The Mission of the Free Jewish Lehrhaus
The Jewish community was heartbroken at the news that HaMaqom (formerly Lehrhaus Judaica) is closing its doors after forty-seven years of providing outstanding adult Jewish education. Inspired by Franz Rosenzweig’s “Free Jewish Lehrhaus,” which was established in Frankfurt in 1920, our Lehrhaus was one of the crown jewels of the Bay Area community and was unique in North America.
Spearheaded by David and Rachel Biale, we are proud to announce an initiative to continue the Lehrhaus mission under new auspices. Borrowing from the name of Rosenzweig’s school, the “Free Jewish Lehrhaus” will recruit outstanding scholars and educators to offer courses in their fields. Among those who have already agreed to teach –in addition to board members — are: Robert Alter, Rachel Brodie, Daniel Boyarin, Chana Kronfeld, Deborah Newbrun, Avi Rose, Naomi Seidman, Clair Sherman, NEchma Tamler and Diane Wolf. We will also welcome back veteran Lehrhaus teachers: Jehon Grist, Fred Rosenbaum, Peretz Wolf-Prusan, Deena Aranoff, Dorothy Richman and Jason Harris. We have also secured the participation of younger scholars, including Ariel Mayse (Stanford) and Sam Berrin Shonkoff (GUT), and are recruiting a group of other innovative educators who can reach a diverse community of learners.
The first year of Free Jewish Lehrhaus will be one of experimentation and listening to the community as to the kind of courses and workshops that would attract interest. At least initially, we do not plan to charge tuition, although we will encourage students to make charitable donations. Initially, as well, the administration of the renewed Lehrhaus will be staffed largely on a volunteer basis.
We invite the participation of members of our community in this initiative as students, teachers and supporters. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org