An Introduction to Judaism
For those interested in learning more about the foundations of Judaism and Jewish life or considering conversion to Judaism.
For those seeking an orientation to Judaism and Jewish life, this course is a good beginning. Over the course of two semesters, we will explore holidays, lifecycles, theology, sacred texts, history, and personal practices. The class is designed to be a survey of Jewish topics; at the end of your study, you will have a foundation of Jewish knowledge upon which to build. Each class will include an introduction to a topic by a member of our clergy team, opportunities for questions and reflections, and time to build community and connect with fellow students.
The course is broken up into two semesters. Semester A runs from October to January and Semester B runs from February to May. Discovering Judaism includes both semesters, but you can begin with either Semester A or Semester B. For those seeking to convert to Judaism, completion of both semesters of Discovering Judaism is a required step.
In our Discovering Judaism program, you will find a warm and accessible environment open to all. Everyone is welcome – interfaith couples, people raising Jewish children, spiritual seekers, individuals considering conversion, and anyone curious about Judaism. We embrace adults of all abilities, races, sexual orientations, and gender identities. Throughout each semester, we spend time building community where lively discussion is encouraged among all the students in class.
Course Schedule + Fee
The next session of Discovering Judaism begins with Semester A on September 6, 2023. The class meets in person on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 to 8:30 pm at Congregation Rodeph Sholom, 7 West 83rd Street, on the following dates:
Semester A (2023):
September 6, 13, 20
October 4, 11, 18, 25
November 1, 8, 15, 29
December 6, 13
Semester B (2024):
January 17, 24, 31
February 7, 14
March 6, 13, 20, 27
April 3, 10, 17
May 1, 8
Semester A is currently underway.
Registration for the cohort that begins in January 2024 is open now.
*Fall 2024 and Spring 2025 dates will be announced in April 2024.
Tuition for Discovering Judaism is $720. This includes all class materials, course time with clergy, two Shabbat dinners, and any class outings. Additionally, students have access to CRS member benefits while enrolled in the course.
Each semester, we gather as a class to attend Shabbat services and eat Shabbat dinner together. If you plan to participate in Semester A 2023, please mark your calendar for October 13. If you plan to participate in Semester B 2024, please mark your calendar for March 15.
The Zoom link for class will only be available to those who are experiencing long-term medical issues. We do not want to exclude anyone from participating in class, but we know from experience that the best learning and community building happens when we all sit around the table together. We recognize that this means that people may miss a class here or there when sick or traveling. We will always post the slides and additional resources in a shared GoogleDrive that students have access to. We also hope that students will build connections with each other and can reach out to catch up on missed sessions.
Withdrawal prior to first class: Full Refund
Withdrawal after the second class: Full Refund less a $25 withdrawal fee
Withdrawal after the third class: No Refund
Hebrew is an incredibly important part of Jewish history, identity, and peoplehood. At CRS, we offer an online, 8-week introductory Hebrew course. No prior knowledge is required. At the end of the 8-week online course, you will be able to decode and read Hebrew words.
Discovering Judaism students have access to our Hebrew courses for free during the time that you enrolled in Discovering Judaism. Visit this page to learn more about our upcoming Hebrew class offerings.
Learning Hebrew is not a requirement for conversion—AND, our intro class is a really great introduction to learning how to read Hebrew, which can be an important part of feeling comfortable with Jewish prayer. Rabbi Goldberg is happy to speak with students individually about learning Hebrew.
Connect with Us
Rabbi Deborah Goldberg
About the Conversion Process
Meet with our clergy, learn about Judaism, and reflect. Learn about the process ›
Adults @ CRS
We have courses and programs for everybody. See our offerings ›