Judaism 101

Learn about your heritage. What Jews believe, basic concepts in Judaism.

 Wednesday 7:30PM
$50 per household


Jewish Bootcamp Schedule

Wednesdays from 7:30


Week 1 – Wednesday, Feb. 3


1.  What does Shabbat mean?

2.  When does Shabbat start?

3.  How is it welcomed?

4.  What does it commemorate?

5.  How is the table set?

6.  How many basic categories of work are there on Shabbat?

7.  What is Muktzah?

8.  What is a Blech, what is it for, and how is it used?

9.  Why are two Challot used?

10. How is work defined as it relates to Shabbat?

11. How many times do we daven on Shabbat and what are they called?

12. What is the extra meal on Shabbat called?

13. What times are candles lit on Erev Shabbat and why are they lit?

14. Why do so many people eat Cholent on Shabbat?

15. How many Aliyot are there during the morning Torah reading?

16. What is the Haftarah?

17. Name two things Shabbat reminds us of.

18 What are Zemirot and when are they recited?

19. What is Shabbat Mevorchim?

20. In what way does Shabbat observance encourage a return to Hashem?

21. Havdalah


Week 2 – Wednesday, Feb. 10


1.  What is the difference between the Jewish and Secular calendars?

2.  What is Rosh Chodesh?

3.  Define a Jewish leap year and how often it occurs.

4.  Name the Jewish months.

5.  Name the Biblical Jewish holidays, their dates, and their observances.

6. Give the additional names of the Biblical holidays.


Week 3 – Wednesday, Feb. 17

Calendar cont. 

7. Name the Rabbinic holidays, their dates, and their observances.

8.  Name the six public fast days, the dates they occur, and what they commemorate.

9.  What five things are prohibited on the 9th of Av and Yom Kippur?

10. What is a Se'udat Mafseket?

11. Explain the significance of the time between Pesach and Shavuot.

12. From when till when is the period known as the Three Weeks of Mourning?

13. How and why do we mourn during this time?

14. When and how do we observe the 10 Days of Repentance?

15. Why is an extra day of Yom Tov observed outside of Israel?

16. What are the differences of observance between Yom Tov and Shabbat?

17. Why are some things allowed on Yom Tov but not on Shabbat?

18. During which month do we increase our joy?

19. During which month do we decrease our joy?

20. During which periods do we omit the Tachanun prayers?


Week 4 – Wednesday, Feb. 24


1. What does the word Kosher mean?

2.  Describe the Koshering process as it relates to meat.

3.  What periods of separation are required between meat and dairy, and then from dairy to meat?

4.  How does one know a Kosher species of animal?

5.  How does on know a Kosher species of fish?

6.  How does one know the Kosher species of birds?

7.  What does Glatt Kosher mean?

8.  What does Hashgachah mean and why is it so important?

9.  Name some reliable Hashgachot.

10. What does the word Parev mean?

11. How are the laws of Kosher for Passover different than the rest of the year?

12. Why are fish and meat not eaten together?

13. What does Cholov Yisroel mean?

14. What does Pas Yisroel mean?

15. What does Bishul Yisroel mean?

16. How would one make an oven Kosher?

17. What types of cooking or eating utensils cannot be made Kosher?

18. Describe the process of making a kitchen Kosher.

19. When would even fresh, uncut fruit be prohibited?

20. Under what circumstances could a forbidden food never become nullified?


Week 5 – Wednesday, March 3

Tefilah & Brachot 

1. How many times do we daven on a "normal" day?

2. What are these Tefilot called?

3. How many times do we pray on Shabbat or Rosh Chodesh, and what is the name of the additional Tefilah?

4. What is a Minyan and who may be counted as part of a Minyan?

5. What additional prayers may be recited when there is a Minyan?

6. How many blessings should we try to say each day?

7. Who instituted this custom and why?

8. Why is the Shemonah Esrei not recited on Shabbat?

9. What body instituted the recital of the Shemonah Esrei?


Week 6 – Wednesday, March 10

Tefilah & Brachot cont. 

10. Name the six possible blessings before consuming food.

11. What are the different types of Grace after Meals what may be recited and which is recited for which type of food?

12. Who initiated each of the daily prayers?

13. What is Tefilah compared to?

14. At least how many times a day should a person say the Shema?

15. What is Pisukai Dizimrah?

16. What are the Birchat Kriat Shema?

17. Instead of doing what do we daven?

18. Which direction do we face when we daven and why? 

19. What does the word Kavanah mean?

20. What is a Chazan or Shliach Tzibbur's role in the service?


Week 7 – Wednesday, March 17


1.  Define the Written Torah.

2.  Define the Oral Torah and its relationship with the written Torah.

3. What comprises the Talmud?

4.  What is the Sulchan Aruch?

5.  Trace the historical lineage of the Oral Torah up to today.

6.  What is the difference between Halacha and Minhag?

7.  What is the Halacha Moshe MiSinai?

8.  What is the source of the various rabbis' opinions cited in the Talmud?

9.  What is the role of the Torah within Judaism?

10. What is the nature of the Torah?


Week 8 – Wednesday, March 24


1.  What is the nature of Man?

2.   What is the nature of G‑d?

3.  What is Man's role within Creation?

4.  Describe the relationship of the Jewish People, G‑d, the Torah, and Israel.

5.  Describe the Jewish belief regarding an after-life.

6.  Describe the Jewish belief regarding the Messianic Era.

7.  What does it mean when the Torah says Man is created in G‑d's image?

8.  What is the concept of Divine Providence?

9.  What is the concept of Free Choice?


Week 9 – Wednesday, May 5


10. Why did G‑d create a physical world?

11. How does a Jew reveal his/her closeness with G‑d?

12. How do we know the Torah cannot be changed or exchanged?

13. What proof may be offered that G‑d created the world?

14. What proof may be offered that the Torah comes from G‑d?

15. What is a Neshama (Jewish soul)?

16. What is the differences between the role of a Jew and non-Jew within the context of the world?

17. What are the three pillars that keep the world in existence?

18. What is the concept of Teshuvah?

19. Why is Love of your fellow Jew so critical?

20. What is Tzedakah, what forms does it take, and how much should be given?


Week 10 – Wednesday, May 12


Review of the following concepts which we will have covered.


Know about the Oral Torah and its relationship to the Written Torah: brief history of the Halakah (and its major works). Deorayta, Derabanan, Gezera, Takanot, Minhag. 


Know the major elements of the daily, Sabbath and holy day prayer service. The following berachot should be learned by heart: the Birkot ha-nehenin (Blessings over food), candle lighting, hand washing, and bathroom. First paragraph of Shema, Grace after meals, and putting on Tefillin (males). 


Know the history and observances of each of the Jewish festivals and fasts, and to know the dates on which they fall. 


Have a working knowledge of the Sabbath in practice.  Including the serving and heating of foods. The principals of the laws of Muktzah. 


Know the halakhic difference between Shabbat and Yom Tov and the working halakhot of the different festivals. Special emphasis is placed upon kashrut for Pesach. 


Know which animals, fish and fowl are kosher, how to kasher meat. How to set up a kosher kitchen and how to select reliably supervised consumer products. 


Know the general ideas of Taharat Hamishpachah / Family Purity. 


Know Maimonides' Thirteen Principles of Faith, with a special emphasis on the differences between Judaism and Christianity. 


Know how birth, bar/bat mitzvah, pidion haben, marriage, and death are marked and what observances are performed with each one. 


Be able to read Hebrew in order to follow services in the synagogue, and know basic Hebrew terms, words and phrases.