Let's learn together

 
  • You want to explore your relationship with Judaism or your Jewish identity?
  • Your child needs Hebrew tutoring for their b'nei mitzvah?
  • You would like to learn the main prayers in a Kabbalat Shabbat or Shabbat Morning service and understand what they mean?

$60/hour for 1:1 learning.

$20/session for 90 min group classes.

(But don't let financing keep you away! Reach out and we can talk!)

Picture this:

On a walk through the neighborhood in the spring, we see bleeding-heart flowers (levavcha) and squirrels running about and expressing themselves exuberantly (nafshechah) and big trees with deep roots and bold branches (m'odecha) and while walking we learn the meaning and vocabulary of the v'ahavta - one of our central prayers.

Walking around Lake Nokomis, we explore big Jewish ideas of God and Life and Death as we encounter orange and black orioles, watch hawks circle overhead, and explore a decomposing fallen tree. 

Sitting in a coffee shop, we quietly chant or read the text of a prayer together until it becomes familiar and you have confidence to continue on your own.

You are not Jewish, but your spouse is, maybe you have children and they also are. What could it mean for you to be part of a Jewish family and community? What will it mean for you to raise Jewish children? What is your relationship with your in-laws? Or maybe you aren't married, and you really like hanging out in the Jewish community, but you aren't sure that you ever want to convert. What does that mean for you and your identity? So we get together and we explore Judaism and puzzle out your place in relationship with it.

 

 

WHAT IS TORAH? In When Zaydeh Danced on Eldridge Street , Elsa Okon Rael's picture book, Zeesie asks her grandfather, "Can you tell me, Zaydeh, what is Torah?". . . . "You, my dear one," Zaydeh said, "have just asked a question with as many answers as there are Jews to answer it. The Torah is the writing of the five books of Moses. It was given to us by God in heaven to tell us how to live as Jews in the world." Zaydeh took a deep breath before he offered, in a whisper, "And would you like to know what I think? Personally?" Zeesie tingled with curiosity. "Yes, please, please." "Come closer." Zeesie thought Zaydeh was about to whisper in her ear, but instead, as she leaned closer to hear him, Zaydeh kissed the top of her head. "That's what I think is Torah. A kiss from God!"

 The answer to "what is Torah" is, of course, different depending on the context. Most literally, "Torah" refers to the Five Books of Moses: Beresheet/Genesis, Shmot/Exodus, Vayikra/Leviticus, Bamidbar/Numbers and Devarim/Deuteronomy. "Torah" can also refer to the entire written Jewish bible - the Tanakh. "TaNaKh" is an acronym of the first Hebrew letter of each of the text's three traditional subdivisions: Torah (Five Books of Moses), Nevi'im (Prophets) and Ketuvim (Writings). In its broadest sense, "Torah" means the whole body of Jewish teaching both written and oral. 

What Torah shall we learn together?

Amy is the single most conscientious person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. As a teacher, she is an expert at “meeting people where they’re at,” creating inclusive curricula for all kinds of learners with a variety of backgrounds and interests. Her intensely high level of intelligence is especially evident when she is talking through a problem with someone because she can bring them into a wider picture that allows for creative problem solving everyone can get on board with.
— Avalon Levey
 Avalon and Amy, photo by Liddy Rich

Avalon and Amy, photo by Liddy Rich

 Maddy on a Beach in Israel , photo by Emily Teters

Maddy on a Beach in Israel , photo by Emily Teters

I first started working with Amy when I was 10 years old. My family had just joined Mount Zion Temple, and I was placed in a Hebrew class for the first time. I was a complete beginner, and Amy worked diligently with me throughout the entire summer and school year to help me catch up to the level of my classmates. She was patient, kind, experienced, and I looked forward to each of our lessons immensely. She made learning Hebrew fun and approachable. Over the years she grew to be not only a teacher, but also a mentor and a friend. I owe Amy so much of what my Jewish identity grew to be, because it all started with her at Gingko Coffee House on Snelling Ave, all those years ago. She’s seen me grow into the woman I am today, and I know that no matter where I am in my life, she will always be someone who I go to for wisdom and guidance.
— Maddy Silk Wolfe