I am a happy participant in a Me’ah study group, having recently completed my first year of the two-year study program. Although at times a daunting amount of reading for an overscheduled professional, the Me’ah program rewards amply (and, indeed, I have kept up with the reading, letting things like piano practice slide). I signed up for Me’ah because I come from a nonobservant family and have felt a missing sense of grounding in my Jewishness. At 68, I am finding in Me’ah what I sought, an education in depth that locates me in the midst of Jewish textual canon in a critical-historical context of antiquity, as well as the evolution and substance of rabbinic, Mishnaic and Talmudic, Judaism. I look forward to studying medieval and modern Jewish history next year. Others among the twenty who joined my Me’ah group are similarly “wondering Jews,” but some have Yeshiva backgrounds, orthodox practice, or even Christian traditions. This is a heterogeneous gathering of intellectuals, seekers and questioners, who develop as a conversational group. My wife and I are among three couples attending our group, and we find Me’ah to be an enriching experience to share.
The quality of a Me’ah class is predominantly determined by its instructors. Our class this year has been fortunate to have had two extraordinary teachers, distinguished and highly published academicians who, each in his unique didactic/personal style, has informed and enlivened us. The faculty clearly is enthusiastic and devoted to this program, and the energy comes through, making a three-hour evening seminar fly by. The format of Me’ah has clearly been thought out and established over the years, and it is a gem of a program.
Stuart A. Pizer, Ph.D., ABPP
Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology,
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