Me’ah (“100” in Hebrew) is a two-year (100 classroom hours) adult learning program.  Launched in 1994, the program—developed by Hebrew College and Combined Jewish Philanthropies — boasts more than 3,000 graduates.  Participants come from diverse backgrounds; no knowledge of Judaic subjects or Hebrew is required.  What all share:  the desire to understand Judaism’s rich tradition and history. 

Me’ah is comprised of a four-part curriculum.  In the first year students study the biblical and rabbinic periods; in the second, they explore medieval and modern Jewish history.  Instructors hail from the Greater Boston academic arena.  They are experts in their respective fields, and able as well to help students grasp the overarching, compelling, narrative of the Jewish people.  

Participants express appreciation not only for their teachers’ depth and breadth of knowledge, but also for their respectful and open styles.  “My instructor encourages me to think out loud,” said one student.  “I find myself having conversations with my husband about assimilation in Hellenistic times, a far cry from the mundane topics that usually consume us.”  Another student delighted at his instructors’ sense of humor and ability to place facts in their contexts.  “Absolutely fantastic!  I learned more this past year than in the prior 46!  I actually grasped the Talmud!”

A dynamic course that connects history to our present day lives, Me’ah regularly surpasses expectations.  “I often came to class after a long day of work, tired and distracted,” confessed a recent graduate.  “Our instructor’s enthusiasm, energy, and passion for his subject always made me glad that I came.  Knowledgeable to the ‘nth degree,’ he made the material come alive for me.” 

Meah is being offered at eight sites throughout the Greater Boston area this fall.  Classes begin the week of October 12th.  For more information please contact Raylea Pemstein at 617-559-8708 or meah@hebrewcollege.edu, or visit www.hebrewcollege.edu/meah.