Qabbalat Shabbat: Friday, 6:00 p.m. Torah Study: Saturday, 9:00-11:00 a.m. Weekday Minyan: 6:15 p.m.

Is Diaspora Good for the Jews? The Politics and Possibilites of Galut

Taught by Aron Wander

Tuesdays, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time
6 sessions, February 23 – March 30, 2021
Online class via Zoom. Registration Required.
This class is offered in partnership with Hebrew College’s Open Circle Jewish Learning.

What is galut (exile), and is it good for the Jews? In this course, we’ll explore Jewish texts about exile, diaspora, state oppression, Zionism, and antisemitism and consider their meaning for Jews in America today. Do we still consider ourselves to be living in exile? Should we? What are the risks and benefits of seeing ourselves in such terms?

Through the lens of rabbinic narratives about Purim, supplemented by contemporary religious and scholarly sources, we’ll discuss the political, spiritual, and psychological dynamics of galut (exile) and diaspora. Though the class will focus on the situation of American Jews, we’ll also address the consequences of Zionism for American Jewish identity and politics, as well as whether Zionism solves, complicates, or compounds galut.

This class qualifies for the “Bible, Rabbinics, and Philosophy” categories of the Chochmat Lev, A Learned Heart Certificate.

To join us, please register with the form below, and the Zoom link will be shared in your confirmation email. Contact Brigid Goggin with any questions at

Meet the Instructor: Aron Wander

Aron Wander (he/him) is an organizer, writer, and second-year rabbinical student at Hebrew College. Currently, he serves as the rabbi of Ohel Ayalah LIC, a pop-up minyan in Queens, and as a rabbinic intern and educator at Temple Israel in Brookline. Before beginning rabbinical school, he worked as the Northeast Campus Organizer for J Street U and served on the coordinating team for Kavod, a justice-oriented Jewish community. He spends most of his time reading sci-fi/fantasy, studying Torah, and scavenging for books.

Class Registration:

The Center for Adult Jewish Learning follows a “Pay What You Can” model for registration. To register for this class, please select “Add” for each attendee you wish to register at the pricing level of your choice, then click “Proceed to Payment” to complete registration.

“Pay What You Can” Registration Details:
-Standard Registration is set at $25 per class session.
-Supporter Registration is set at $35 per class session. This level is for those who are able to contribute more to help keep our programs accessible for all.
-Reduced Registration is set at $10 per session. This level is for those who wish to participate but may find the Standard Registration fee prohibitive.

We also offer scholarships. To learn more about scholarships, or to register for this class by phone and/or pay by check, please contact Brigid Goggin at