Community & Adult Learning

Lifelong Learning

For more information on any of our classes, please click on individual links, check out our full calendar or contact our Community and Membership Engagement Director, Sarah Greenberg.

Service animals are always welcome at Beth Shalom. However, we politely request that congregants not bring their personal pets to events, services, or classes.

Empty Nesters, Endless Opportunities, and Food and Friends.

For more about Empty Nesters, please see Cybershul or the current Shavuon.
Current Endless Opportunities programs are listed here: March 2019 Flyer
Food and Friends information can be found on our Social Groups page.

2018-19 Year-long Classes

Living Judaism – 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.  Please click here for more information and a registration form.  A syllabus is available here.  Class will be held on Tuesday evenings from September 25, 2018- April 30, 2019 with two High Holiday preparation sessions on August 28 and September 4.

Learners’ Minyan – This program is designed for those who are looking to understand parts of the Shabbat morning service. It is appropriate for complete beginners and is part of our Living Judaism class. It is also appropriate for those looking to deepen their learning. Learner’s Minyan takes place on Saturdays once a month, 10:30-11:30 am, in the Beit Midrash. There is no cost to attend. Click here for more information and a complete schedule.

Language and Leyning Classes, beginning this Fall.   Click the links below for more information and to sign up. To contact the teacher for a class, click on their name.

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Classes for Winter 2019:

To contact the teacher for a class, click their name.

Tuesday Learning:

Responding to Challenging Times in Constructive Ways with Beth Huppin

Our tradition has a rich history of dealing with challenging times.  This text-based class will look at wisdom our tradition offers for responding constructively to communal and individual challenges.   No prior knowledge is necessary. No charge. Everyone is welcome, including Drop-ins. Donations to CBS adult education are appreciated. Two class times:

Tuesday mornings, January 8- April 9, 9:30-10:45am, No class January 15, February 19 or April 2 (11 sessions)

Tuesday evenings, March 5-April 9, 7:00-8:00pm (6 sessions).

Creative Interpretation: How the Rabbis Radically Change the Meaning of the Torah in Traditional Ways with Rabbi Rose

How does the Talmud infer that the Torah’s clear assertion of “an eye for an eye” really means that the injured is owed monetary compensation?

Midrash, the process of rabbinic interpretation of the Torah, is often used to come to such thoroughly radical conclusions.  Why do the rabbis stretch the Torah’s meaning in this way? What are the boundaries of this creativity? How can we treat the Torah as divine and sacred while twisting its words?  Together we’ll explore these questions, both in the historical context of early rabbinic Judaism, and as they can serve as guides in our own wrestling with Torah. Tuesday nights, April 30- May 21 (No class May 7), 3 sessions

Wednesday Learning:

Two English Bible Masterpieces:  KJV (King James Version) and Robert Alter with Rabbi Rob Toren

An eight-session exploration of two translation masterpieces of the Hebrew Bible aka Tanakh.  With the original Hebrew as a starting point, we will note how these two artful translations wrestle with and attempt to resolve the daunting challenges of translation.  Knowledge of Biblical Hebrew is not required though certainly helpful in appreciating both translations’ artistry and skill. Selections may include: Creation; Kayin and Hevel (aka Cain and Abel); Tower of Babel; Binding of Isaac; selections from the Jacob/Joseph cycle; Moses’ early life; David and Batsheva; 2-3 selected Psalms.  Rob will provide texts, though students are welcome to purchase their own editions.  A reminder that the KJV does contain the Christian Bible. Free of charge. Donations to the CBS adult education fund are appreciated. Wednesday nights,  February 20-April 24 (no class March 20 or April 17),  8:00-9:00pm (8 sessions).

A Continuation of an Introduction to the Joy of Hebrew Letters and Lettering K’tivah with Rainer Adkins

K’tivah Tamah is Hebrew for ‘Calligraphy,’ and can be translated as ‘miraculous writing.’
Why?  We’ll search for an answer via a succinct exploration of the origins and history of Hebrew letters and Jewish scribal arts, a few of the remarkable midrashic tales of the Alef-Beyt, and how to build and write a Sefardi-style script.  This class will focus on hands-on practice.
This a continuation of the class held earlier this year. New students are welcome, but the class will be primarily hands-on work and demonstration. For new students, there is a $10.00 materials fee payable to the teacher. If new students would like the more comprehensive orientation offered in the previous version of this class, please contact Rainer Adkins.

Shabbat Afternoon Learning: Saturdays at 1:15 PM following Kiddush Lunch. No charge

Saturday, March 2nd at 1:15, David Moss’s The Binding of Isaac, with Rabbi Borodin
Come see the David Moss book where he translates the story of the binding of Isaac into colors and shapes.  This is an amazing way to get insights of the story and see the relationship of the different characters.  This class will let you go deeper into this story and learn this interesting technique of studying text.

Saturday, March 23rd at 1:15, David Moss’s Birchat Hamazon, with Rabbi Borodin
David Moss wanted birchat hamazon (grace after meals) to be better understood and found a way to present the words by turning it into a graphic novel.  Come study the meaning of birchat hamazon through pictures and graphics to get a better understanding of the text and how to use this technique as a way to make text accessible.

Scholar in Residence

Click here for information about our annual Scholar in Residence program.

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Technology Tip – Need to type in Hebrew?  Installing a Hebrew keyboard on a smartphone.

Library Donations: The CBS Library is accepting donations!

If you want to donate books on Jewish topics, here are our guidelines.

  1. We do not take siddurim or machzorim unless they are the ones we are currently using in shul.
  2. We appreciate donations of modern Jewish fiction, biographies and lighter history, published since 2010 for the honor lending cart and newer books for the library on Jewish living, thought, and Bible for the library.   Older Jewish fiction and general books on Judaism not more than 25 years old usually will go on the free book cart.

Thank you!

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