New JLI course explores what Judaism has given to the world

“Judaism’s Gifts to the World” will be explored in the latest Rohr Jewish Learning Institute course, which will be offered by Chabads in Baton Rouge, Birmingham and the New Orleans area.

Rabbi Mendel Rivkin from Chabad of Louisiana said the course’s topic was selected “long before this latest rash of antisemitic incidents,” and this course “should be our response to accusations of Jewish influence and antisemitism.”

The first class at the Chabads in the New Orleans area will be free, and the one Uptown on Jan. 29 is being billed as “Our Response to Antisemitism: An Evening of Jewish Pride.”

The first class, “The Gift of Social Responsibility,” shows how the Torah turned around the ancient idea that poverty and suffering were an individual burden, and introduced the concept of social responsibility.

“The Gift of a Guiding Purpose” explores how Abraham’s acknowledgement of there being only one God transformed how humanity views life, purpose and progress. The third class, “The Gift of Respect for Life,” takes that further with what had been a radical view, and leads to the questions of what makes us human.

“The Gift of Equality and Individuality” changed the dynamic from born rulers to the concept that all are created equal, with nobody intrinsically superior or inferior. “The Gift of Work/Life Balance” marks the break from endless work to the idea of Shabbat and a time to refocus.

The course ends with “The Gift of Escaping the Cycle,” the goal of breaking the world from a cycle of war and conflict, and how to share the message of justice and kindness.

In Metairie, the class will be on Tuesdays starting Jan. 21 at 7:30 p.m., with a week off for Mardi Gras. The first evening class on Jan. 21 will be free and open to the community, and a dinner will be served starting at 7:15 p.m. There is no obligation to continue with the course following the first night. The course will also be offered on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.

Registration is $70, with a 10 percent discount for returning JLI students or for couples.

At Uptown, the class will start on Jan. 29 at 7:30 p.m., meeting on Wednesdays. As with Metairie, the first class is free and open to the community, and a dinner will be served at 7:15 p.m. Registration for the course is $70.

In Birmingham, the course will meet on Wednesdays at 7 p.m., starting Jan. 29, or Thursdays at 11:30 a.m., starting Jan. 30. Registration is $89, with a 50 percent discount on a second tuition for couples.

Chabad of Baton Rouge will host the course at Richmond Inn and Suites on Mondays at 7 p.m., starting on Jan. 27. Registration is $89.

To register, click here.