Feed Your Mind, Body, and Soul
TBI provides a range of Jewish cultural and educational experiences. Programs and classes are open to all, and we welcome students from within TBI and from the larger community.

General Information:
  • Registration: Please check individual program listings for details.
  • Programs scheduled on Shabbat: Fees and donations for programs scheduled on Shabbat must be paid in advance or after Shabbat. We will not collect money on Shabbat.
  • Refunds: No refunds will be given to participants who drop classes after the registration deadline. If classes or events are cancelled due to lack of enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances, full refunds will be given to pre- paid registrants.
  • All programs meet at TBI unless otherwise noted.
If you are interested in joining the Community Ed Committee, or have ideas for teaching or for a class offering, please contact Nina.

Hebrew Reading Crash Course with Gail Harfe
Mondays, Jan 6—Feb 10 (no class Jan 20)
4:00—5:30 pm
Registration is now closed.

This 5-week course is designed for those with little or no background in Hebrew and concentrates on teaching the Hebrew alphabet and reading skills. Materials provided. FREE. Pre-registration required by December 29th. The curriculum was created by NJOP.

Introduction to Judaism for Adults with Rabbi Jacob Siegel
Thursdays, 7:00 – 8:30pm, January 9 to March 19 (no class 2/20)
$80 for members of TBI. $100 for non-members
Registration is now closed.

This 10-session interactive course will offer an introduction for those seeking to deepen their connection to Jewish heritage and tradition. We’ll cover everything from prayer, to Shabbat, to dietary laws, to lifecycle events. The course will aim to offer basic framing and building blocks for key Jewish practices and concepts, and to offer resources and direction for those seeking to learn more, and will cover a pluralistic range of Jewish practices. Reading materials will be provided. No prior knowledge of Judaism or Hebrew necessary. Minimum of 10 students required to run the class.

Israel Program Task Force Presents: Left, Right and Inside: Antisemitism in the Israel Discourse with Rabbi Ruhi Sophia Motzkin Rubenstein
Wednesdays, January 15, 29 & February 12, 7:30pm-9:00pm
$10 to cover printed materials.
Pre-register here by 11:00 am, January 15th, in order to receive course materials. Walk-ins are welcome, but won’t get materials.

In this three-part series, Rabbi Ruhi Sophia will focus first on how antisemitic tropes manifest in leftist discourse about Israel, then on how the right deploys support for Israel as a cover for antisemitism, and finally on how internalized antisemitism makes the conversation in Jewish spaces particularly difficult. The format will be lecture followed by discussion. All are welcome.

Beyond the Pale in Concert
February 17, 7:00pm
$10 in advance; $12 at the door
Buy tickets here.

Beyond the Pale are known for stellar musicianship, unique songcraft and exuberant energy. Their genre-defying sound is rooted in klezmer and Balkan styles but shaped by jazz, bluegrass, reggae, chamber-music, and more. They are three-time Canadian Folk Music Award winners (7-time nominees), and have toured extensively across North America and abroad. Beyond the Pale features Aleksandar Gajic (violin), Bret Higgins (bass), Milos Popovic (accordion), Eric Stein (mandolin), and Martin van de Ven (clarinet).
beyondthepale.net and facebook.com/BTPtunes

“A rich musical experience which can touch your soul….Born of tradition but living in the here and now. ” — Canadian Musician Magazine

Learners’ Service Shabbat

9:00-10:00am, Saturdays
Upcoming: Jan 18 (E), Feb 1 (F), Feb 15 (A), Mar 14 (B), Apr 4 (C)

Not just for b’nai mitzvah students, but for anyone who wants to better understand the flow of the Shabbat morning liturgy. Each session will focus on a different section of the service, in rotation. Consider attending all 6 sections A-F, which will rotate twice, even if you can’t attend them in order.

Jewish Genealogy Group

January 12: 1:00pm, Video Talk: The History, Adoption, and Regulation of Jewish Surnames in the Russian Empire, with Dr. Jeffrey Mark Paull
The history of the adoption, regulation, and use of Jewish surnames in the Russian Empire is quite complex. There were a number of ways by which Jewish surnames were created, assigned, or adopted, while tight restrictions were placed on changing or altering surnames. As a result of Russian laws and mandates, many non-related Jewish individuals acquired the same surname, while many related family members acquired different surnames. The purpose of this presentation is to explain the various laws and mandates pertaining to Jewish surnames in the Russian Empire.

February 9: 1:00pm, GEDMatch, with Linda Slate
Linda Slate will explain additional features of GEDmatch, an open data personal genomics database and genealogy website. GEDmatch users can upload their autosomal DNA test data from commercial DNA companies to identify potential relatives who had also uploaded their profiles. Names of participants could be hidden by the use of aliases, but each account had to have an email address attached to it.

Tools available on the GEDmatch site included sorting results by the closest matches to a user’s autosomal DNA, whether one’s matches match each other, genetic distance calculator, estimated number of generations to a common ancestor, whether one’s parents are related, and ethnicity calculator.

March 8: 1:00pm TBA

Learn more here.

The Vinkl (Yiddish Corner)
Two Mondays of the month (Check the calendar)

Why come to the Vinkl? Yiddish, or mama-loshn, is one of several languages with which we Jews are blessed. Known for its warmth and wit, it may evoke memories for you, or perhaps be the gate to new knowledge and pleasures. Join us for leyenen (reading), shmuesn (that’s right—shmoozing!), lively debate, and almost always, music with heart-stirring lyrics. New learners receive encouragement.

Jewish Meditation Group with Barry Nobel
Thursdays, 8:30- 9:15am

New and experienced meditators welcome! Each Thursday morning in the TBI Library, we meditate for 24 minutes after a very short mindfulness reading. New participants are always welcome.

Shabbat Torah Study
Saturdays, 9:00 am / 8:30 am when b’nai mitzvah celebrated at Shabbat Services

All are welcome to join a lively exploration of the weekly Torah portion. Torah study is either rabbi-facilitated or lay-led. All levels of experience welcome. Text study is done in English, with occasional close examination of the Hebrew text in an inclusive manner.


Lunch & Learn w/Rabbi Ruhi Sophia and others
Thursdays – 1:00pm (NOTE NEW TIME) FREE. Donations gratefully accepted 

Upcoming: Jan 16, Feb 13, Mar 12

Join Rabbi Ruhi Sophia and lay leaders for a close reading and discussion of a story from the Talmud and other traditional Jewish sources. NO HEBREW NECESSARY. Set aside an hour of your day to learn, eat, and socialize. Feel free to bring a lunch. Please no meat or shellfish.

Want to share your love of reading?
(We have lots of opportunities!)

Winter 2020

Temple Beth Israel
Library, 6:30-8:30 pm

Contact Martha Ravits

January 22
The Last of the Just, by André Schwarz-Bart

February 27
Improvement, by Joan Silber

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Reading with the Rabbi
with Rabbi Ruhi Sophia Motzkin Rubenstein

FREE; Donations gratefully accepted.

Join Rabbi Ruhi Sophia for a spirited discussion of a relevant contemporary issue, as informed by a work of non-fiction chosen by the rabbi.

February 2, 3:30pm

This term’s book is: We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast. By Jonathan Safran Foer. Everyone is welcome! Each meeting will stand alone, so feel free to come only when you are particularly interested in the topic. If you only had time to read a review, you are still welcome to observe the discussion. This is not a ‘club’ but a dynamic group of people who love books, reading, discussions and expressing strong opinions.