created at: 2011-08-16created at: 2011-08-16

Nearly three hundred adult learners will be enrolled in Me’ah this year.  Their applications reflect the diversity seen in all classes, at sites throughout Greater Boston.  Enrollees bring to the intensive adventure their unique backgrounds and a common thirst for knowledge.  Below is a sampling of specific reasons they signed on for the two-year, one-hundred (me’ah)-hour, journey. 

For more information and/or to register for a Me’ah class—beginning the week of Oct. 24th—contact Raylea Pemstein at Hebrew College, at 617-559-8708 or


Twenty Reasons We Signed Up for Me’ah

Because of our backgrounds

“I never had a Jewish education, and am curious about what I might have missed.” 

“I went to HebrewSchool, and now want to learn about Judaism on an adult level.” 

“I come from a country where I experienced anti-Semitism and was not able to have a Jewish education.  I hope to gain a stronger Jewish identity, of which I can be proud.”

“Though my parents and grandmother instilled in me pride for my heritage, I’ve always felt a void in my formal Jewish education.”

“As a convert to Judaism, I have taken introductory classes.  I would like to deepen my Jewish education.”

“As an artist, I look for ways to incorporate Jewish values and themes into my work.” 

“As a teacher, I face the challenge of making Jewish history relevant to today’s young people.  I need to know more.”

“As an officer in the Israeli army, I need an objective account of our 4000 years of survival.”

Because of where we are now

“Me’ah has been on my wish list of things to do for many years… now is finally the time to make the commitment.”

“My rudimentary knowledge no longer satisfies my developing spiritual, cultural, and intellectual needs.  Who am I and how do I fit in the continuum of Jewish history?”

“I would like to model—and convey my enthusiasm for—Jewish learning to my children and grandchildren.”

“My children attend day school and are so knowledgeable.  I want to grasp some of what they know, and also be part of a learning community.”

“I live a Jewish family and religious life willingly and happily, but without any significant background in the history and texts that are the basis of this commitment.”

Because of what we’d like to know

“I have read books and attended programs; I want to learn about Judaism in a way that is coherent and unified, organized and structured.”

“There is much to learn.  I want to understand references to Maimonides and Spinoza.”

“There are eras I know little about—the rabbinic and medieval periods are, for me, pretty much blanks.”

“I’ve noticed that people who took Me’ah are steeped in knowledge that greatly enhances their study of other topics.”

“I am seeking to connect to Jews who lived centuries ago.  Who were they?  How did they live… among themselves and alongside others?”

Because it is a gift… literally!

“My daughter and son-in-law gave me the course as a gift.”

“High-level learning with outstanding instructors and a community of interested, motivated, adult learners—what a gift to myself.”