Adult Education 5781

Temple Beth-El promotes life-long learning and therefore offers learning opportunities for every stage of life. In addition to exceptional youth educational opportunities, Temple Beth-El also offers a robust adult education program. Our programs range from guest speakers to study of Torah, Mussar, Hebrew and Literature.

Courageous Conversations: Candid Dialogue about the Role of Race in America

“Let us be God’s witnesses: strong enough to stand in discomfort and listen, honest enough to acknowledge the discrimination around us,
and brave enough to overcome our fear of change.” -Rabbi Mara Nathan (Yom Kippur 5781)

Join us as we explore themes of racial injustice and non-white experiences in America through film, music, and literature. By participating in these Courageous Conversations we hope to open our hearts and minds to life experiences that are different from our own, deepen our sense of empathy and discern concrete ways to affect change in our community and in our own lives. Together we will engage in honest, respectful, and constructive conversations about the need for us all to be engaged in anti-racist work.

Scroll through the images above for more information and to register for that session.

Just Mercy Discussion Recording • Just Mercy Additional Readings

White Negroes Discussion Recording

Soundtracks of Change: Hip Hop in America Additional Readings  Soundtracks of Change: Hip Hop in America Recording

Sunday Scholar Series
Life in the Time of COVID-19...What Should Our New Normal Be?
Sundays | 9:30–11:00 am

The Sunday Scholar Series focuses on a yearly theme from a variety of angles. This year the theme is “Life in the Time of COVID-19….What Should Our New Normal Be?” Sunday sessions draw a diverse crowd. The atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable to ensure learners of all levels feel welcome and included. Some participants are parents of religious school students inspired to learn with their children, while others are exploring Judaism for themselves. Some participants attend all the sessions, while others come for the specific topics of their interest. Everyone is welcome, and everyone becomes part of the unique classroom community that Temple has fostered. You will leave with new ideas to think about and happy that you took this time for yourself.

This year’s presenters include: Rachel Stern, Uri Feinberg, Jerry Greenspan and Rachel Korazim.

Visiting Scholars

Israeli Poetry with Rachel Korazim

Tuesdays & Thursdays • 1:00-2:00 pm • Zoom

Rachel is a freelance Jewish education consultant in curriculum development for Israel and Holocaust education. She engages audiences worldwide through innovative presentations built around the stories, poems and songs of Israel’s best writers.  Her thought-provoking talks open a window onto Israeli society, inviting listeners to engage with the country and its history in new ways  Register Here  for Tuesdays & Thursdays with Rachel Korazim.

Special Series for Temple Beth-El

Pre-registration is required.

Sunday April 4, 2021 • 9:30 am

Anochi – Dialogues with G-d in Israeli Poetry

Although Israel is often seen as a society divided along the lines of religiosity and secularism, a closer look will show how even the most secular writers are rooted in classical texts that create their personal language of secular prayer. The session will examine various expressions of the relationship with God, based on secular, biblical, and prayer references in modern Israeli poetry, moving from rebellion and denial through painful dialogue to acceptance through creativity.     

Source Sheet – April 4       Recording of April 4

Sunday April 11, 2021 • 9:30 am

Messages from Sinai – Learnings from Auschwitz 

Israeli poetry was always and is still a significant source for shaping personal as well as national conduct. This session will focus on two significant sources of inspiration TANA”CH and the Holocaust. Our quest will start with the very early pre-state days, which were immediately after the Holocaust when the lessons seemed clear and unequivocal to more nuanced options of recent years. In Biblical lore, we will learn from exemplary figures but will also listen to Amalek. It will be an emotional as well as a lyrical rollercoaster – This is how character is built.

Source Sheet – April  11          Recording of April 11

Sunday April 18, 2021 • 9:30 am

Women Voices

This session is a compilation of women’s poetry representing different periods of Modern Hebrew poetry in Israel. From the days of the early pioneers to contemporary 21st-century voices. We will be looking at poems of women expressing their nuanced connection to the land of Israel, offering their unique way of reading the Torah, creating new individual poetic prayers, and speaking out in the political arena.

Source Sheet – April 18           Recording of April 18

Rachel Stern

Rachel Stern has been a key presenter for our Sunday Series for many years. Rachel holds master’s degrees in both Jewish Education and Jewish Non-Profit Management and has been in Jewish education for over 20 years. Rachel currently serves as the Chief Learning and Engagement Officer for Shalom Austin. 

Holy Isolation….Redemption texts from Jewish tradition 

March 21, 2021 • 9:30 am

Our Torah and other Jewish sacred texts prescribe ways to handle infectious diseases and lay out procedures for isolation and reentry. What does our tradition teach about isolation and reintegration? What measures must we take to maintain holy behavior both inside and outside the camp? 

Pre-registration is required. 
REGISTER HERE

This class is made possible through the Gilbert and Ruth Lang Human Endowment Fund.

 

Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof…the role of activism in Jewish community…. 

TBD • 9:30 am

How do we balance the Jewish prophetic vision of justice in our country with the need to protect our own?  How do we reconcile anti-Zionism/ anti-Semitism within parts of the American Activist community (e.g. BLM) with the need to combat the racism that is baked into our society? Are we prepared to let go of our community’s default assumption that Jews are mostly white and create sacred space for Jews of color? Can we create an anti-racist Judaism? 

Pre-registration is required. 
REGISTRATION Link to come

This class is made possible through the Gilbert and Ruth Lang Human Endowment Fund

Uri Feinberg

Emigrating from the US with his family when he was 10, Uri grew up in Jerusalem, served in the IDF and traveled the world. He graduated from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2004 with an MA in Contemporary Jewry. He also holds a BA in History and English Literature. Uri has guided teen trips in Israel, worked as a Jewish history teacher for semester programs in Israel, as a guide in Europe as gateways to Israel and as a tour educator for families, adults of all ages, synagogue groups and specialty tours.

