Jewish Learning Institute:
Columbia SC
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Click HERE to listen to lesson 1 of Curious Tales of The Talmud

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JLI Endorsements

Endorsements and Testimonials


I strongly support this Rohr JLI course, as information is our defense against the repetition of history, and keeping memory alive is our moral obligation. 
Simon Wiesenthal, AH

I found the Rohr JLI course You Be The Judge fascinating. If my first-year students had been exposed to this material before starting law school, they would be better prepared for the rigors of the Socratic method. 
Professor Alan M. Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

On the level of the individual to the level of culture, the ills we experience, by and large, result from mindlessness. The wisdom discussed in Toward a Meaningful Life should be widely read to help provoke a reversal of this trend and lead us to mindful lives full of everyday meaning.
Ellen Langer, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, Bestselling Author of eleven books including Mindfulness, Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and The Power of Possibility, Cambridge, MA
I am delighted to learn that the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute has created the course entitled Flashbacks in Jewish History. The great encounters between Judaism and its surrounding civilizations are of paramount importance for anyone seeking to understand Jewish life in the past as well as in the present. 
Professor Jonathan D. Sarna, Director, Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program, Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University

In these tumultuous times, strengthening our identity is critical. JLI's course, The Land and the Spirit, provides an intriguing opportunity to connect to our roots, to be empowered by a personal link with our people and history, and to understand our bond to Israel. It is only by drawing a clear line from the past to the present that each of us can chart a course for a creative, constructive, and fulfilling future as part of the Jewish People. 
Natan Sharansky, Noted Soviet dissident, Former Member of Israeli Knesset

As a teacher of Jewish adults, my responsibility is not only to convey knowledge, but also to help students unlearn and rethink their Judaism. Doing this—through the study of this intriguing course—they can potentially transform themselves, their families, and their communities.
Betsy Dolgin Katz, Ed.D., Adjunct Professor, Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies and Gratz College, Author of The Adult Jewish Education Handbook and Reinventing Adult Jewish Learning

The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute and Rabbi Aaron Herman are to be congratulated for their challenging course, The Land and The Spirit, in which the spiritual values and centrality of the Land of Israel are expounded through a fascinating range of religious and secular texts. These texts span a remarkably wide range of opinions, from Moses to Herzl, from Rashi to Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, from Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson to Natan Sharansky (There is No Zionism Without Judaism), from the Talmud to the opinion writers of the Jerusalem Post. These texts, like the course itself, will serve a noble cause in stimulating thought and encouraging understanding. 
Sir Martin Gilbert, Leading Historian Official Biographer of Sir Winston Churchill

Kol Hakavod to the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute for this valuable addition to the curriculum. Jewish culture, with books being its oldest and foremost component, is rich in beautiful traditions.Fascinating Facts: Exploring the Myths and Mysteries of Judaism goes a long way toward enriching our understanding and clarifying the meaning of many of the traditions we hold dear. It will deepen the knowledge for the informed Jew and provide an entrée for those with less background.
Carolyn Starman Hessel, Director, Jewish Book Council
It is the very problem of our time that people are caught in a pervasive feeling of meaninglessness; people may have enough to live by, but more than not they have nothing to live for. JLI’s Toward a Meaningful Life is an impressive testimony of caring for the most central and humane and human needs - the need to find and understand one’s place in the world, and to come to a practical and applicable understanding of what it means to be a unique and irreplaceable person - to make a difference, and to live up to what one’s personal path in this world may be. Such an understanding enables one not only enjoy life and one’s talents and gifts in all their richness, it also enables one to cope with life hardships. In a word - a renewed awareness of meaning connects one with life’s existential dimension. A timely topic, and a great course.
Alexander Batthyány, PhD, President, Viktor Frankl Institute Vienna, Chair of Department of Philosophy, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Toward A Meaningful Life can provide you with what most people never realize in their lifetime…. This course gives you the tools and opportunity to rebirth and re-parent yourself. And I have learned that when you heal your life your body benefits from the feelings and provides you with a longer healthier life as a side effect.
Bernie Siegel, MD, Bestselling Author of seven books including 365 Prescriptions For The Soul and Faith, Hope & Healing, Woodbridge, Connecticut
The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute's course on The Land and the Spirit informs the mind and inspires the soul, a must-see for those learning about and advocating for Israel. JLI's global educational initiative continues to be an incubator for twenty-first century Jewish leadership. 
Ambassador Dan Gillerman, Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations

