The Jewish Learning Institute



Chabad by the Sea is proud to offer the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute - bringing authentic, relevant Jewish learning to adults seeking intellectual and spiritual growth. Our students include both first-time learners and those with years of prior study. We follow a powerful path of discovery and depth, touching the soul and altering the life course of our learners.


The Rohr JLI is the largest institute of adult learning of its kind, operating in over 200 cities around the world. We provide the essentials of Jewish literacy in a series of thoughtfully designed six- and eight-week courses. Every course is accompanied by a student textbook and enhanced by engaging audio-visual presentations. JLI’s teaching is conveyed in a warm environment that embraces every student.


Courses in Santa Cruz are presented by Rabbi Yochanan Friedman. Rabbi Friedman brings Jewish learning to life, leading students toward fresh thinking about the world, and creating an environment that inspires feelings of hope, purpose, meaning and value.



You Be The Judge II   (click here for video teasers)


 Do you enjoy puzzles and problem-solving? Do you love the give-and-take of thoughtful discussion? Can you use logic and creativity to work your way out of challenging situations? Then this course is for you.

The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute’s groundbreaking course, You Be The Judge, presented real cases brought before the beit din, the court system of Jewish Law. We provided the primary texts from the Talmud and asked our students to grapple with the facts in order to arrive at satisfying solutions.

This February, JLI is proud to present You Be The Judge II, a collection of six totally new cases. You need no prior knowledge of the Talmud and no formal legal training. There are no prerequisites other than an open mind.

If you missed You Be The Judge I, we invite you to experience foryourself the exhilarating mentalexploration that characterizestraditional Talmud study. Andif you took our previous course,be sure not to miss this excitingsequel.



Lesson One

Inheriting the Fruits of Sin


Can murderers inherit from their victims? This act of chutzpah is recorded in the Bible, and still crops up in court today. This lesson compares the approaches of Jewish and secular law to this audacious claim.

Lesson Two

The Accidental Treasure

Your contractor demolishes a bathroom wall and discovers a rusting lockbox containing cash. You had no idea there was money stashed in the wall of your hundred-year-old house, and your home has passed through many hands, making it impossible to determine the original owner. Who gets to enjoy this unexpected windfall?

Lesson Three

Will the Real Owner Please Rise?

You bought and paid for a car, but when you come to pick it up, it is already gone from the showroom. The absentminded salesman sold the same car to two people and is unable to remember to whom he sold it first. Is there any way out of this quagmire? 

Lesson Four

The Neighbor Advantage

Jewish law dictates that when a property is sold, the neighbors must be given the first option of purchase. Must one sell to their neighbor if there is a higher bidder? And just who is considered a neighbor in this context?

Lesson Five

You’re Fired!

Under what circumstances can one legally fire an employee? When one terminates employment, is there any ethical obligation to provide severance or compensation?

Lesson Six

The Arm-Twister

An old business partner, who wants to buy your house, threatens to reveal information that could lead to your arrest if you do not sell it to him. If you agree to a sale under duress, is the sale valid and binding?

 Course Fee: $99 plus $15 book fee.


This course will be offered on three Schedule tracks for your convenience:


Monday Track:

Six consecutive Mondays, Feb 16th - Mar 23rd

from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM

These classes are held at a private home on the West side.

Click Here to register for the Monday track or contact Rabbi Friedman


Tuesday Track:

Six consecutive Tuesday evenings, Feb 10th - Mar 17th

from 7:00 to 8:30 PM

These classes are held at Congregation Kol Tefillh in downtown.

Click Here to register for the Monday track or contact Rabbi Friedman


Saturday Track: Possible

This schedule is tentative and pending your response.

Six consecutive Saturday nights (times to be determined)

These classes are held at a private home on the West side.

Please contact Rabbi Friedman if you are interested in the Saturday track.