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adult jewish learning


Build your foundation of knowledge and experience of Jewish the Bureau!

Foundations meets on Tuesday mornings (9:15-11:30am) for 30 weeks starting in September. Check out this year's reading list--you can even order from this site!

Your willingness for Jewish learning is the only prerequisite for enrollment. There are no grades or examinations.

What a great way to learn through informal discussions (and always a few stories thrown in just for fun!) We talk, we read, we schmooze and we laugh.  And, by the end of each session...we realize how much we have learned! Join us!



 attend the annual "Dinner with a Scholar" fundraiser evening

January 7, 2006




Jewish Academy of Growth and Learning

The Adult Education Task Force, made up of 30 volunteers, educators, and clergy from every synagogue and Jewish organization in Orange County, bring this idea to you. The idea was nurtured by an eclectic sub-committee made up of a Reform educator, a Chabad rabbi, and 3 adult learners. Out of their hard work, they crafted the outline of the “Academy without Walls”. You have a chance to participate in this innovative program!

 “There are so many educational activities happening in the community; this is a way to recognize and make them even more useful”, says Joan Kaye, Executive Director.  “This academy allows students to take advantage of the array of community events and opportunities”. 

Headed by Rabbi Michael Mayersohn, the certification curriculum is structured over (at least) three years, allowing students to customize their certification by choosing a variety of learning formats.  This might include attending lectures with visiting scholars, synagogue or university classes, and participating in new Jewish experiences.

 The customization is what gets new participants excited. “I think it’s important to get involved with the community other than just your own congregation”, says Patrick Schlup, a tireless supporter of adult education. This is the first time adult learners will be eligible for a personal mentoring/personal learning community-wide plan in Orange County.



All the rest of our Family and Adult Education

Mitzvah Mania

Community-wide annual event for pre-bar/bat mitzvah students and their parents. During preparations for a bar/bat mitzvah, most 6th graders choose a "mitzvah project" that will help the community while teaching these young adults important skills. The students meet teen "mitzvah makers" and see how they make a difference and find out how they can create a community Tzedakah project. Check out our Teen Mitzvah Resource Guide!


Teen Family Education

The Orange County Bureau sets the standard nationally for family education with teens. Adat Noar parent sessions and special holiday booklets all work together to improve communication between parents and teens and enhance their Jewish experiences.


Adult Education Task Force

The Bureau invites representatives from all synagogues and communal agencies to participate in communal projects designed to increase opportunities for adult Jewish learning in Orange County.


Professional Development

Believing that “Our teachers deserve the best teachers” the Bureau brings outstanding master teachers to Orange County for an extensive program of professional development for religious school teachers. In partnership with the synagogues, we offer religious school teachers an amazing range of interesting and informative classes designed to deepen their own Judaism as well as teach them how to make their classes exciting for their students.


Pirke Avot Project

The Orange County Board of Rabbis joined the Bureau with the publication of a special series of ethical discussions. Each study piece was based on a verse from Pirke Avot and came with a brief story illustrating the lesson, followed by provocative discussion questions relating the text to contemporary issues of Jewish life. The discussion was intended to take from 10 - 15 minutes and can be conducted by lay leaders as well as professionals.

The materials were developed by Rabbi Shelly Donnell, Rabbi Joel Landau and Joan Kaye.

In addition to their use as divrei torah at the beginning of organizational board meetings, they can be mailed to families for Shabbat dinner discussions, given to Havurot to enhance their meetings, or used in whatever manner you feel to be most valuable.  See our examples.

  In Association with



Bureau of Jewish Education
of Orange County

Phone: 949-435-3450, FAX 949-435-3456
[email protected]

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