Welcome to AJS!
We offer two kinds of courses: live and recorded.
Live courses are fully interactive, both during and between sessions.
Recorded courses now include a one-on-one meeting with the course teacher, to help guide each participant through the journey of the course.
To try any of our courses for free, or to stay updated on our online courses and events, please enter your email:
This course seeks to engage the students experientially with perhaps the oldest source of Jewish Ethics. The Talmudic tractate "Avot," also known as “Pirkei Avot” or Chapters of the Fathers, is named for the early generations of rabbinic sages whose wisdom is included in this short compilation of teachings.
The aim of learning Pirkei Avot is threefold: first, to discover or rediscover one of the masterpieces of Jewish Ethics from its textual sources; second, to deepen our reflection and understanding of core Jewish values; and third, to be able to take these teachings into our daily life.
Each class will move from text study to practice, and will include a short hitbonenut meditation (self-inquiry), and a short writing exercise to help participants set goals for concretely embodying these teachings in their everyday lives.
We are immensely privileged today to live at a time in which access to Torah learning has become more widely available than ever before. Alongside this general increase in access has come the absolute flourishing of Torah learning by and for women across the spectrum of Jewish practice and experience.
This course is an opportunity to mine the treasures of commentaries on the Torah by women, trans and cis alike, for the wisdom within.
The eight sessions will each focus on the parsha or Torah portion read that week around the Jewish world.
Each session will begin with a teaching, and will be anchored by time for contemplative practice and sharing. People of all gender identities and expressions are warmly encouraged to be a part of this sacred community of study and practice.
Birkat Kohanim, the priestly blessing, is one of the most ancient formulas of blessing and protection that is found in our tradition. Layers and layers of meaning and use have accumulated through the ages, connecting it to warding off evil, priestly secrets, the relationships between parents and children, and different unifications of the Divine name.
We will explore the many dimensions of this prayer, and also the Angels’ (four directions) prayer, Psalm 91 - the psalm against evil spirits, and more. This journey will take us through archaeology, Tanach (Hebrew Bible), Talmud, Zohar and other mystical sources, through singing and chanting and other spiritual practices.
Each class will include text study, discussion, sharing and practice.
COURSES BY SUBJECT
"The courses offered through Applied Jewish Spirituality not only provide a window into the vast world of Chasidic and mystical teachings, but translate the esoteric into practices that can be integrated into ones daily spiritual life. The source sheets for every class are a remarkable resource full of deep and powerful Torah to make the teachings accessible to learners of all backgrounds."
- Rabbi Adam Gindea
"In so many ways the AJS course I followed redefined 'learning' for me. This is because of the unique way our course leader synthesised rigorous scholarship with practical spiritual practice. Through his personal skills he also created a sense of a community amongst us all - no mean feat for online learning! I ended the course feeling transformed and inspired."
- Jyll Bradley
"Not only does AJS provide access to an incredibly vast and rich well of Jewish material, but the faculty are really all masters at distilling and effectively transmitting information that ordinarily would remain hidden and inaccessible to curious beginning students. That said, faculty at AJS enthusiastically welcome and cater to the beginners mind who might otherwise feel too intimidated, or perhaps a bit too shy wandering into a traditional beit midrash of learned scholars and other big-time ball players. One really does get the sense that there is a larger learning taking place that the course as a single entity - material, teachers, and students all - participates in. And the importance of this really can’t be understated because its the facilitation of that mutual transmission of mind, body, and spirit that underlies and upholds the integrity of the great worldly wisdom traditions. I don’t know if I would have a Jewish practice if it weren’t for AJS."
- Gabe Gould
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Appreciation for use of images:
Glasses image by FotoRieth
Women and Torah image by Miriam Leibowitz
Aleph and Hebrew Calligraphy by Michel d'Anastasio
Sefirot and Tree of Life images by David Friedman from Kosmic Kabbalah
Ram and Calendar images by Federico Parolo from Deuteronomy Press
Prayer photo (Shemoneh Esrei) by Mazhar Zandsalimi