet been announced for this location. Please email ari@jlichicago.com or call 773-633-5560 for more info.
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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.

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?