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Violence and Non-violent Resistance in Jewish Tradition

This course was offered in Winter/Spring, 2019.

This class is a four-part study of violence and non-violent resistance by Jews in different periods of Jewish history. The first session looks at some of the uses of violence in the Torah and rabbinic interpretations of those violent events. The second delves into an episode of Jewish struggle against Rome in first-century Jerusalem, as reported by Philo and Josephus, as a possible early example of the method of non-violent resistance Gandhi later would call satyagraha. The third considers the turning inward of Jewish violence during the First Crusade in the form of kiddush ha’shem. The final session explores correspondence exchanged in 1938 between Gandhi, Martin Buber and other Jewish leaders regarding potential Jewish responses to Nazi oppression and, specifically, to Kristallnacht.


# Sessions
Date & time

Tuesdays, February 5, 19, March 5, 19
6:30 - 8:00 pm

$100 (100%)
$80 (80%)
$60 (60%)

As a nonprofit, Lehrhaus relies on tuition to help cover the direct cost of our course offerings. We offer a tiered pricing structure to ensure that cost is not a barrier to participation. Please evaluate your own ability to pay, and select the option that makes it possible for you to participate. To inquire about pricing or scholarships, please email us at info@lehrhaus.org.

Session Time Days Location Instructors
Feb 05 6:30 PM–8:00 PM Tue Beth Sholom Howard Simon Rabbi Dan Ain
Feb 19 6:30 PM–8:00 PM Tue Beth Sholom Howard Simon Rabbi Dan Ain
Mar 05 6:30 PM–8:00 PM Tue Beth Sholom Howard Simon Rabbi Dan Ain
Mar 19 6:30 PM–8:00 PM Tue Beth Sholom Howard Simon Rabbi Dan Ain


Congregation Beth Sholom

301 14th Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94118-2804



Rabbi Dan Ain

Rabbi Dan AinRabbi Ain develops meaningful ways to worship in the 21st century – creating experiences that speak to people today, using the language, lessons and music of the past. Rabbi Ain finds holiness through honest conversation and gathers those who are open to being reached. He creates spaces where people can say what they really think and allow others to do the same.

For the past decade, after his ordination from The Jewish Theological Seminary, Rabbi Ain served as the Rabbi at the New Shul and was Director of Tradition and Innovation at the New York City 92nd St. Y. He’s hosted Friday night dinners with comedians and cosmologists, klezmer brunches with composers and analysts, and conversations with friends looking for ways to talk about God on their own terms.

Most recent and prior to joining Congregation Beth Sholom, Rabbi Ain (along with his wife Alana Joblin Ain) co-founded and served as spiritual leaders for the Brooklyn based organization Because Jewish which creates opportunities for our religious perspectives to be in genuine dialogue with our artists, our musicians and our everyday lives. The Times of Israel wrote that “Because Jewish represents the zeitgeist of Jewish Brooklyn, circa 2016. Its raison d’être is to offer community and presence amidst the racing speed and technological isolation of the here and now.

Howard Simon

Howard SimonHoward Simon is a San Francisco-based lawyer, businessman and musician who has been active in the Bay Area Jewish community for many years, with a particular focus on Jewish education. He is a frequent teacher and guest lecturer on Jewish history and ethics. Mr. Simon's past Board service includes the Berkeley Hillel Foundation, the Graduate Theological Union of Berkeley (from which he received his Master's degree in Jewish Studies), the San Francisco Jewish Community Center, Brandeis Hillel Day School, and Congregation Ner Tamid. He currently serves as Board President of Lehrhaus Judaica. Mr. Simon also serves on not-for-profit boards outside the Jewish community focusing on public health issues, and is an established Bay Area singer-songwriter. In addition to his MA, Mr. Simon holds a law degree from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.