Jewish Learning

The Bobbi & Vic Samuels Center for Jewish Living and Learning (CJLL) offers classes, lectures, programs, and other meaningful Jewish experiences for the Houston community, including rich, in-depth Jewish studies courses designed by local Jewish educators.

There are a multitude of classes at the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center and we are proud to partner with other community agencies. We pride ourselves on our outstanding faculty, who engage our students and create a learning environment that is text based, pluralistic and welcoming to all.

Marissa Cardona

Arts & Culture Member Service Coordinator

(713) 551-9215

Bobbi & Vic Samuels Center for Jewish Living and Learning Local Educators Series

American Judaism, Part II: Since 1900
Taught by Dr. Josh Furman | Jan 11-Mar 1 | 10:00 AM
This course, the second of a two-part series, will examine the history of Jewish religious thought and practice in the United States from 1900 to the present. Using scholarly readings, primary sources, and other media, we will explore how American Judaism has grown, evolved, and persevered through decades of dramatic change in the 20th and 21st centuries. Of particular interest will be the development of denominational movements as well as non-denominational trends, such as the growth of independent prayer groups and the issue of Jewish cultural nostalgia. We will also discuss converts and interfaith families, as well as the experiences of Jews becoming more religiously observant in recent decades.

The Multi Faceted Esther
Taught by Nancy Pryzant Picus | Jan 19-Feb 23 | 10:00 AM
Explore Esther, both the book and the woman, through various lenses and approaches, all in preparation for the holiday of Purim.

A New Look at the Haggadah
Taught by Rabbi Steven Morgan | Mar 2-23 | 10:00 AM

  • March 2 – What is an egg doing on the Seder plate? For that matter, what is Haroset? What is Maror? Why is romaine lettuce on the plate? Why three sheets of matzah? Why Parsely? Why salt water? You may think you know the answer to some or all of these questions, but you may be surprised to learn the “real” history of these elements of the Seder plate.
  • March 9 – What did the Seder look like before and after the time of Jesus? (For Jews, we would say before and after the Temple was destroyed.) How/why did the Seder ritual become more elaborate than before?
  • March 16 – What is the purpose of the story about the Four Sons (Children)? How did the Rabbis come up with this story? What does it teach us about how we should do our own Seder today?
  • March 23 – Why IS this night different from all other nights? Why do we ask these questions? Can we make our Seder engaging for all those sitting at the table … and still be faithful to “Tradition”?

Friday Torah Study
Facilitated by David Scott, RJE, Director of Lifelong Learning and Engagement at Congregation Beth Israel
Fridays | 12:00 PM | Congregation Beth Israel
In collaboration with Congregation Beth Israel

Ever wanted to learn more about the Torah but didn’t know where to begin? Join the Torah 101 class as we explore the basics of each week’s Torah portion. For login details and more information, email