Freud said we humans are animated by eros. Marx said by economics. Two Jews, both wrong. The greatest human need is meaning – as brilliantly described by a third Jew, Viktor Frankl, in his seminal work, Man’s Search for Meaning. There are happy people who are poor and there are happy people who are not engaged in an intimate relationship. But there is not a single person on earth who lacks meaning and is happy. If that doesn’t commend this magnificent JLI course, Toward a Meaningful Life, taught by some of the wisest men around the world, I do not know what will.
Dennis Prager, Nationally syndicated radio talk show host, Bestselling author of four books including Happiness Is a Serious Problem, Founder of the Internet-based Prager University, Glendale, California

Many thanks for sharing with me the exciting Rohr JLI curriculum of You Be The Judge and for the excellent idea of bringing the treasure of Jewish law, a major point of Jewish life and Jewish ethos, to the attention of interested people. 
Elyakim Rubinstein, Israeli Supreme Court Justice, Former Attorney General of Israel

Back in the 1950s Viktor Frankl wrote about the existential vacuum — the purposelessness — that permeated our culture. Today, the situation is worse that it was then. Toward a Meaningful Life can contribute toward replacing the void of meaninglessness with a more engaging, purposeful, and happy existence.
Tal Ben-Shahar, PhD, Professor, IDC, Lecturer, Psychology Department, Harvard University, Bestselling Author of five books including Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment, and The Question of Happiness: On Finding Meaning, Pleasure, and the Ultimate Currency, Herzliya, Israel

To ensure the future of the Jewish people, we must understand our past, and the links of our past to our present. I congratulate you on this exciting and challenging course. 
Ambassador Alan Baker, Israeli Ambassador to Canada

The story of our people is filled with tales of leadership and vision, kindness and compassion. These are the gifts that enriched our own communities, and they are gifts we have shared with others around the world. The past provides us the inspiration to continue to work for the betterment of society. 
Marlene Post, President, Hadassah International, Chair for North America, Birthright Israel (Taglit)

It is history that gives humans the sense of immortality and a bond that transcends passing differences. I applaud JLI for launching this worldwide study of Jewish history, a unique opportunity to rediscover our collective identity. 
Professor Judea Pearl (Father of Daniel Pearl), Director, Cognitive Systems Laboratory, University of California, Los Angeles

The JLI program admirably merges Torah learning with American jurisprudence. It encourages Talmudic scholars and beginners to appreciate American law and stimulates lawyers and laymen to treasure the Wisdom of the Torah. 
Nathan Lewin, Honorary President of the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists

Talmud is concerned with the role of the human reasoning in the interpretation and application of a 'revealed law'. Hence the relevance attributed by Talmudic law to the quality and subtlety of the reasoning in the interclash of opinions.
Dr. Celso Lafer, Chair, Faculty of Law, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil Former Minister of Foreign Relations of the Federated Republic of Brazil

In reasoned discourse and telling wonderful stories along the way, Rabbi Eli Silberstein gives us in this book real insight into the way the Talmud applies the law to the actions of individuals and their property. 
Professor Roald Hoffman, Nobel Prize Laureate Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Cornell University

As an International Law professor and lawyer, I often reflect on general principles that transcend particular culture and societies. Too often, people look at Law and Ethics as separate and distinct spheres. However, Law and Ethics are institutions that evolve together. The beauty of a course like Talmudic Ethics is that it shows us the potential of law to inspire a more ethical world. I highly recommend this course. 
Luiz Olavo Baptista, President of the WTO Apppellate Body, former president and board member of the S�o Paulo Bar Association

I applaud your efforts to create and offer this insightful, outstanding program to the wider community. By bringing great minds, hearts and souls together in learning, reflection and commitment, the victory of the bright flame of sacred life over evil and tyranny is much strengthened.
Fred S. Zeidman, Chairman, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC

At a time when anxiety is on the rise and there is a widespread loss of trust in public institutions people are turning to each other, as well as inwards, to reflect on what is truly meaningful in life. Toward a Meaningful Life is as timely as it is effective. It is an opportunity to get back on track.
Robert Biswas-Diener, PhD, Programme Director, Centre of Applied Positive Psychology, Author and Co-Author of five groundbreaking books on Positive Psychology, Portland, Oregon

