People of the Book

TES Emma Lazarus Library

“People of the Book” 

Adult Education Series (2021-2022)

Third Thursday Afternoons, 3:30-5:00pm

Midrash — Then and Now

Rabbis Julie and Ken

In the Mishna (compiled around 200 C.E.) Rabbi ben Bag Bag likens a student who studies Torah to a jeweler who examines a precious gem: “Turn it, then turn it again; for everything is inside of it.”  This year’s “People of the Books” series will focus on Midrash.  The first three classes will examine why Midrash came to be, and why it was meant to be a dynamic process.  In sessions 5-8, students will create their own Midrash: we will read familiar Torah texts and passages through the lens of our own unique perspectives, and then share – in prose or poetry or some other form of artistic expression – what we have discovered. 

Our course will meet 3:30-5:00 pm on the third Thursday of every month.  We will meet via Zoom and, if possible, in the Library.  Watch your email for further information. 

October 21 — Introduction to Midrash:  What, Where, When, Why

November 18 — How to Read Midrash (v. how not to read Midrash)

December 16 — Examples of Modern Midrash (Poetry, Literature, Films, Plays, Music, Sermons, etc.)

January 20 — Workshop #1: “Turning and Turning” Four Biblical Texts”

February 17 — Workshop #2: Writing Our Midrash

March 17 — Workshop #3: Writing Our Midrash

April 21 — Workshop #4: Writing Our Midrash

May 19 — Workshop #5: Writing Our Midrash

Links to recordings of past classes can be found here.  A Member Portal login is required.  If you do not have a Member Portal login, you can request the links by contacting Sara at