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
Inter-Faith Dialogue and Book Discussion with Antioch Missionary Baptist Church
Thursdays 7:00-8:30 p.m.
at Temple Beth-El, Antioch Missionary Baptist Church and 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.

  • 10/14 Part 1 The Toxins in the Permafrost & Heat Rising All around Chapters 1-3  
  • Part 2 The Arbitrary Construction of Human Divisions Chapters 4-9  
  • 11/18 Part 3 The eight pillars of caste  
  • 12/16 Part 4 The Tentacles of Caste – Chapter 10-18   
  • 1/13 Part 5 The Consequence of Caste- Chapter 19-24 
  • 2/17 Part 6 Backlash- Chapter 25-29 
  • 3/17 Part 7 Awakening- Chapter 30-31 
  • 4/21 Isabel Wilkerson event (location tbd) 

Registration for book group is preferred and can be done here.

Buy local! We encourage you to purchase your copy of Caste: The Origins of our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson at one of the following local book stores: 

Angie K Books   

The Twig 

Nowhere Bookshop

** Interested in helping to sponsor Isabel Wilkerson’s visit to San Antonio? 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

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the ordination of Sally Priesand, the first woman publicly ordained as a rabbi. Yet, her groundbreaking ordination, which opened the door for subsequent generations of women, was preceded by the impactful lives of other, lesser-known female scholars and community leaders. In our series, we will spotlight a few of the significant women from the 1500’s to the early modern period who held quasi-rabbinic status in their communities; compare and contrast the ordinations of Rabbis Sally Priesand and Regina Jonas (who? come find out!); explore the challenges faced by the first generation of women in the rabbinate; and reflect on how women’s leadership has changed the rabbinate and the Jewish community as a whole.
 
 
 

Tracing Jewish Roots – A Jewish Genealogy 101 with Rabbi Yergin 

Thursdays, April 7, 14, 21, 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 April 3rd from 1-3 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 heads.tones, and work on beautifying the space! 

Register here.

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.   

Register here.

 

Visiting Scholars

Dr. Joshua Garroway

Renewal after an Ancient ‘Quarantine’: The Wisdom of Isaiah, December 1, 2021

Exile as Transformation: The Ancient Wisdom of “Isaiah”
In 538 BCE, Jews emerged from a 50 year “quarantine” in Babylon. One remarkable prophet recognized that reunion, renewal, and reengagement with Judaism would require profound theological innovation. Her insights transformed Judaism forever.  
 
Register here.
 
made possible by the Rabbi Stahl Lectureship Fund

Shira Kline

Musician in Residence for Hanukkah, 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.   

 Rest is soul care” teaches The Nap Ministry. In our Jewish lunar-based biblical year 5782, magic and myth conspire to bring us Shmita: 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 Shmita as a tool for connection and community, self-love and self-care.  

Register here.

made possible by the Jean and Jesse Wulfe Religious Enhancement Fund

Isabel Wilkerson 

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.

Register here.

made possible by the Jean and Jesse Wulfe Religious Enhancement Fund

Sunday Scholar Series
Sundays | 9:30–11:00 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.

Sunday Scholars Series

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. 

The Multifaced Work of Renewal- After more than a year of COVID how do we construct our new Jewish Persona? 

October 24 – Rebuilding our Village after our trials and tribulations…creating safe space for all.

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? 

December 5 – The senses of Judaism- hitting restart on my active Jewish life…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. 

March 27 – Are we still a light to the nations? ….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.  

April 10 – Choose Joy- more than a hashtag…What does Judaism teach about overcoming trauma? How can we use the wisdom and traditions of our faith to make the experience of joy an active decision?   

Register here.

made possible by the Gilbert and Ruth Lang Human Endowment Fund

Israeli Poetry with Rachel Korazim

9:30 – 11:00 a.m.

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 Songs That Made an Impact- Rachel Korazim 

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. 

November 7 – Session I – Naomi Shemer – Jerusalem of Gold 

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. 

November 14 –Session II-  Jacob Rotblit & Yair Rosenblum – Song for Peace 

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?  

November 21 – Session III – Ehud Manor – I Have No Other Land 

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. 

made possible by the Jean and Jesse Wulfe Religious Enhancement Fund

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. 

January 30 – What’s Jewish about weight stigma?  

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. 

 February 6 – The abundant divine image 

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. 

 February 13 – Sacred speech 

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? 

Register here.

made possible by the Jean and Jesse Wulfe Religious Enhancement Fund

2022 Interfaith Trip to Israel - February 6-16, 2022

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

Trip information or by calling Avital at 888-811-2812. The trip is currently full, but you can still join the waitlist should more spots become available. 

Information session recording

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 am

NEW THIS YEAR– Join around the Torah table to explore a key question in that week’s Torah portion. We’ll join the insights of commentators of centuries past with our own modern perspective. 

Blessing for the Study of Torah

Torah Study – Gen 21:9-13

Register here.

Torah Study – Zoom Only

Wednesdays | 12:00 – 1:00 pm, starting October 6

As we shift to studying the weekly Torah portion on Shabbat morning, we’ll continue our journey through the entire Torah text on Wednesdays at lunchtime.  

All learners are welcome to share in the dialogue and discussion. 

Register here.

Conversion Program

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 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

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.

Monday:

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.

Wednesday:

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.

Register here.