Centre for Continuing Education

Jewish Culture Course: Jewish Answers to Life’s Big Questions

Jewish culture. Learn about Jewish culture with us.

COVID-19 update: arrangement of our courses

We are now delivering courses both online and in-person. Please check the delivery format for each class before you enrol.

Please note that course materials for all classes (excluding prescribed textbooks) are shared electronically within 48 hours of a course starting. Printing is not available.

In partnership with the Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies
Course materials developed by The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning - a project of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. For specific enquiries regarding the program, please contact Hinda Young on 0432 567 917.

This course offers thought-provoking approaches to understanding the mystery of the divine’s role in our lives, based on teachings preserved in Jewish tradition and lessons from lived experiences. The course explores answers to these timeless questions through the eyes of the rabbinic sages and modern thinkers, and presents multiple Jewish approaches in the quest for understanding.

Join our Jewish culture courses at CCE and acquire Jewish literacy in an open, trans-denominational, intellectually stimulating learning environment.


This aim of this course is to explore the multiplicity of Jewish answers to life’s most difficult questions using the teachings of ancient and modern Jewish thinkers.


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • recount important existential questions
  • recognise the breadth of Jewish responses to challenging questions
  • interpret a multiplicity of Jewish sources and decide which if any of these responses resonates and offers a satisfactory explanation
  • distinguish between the positions of the major Jewish thinkers on selected topics.


This course examines challenging existential questions and attempts to offer several Jewish approaches to these questions. The aim is to demonstrate the breadth of responses offered by the Jewish tradition.

Specific topics covered are:

  • Why do good people suffer?
  • Why is there so much evil in the world?
  • Is everything that happens pre-ordained?
  • Can’t God make a miracle for me?

Intended audience

Suitable for anyone who is interested in learning about Jewish culture, theology and philosophy.

Delivery style

This four-lesson course is delivered as a series of interactive workshops based on class reading of texts (biblical, rabbinic, medieval, and modern literature and poetry) and involves discussion between participants and the facilitator.

Prescribed text

Schwartz, M 2010, Where’s My Miracle: Jewish Traditions for Dealing with Tragedy, Gefen Publishing House, Jerusalem.

Suggested textbook supplier:


Both Kindle and hardcover versions are available.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Course materials – yours to keep
  • CCE Statement of Completion

We acknowledge the tradition of custodianship and law of the Country on which the University of Sydney campuses stand. We pay our respects to those who have cared and continue to care for the Country.