Ordination Program Public Courses - Fall 2018

The ALEPH Ordination Program (AOP) opens a selected number of courses every semester to the general public. Here's a great opportunity to study with our core faculty and alongside students on the ordination path.

You don't have to be an AOP student - or a student in another seminary - to enroll in these courses. However, AOP students have priority of enrollment. If a course is over-subscribed, we will place you on the wait list and try to confirm your registration as soon as possible.

Each course has 13 weekly meetings - starting in mid-August and ending in late December - and is conducted with online distance-learning technology (required: highspeed internet, webcam, and microphone). Please NOTE that "A Walk Through the Siddur" starts in early September.

Course Fee:
  • $566.50 if you're NOT taking it for AOP credit ($550 + 3% T'rumah Financial Aid Fund fee)
  • $1,030 if you're an active or potential applicant taking it for future credit ($1,000 + 3% T'rumah Financial Aid Fund fee)

​​No payment is due now. You will be invoiced when fee is due around the start of the semester.

If you would like to register for any of our Public Courses, please fill out the form immediately following the Course Descriptions below. Where applicable, please indicate whether you would like to take it for AOP credit or not.

If you have any questions, please contact Ming at the AOP office: 215-247-9700 x210, Mon to Fri, 2 to 5 pm (eastern).

If you need to CANCEL your registration, please do so in writing by emailing Ming (ming at aleph.org).

Course Descriptions

A Walk Through the Siddur” Registration CLOSED
Instructor: Rabbi T'mimah Ickovits
Wednesday 4 to 6 pm (eastern) OR Thursdays 6 to 8 pm (eastern)
Starting on September 5 or 6
AOP credit available for Rabbinic Pastor, Cantorial, and Hashpa'ah Programs
prerequisite foundational course for Rabbinic Program
Entry into the ALEPH Rabbinic Program and completion of the Rabbinic Pastor, Cantorial, and Hashpa'ah Programs require a basic understanding of our liturgy and its central concepts and terms. This course begins with an overview of the arc of the siddur, the spiritual journey it offers, and the initial impetus to pray as Jews. We will explore the deep structure of the liturgy - its language, history, literary styles, and theological perspectives - as well as basic terms such as matbe'a ha-t'fillah, hiyyuv, sh'ma u-virchote'ha, and heikhe k'dushah.

What makes a shaharit service whole? And how weekday, Shabbat, and holiday services are similar to and different from each other? This course will consider holistic aspects of Jewish prayer - how it references Earth’s daily, monthly, and seasonal patterns. Meditation methods developed by masters of Kabbalah will be introduced. We will also reference siddurim from different Jewish traditions. The expectation is that students use this course to develop or enhance a meaningful and doable daily personal practice.

Survey of Jewish HistoryRegistration CLOSED
Instructor: Rabbi Shulamit Thiede
Sundays 3 to 5 pm (eastern)
Starting on August 12
AOP credit available for Rabbinic, Rabbinic Pastor, and Cantorial Programs
Jews have adjusted, integrated, and reinvented what it means to be Jewish for thousands of years. In this course, we will approach Jewish history phenomenologically, exploring how Jews have experienced the world as a tiny and vulnerable nation, as prosperous and thriving minority communities, and as the threatened (and threatening) "other." The survey will ask how Jewish communities from ancient times to our own age have defined themselves as "Israel." Our sources will include academic surveys, scholarly articles, and a wealth of primary sources that ranges from steles to biblical texts, from ancient incantations to Talmudic texts, from first-person documentary accounts to journalists' opinion pieces, and more.
Hebrew Language
Biblical Hebrew 101Registration CLOSED
Instructor: Rabbi Bob Freedman
Mondays 7 to 8:30 pm (eastern)
Starting on August 13
Course Fee for the general public is $566.50 each semester
prerequisite foundational course for Rabbinic, Rabbinic Pastor, and Cantorial Programs
This 2-semester course - Biblical Hebrew 102 will be offered in Spring 2019 - is designed to provide a solid grounding in the translation and interpretation of classical Hebrew texts. Areas covered: nouns, recognition and translation of the seven binyanim and weak (irregular) verbs, and other topics. The course uses texts from Genesis, parashiot ha-shavuah, and siddur. Please email Rabbi Bob Freedman (bfreedman at aleph-ordination.org) if you'd like to find out if this course's level is right for you.

Registration Form

Where applicable, please indicate whether you would like to take a course for AOP credit or not.