Adult Education 5782
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 5782 Thursdays | 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. on ZOOM
Antioch Missionary Baptist Church and Temple Beth-El have been engaged in dialogue and fellowship since 2016 with our annual Martin Luther King Jr. Sabbath Exchange. This year we invite you to deepen the dialogue with a monthly book discussion of Isabel Wilkerson’s Pulitzer Prize winning book, Caste: The Origins of our Discontents. From October through April, Rabbi Mara Nathan and Pastor Kenneth Kemp will lead us through a discussion of Wilkerson’s powerful and thought-provoking work. Our book discussion will culminate with a city-wide event featuring a presentation by Wilkerson.
- October 14 Part 1: The Toxins in the Permafrost & Heat Rising All Around, chapters 1-3
- October 14 Part 2: The Arbitrary Construction of Human Divisions, chapters 4-9
- November 18 Part 3: The Eight Pillars of Caste
- December 16 Part 4: The Tentacles of Caste, chapters 10-18
- January 13 Part 5: The Consequence of Caste, chapters 19-24
- February 17 Part 6: Backlash, chapters 25-29
- March 17 Part 7: Awakening, chapters 30-31
- April 21: Isabel Wilkerson Event, location TBD
** Interested in helping to sponsor Isabel Wilkerson’s visit to San Antonio? Click here to view sponsorship opportunities.
Contact Rabbi Nathan gro.asle-hteb@nahtanm for information.
Clergy Led Classes
Scouts, Trailblazers, Pathfinders, Explorers: A History of Women in the Rabbinate with Rabbi Mara Nathan
Tuesdays, Oct. 12, 19, 26, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.
Tracing Jewish Roots – A Jewish Genealogy 101 with Rabbi Yergin
Thursdays, May 4,11,18, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.
Rabbi Yergin’s side hobby is working on her family tree. Come learn from her first about the history of Jewish migration patterns and how they create a complicated genealogical Jewish map. Then explore your own tree with her help and resources. At the final class, you will be able to share some of what you found on your own tree!
For an expanded opportunity, join us on May 15th from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at Temple Beth-El’s Palmetto Cemetery, the first Jewish cemetery in San Antonio to have a tour, participate in a scavenger hunt, do some rubbings of headstones, and work on beautifying the space!
What is Jewish Music? with Cantor Julie Berlin
Tuesdays, February 8, 15, 22, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.
Jewish music has been composed wherever Jews have lived. Over the millennia, that has encompassed just about every corner of the globe. “Jewish Music” comes in many styles, genres, and contexts. Throughout the three sessions we will explore the many answers to What is Jewish music. This will include a look at contemporary styles as well as liturgical.
Dr. Joshua Garroway
Renewal after an Ancient ‘Quarantine’: The Wisdom of Isaiah,
December 1, 2021 | 7:30 p.m.
Musician in Residence, December 3-5, 2021
Shira Kline is a performance and ritual artist, recognized as a revolutionary educator and named one of the new re-engineers of Jewish life. Whether onstage as colorful kiddie rocker ShirLaLa or in the sanctuary as a spiritual adventurist, her work is in the Garden of Life where all things are nourished and growing. She is a frequent presenter worldwide at conferences including URJ Biennial, SLBC, Hava NaShira, PJ LIbrary, and Limmud International. Her offerings are known for blurring the lines between text, tradition and today. A co-founder of Storahtelling and Lab/Shul NYC, Shira’s work as Director of Worship is to ignite expression of spirit through the medium of the musical soul.
Friday, December 3 at 6:30 p.m.
Celebrate Shabbat Chanukah!
Join Shira Kline along with Rabbis Nathan and Yergin in a joyous and engaging Shabbat Evening Worship service.
Saturday, December 4 at 4:30 p.m.
TOT Pajama Havdalah
Come in your pajamas for this energetic and participatory Havdalah just for Tots!
Saturday, December 4 at 7:00 p.m.
