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.

Crisis at the Border
September 12, 6:30 pm

The Tikkun Olam Committee and the Jewish Federation of Lane County are sponsoring a program at TBI about this issue. Speakers who have been to the border and who are involved in local efforts to assist refugees will talk about their experiences and ways for people to take action.

We must speak out to end the atrocities occurring at the child detention centers holding innocent children who have come to the U.S. to seek a better life and escape violence and extreme poverty in their countries. At times like these we can often feel small and helpless in our ability to make a difference. Every act does count and helps to mitigate human pain and suffering.

TBI Sisterhood presents:
Personal Stories Photographing the Yom Kippur War from the Frontlines with Nathan Fendrich and Avi Naiman
Sunday, October 6, 2:00pm  DATE CHANGE

In 1973, Nathan Fendrich had recently arrived in Israel when the Yom Kippur War broke out. Armed with a KEZI press card, he embedded with the IDF, taking hundreds of pictures of air strikes, ground skirmishes, POWs and soldiers in battle and at rest. Nathan will describe how he ended up on the frontlines and share his first-person accounts of living through and documenting the war. Avi Naiman will explain how Nathan’s collection has ended up in the National Library of Israel and describe how the photos are now being used to improve the historical record of the Yom Kippur War.

Oregon Hillel, Temple Beth Israel’s Israel Program Task Force, and Jewish Federation of Lane County Present:
Prospects for Peace: Insight into the Israeli & Palestinian Peace Process with Ambassador Dennis Ross
Wednesday, October 16, 7:00pm

Ford Alumni Center Giustina Ballroom on UO Campus

Ambassador Dennis Ross is the counselor and William Davidson Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Prior to returning to the Institute in 2011, he served two years as special assistant to President Obama and National Security Council senior director for the Central Region, and a year as special advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Therapeutic Chair Yoga with Joanne James
Thursdays, October 17– November 21, 11:00am-Noon

This 6-session class is done entirely in chairs and is suitable for all levels and physical abilities. Joanne has a special interest in “Mussar Yoga,” which blends two different cultural traditions—Judaism and the Vedic practice of yoga. It is a practice of coming to know the self through exploring the physical (yoga pose) dimension of any Mussar trait (e.g., generosity, enthusiasm, gratitude). Above all, this class is a place for finding a deeper relationship with the self and others in community and a place for meditation and peace of mind.

Questions? Please contact Joanne at (541) 505-9910.

Joanne James (a TBI member) has practiced yoga at some level for over 40 years and is a Certified Chair Yoga Therapist. She teaches asanas (positions) that are suitable for any level of flexibility and is committed to helping students practice safely.

Tikkun Olam Committee and ELAW present:
Building Resiliency and Peace in the Middle East A Cooperative Response to Climate Crisis with Gidon Bromberg
Thursday, October 17, 7:00pm, at TBI

The Middle East is considered a climate hotspot due to its water scarcity, social tensions and political conflicts. Over the course of the century, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel are projected to experience a temperature rise of up to 7°F in some places, a general decrease in precipitation of 25% regionally and up to 40% locally. The environmental, economic, political and security implications are severe.

Gidon Bromberg, the Israeli Director of Ecopeace Middle East, will share stories of successful peacebuilding efforts and the vision for a peaceful, resilient, and interconnected Middle East. EcoPeace Middle East brings together Jordanian, Palestinian, and Israeli environmentalists to mitigate these risks and to promote peace in the Middle East.

Sukkah Hop
Sunday, October 20, 1:00 – 3:00 pm

We’re organizing a tour of community sukkot. If you would like to have your sukkah listed on the tour, please contact Jody in the office by Friday, October 4th. Light refreshments (such as tea, cookies, juice, fruit, nuts) should be provided. Feel free to contact Jody for help underwriting these refreshments, if needed.

Not building a Sukkah this year or want to check out others’ creations? Walk, take a bike or car ride on a self-guided tour of various sukkot throughout the community. Hear stories, join the singing, and see how each sukkah offers a unique flavor of its own. Grab a bite, sip a drink, and enjoy the camaraderie of a pleasant but short stay before heading to the next sukkah. A complete list of sukkot will be available before the tour.

Shabbat Lunch & Learn with Professor Christoph Rass
Saturday, October 26, 12:30pm

Join Professor Rass in a round-table session over Shabbat lunch. Rass is a leading German historian. He will be speaking about a reversal in the politics of Holocaust memory in Germany. A community lunch is provided. Service attendance is not required!

Integration Network for Immigrants Speakers Bureau: Oregon Immigration, Past and Present with Marika Plescia & Kate Gessert
Wednesday, October 30, 6:30pm

Did you know that the Owyhee River is named for Hawaiians, expert boatmen and fur trappers who worked and settled here in the early 1800’s? Did you know that the 35,000 members of the Ku Klux Klan were strong enough to actually influence legislation in Oregon in the 1920’s?

