Online Learning with David Bernat

David Bernat has a PhD in Biblical & Near Eastern Studies from Brandeis, with publications in areas such as Jewish ritual, & representations of violence & zealotry in ancient Jewish writings. David has held faculty positions at Wellesley College, Hebrew College Rabbinic School, & UMass Amherst. David also planned & led several study tours to Israel, focusing on history & archaeology.

David has taught a winter/spring course at The Boston Synagogue every year since 2016, & we are excited to embark on this next journey with him.

David Bernat

Dead Sea Scrolls (zoom)

Thursdays (Starting February 2nd) 7:00 – 9:00 PM 

Unravel the crucial details of ancient Jewish history & tradition during the time of the Maccabean Kings, Roman conquest of Judea & more!

Course Description

In 1947, a Bedouin youth “stumbled upon” a cave with clay jars & a Hebrew parchment that found its way into Israel’s hands in an episode worthy of spy novelists such as John Le Carre or Daniel Silva.

Decades later a settlement by the Dead Sea, alongside 11 desert hillside caves was discovered. These caves contained thousands of documents providing crucial information about ancient Jewish history, tradition, & practice from approx 200 BCE & the time of the Maccabean Kings to 70 CE & the Roman conquest of Judea & destruction of the 2nd Temple in Jerusalem. The scrolls also clued us in to the transitions from the Torah to Rabbinic Literature, & the connections between early Judaism & nascent Christianity.

Thursdays 7:00-9:00 PM 

February 2, 9, 16, 23

March 9, 16, 23, 30

April 20, 27

Make up day: May 4


$325 payable to David Bernat directly via check by mail or Venmo.