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Me'ah Select

Adult Jewish Learning.

Jump into a particular theme, era, philosopher or text with a Me'ah Select class!  Targeted to adult learners of all backgrounds-whether you are seeking to take a first step or the next step in your Jewish journey.  Our talented faculty, known for their scholarship and dynamic approach to adult learning, bring their classes to life through the study of literature, history, art, and original texts and source material.

Me'ah Select classes meet for 10-12 sessions, depending on the length of the class, over the course of one semester. Classes meet throughout the Boston metro area, including in Sharon, at Temple Israel (fall) and Temple Sinai (spring).

Spring, 2018 - Thursday evenings at Temple Israel
Muslims and Jews, Thursday evenings, 7:30-9:30pm, beginning Feb 15th
Alan Verskin, PhD

The relationship between Jews and Muslims in the pre-Modern period has been described by some scholars as “symbiotic.” We will examine the factors which enabled that symbiosis as well as the factors that threatened it. By looking at case studies of Muslim-Jewish relations in Spain, Iraq, Egypt and Syria, we will try to identify the religious and social factors that led to toleration or persecution of Jews. Finally, we will look at the factors in the 19th and 20th centuries that led Muslim-Jewish relations to unravel. These include Western colonialism, Zionism, Arab nationalism, Islamist movements and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Class begins February 15th; schedule here.
To register, click here

Fall, 2017 - Monday evenings at Temple Israel
Jews and Christians in the first 100 Years, Monday evenings, 7:30-9:30pm
Michael Satlow, PhD

Jesus was born and died a Jew, as did (perhaps arguably) Paul.  And yet, within a century after Paul's death clear boundaries began to form between Judaism and Christianity.  This course will look at the emergence of Christianity from its Jewish context and the ways in which Jews and Christians created their own distinctive identities in dialogue with each other.  We will look at questions such as: How did Christians treat Jewish law - that is, did you have to be a good Jew to be a good Christian?  What did it mean to be a "Christian" in the first century CE?  How did Jews talk about Christians as it was emerging?  What role did Roman imperial power play in the development of both Judaism and Christianity (hint: a lot!)?  We will also spend some time discussing recent developments in Jewish-Christian relations against this ancient background.
This class has concluded.

"Me'ah works no matter where you are on the continuum of Jewish learning. It is the perfect mix of history, philosophy and the showcasing of important personalities... it gives a real sense of the narrative of a people over time.”
- Me'ah participant



Michael Satlow is professor of Judaic studies and religious studies at Brown University. He is the author of Creating Judaism: History, Tradition Practice and How the Bible Became Holy. Satlow received a Ph.D. in ancient Judaism from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1993 and has taught in the Me'ah program for the last decade. He has held fellowships from the John S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Fulbright Scholar Program, and the American Council of Learned Societies among others.

"Michael is an excellent teacher — he gave us a wonderful taste of the fundamentals of the Judaism of the Rabbis."


Alan Verskin is an assistant professor of history at the University of Rhode Island. He holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University and an M.A. from the University of Chicago Divinity School. He is active in both formal and informal Jewish education. His academic work ranges in topic from nineteenth-century Yemen to medieval Spain, and from Islamic law to Jewish philosophy. He is an avid translator of Arabic, Judeo-Arabic, and Hebrew.


Me'ah (the Hebrew word for 100) is an outstanding program promoting excellence in adult Jewish education. Sponsored by Combined Jewish Philanthropies and run by Hebrew College, Me'ah brings world class scholars and teachers to the community to teach a sophisticated course in Jewish history and thought.

Me'ah classes are taught in local synagogues and institutions, so it is easier for members of the community to participate. The classes are stimulating and academic, but also introduce students to patterns of Jewish thought and ritual tradition. The teaching and readings are at the level of what a student in college might experience in an introductory course on Judaism and the Jewish People; please see the FAQ for more. Those who have participated in Me'ah finish the class with an appreciation of the scope of Jewish history and life and are prepared to delve more deeply into a variety of Jewish subject material.

To find out more about classes in Sharon, contact the synagogue (781-784-3986 or
For information about Me'ah in general, contact Sara Riedner Brown, Associate Director, Me'ah (617-559-8708 or

This is an opportunity you will not want to miss!