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Adult Learning








Upcoming classes

Exploring Jewish Text and Practice Through Art: (with Rabbi Borodin) Each class will explore a different aspect of Judaism and a different artistic technique. Class will include both a formal learning presentation and art time. Sessions will be: insights into the mystery of the Hebrew letter, exploring Midrash through working with layered art, and masking and unmasking in the book of Esther. Format: Virtual (Zoom). Time: Thursdays, 4:30-5:45pm. Dates: January 6, 13, & 20, 2022. Tuition: free.  

Learn to Chant Torah(with Shira Orzech) Want to learn to leyn (chant) from the Torah? Are you between 18-40 years old? Then this is the course for you! In addition to an overview of the Torah trop (cantillation) system, we will study the functions of the trop marks as punctuation and their role in accurate pronunciation. Prerequisite: ability to read Hebrew phonetically is required, but you do not have to speak Hebrew to succeed in this class! By registering, you are committing to be available for all eight (8) class sessions. This class is offered through JConnect and cosponsored by Congregation Beth Shalom. Format: Virtual (with addition in-person synagogue visits). Time: Mondays, 7:00-9:00pm. Dates: January 10-March 14, 2022. Tuition: $80 for young adults, $20 for undergraduate or graduate students. If the tuition fee is a barrier or you have questions, please reach out to Ashley

Learn to Chant Haftarah: (with Rabbi Fern Feldman) Want to learn to chant the weekly Haftarah reading (selection from Nevi’im/Prophets)? In this class, you will learn the trope system for chanting Haftarah, as well as learning how to chant the blessings before and after the reading. Prerequisite: ability to read phonetic Hebrew smoothly. Format: Virtual (Zoom). Time: Wednesdays, 8:00-9:00pm. Dates: January 19-February 16, 2022 (5 sessions). Tuition: $75/member, $100/non-member.

ongoing classes

Yiddish Torah Study (in English):  Harvey Niebulski, Marianne Tatom and others will facilitate over Zoom a discussion of the weekly (triennial) Parsha based upon the once famous comprehensive masterpiece but now nearly forgotten Yiddish translation of the Tanakh by Yehoash (the pen name of Solomon Blumgarten, 1872-1927). All are welcome, regardless of language skills! For a review of this magnum opus translation by Yehoash versus Robert Alter’s recent acclaimed English translation, visit here. Check out this video of virtual group saying the blessing for studying Torah, in Hebrew and Yiddish. With questions or to join, contact Marianne Tatom. View the latest Torah portion readings in Yiddish.

Fall 2021 Classes

Living Judaism

Living Judaism(with Ron DeChene and Robert Hovden) A basic introduction to Judaism, including holidays, texts, and home traditions and a Hebrew class (below).  Living Judaism is our required course for conversion students. Format: virtual or in-person.

Hebrew Classes

Hebrew 1: (with Robert Hovden) This course is a first introduction to the Hebrew language that lays the foundation for future Hebrew learning by combining the skills of sight-reading with the building blocks to recognize how Hebrew works as a language and as part of our lives. Come prepared to sing, play, pray, and ask questions. Format: virtual or in-person.

Beyond the Aleph Bet: (with Mihal Bat-Or) Do you know the Hebrew aleph bet and want to deepen your understanding of Hebrew as you engage with prayers or Jewish texts? In this 12-week class you’ll have the opportunity to practice reading, grow your vocabulary, and gain familiarity with Hebrew grammar. Format: in-person.

Prayerbook Hebrew & You: (with Sharon Greenberg) This class will increase your familiarity with the Siddur (prayerbook), building vocabulary, grammar, and understanding of the structure and meaning of prayers based on learning Hebrew roots. We will use the Siddur itself as our main textbook, with student interest informing the prayers we study. Format: in-person.

Yiddish Classes

Intermediate Yiddish: (with Marianne Tatom) This class will develop intermediate Yiddish skills, including reading comprehension, conversation, and translation. We will use a variety of textbooks and supplementary materials. Prerequisite: open to students who have completed Intermediate Yiddish at Beth Shalom OR to others with prior instructor approval. Format: virtual.

Text Study

Text Study: Jacob Cycle (with Rabbi Rob Toren) Join Rabbi Rob Toren for a 6-week text study of the “Jacob Cycle”. Jacob is the last of the 3 “Avot”, often translated “patriarchs.”  It is Jacob’s name change to Israel, from which Tanakh derives the name of G-d’s chosen nation: b’nai Yisrael/children of Israel. Sessions will focus on close readings of episodes in Jacob’s complex and difficult life. Format: virtual.

Text Study: Bringing the Voice of Jewish Values to Conversations about Abortion (with Rabbi Rose) Many in our country are talking about abortion and the future of Roe v. Wade these days, and when religion is part of that conversation, it’s usually from the perspective of the Christian right.  Join Rabbi Rose for a  3-week text-based class exploring Jewish perspectives on abortion, when abortion is permitted (or even required) by Jewish law, and how we might think about this issue through the lens of Jewish tradition as opposed to other religious traditions. Format: virtual.

Text Study: Discussing Timely Teshuvot (with Rabbi Borodin) Join Rabbi Borodin in studying a few recent teshuvot (religious responses) to contemporary issues written by the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, the religious decision making body of the Conservative movement. Topics include Contemporary Modesty in Thought and Dress, Donations of Ill Gotten Gains, and Alternative Ecologically Sustainable and Economical Burial Options.

Sun, January 23 2022 21 Shevat 5782