Women’s Advanced Judaic Learning

Categories: YIOC Women


Every-other-Sunday morning, we lay out a beautifully elegant brunch as women arrive from throughout Orange County, and beyond — some coming from as far south as San Diego and some as far north as Los Angeles — to attend the most sophisticated, high-intensity class in Judaic Learning available to women anywhere outside New York and Israel. While other institutions’ Women’s classes are more touchy-feely and fluff-oriented, for a wide range of reasons, our Women’s class is profoundly unique. Rav Fischer prepares significant primary-source handouts that include Biblical sources, pages of Talmud, Rambam’s MISHNAH TORAH and the SHULCHAN ARUKH and MISHNEH B’RURAH, and reprints of select questions and answers rendered by great rabbinical authorities (Poskim) including Rav Moshe Feinstein, Rav Ovadia Yosef, and other great Torah scholars. The weekly class runs two hours without a break.

The classes are taught topically, sometimes covered in an individual session, sometimes laid out through a multi-part series. Past topics have included: Intermarriage and Queen Esther: Rabbinic Attitudes Towards Extra-Marital Sex, from Yael and Sisera to the Modern Mossad; the entire scope of Jewish Laws and Customs pertaining to grave illness, death, and mourning; the historic Biblical Figure of Michal, daughter of King Saul and wife of King David; the laws of Passover and understanding the varying traditions; what constitutes a mamzer (bastard) in Judaism, and how Rabbinic scholars have interpreted laws to help solve the problem; laws of conversion and intermarriage, and understanding the issues in a wide range of settings including non-Orthodox conversions and divorces; the History of the Jews in the United States, 1654-Present, including topic-focused classes with primary documentary sources on Jews during the Revolutionary Period, Jews during the Civil War, Jews and Prohibition, Organized Crime, Jews and Hollywood, the Rise and Fall of the Catskills, the 1881-1914 immigration and its impact on the 1840-1880 immigration, and Jews and American anti-Semitism between the 1930s and 1950s.

Because class attendance has grown by word of mouth, it now is required, for each class session, that advance notice be provided before coming to class so that a place may be set for you at the brunch. Those who have not RSVP’d may attend but cannot be seated at the brunch.

Alternating Sunday Mornings

Taught by Rav Fischer