I think of this course as 'The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Jews.' It provides a Jewish road map for finding the path to psychological health. 
Steven E. Rothke - Ph.D, Clinical Psychologist, Northbrook, IL Clinical Professor, Northwestern University Medical School

As a Professor of Jewish Law and American Legal Theory, I often point to the way in which Jewish civil law incorporates ethics within a distinctly legal framework. JLI's course, You Be The Judge Two, offers a fascinating context for exploring the relationship of law and ethics and shows the unique contribution that the Talmudic system can make to this central issue. 
Professor Suzanne Stone, Professor of Law and Director, Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization at The Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law / Yeshiva University

I light candles to welcome Shabbat. It brings me so many blessings and peace. I encourage you to explore this special Mitzvah this spring with JLI’s course, Oasis in Time: The Gift of Shabbat in a 24/7 World. I know JLI’s classes will be a source of inspiration and help make your life brighter and the world around you a more peaceful place.
Paula Abdul, Pop Singer, Dancer, Choreographer and Television Personality

In today’s world of confusion and loss of direction in life, which manifests in young people adopting self-destructive habits, JLI is a beacon of light that can guide people to the safe haven of true happiness.
Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski, Psychiatrist, Founder and Medical Director Emeritus of Gateway Rehabilitation Center, Author of 60 books on Self-Esteem, Personal Growth, Dependency Recovery, as well as Torah Commentaries

On the level of the individual to the level of culture, the ills we experience, by and large, result from mindlessness. The wisdom discussed in Toward a Meaningful Life should be widely read to help provoke a reversal of this trend and lead us to mindful lives full of everyday meaning.
Lynn Schofield Clark, Ph.D, Associate Professor and Director, Estlow International Center for Journalism & New Media, University of Denver, Author: Parenting in a Digital Age

Bravo - the Rohr JLI has done it again. This new series looks superb. This promises to be yet another exciting, path-breaking journey in Jewish learning! 
Professor Gil Troy, Department of History, McGill University

Here is a program to provide spiritual enrichment within our rich Jewish heritage. It goes beyond acquiring more information and can be an effective springboard for life transformation.
Barbara Sofer, MA, Israel Director of Public Relations and Communications, Hadassah, Columnist, The Jerusalem Post, Author, Jerusalem, Israel

My experience with a previous JLI course greatly impressed me, with how applicable these Torah-based lessons and insights are to encouraging healthy interpersonal relationships. What I learned from previous courses has been of great value professionally and personally. I highly recommend this new course and trust that participants will find its wisdom relevant to their daily lives. 
Laura E. Marshak, Ph.D, Licensed Psychologist; Professor, Department of Counseling, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA

For each and every one of us, life’s challenge is to discover why we’re here, what man’s purpose is, and how we each can find ourselves and our own personal destiny to live our lives in the richest, fullest, most joyfully productive manner. For many of us, this course provides a path to begin that journey in earnest. As with all JLI’s courses, an excellent guide for the perplexed among us.
Michael E. Gerber, Author of The E-Myth books, Founder and Chief Dreamer of Michael E. Gerber Companies, Carlsbad, California

Shabbat is one of the greatest gifts of Judaism, and it can be appreciated on so many levels; each level building on the one before it to create a true harmony of spiritual, ethical, and personal growth every single week. Oasis in Time layers learning about the beauty of Shabbat in an intimate and comprehensive fashion. The wisdom contained has the potential to truly transform your life, your relationships, and your concept of purpose on this Earth. That's a mighty task, but it is easier than we think. I implore you to learn about Shabbat, put it into practice, and watch the miracles begin.
Mayim Bialik, PhD, Actor and Neuroscientist, Star of 1990’s TV series, “Blossom”, Amy Farrah Fowler on TV Series, “The Big Bang Theory

The new course from the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute provides important insight about the uniqueness of Israel for all Jewish people around the world. We, the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF), proudly carry this message by giving back to the brave men and women who are protecting the land of Israel. We hope students attending The Land and The Spirit will come to more fully appreciate the sacrifices of the Israel Defense Forces. 
Brigadier General (Reserve) Yehiel Gozal, National Director of the Friends of the IDF (FIDF)

It is impossible to understand present-day Jewry and Judaism without learning about the Holocaust and the moral and religious questions it raises. The planned Rohr JLI course, Beyond Never Again, is a most valuable contribution to the effort. 
Professor Dan Michman, Chief Historian, Yad Vashem: Israel Holocaust Memorial Museum Chair, Finkler Institute of Holocaust Research, Bar-Ilan University, Israel