Click for an archive of Uri’s classes. 

2022 Interfaith Trip to Israel - February 6-22, 2022

Explore Israel with Rabbi Mara Nathan and Rev. Beth Knowlton. 

Trip information or by calling Avital at 888-811-2812

Information session recording

Temple Beth-El Jewish Heritage Trip to Poland and Germany
May 9-22, 2022

Experience great centers of Jewish culture and creativity, examine and mourn the Holocaust and meet those revitalizing Jewish life in Poland and Germany all on this trip led by Rabbi Mara Nathan.

Trip information or by calling 888-811-2812

Year Long Learning

Torah Study

Saturdays | 9:00–10:00 am

Join with other dedicated learners as we continue to make our way through the entire Torah text. For more than 20 years we have gathered on Saturday mornings to engage in a close reading of the Hebrew Bible. All learners are welcome to share in the dialogue and discussion.

Blessing for the Study of Torah

Torah Study – Genesis 19:17-26

Stepping Stones to Jewish Knowledge: A Basic Judaism Course

Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 PM – Class will begin on January 20, 2021 

This course will be held on zoom for the time being. If things change in terms of Covid-19, we could switch to in-person classes held at Temple Beth-El.

Registration and Payment for the course is due by January 11, 2021

6:30–7:45 pm | Section 1A – Stepping Stones to Jewish Knowledge

Open to anyone who would like to reinvigorate their Jewish knowledge or begin their journey to conversion. Topics include life cycles, holidays, prayer, history, and theology.

7:45–8:30 pm | Section 1B – Beginning Hebrew, The Aleph Bet

(note: Stepping Stones and Hebrew will be taught concurrently each week)

 Section 2 — Choosing Judaism

Delve deeper into the topics previously learned as well as the more personal conversion process, including group discussions, journaling opportunities, and community partnerships with congregants.

Members interested in attending the Stepping Stones to Jewish Knowledge course are encouraged to do so. This group becomes a community during the course, registration for the entire first section is necessary.

Completion of the Stepping Stones course (including Hebrew) is a requirement for all conversion candidates. If you are interested in exploring the conversion process, please contact Iris Berman-Smith by email or by phone at (210) 733-9135, ext. 106.

Cost of Section 1A: $180 + $28-45 for materials (based on your preference)

Materials: Honoring Tradition, Embracing Modernity: A Reader for the Union for Reform Judaism’s Introduction to Judaism Course.

  • Hardcopy Book: $34
  • PDF of Book: $28
  • PDF and Hardcopy Bundle: $45Cost of Section 1B: $100 + $20 book


Cost of Section 2:
$80 + $100 mikvah fee (required for conversion) + $50 Hatafat Dam Brit fee (for male conversion candidates who are interested in this).

Total for the year-long course: $360 plus materials and extra fees.

 Registration and payment for the class is due prior to January 11, 2021.

Temple Book Chavurah

Tuesdays at 7:00 PM

October 20: The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

December 22: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

February 23: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

April 20: The Bridal Chair by Gloria Goldreich

June 22: The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka

RSVP or ask to be added to the notification list for this group and to receive the Zoom Invitation prior to each session by contacting Warren Lieberman at moc.liamg@06beilgw

Monthly Mussar 

Thursday  |  7:00 pm
Class will begin September 3 | 10-month course

Temple Beth-El will offer a 10-month course of mussar study with trained mussar facilitator Geri Gregory.

The text to be used for this course is The Musssar Torah Commentary: A Spiritual Path to Living a Meaningful and Ethical Life, edited by Rabbi Barry H. Block. See the article above for information about this book and ordering.

Each participant will be asked to meet once a month on Thursday evenings at 7:00 pm in a va’ad (the entire group of participants) and once a month with a chevrutah (assigned study partner), as well as complete the assigned readings from the text. Beginners and seasoned Mussar learners are welcome to participate in this course, however beginners will be required to attend a few extra sessions in the beginning to learn about Mussar practice. The va’ad will meet via Zoom as long as is necessary, and then in person when it is possible.

The cost for this 10-month course is $100 for seasoned mussar learners and $140 for beginners, and all participants will need a copy of the book. You MUST register and pay for this course NO LATER than Thursday, September 3.

Please REGISTER HERE

Adult Hebrew

Class 1: 6:00 to 7:00 pm

Three adult Hebrew classes taught by Rachel Walsh will be offered on Monday and Wednesday evenings (via Zoom) beginning January 4 and 6.  If you want to increase your knowledge of Hebrew, then join Rachel for one of these classes.  Each of the classes is customized to the interest of the class.

Class 1: 7:15 to 8:15 pm – Mondays

A complete beginners class. Knowledge of the Hebrew Alpha Bet is NOT required for this class. Will start from the beginning.

Class 2: 6:00 to 7:00 pm – Wednesdays

A post-beginner class; knowledge of the Alef-Bet and ability to read words is required. A textbook will be used.

Class 3: 7:15 to 8:15 pm – Wednesdays

An intermediate class will focus on learning different aspects of the Hebrew language; basic experience with Hebrew beyond the Alef-Bet is required. A textbook and novel for Hebrew learners are used.

Fee: $80 for members and $105 for non-members. Your registration and payment are due prior to December 24. For online registration and payment, click HEBREW REGISTRATION . For further information, contact Rachel Walsh.