Educational series to have debut here

Posted Monday, Oct 27th, 2008
Staten Island Advance

Educational series to have debut here

Jewish Learning Institute to offer three courses at the Bernikow JCC

Friday, October 24, 2008

By Leslie Palma-Simoncek

Advance Staff Writer

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- The Jewish Learning Institute will open its first branch on Staten Island, with plans to offer classes in traditional Judaism in an innovative and challenging format accessible to Jews of all levels of learning.

Those curious about the classes can even try one for free.

"The Jewish Learning Institute allows you to explore basic Jewish ideas, to share critical analysis and intensive discussion with exciting instructors and classmates," said Rabbi Moshe Katzman of Chabad Lubavitch of Staten Island.

Rabbi Katzman is chairman of the Island JTL committee.

Rabbi Shmuel Bendet will teach the 90-minute classes, which will take place on Wednesday evenings beginning Nov. 12 at 8 p.m. in the Joan and Alan Bernikow Jewish Community Center.

"At the heart of Jewish culture there has always been Jewish learning, an engaged and vibrant meeting of minds," said Rabbi Bendet, whose outdoor wedding ceremony in March at the Bernikow JCC was a first for the Sea View facility.

The program will begin next Month with "Soul Maps." "You Be the Judge," will begin in February and "Biblical Reflections" will be offered in May.

"Soul Maps" will provide an innovative approach to understanding human psychology.

It is a six-step program that uses tools from Kabbalah to help participants understand themselves and find inner contentment. It is designed for people with all levels of Jewish knowledge.

Men and women are invited. A knowledge of Hebrew is not required.

The fee for "Soul Maps" is $100, which includes textbooks and refreshments. Islanders may register for the course and take the first class free of charge, with no obligation to continue further.

The Jewish Learning Institute, with headquarters in Brooklyn, offers programs in some 300 cities around the globe.

For information about the classes, visit or e-mail Rabbi Bendet at [email protected].

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