Jewish Learning Institute to open branch in Bozeman this autumn

Posted Monday, Oct 19th, 2009
The Billings Gazette

Jewish Learning Institute to open branch in Bozeman this autumn

Gazette News Service | Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2009 12:00 am

Beginning this fall, the Jewish Learning Institute is opening a branch in Gallatin County, and the classes are open to the public.

"At the heart of Jewish culture there has always been Jewish learning, an engaged and vibrant meeting of minds," said Rabbi Chaim Bruk, the local JLI instructor. "We're excited to be able to bring this open and interactive learning environment to the Treasure State."

Bruk and his wife, Chavie, opened a Chabad-Lubavitch Center in Bozeman in 2007. Chabad-Lubavitch is a branch of Orthodox Judaism that educates and provides religious support to isolated Jewish populations.

Opening the new branch of the Jewish Learning Institute in Bozeman boosts the number of JLI locations worldwide to more than 300, Bruk said.

"JLI is the first international educational institution to present traditional Judaism in a professional, innovative, academically challenging yet accessible format," he said. "The JLI was created to address the need for in-depth Jewish knowledge."

Authorities on each subject have organized the curriculum and teaching materials for each course, Bruk said. The program begins with "SoulQuest" in November, continues with "Portraits in Leadership" in March and concludes with "Beyond Never Again" in April.

The sequence of the classes is designed to provide a deeper understanding and appreciation of Jewish thought, heritage and tradition, Bruk said. It enables students to achieve basic Jewish literacy as well as an understanding of cardinal Jewish beliefs and observances.

"SoulQuest" explores the double mystery of life and death, giving perspective and comfort through understanding the many legs of the soul's journey, Bruk said. The course will be held on six consecutive evenings beginning Nov. 2 at The Shul of Bozeman. The cost is $85, with a special deal for couples, and includes textbooks and refreshments. Registration is open at

For more information, call Bruk at 406-585-8770 or send an e-mail to [email protected].

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