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Thursday, April 02, 2020

(Courtesy of Chabad) Across Bergen County, over 300 adults will gather at eight Chabad centers for an all new JLI course of study titled “Judaism’s Gifts to the World”—a six-week exploration starting the last week in January—that will unearth the Jewish roots of some of the most cherished values of Western civilization.

It is widely known that Judaism gifted monotheism to the world, but for many, that’s where the Jewish contribution ends. This course demonstrates, however, that the universal change effected by the Torah is much broader.

While historically, murder for sport, a seven-day work week, inequality before the law, infanticide, suppression of the poor and many other shocking behaviors were accepted and even celebrated by western civilization, the roots of our drastically divergent modern sensibilities have their origins in ancient Judaism.

Darrin M. McMahon, the Mary Brinsmead Wheelock Professor of History at Dartmouth College, has praised “Judaism’s Gifts to the World” as timely and important: “There can be no doubt that the Jewish contribution to the civilizations of the West and the world is immense. At a time when noxious critics would doubt that contribution, or deny it altogether, this course offers a timely reminder of the many gifts the Jewish tradition has bestowed. “Judaism’s Gifts to the World” is a gift of its own, providing a scintillating course in the history of ideas and culture by leading experts from around the globe.”

“At a moment in which we are witnessing a rise in anti-Semitism, it is important to explore what has been the true impact of Jews and Judaism on civilization,” Rabbi Ephraim Simon, one of the local instructors, emphasized. “Understanding Judaism’s historical contribution gives us a deeper appreciation for its continuing relevance and a better understanding of how the moral and ethical institutions we take for granted came into being.”

“Judaism’s Gifts to the World” is designed to appeal to people at all levels of knowledge, including those without any prior experience or background in Jewish learning, and is open to the public.

Courses will be offered in the following locations, with start dates between Sunday, January 26, and Wednesday, January 29:

Fair Lawn: www.flchabad.com 

Fort Lee: www.chabadfortlee.com 

Franklin Lakes: www.chabadplace.org 

Rutherford: www.jewishmeadowlands.org 

Old Tappan: www.chabadot.org 

Teaneck: www.chabadhouse.com 

Tenafly: www.chabadlubavtich.org 

Woodcliff Lake: www.valleychabad.org 

For more information, contact Rabbi Chanoch Kaplan, 201-848-0449 / [email protected]