BluePrint: Building a Jewish Life

Whether you are exploring Judaism, considering conversion, or want to reconnect with your roots – come learn with us!

A choose-your-own-adventure learning program for those who want to explore Judaism in an approachable and accessible way, open to all adult learners with a special track for those considering conversion. BluePrint is led by Rabbi Steven Philp with guest appearances by 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.

We offer both in-person and online cohorts. Our next course will begin in late October and will meet on alternating Tuesdays from 6:30 – 8:30 pm CT. Beginning in the Winter, modules will also be open to non-conversion students. 

Interested in joining our next cohort? Contact Rabbi Steven to learn more.

BluePrint is divided into four modules:

Jewish History (October - December)
  • From Biblical to Rabbinic Judaism
  • Middle Ages: Halakhah and Kabbalah
  • Emancipation and the Emergence of Modern Judaism
  • Contemporary Judaism, Diversity, and Change


Spirituality and Prayer (January - February)
  • The Jewish Week and Shabbat
  • The Jewish Calendar (and the Shalosh Regalim)
  • God, Theology, and the High Holidays
  • Prayer and the Rabbinic Holidays


Lifecycles (April - May)
  • B’Tzelem Elohim: Created in the Divine Image
  • Birth to B-Mitzvah
  • Love, Marriage, and Divorce
  • Dying, Death, and Mourning


Ethics and Contemporary Jewish Issues (May - July)
  • Kashrut, Eating, and Ethical Consumption
  • Social Justice and Tikkun Olam
  • Antisemitism, Privilege, and Power
  • Zionism(s): Israel and Palestine


Considering Conversion

  • Take all four modules of BluePrint
  • Meet in the last 30 minutes of class with R’Steven and other students on the same track to discuss how what we learned can be applied outside the classroom
  • Engage in extracurriculars outside of the classroom to help you explore your Jewish identity and practice
  • Be part of a hevra, a peer small group run by people who have previously converted as an opportunity to build community and connection
  • Complete the ritual requirements of conversion

Learn more

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

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Continued Jewish Learning

Being: What’s Next After Choosing Judaism
Your Jewish journey does not end with conversion. This workshop – for converts, by converts – focuses on issues of Jewish identity: imposter syndrome, passing (or not passing), being outed, and other obstacles that Jews-by-Choice face as we navigate the Jewish community post-conversion. Whether you just converted or it’s been years, this is a safe space where we can connect around these unique, shared experiences.

Renew: Finding Your Judaism
What does your Judaism look like? This workshop is a deep dive into what it means to be Jewish – to you! Discover how your identity informs your values, which can serve as a foundation for building your practice. We’ll ask the question, as a Jew: who am I, what do I believe, and how do I move through the world? Together, we will harness the spiritual technology of our tradition to reinvigorate our Judaism.