Adult Education 5780

Our theme for the year 5780 is Being Jewish in a non-Jewish world: Locating Ourselves in the Mirror of History.

WHAT are the opportunities and challenges of engaging in the secular world as Jews?
HOW do we find space for Jewish practice in our modern lives?
HOW do we reconcile the history of our people with the realities of the 21st Century?

Visiting Scholars

03aprAll Day05Event CancelledPOSTPONED - Rabbi Carole BalinScholar in Residence(All Day)

Year Long Learning

Monthly Mussar 

Sundays  |  9:30 am
Class will begin October 6  | 9-month course

Mussar is an age-old Jewish practice for becoming a better human being, not for the sake of oneself, but rather for the sake of Tikkun Olam—making the world a better place for the sake of others.
Beginning in October we will offer Monthly Mussar with a Social Action Component—for those more advanced Mussar learners. The group will plan a social action activity to match each month’s topic or middah.
This course will be facilitated by Geri Gregory, a trained Mussar Facilitator and the Temple’s Member Services Coordinator. The per-student cost for the course is $10 per month, or $90. To register, pay and for information, contact Geri.

Rosh Hodesh

Wednesdays | 7:00 pm | TBE Library
Oct. 30 | Nov. 20 | Dec. 28–Saturday | Jan. 29 Feb. 26 | April 22 | May 20

Rosh Hodesh, the celebration of the new moon, has long been a holiday reserved for women. Join us monthly at Temple for social connections and spiritual inspiration. The Rabbis and Cantor, along with some participants will lead a discussion based on the book Listen to Her Voice: Women of the Hebrew Bible by Miki Raver, and light refreshments will be provided. RSVP to attend one or all.

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.

Bagels and Books Book Club

February 27  |  7:00 pm

Rising Out of Hatred by Eli Saslow. A joint discussion with the Holocaust Museum and other synagogues. 

Stepping Stones to Jewish Knowledge: A Basic Judaism Course

Wednesdays 6:30 – 8:30 pm Class will begin January 15, 2020
Section 1A — Stepping Stones to Jewish Knowledge
6:30-7:45 pm

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.

Section 1B — Beginning Hebrew, The Aleph Bet
7:45-8:30 pm

(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 Introduction to Judaism course is a requirement for all conversion candidates. If you would like to register for the class, select REGISTER  If you have questions about the conversion process please contact Iris Berman-Smith at 210-733-9135 ext. 106​

Adult Hebrew

Wednesdays | 10 sessions | beginning January 29
Class 1: 6:00 to 7:00 pm

Beginner class; basic knowledge of the Alef-Bet is required. 

Class 2: 7:15 to 8:15 pm

Intermediate class; experience with Hebrew beyond the Alef-Bet is required. This class will focus on learning different aspects of the Hebrew language. 
Fee: $80 for members and $105 for non-members. Your registration and payment are due prior to January 27. For online registration and payment, click HEBREW REGISTRATION or call Edith Vanderventer at 210-733-9135 ext. 107. 
For further information, contact Rachel Walsh.

Inter-Faith Dialogue with St. Marks Episcopal Church (at Temple Beth-El, childcare available)

The Book of Exodus

Discovering Modern Inspiration in Ancient Stories of Redemption and Revelation

Wednesdays  |  7:00–8:30 pm

(childcare will be available)

The story of the Exodus can be seen as the starting point of the formation of monotheism, the defining concept of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and as author Richard Elliot Friedman claims, the cradle of global values of compassion and equal rights today. Both Judaism and Christianity consider this a foundational scripture to understand both our heritage and our current spiritual context and practices.

Join Reverend Beth Knowlton, Rector at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and Rabbi Mara Nathan, Senior Rabbi at Temple Beth-El for a monthly exploration of this sacred and inspirational text. 

October 23 | Temple Beth-El | Exodus 1:1-9:35

The heavy weight of servitude—leaving slavery and exile to claim a new kind of freedom.  

November 20 | Temple Beth-El | Exodus 10:1-17:16

Power, Plagues and the redemption from slavery. 

December 18 | Temple Beth-El | Exodus 18:1-24:18

The excitement of Revelation vs. the reality of maintaining the covenant.  

January 15 | Temple Beth-El | Exodus 25:1-27:19

A Place for God—Instructions for preparing the Holy Sanctuary.  

February 19 | Temple Beth-El | Exodus 27:20-30:10

Holy Vestments and Sanctuary Rituals—the role of clergy as a conduit to God.  

March 4 | Temple Beth-El | Exodus 30:11-34:35

The Golden Calf—Mediating the relationship with God. 

April 1 | Temple Beth-El | Exodus 35:1-40:38

Making a Place for God—the Tabernacle as a metaphor for letting God into our lives. 

Sunday Scholars Series

Monthly adult learned focused on being Jewish in a non-Jewish world, our 5780 adult learning theme.
January 5 | Rachel Stern***

Trials and Tribulations of Navigating a ‘Friendly’ but Fraught Jewish life in San Antonio Today

February 9 | Cantor Evan Kent*

The Distorted Mirror of History: How the stories we tell about our families and ourselves change and are modified over time.

March 22 | Rachel Stern***

Jewish Philanthropy and Social Impact on the World Around Us How Jewish organizations have supported Jews and non-Jews in San Antonio and beyond.

April 5 | Rabbi Carole Balin*

From Dirty Dancing to Mrs. Maisel: Jews on the Screen How are Jews depicted on the big and little screen? Why amid a rising wave of anti-Semitism in the US and abroad has the American public fallen for a 1950s Jewish housewife moonlighting as a stand-up comedian?

April 19 | Rachel Stern***

Impact and Influence What is the footprint that modern-day Jewish philanthropists, entrepreneurs, intellectuals, and advocates contribute to the world around them?

* Funded by the generosity of the Jean and Jesse Wulfe Religious Enhancement Fund.

*** Funded in part by the generosity of the Gilbert & Ruth Lang Human Development Fund.