Exploring Judaism

Whether you are considering conversion or want to reconnect with your roots, come learn with us.

Mishkan’s Exploring Judaism is led by Rabbi Steven Philp with guest appearances by Rabbi Deena Cowans, Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann, and other movers and shakers in the Chicago Jewish scene.

The purpose of this course is to equip students with a foundational knowledge of Judaism to unlock further exploration – whether you’re studying to convert, are reconnecting with your roots, or looking to bring Judaism into your multi-faith home. We’ll dive into foundational Jewish texts, explore beliefs and practices, experience the rhythms of the Jewish calendar, and reflect on what it means to live Jewishly in the 21st century.

This is a class for people on the path toward Judaism, with no commitment to convert. We offer both in-person and online cohorts. Our next course will begin in November and will meet on alternating Tuesdays from 6:30 – 8:30 pm CT. Interested in joining our next cohort? Contact Rabbi Steven to learn more.

Topics covered include:
  • History, mythic to ancient to modern
  • Jewish culture and diversity
  • Theology, belief, and prayer (aka can I be Jewish and an atheist)
  • Lifecycle events, from birth to death
  • Holidays, Shabbat, and their observance
  • Building a Jewish home
Participants commit to:
  • Learning with curiosity and open mindedness.
  • Sharing space, opinions, beliefs, and questions.
  • Respecting others’ perspectives, boundaries, and beliefs.
  • Acting kindly, creating physical and emotional safety.
  • Being generous and giving the benefit of the doubt, as everyone is coming with different levels of familiarity, comfort, and context to this Jewish space.


Your Jewish journey does not end with conversion. This workshop will focus on issues surrounding Jewish identity: imposter’s syndrome, passing, being outed in the kiddush line, and other obstacles that converts face as they navigate the Jewish community post-conversion. Whether you just converted, or it’s been decades, this is a safe space where we can connect around these unique shared experiences. Being will be next held in Winter 2023.


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Interested? Get in touch for information on our next program!

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