I am honored to add my name to the list of supporters of the Jewish Learning Institute's upcoming course The Land and the Spirit - Israel: Why We All Care.Now more than ever, it is vital for Americans Jews to strengthen their bond with Israel, to get to know the land and the people and to experience the many facets of our beloved country. This course aims to appeal to all audiences, regardless of religious or political affiliation, and I applaud the JLI's commitment to creating an opportunity for open dialogue about an issue so central to our Jewish identity. 
Barukh Binah, Consul General of Israel to the Midwest

Toward a Meaningful Life integrates many positive psychology interventions and research findings into a package that should benefit any committed meaning-seeker.
Kennon Sheldon, PhD, Professor of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri

Leadership is in a crisis - from business to government, from religious institutions to the UN, leaders have lost their moral compass. The Rohr JLI course offers 21st-century leaders of all stripes a crucial lighthouse in the sea of ethical uncertainty. Thank you and keep up the good work. 
Thomas D. Zweifel, CEO, Swiss Consulting Group and Professor of Leadership, Columbia University

The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute's course, Toward a Meaningful Life, uses core principles of Positive Psychology to lead students down an elegant but simple path to self-fulfillment and to living lives with their highest purpose in mind. I enthusiastically support this course in teaching self-introspection, goal setting and facilitating living lives with vision and meaning.
Marcia Kesner, MS, LPC, LMHC, Adjunct Professor, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology and Psychotherapist of Yeshiva University, New York, NY

My family came to America to escape religious persecution and anti-Semitism in the former Soviet Union. Here I found my calling as a professional boxer—and as a Jew. I decided that if anyone wants a whupping from me [on Saturday], they got to wait until after sundown. From the day I stopped fighting on Shabbat, my career took off. I began to win championships. Shabbat blesses the whole week for me. It gives me the purpose and inner strength to do what I need to do. JLI's course, Oasis in Time: The Gift of Shabbat in a 24/7 World, examines how Shabbat restores balance in our personal lives and in the world. Learn about Shabbat with JLI. This is our identity. This is our day.
Dmitriy Salita, Professional Boxer, 30–1–1 record, with 16 KO's, North American Boxing Association Light Welterweight Champion, 2005

I had a life that anybody would have wanted. But after retiring from the NFL, somehow something didn't feel right. I was starved for inspiration. As an athlete, I had inspiration, but as a human being I didn't. I felt lost when the cheering stopped. It was not until my first Shabbat experience that things started to change. As a football player, I loved the games, the challenge, the competition, the camaraderie... But today I get a charge from different things. Even the feeling of coming out of the tunnel at Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers—beautiful blue sky, the smell of beer and brats in the air—can't compare to the rush of Shabbat. Find your inspiration—learn about Shabbat with JLI.
Alan Shlomo Veingrad, Former NFL Offensive Lineman of the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys winner of Super Bowl XXVII

I was so impressed. The course was fantastic, and the readings in the book were nothing short of remarkable. . . . My sincerest thanks for a wonderful learning experience. 
Jessica Klein Levenbrown, Award-winning television writer and producer, Los Feliz, CA

Art imitates life. The best stories in the world are true. You Be The Judge is a great opportunity to learn about Jewish law through the drama and excitement of real people and real cases. I highly recommend it.
Michael Helfant, President and COO, Marvel Studios

Everyone, whether they be a lay person or a judge, often times struggle to do what is just and right. Learning from the great writings of the ages, such as the Talmud, and in courses like the Rohr lectures serve to bring insights to our thinking and help all of us to make sounder judgments. 
Alvin Weiss, Retired Judge, New Jersey Superior Court

As with generations of the past, we search for meaning in our lives, yet often struggle with this goal. Often, the problem is focusing on only one facet of the stone rather than realizing that they all contribute to creating a special ‘light.’ Toward a Meaningful Life helps participants realize the importance and value of creating a toolkit of life skills that not only provides practical strategies to addressing the different facets of one’s life, but helps participants realize the need of them to shine together—as one unique stone.
George J Pfeiffer, MSE, FAWHP, Author, Founder and President, The WorkCare Group, Inc., Member, Board of Directors, National Wellness Institute, Charlottesville, Virginia