SAJE (Seminars for Adult Jewish Enrichment)

Seminars for Adult Jewish Enrichment (SAJE) provide year-round, community-wide learning opportunities of the highest quality that connect people to Judaism. SAJE is endowed by a generous gift from Cis Maisel Kellman and is supported by Carol & Ronald Fogel and Sophie Pearlstein through the JCC's Pillars of Light program. 

Download our Fall Brochure


From Prague to Metropolis: How the Golem Influenced the Creators of Superman

Tuesday, September 3 | 7:00 p.m.

Whether the Golem of Prague is a myth or a reality, its influence spread far and wide from Grimms’ Fairy Tales to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and eventually the comic-book character Superman. Dr.Nurnberger argues there is ac onnection between the superhero from the planet Krypton to the Golem of Prague. In fact, the presentation will end with the question: “Is Superman Jewish?”

Free. Registration recommended.
Supported by: Cohn-Haddow Center for Judaic Studies at Wayne State University, Rayna & Natalio Kogan 

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion: The Persistence of Evil

Wednesday, September 4 | 12:00 p.m. (Bring your own lunch)

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion may be the most significant anti-Semitic document ever. Hitler mentions it in Mein Kampf; Henry Ford distributed it; conspiracy theorists cite it to explain the 9/11 attacks; organizers of the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville claim it motivated them. This presentation will cover the history and international influence of this notorious screed.

Dr. Ralph Nurnberger is a widely acclaimed speaker who brings humor, current political insights and historical background to his presentations. He taught at Georgetown University for 38 years and was named “Professor of the Year” by the Graduate School of Liberal Studies. Dr. Nurnberger has advised numerous Congressional, Senatorial and Presidential campaigns on foreign policy issues, and served for over eight years as a Legislative Liaison for AIPAC.

Free. Registration recommended.
Co-sponsor: Jewish Historical Society of Michigan

Throwing Sheyd: Better Living Through Jewish Demonology (Live Podcast*)

Tuesday, October 29 | 7:00 p.m.

This is the only podcast to explore the edges of Jewish text and tradition where the likes of Lilith, Ashmodai, and Joe the Demon thwart rabbis, haunt ruins, and hover menacingly over your carelessly open books.

With heart, chutzpah, and the occasional 90’s pop culture reference, hosts Miriam Brosseau and Alan Jay Sufrin (also known as the “biblegum pop” duo Stereo Sinai) help you navigate the dark underbelly of Talmudic lore, and, just maybe, come out better equipped to take on the darkness.

Tickets: $8
Co-sponsor: Jewish Historical Society of Michigan

Buy Tickets

 *Podcast: A music or talk program made available in digital format for automatic download over the Internet. (Think radio for the 21st century.) Live podcasts give you the opportunity to be a member in the audience as the podcast is recorded in real time.
Podcasts are conversations. Podcasts are stories.


Sunday, November 17 | 2:00 p.m. Presentation, 3:30 p.m. Gallery Tour

Professor Howard Lupovitch

A Paper Trail: the Double-Sided Revolution of Paper

Professor Howard Lupovitch received a PhD in Jewish History from Columbia University. Lupovitch is currently a member of the History Department and Director of the Cohn-Haddow Center for Judaic Studies at Wayne State University. He is the author of Jews and Judaism in World History and is writing a history of the Neolog Movement.

Lynne Avadenka, Artist

Sacred Craft: A Look at Early Hebrew Printing

Lynne Avadenka is an artist/printmaker, creating mixed media work informed by the Jewish experience. This year, Avadenka received the “Sylvia Fishman Research Award” from the Hadassah Brandeis Institute and has previously been awarded a Kresge Fellowship and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

Meighen Jackson,Curator and Artist, PaperWorks and Climb exhibitions, The Janice Charach Gallery

Exhibition Overview, Tour with the Curator

During the eighties, Meighan Jackson worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world at Chrysler Corporation while maintaining an active studio in downtown Detroit. For over a decade, she has been a full-time painter, educator and lecturer on contemporary art, represented in New York and Detroit and exhibited both locally and internationally

Free. Registration recommended. Refreshments will be served in the gallery.


SAJE in the Summer // Dive Into Torah

June 4 – Mikvah: Past, Present and Future
June 11 – Drawers of Water & Inclusion within Torah
June 18 – Water under the Bridge: Defining Community
June 25 – When Tears Bring Life: the Role of Prayer in Israelite Rain Rituals

Tuesdays from 10-11 a.m. 

Location: Poolside at the JCC. Shade provided.
Enter at the outdoor pool entrance on the west side of the building.
Rain Location: JCC of Metro Detroit, Conference Room 205.



Sunday, June 23, 2019, 2:00 pm

Pop Up SAJE: The Jewish Side of Mahler

Tuesday, July 2, 10am at the JCC
Join professor and conductor Carolyn Watson for an exploration about how Gustav Mahler’s Jewish identity impacted his life and his music.


Minor Characters of the Torah and Their Big Stories

Dr. Rabbi Mitch Parker, Instructor

Explore lesser-known people in the Bible including:

• The Divine Beings in the Flood Story
• Mrs. Noah
• The “man” who Joseph met in the field
• Mrs. Potiphar
• Daughter of Asher
• Dathan and Aviram
• The Shabbat Wood Gatherer • Og King of Bashan

Wednesdays from 10:00–11:30 a.m.
July 10, 17, 24, 31

Location: Max M. Fisher Federation Building
6735 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills
Individual Classes: $10 each. 4-Class Package: $36.

Conversos and CryptoJews of New Mexico

Rabbi Min Kantrowitz

Secret Jews hidden in the mountains and villages of Northern New Mexico? Yes..the rumors are true. Jews forced to convert or leave the Iberian Peninsula in the late 1400s sought a safe place to practice their culture and religion. Rabbi Kantrowitz describes what led up to these expulsions, how and where fleeing Jews went, how they ended up in tiny New Mexico towns, and where remnants of their Jewish practices remain as precious, but secret, family legacies

Thursday, April 4, 7pm

How Hitler was Made

Cory Taylor

How did an obscure agitator on the political fringes of early 20th-century Germany rise to become the supreme leader of the Third Reich? Cory Taylor, veteran producer of historical documentaries, brings to life this era of political unrest and violent conflict, focusing on Hitler's formative period immediately following World War I.

Co-sponsored by Anti-Defamation League, Cohn-Haddow Center for Judaic Studies, and JCC Detroit Jewish Book Fair.

Monday, April 29, 7pm

Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court

From Louis Brandeis to Elena Kagan, eight Jews have served on the United States Supreme Court. Rabbi Dr. David Dalin explores the lives of these justices and their connections to their Jewish heritage.

Monday, March 18, 7pm, JCC of Metro Detroit

The Bible from a Literary Perspective

Professor Ralph Williams, University of Michigan

Wednesday March 13, 27, April 3,10, 7 - 8:30 p.m.

Building Judaism: A Premier Presentation

with Michael Hodges, Fine Arts Writer, The Detroit News and author of Building the Modern World – Albert Kahn in Detroit

Tuesdays, 7-8:30 p.m., 4 weeks beginning April 30


SAJE in the Summer with Rabbi Mitch Parker.

Wednesdays in July, starting July 10

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