Students tackle tough questions in Chabad classes

Posted Tuesday, Feb 9th, 2016

 Last week, Chabad of Malibu started The Jewish Course of Why, a new six-session winter 2016 course introduced by The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute that began during the week of Feb. 9.

The course spans a diverse range of topics, from fun, light, and off-the-beaten-track questions, to more complex and controversial issues. Some of the course’s 50 questions include: Why are there so many Jews in Hollywood? Why do Jews eat gefilte fish and cholent and wish each other mazal tov and l’chaim? Why does the Bible sanction slavery and animal sacrifices? What is the cause of anti-semitism? What does Judaism say about Christianity and about the role of women in Jewish life?

“No religion is known for its rational basis and its welcoming of questions and intellectual debate quite like Judaism” explained Rabbi Zalman Abraham of JLI’s headquarters in Brooklyn. “In preparing for the course, we turned to over 30,000 people who each submitted their biggest questions about Judaism. We then selected the most popular among them and addressed each one with resonant insights from the greatest minds in Jewish history.”

In addition to the above questions, the course offers insight into mysterious Jewish practices, strange biblical narratives and other Jewish topics.

“We’re excited to be offering this fun and dynamic learning experience here in Malibu,” said Rabbi Levi Cunin, the local JLI instructor in Chabad of Malibu. “The Jewish Course of Why gives our participants the opportunity to expand their Jewish knowledge and intellectualize their Judaism by exploring rational insights into the most intriguing questions that 
Jews have today.”

Like all previous JLI programs, The Jewish Course of Why is designed to appeal to people at all levels of Jewish knowledge, including those without any prior experience or background in Jewish learning. All JLI courses are open to the public, and attendees need not be affiliated with a particular synagogue, temple or other house of worship.

JLI, the adult education branch of Chabad Lubavitch, offers programs in more than 960 U.S. cities and in numerous foreign locations. More than 330,000 students have attended JLI classes since the organization was founded in 1998.

Chabad of Malibu is located at 22933 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. For more information on the course, call (310) 456-6588 or visit

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