Havdalah and Concert in the Jacobson Garden at Temple Beth-El
Share in a relaxing and engaging musical evening with Shira with light refreshments. This event will be held at a private residence. RSVP to receive the address.
*please note the location of the event has changed to the Jacobson Garden
Sunday, December 5 at 9:30 a.m.
Sunday Scholars Series
Join Shira to explore Sh’mita, an agricultural sabbatical, as a tool for connection and community, self-love and self-care.
Register for events here.
April 21, 2022 | 6:00 p.m.
Isabel Wilkerson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Humanities Medal, has become a leading figure in narrative nonfiction, an interpreter of the human condition, and an impassioned voice for demonstrating how history can help us understand ourselves our country, and our current era of upheaval. We are thrilled to host her in San Antonio this Spring. More information to come.
Sunday Scholars Series
Sundays | 9:00–11:00 am
The Sunday Scholar Series focuses on a yearly theme from a variety of angles. 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.
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.
The Multifaced Work of Renewal | 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
After more than a year of COVID how do we construct our new Jewish Persona?
The Reform Movement is committed to creating spaces that feel equitable and comfortable for all regardless of race, gender identity or political perspective. How do we decipher the difference between inclusion and acceptance versus allyship? What do safe spaces for all look like?
…we’re living in a hybrid world of in-person and online Judaism and discovering different ways to connect and find meaning. What are some new ways that Judaism can be realized in your life? Explore how we experience Judaism with all our senses.
….Scandals regarding sexual misconduct and abuse have taken center stage in recent years, including within our own Reform movement. How do we respond when our religious leaders and institutions seem to fail us? What is being done to protect the most vulnerable in our own community.
made possible by the Gilbert and Ruth Lang Human Endowment Fund
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.
Israeli Poetry | 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Israeli Songs That Made an Impact
Our series of three sessions will offer a close reading and listening to three Israeli poems set to music. Each in its turn reflected the spirit of its time and left a lasting impact on Israeli life; way beyond the cultural sphere.
In mid-May of 1967, when the mayor of Jerusalem Teddy Kollek asked Naomi Shemer to write a song about Jerusalem, no one could have guessed what would happen. Three weeks later every Israeli, whether in uniform or civilian clothing, was singing the verses that glorified the city of gold. In our session we will explore the traditional sources Naomi Shemer drew from and consider the political and ideological responses to the song. – There were quite a few.
In 1969, Israel was living in a euphoric, messianic cloud. We united Jerusalem and we came back to the land of our forefathers in Judea and Samaria. Israel extended all the way to Sharm el Sheikh and our air force ruled the Middle East. Who were these two artist; a musician and a lyricist who wrote what is still the most antiwar song in the history of the state? How was it received and what was the special two fold connection Yitzhak Rabin had to this song?
Written in 1982 – this poem is forever associated in the mind of Israelis with the public reaction to the war in Lebanon and more specifically to the atrocities of Sabra and Shatila. The truth is, however, that Manor wrote this poem as a belated mourning song about the loss of his brother in the War of Attrition (1967-1970). Since its first publication, the song has been associated with many who oppose certain political conduct while remaining deeply committed to the state. In January 2021 Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi read this poem in congress. The session will offer an exploration of the background as well as the impact of the poem.
“Rest is soul care” teaches The Nap Ministry. In our Jewish lunar-based biblical year 5782, magic and myth conspire to bring us S’hmita: four full seasons of rest and renewal. Whether you’re a gardener letting your land lie fallow or a nine-to-fiver hitting the daily grind, It’s the end of a six year cycle of production and planting and the book of Exodus tells us to stop and smell the roses. Join Shira to explore Sh’mita as a tool for connection and community, self-love and self-care.
