You may have seen the event posting for “A Taste of Judaism” and you may have had no idea what that was about– so I want to tell you all about it.You’re probably confused about what exactly will happen at this class. The answer to the most common question… no, this is not a conversion class! For three Wednesdays in a row (starting March 2nd), you’ll meet with a group of other young adults and a fantastic rabbi, Lev Baesh, to dive into questions about Jewish spirituality, community and ethics. For the first time in its history, the class “Taste of Judaism” has a session specifically (and only!) for young adults.

I’m looking forward to taking this class for a few reasons. I lacked a distinctly Jewish upbringing; sure, all my friends were Jewish, but we never went to synagogue, and I got the impression I was just supposed to soak up my Jewish identity rather than dive into it to gain a deeper understanding. As a Jew in college going to Hillel, I sometimes felt like an imposter, like my Jewish identity was a cardboard cutout, while everyone else had deep and rich Jewish identities. They all seemed confident about their understanding of Jewish values, where I wasn’t sure exactly what a Jewish value was. After I went on my Taglit-Birthright Israel trip in 2007 I became more confident in my Jewish identity and pursued work in the Jewish community and am now proud to call myself a Jewish professional… but now I can’t pass up the  opportunity to revisit some of the questions that plagued me in college and that I think about every so often.

I’m guessing there are a lot of you out there like me… Birthright Israel alums who had an incredible time in Israel and never doubt your identity as Jewish, but sometimes feel sheepish about your ignorance  of some of the foundations of Jewish community and values. If you think that may be you, you should definitely make time to come to this class!

Or maybe you have a non-Jewish boyfriend or girlfriend, and you have always wanted him/her to know more about Judaism but haven’t know the right way to get those ideas across. Now is your chance to bring them along to this welcoming and fun class where they can get a deeper appreciation for all the things that factor into a Jewish identity.

We’ll meet Wed. March 2nd, 9th and 16th at Harvard Hillel from 7-9 pm (with free dinner!) and have lively and interesting discussions with a fantastic rabbi, Lev Baesh, who can guide us and answer our questions.

I’m always thrilled to coordinate programs for Birthright Israel alumni, but I’m particularly excited about this opportunity because it’s one I have been craving for a while. Don’t miss your chance to get a little deeper, or maybe dust off the cobwebs that you didn’t realize were there until you traveled to Israel. Now that there are no more snow banks in your way (thanks, thaw!), you have no excuse- so grab a friend and make sure not to miss this class!

Class is free but registration is required; email to RSVP!

Alexis Gewertz
created at: 2011-02-18