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Never Stop Seeking

by Keith Satisky, former President

As we all know, learning does not end when you leave school. Every day brings new opportunities to learn, from a random, fun fact to an important life lesson. Obtaining post-graduate degrees seems to be more common than ever, and there are seemingly a million online classes for every topic one can imagine. However, for many folks, Jewish education often ends after graduation from religious school.

One of the hallmarks of Judaism is a commitment to education and lifelong learning. Judaism is not a static religion — its laws and texts are supposed to be read, interpreted, discussed, and litigated ad nauseum. Jewish men used to spend their days studying the Torah, searching for meaning they had yet to discover. Times have changed since those days, but achieving lifelong Jewish education is still attainable.

My wife, Graham, is a prime example. Raised a devout Catholic, she grew attracted to Judaism for its openness to questioning dogma. More than a decade after her conversion to Judaism, Graham decided to take her Jewish learning to the next level and enroll in Beth Meyer’s adult b-mitzvah course. Over the course of two years, she learned the essentials of our faith, and, together with new and old friends, she became a Bat Mitzvah at the age of 42. Not only did that experience bring Graham closer to Judaism, but it also inspired our sons, Jake and Luke, who became b-mitzvah soon after.

No matter your level of faith or involvement with Judaism, I strongly encourage you to seek out continued Jewish education. This can come in the form of critically reading the Torah portions at services, having your child teach you what they learned in Religious School, or forming a Jewish book club with friends. If you’re interested in something more intensive, might I suggest one of Beth Meyer’s many adult learning classes (all of which can be found on the Beth Meyer website), where you can strengthen your understanding of Jewish tradition, history, spirituality and more. You may even find unexpected benefits, such as making new friends or gaining a new outlook on the world. Lifelong learning has benefited me and my family, and I am sure it can benefit you as well.

Thu, July 18 2024 12 Tammuz 5784