“Everyone needs a story for living life.  How to celebrate, how to mourn, how to decide what’s really important.  Judaism provides all that.  More than just meaning, guidance for living life.”  So says Rabbi Aaron Benson of the North Shore Jewish Center in Port Jefferson Station, New York, instructor for a new Introduction to Judaism class in Suffolk County.

The Introduction to Judaism course at the North Shore Jewish Center will begin Thursday night, October 19th, 6pm to 8pm and continue for eighteen sessions.  Students will learn about the religion, history, and culture of Judaism and also receive a basic introduction to Hebrew reading.  The program costs $400 for a couple to take it together or $250 for an individual.  Register for the course at northshorejewishcenter.org/education or call 631-928-3737.

The course is sponsored in part by the National Center to Encourage Judaism and will use the curriculum created by the Miller Introduction to Judaism program at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles.

“I look forward to taking this class to help our family connect more to Judaism” said Kathy Lowy, a prospective student whose son recently celebrated his bar mitzvah.  Lowy, who is not Jewish, found a new connection to it in the lead up to her son’s celebration.

“Anyone who wants to learn Judaism’s story can take this class” Rabbi Benson said.  He noted the class does however meet the requirements for conversion to Judaism within the Conservative Movement and recommended those interested in becoming Jewish consider taking the class, too.  “Judaism isn’t just interested in making you a better Jew, but a better human being” Benson continued, “I’m excited this class can help in that process.”