Visiting Scholars
and Sunday Scholars

To see past Visiting or Sunday Scholars, please visit our Past Courses page found here. 

Visiting Scholars


Rabbi Josh Warshawsky
February 3-5

Rabbi Josh Warshawsky is a nationally touring Jewish musician, teacher, and composer. Josh seeks to build intentional praying communities, and travels to synagogues, camps, and schools across the country sharing his music and teachings on prayer. He is originally from Chicago, and has released five albums of Jewish music, most recently in March 2022. Josh composes melodies to open up new possibilities for understanding the deep meaning of the words of our tradition. Josh was ordained by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles. For more information check out

Sunday Scholars Series

Sundays 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.

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

Temple Beth-El promotes life-long learning and therefore offers learning opportunities at every stage of life. in addition to exceptional youth educational opportunities, Temple Beth-El also offers a robust adult education program. One example of adult learning is our Sunday morning series which in recent years has been taught by Rachel Stern. 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.

To affiliate or not to affiliate? That is the question! How do our formal Jewish institutions stay relevant in the 21st Century? 

What is REAL Judaism? Who gets to decide? Part I With internet ordination and a proliferation of new and not so new ‘sects’, how do we navigate the ever-growing landscape of Jewish choices? How do we decide what organizations, movements and institutions are valid and which are not? 

What is REAL Judaism? Who gets to decide? Part II – Jewish traditions, rites and rituals have been in a constant state of evolution from the beginning of time. How do we decide what new rituals make sense and which traditional ones we might want to reconsider?

Are we still a Commanded People? As Reform Jews, we view many aspects of Halacha (Jewish Law) as sacred suggestion rather than sacred obligation. Nevertheless, there are mitzvot that we find to be sacrosanct. Which commandments feel obligatory and which feel offensive or at least irrelevant to our 21st Century eyes? 


Josh Warshawsky

Sunday, February 5 at 10 a.m.
Embedded within each text that we sing aloud are stories, deep secrets, and intricate connections between Hebrew words and themes. Join Rabbi Josh Warshawsky as we get inside the Artist’s studio. We’ll discuss the stories behind the music, deepen our understanding of the wisdom of our tradition, and sing out with a newfound understanding of the words we bring into the world.


Rabbi Samuel Stahl

"Ethical Guidance for a Fractured Jewish World: A Study of Pirke Avot." Sundays, February 12, February 26 and March 5 at 10:00 a.m.
Pirke Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) is a section of the Mishnah, featuring ethical and moral maxims for leading an exemplary Jewish life. We shall study several selections from it, such as the famous dictum, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And, if I am for myself alone, then what am I? And, if not now, when?”

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