Rabbi Minna Bromberg, PhD
Founder and president of Fat Torah, Rabbi Minna Bromberg, PhD is passionate about bringing her three decades of experience in fat activism to writing, teaching and change-making at the nexus of Judaism and body liberation. Her forthcoming book is Belonging for Every Body: a Fat Torah guide to building inclusive spiritual community. Minna received her doctorate in sociology from Northwestern University, with a dissertation on identity formation in interfaith couples, and was ordained at Hebrew College in 2010. Since then she has led a 250-family Conservative congregation in Reading, PA, released a fifth album of original music, and run the Year-in-Israel program for Hebrew College rabbinical students. In addition to her work with Fat Torah, Minna is a voice teacher who specializes in helping people use their voices in leading prayer. She lives in Jerusalem with her husband, Rabbi Dr. Alan Abrams, and their two children.
Fat Torah | 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Fat Torah is here to smash the idolatry of weight stigma and lead us all from Narrowness to Freedom. We bring together the inner work of tikkun halev (healing the heart) with the social justice of tikkun olam (repairing the world). We provide education, awareness-building, and mentoring for confronting weight stigma and growing communities where every body belongs. We believe that Jewish tradition both calls us to this work and can be deployed for the liberation of all bodies.
In this session we will take a first look at what weight stigma is, who it impacts, and why it’s an issue that matters in our Jewish communities. We will learn about the history of fat liberation as well as Fat Torah’s approach to using the great Jewish tradition of social justice to address weight stigma.
What does it really mean to imagine that every one of us is created in the image of the Divine? This session will explore this central Jewish idea in the light of what it can teach us about bodies that don’t always fit our cultural norms.
Jewish tradition teaches that the words we speak have the power to create or destroy entire worlds. Just as God creates the world through speech, so does our own speech—as God’s partners in the work of Creation—hold tremendous power. How can we harness the power of how we speak about our bodies to make our communities more welcoming to all?
2022 Interfaith Trip to Israel - February 6-16, 2022
Temple Beth-El Jewish Heritage Trip to Poland and Germany
May 8-18, 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 Portion of the Week
Saturdays | 9:00–10:00 a.m.
Torah Study – Zoom Only
Wednesdays | 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. starting October 6
Temple Beth-El welcomes those who are exploring Judaism. If you are interested in exploring conversion please contact Rabbi Marina Yergin to discuss the process.
Conversion requirements include:
- Completion of an Introduction to Judaism course through the URJ
- A basic Hebrew class (through the URJ or at Temple Beth-El)
- Completion of Choosing Judaism at Temple Beth-El. (Class formation will depend on demand.)
To register for intro to Judaism visit here.
To register for Hebrew classes visit here
Temple Book Chavurah
Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m.
December 21: Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean by Edward Kritzler
February 15: Her Sister’s Tattoo by Ellen Meeropol
April 19: The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennett
June 21: The Light of Days by Judy Batalion
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
This Fall, we offer four adult Hebrew classes taught by Rachel Walsh on Monday and Wednesday evenings (via Zoom) beginning October 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 – 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. — This introductory class is for students who are looking to learn to read Hebrew and learn the Alef Bet (alphabet). No prior knowledge is required. For students enrolled in Intro to Judaism, this is the appropriate Hebrew class. We will use a textbook in this class.
Class 2 – 7:45 – 8:45 p.m. — This is a beginner class; knowledge of the Alef-Bet and ability to read words is required. We will use a textbook in this class.
Class 3 – 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. — This post-beginner class will focus on learning different aspects of the Hebrew language; basic experience with Hebrew beyond the Alef-Bet is required. We will use a textbook in this class.
Class 4 – 7:15 to 8:15 p.m. — This intermediate class will focus on learning different aspects of the Hebrew language; basic experience with Hebrew beyond the Alef-Bet is required. We will use a textbook and novel in this class. This class is more advanced than Class 3.
The fee for the 10 sessions of the class is $80 for members of Temple and $105 for non-members. Your registration and payment are due by October 1. Information regarding the Zoom link will be forwarded upon registration. For further information about the classes, contact Rachel at ten.labolgcbs@hslawhr or 210-363-7738.