The mission of Lehrhaus is to bring student and teacher together in dialogue to explore Jewish sources, traditions and arts, sustaining and enriching the vibrant spirit of Jewish civilization. Lehrhaus is the Bay Area’s non-denominational lifelong Jewish learning institution dedicated to academic excellence, open inquiry, contemporary relevance and cultural and religious pluralism.
Our Guiding Values
Depth & Breadth in teaching:
Encompassing both topics and modes of teaching/learning, such as text study, lectures, experiential learning through art, nature hikes, study tours, and more.
Including academic scholars, clergy, professional Jewish educators, and artists.
Diversity and Inclusion:
Teachers, leadership, and students reflect the diversity of our community, with emphasis on accessibility to diverse student populations.
Student-centered pedagogy utilizing creative learning modalities, including visual arts and crafts, music, body and nature-centered learning, and hevruta (learning in pairs).
Collaboration and Synergy:
Our programs will be offered in collaboration with a wide array of Bay Area Jewish institutions including JCCs, synagogues and other free-standing Jewish organizations (e.g. Urban Adamah, Jewish Community Library, The Kitchen, Wilderness Torah, Jewish Studio Project, the East Bay International Jewish Film Festival, the JFCS Holocaust Center, and more).
Programs designed to facilitate personal connections and community-building among students and connect students to other Jewish institutions that may meet their interests and needs.
Bay Area Focus:
New Lehrhaus will highlight and nurture its place as one of the jewels of the Bay Area Jewish community, even as online learning will allow engaging both teachers and students from beyond the Bay Area and outside the United States.
Our Story – in Brief
New Lehrhaus was established in August 2021 to continue the mission and sustain the legacy of Lehrhaus Judaica, following the closure of Lehrhaus Judaica/HaMaqom.
Inspired by Franz Rosenzweig’s “Free Jewish Lehrhaus,” which was established in Frankfurt in 1920, Lehrhaus Judaica, established in Berkeley in 1974, was one of the crown jewels of the Bay Area community and was unique in North America. New Lehrhaus will continue the work and re-imagine new directions and initiatives for the future.
Board of Directors
Rabbi Emeritus, B’nai Tikvah, Walnut Creek
Emanuel Ringelblum Distinguished Professor of Jewish History, UC Davis
Director, East Bay International Jewish Film Festival
Rabbi Emeritus, Beth El, Berkeley
Founding Director, Building Jewish Bridges
Former Executive Director, San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
Founding Director, Lehrhaus Judaica
Rabbi Emerita, Temple Isaiah, Lafayette
Former Director, Jewish Music Festival
Former CEO, Jewish LearningWorks
Koshland Professor of Jewish History, Stanford University
In addition to the Board of Directors, community members help run New Lehrhaus, including veteran Lehrhaus Judaica educators Dr. Jehon Grist and Rabbi Peretz Wolf-Prusan, joined by David De Nola, Rachel Biale, Prof. Ariel Mayse, Rabbi Lavey Derby, and Lorraine Harris, Melissa Kaplan and Skylar Cohen.
We are grateful to our major funders
JCC East Bay
JCC Contra Costa
Oshman Family JCC, Palo Alto
Osher Marin JCC
American Friends of Ben Gurion University
Atiq Jewish Maker Institute
Contra Costa Jewish Day School
Beth El, Berkeley
Beth Abraham, Oakland
Cong. Beth Jacob, Oakland
Beth Torah, Fremont
Bnai Tikvah, Walnut Creek
Emanu-el, San Francisco
Emek Bracha, Palo Alto
Kol Emeth, Palo Alto
Kol Shofar, Tiburon
Ner Shalom, Cotati
Netivot Shalom, Berkeley
Sha’ar Zahav, San Francisco
Tempe Isaiah, Lafayette
Temple Beth Hillel, Richmond
Temple Beth Sholom, San Leandro
Temple Israel of Alameda
Temple Sinai, Oakland
Jewish Family & Community Services East Bay
Jewish Learning Works
Jewish Community Library
Jewish Studies Program – UC Berkeley
Jewish Studies Program – UC Davis
Jewish Studies Center (CJS) – GTU
Jewish Studies – Taube Center at Stanford
Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation
Jewish Silicon Valley
Limmud Bay Area
Magnes Museum, Berkeley
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Contra Costa
PJ Library Bay Area
Rhoda Goldman Plaza
Tiyul Jewish Journeys