Chabad to launch 'Portraits in Leadership'

Posted Wednesday, Jan 13th, 2010
Florida Sun Sentinel
This February, the Chabad Jewish Learning Institute (JLI) will launch its winter course, "Portraits in Leadership: Timeless Tales for Inspired Living."

Portraits in Leadership is a study of the life story of six figures whose courage and determination helped Judaism weather its darkest hours.

"They were ordinary people, yet they managed to change the world," said Rabbi Dovid Vigler from Chabad of Palm Beach Gardens. "The stories of our history are also going to be talked about in this class."

Vigler said these stories are relevant today because "we're living through uncertain times as well," he said. "How do you muster the strength to move forward?"

Vigler expects students to enjoy "Portraits in Leadership."

"People love stories, especially true stories," he said.

Lessons will examine a range of Jewish sources, drawing extensively from the stories of the Talmud and modern commentaries.

"This course is one part history, one part biography, all parts uplifting inspiration," says Rabbi Lazer Gurkow, course author. "It is about decisions made 2,000 years ago that continue to shape the contours of contemporary Jewish life."

Portraits in Leadership, like all JLI's courses, is designed for people at all levels of Jewish knowledge. Participants without any prior experience or background in Jewish learning can attend and enjoy this course. All JLI courses are open to the public, and attendees need not to be a member of any particular synagogue or temple. The JLI was created to address the needs of Jews for in-depth Jewish knowledge.

Authorities on each subject have organized the curriculum and teaching materials for each course.

The program began with SoulQuest in November, continues with Portraits in Leadership in February and concludes with Beyond Never Again in April. This sequence is designed to provide a deeper understanding and appreciation of Jewish thought, heritage and tradition, and enables students to achieve basic Jewish literacy as well as an understanding of cardinal Jewish beliefs and observances.

The JLI is the adult education arm of Chabad-Lubavitch. JLI's classes and programs are offered at more than 300 locations in more than 250 cities nationwide and internationally (including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Venezuela). More than 100,000 people have attended JLI classes since its founding in 1998.

Vigler said that JLI courses attract students between the ages of 40 and 65. "People really from all walks of life," he said. "Torah is the birthright of every single Jew. That's why at Chabad we welcome every Jew. We don't ask questions."

Every course offered by JLI is taught concurrently in all locations. This allows students who may be traveling during the semester to sit in on a class at a different location easily, as each location follows the same curriculum.

In South Florida, Portraits in Leadership will be offered at: Aventura Chabad, The Shul of Bal Harbour, Adolph & Rose Levis Jewish Community Center in Boca Raton, Chabad of Boca Raton-Central. Chabad of Boca Raton-West, Chabad of East Boca, Chabad of Greater Boynton, Chabad of Coconut Creek and West Pompano Beach, Chabad of the Grove, Chabad of Downtown Coral Gables, Chabad of Deerfield Beach, Chabad of Delray Beach, Chabad of Fort Lauderdale, Chabad Outreach Center of Emerald Hills, Chabad Center of Kendall and Pinecrest, Chabad of Key Biscayne, Chabad House in Miami Beach, Jewish Learning Center in Miami Beach, Chabad of Palm Bach Gardens, Downtown at the Gardens, Chabad of Parkland, Northbridge Centre of West Palm Beach and Chabad of Weston.

For more information, call the location closest to you.

Copyright © 2010, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

More Stories