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Cover the major themes, passages and ideas
of the entire Tanach
one book at a time over the period from Sukkot to Shavuot

Perhaps you, like many in the Greater Five Towns and Far Rockaway, had the benefit of a Yeshiva education but somehow missed out on gaining real knowledge of the Tanach. Maybe you have a glancing familiarity with some of the books but find that there are gaping holes in what you know about Nevi'im and Ketuvim. Remedy that over the course of 20 sessions given locally by a lineup of all-star Tanach experts.

Jewish Adult Education is being redefined by Tanach BeShanah. This course enables participants to learn and appreciate the entire Tanach, one book at a time over the course of six months in a sophisticated and cohesive manner. Tanach BeShanah's carefully crafted curriculum, developed at the London School of Jewish Studies, is designed to meet the needs of the seasoned student of Tanach and the newcomer to Jewish learning. In its first year, the course was attended by 85 enthusiastic adults, and they have been asking for more ever since. We cannot encourage you enough to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. You won't be disappointed. Sign up today!

Classes begin Wednesday night, October 25, 2017. Early bird registration closes October 4, 2017.

Don't worry -- if you have to miss one or even many classes, makeup recordings will be made available at no charge by visiting our Class Archives.


A succinct description of the goals of the course can be found in the following op-ed:

I still remember the day I walked into my first of many classes with Rabbi Menachem Leibtag at Yeshivat Har Etzion. Rabbi Leibtag pulled out an innovative power tool that was indeed quite powerful. He called this (figurative) instrument the “macroscope.” Rabbi Leibtag explained that generally in studying Tanach (the Bible) we read closely and carefully, one verse at a time. This is the way it is supposed to be most of the time. But it is also important and highly instructive to understand the sophisticated structures of the books of Tanach, the way the Books’ key themes, messages, and passages come together to form the whole, and the way the different books fit within the larger scheme of Tanach. We need, in other words, to put Tanach not only under a microscope but also under a macroscope.

I believe the macroscopic study of Tanach has a unique role to play in jumpstarting what should be significantly greater attention to Tanach study in the Jewish community. For this reason, I have joined with a number of other people to bring the Tanach BeShanah program to Long Island. Tanach BeShanah is an initiative to give adults an overview of the books of Tanach -- introducing one book per week with this macroscopic approach. We will cover the sections of Tanach in which we are especially lacking, Nevi’im and Ketuvim (Prophets and Writings), over the course of 24 classes at the Young Israel of North Woodmere between Sukkot and Shavuot. The course will be taught by a cadre of renowned Tanach educators and guest-lectures. One fourth of the classes will be taught by Rabbi Leibtag, who (along with his job as power tool innovator), guided in the careful creation of the impressive Tanach BeShanah curriculum.

I am not the first nor will I be the last to note that when it comes to Tanach, there is a gaping hole in the knowledge of even well-educated American Jews. Thank G-d, among the wealth of shiurim given daily in the greater Five Towns/Far Rockaway area are classes that aim to fill this hole. Chief among these is the communitywide motzaei Shabbos Tanach shiur, given at the Young Israel of Lawrence-Cedarhurst and sponsored by Priority-1, which covers one chapter of Tanach a week (for more information, please e-mail

But we need to do even more to fill the hole, and I believe the quick (half-year) macroscopic approach of Tanach BeShanah will be a perfect complement to and source of motivation for longer-term programs of study like the motzaei Shabbos Tanach shiur in doing just that.

For someone with little background in Tanach, Tanach BeShanah will open an entirely new world, providing the necessary tools to study Tanach carefully and to master it. A person with little background taking the course will feel like someone shown a magnificent picture of the Grand Canyon and then given a free plane ticket to the natural wonder. For someone with significant background in Tanach, the course will offer a fresh and inspiring perspective on these cherished books. A person taking the course after years of careful Tanach study will feel like someone who had landed blindfolded into the middle of the Grand Canyon, carefully explored its beautiful terrain, and only then ascended to the breathtaking panoramic view of the canyon at the top.

Either way, Tanach BeShanah will accomplish the goal not only of giving us a macroscopic perspective on Tanach by some of the world’s top Tanach educators, but also of inspiring us to jump deeper into the written part of the greatest of all natural, or supernatural -- indeed Divine -- wonders and study it more closely and more seriously.