Guiding us through an illustrated history of immigration in Oregon—the good, the curious, and the shocking—Mariko Plescia and Kate Gessert from Friends of Sanctuary and the Integration Network for Immigrants will share the fascinating story of immigration in our home state. Gaining some deeper understanding of this immigration issue couldn’t be more timely, or more important.

An Unknown Country with Hannalore Burnstein
Sunday, November 3, 4:00pm

An Unknown Country (2015, 1hr. 40 min.) is a documentary film that tells the story of European Jews who escaped Nazi persecution to find refuge in an unlikely destination: Ecuador. The South American country was barely known to Europeans at that time. The film follows the exiles’ perilous escape and difficult adjustment as they remade their lives in what was for them an exotic, unfamiliar land. Hannelore Burnstein, who grew up in Ecuador, will introduce the film and answer questions following the showing.

The Cracks in the Wall Let the Light In: The Battle for Equal Rights at the Western Wall with Cheryl Temkin
Wednesday, November 6, 7:00pm

From its roots in 1988 until the present – a look into the evolution of this Israeli feminist organization as it battles to achieve gender equality and religious freedom at Judaism’s holiest site.

Cheryl is the North American liaison for Jerusalem-based Women of the Wall. She received her B.A. from University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Hebrew and Semitic Studies in 1970. She then pursued her graduate education at Brandeis University in the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies (NEJS) Department, where she taught Hebrew literature for several years. Cheryl studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and later worked as a translator in the Film Department of the Israeli Ministry of Commerce and Industry. She now spends significant time in Israel and has studied at both the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem and at Tel Aviv University.

Queer Chavurah Presents: A Great Ride
Sunday, November 17, 4:00pm

A Great Ride is a 30-minute documentary about lesbians aging with dynamism and zest for life. When they were young they forged a social movement to come out as true to themselves. Now they face the challenge of growing old. Their response? Deep friendships, determination, engagement, and quirky, death-defying humor. Pioneers once again, they are courageous role models for aging, which they do with an independent and irreverent spirit and a heartening delight in living. Meet the filmmaker, Deborah Craig (Sally Sheklow’s cousin-in-law), who will take questions and facilitate discussion following.

Eating Animals with Rabbi Jacob Siegel
Wednesdays, December 4 & 11, 6:30pm

Want to dive deeper into a conversation about the food that’s on your plate? Rabbi Jacob Siegel will be leading a pair of sessions on the topic, culminating in the screening of the film Eating Animals. The first session will cover a series of intense and meaningful Jewish and ethical topics all sparked by the idea of eating meat. In the second session we will show the film, and Rabbi Jacob will lead a Q & A. You may attend one or both sessions.

Based on the bestselling book by Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals is an eye-opening look at the environmental, economic, and public health consequences of factory farming. The film charts how farming has gone from local and sustainable to a corporate monster that offers cheap eggs, meat, and dairy at a steep cost: the exploitation of animals; the risky use of antibiotics and hormones; and the pollution of our air, soil, and water. Spotlighting farmers who have pushed back against industrial agriculture with more humane practices, Eating Animals offers attainable, commonsense solutions to a growing crisis while making the case that ethical farming is not only an animal rights issue but one that affects every aspect of our lives.

Rabbi Jacob is a certified shochet (kosher butcher) who has led presentations across the country with Jewish communities on the topic of sustainability and meat. He has served as a rabbinic fellow with Hazon, the premier Jewish environmental organization. He raises chickens in his backyard.

Jewish Meditation Shabbat Retreat with Barry Nobel
Saturday, December 14, 1:30 – 5:00pm

“The surrender of oneself on the Sabbath is not simply a matter of nonactivity but of opening oneself to the influence of the higher worlds and thereby receiving the strength for all the days of the week that follow.” —Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

Reconnect with the deepest parts of yourself. Beginners and experienced practitioners are welcome. If you usually meditate by yourself, come and enjoy the support and encouragement of other like-minded souls.

Alternate short periods of silent sitting and walking, and brief sharing about the why’s, how’s, and what-have-you’s of practicing Jewish mindfulness meditation to experience greater peace in our busy lives. Late-comers and early-leavers are welcome. To obtain an outline for the afternoon, email barrynobel@yahoo.com.

Barry Nobel, PhD, is the author of “Mindfulness in Judaism” and “Pursuing Peace: Mindfulness-based Conflict Engagement.” Barry has taught at LCC, UO, PSU, UPS, & UCSB. He earned a PhD in Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Learners’ Service Shabbat

9:00-10:00am, Saturdays
Sept 21 (A); Oct 5 (B); Nov 23 (C); Dec 14 (D)

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
Wednesday, September 11, 7:00pm

All the features of GEDmatch.com. You can upload your DNA results from almost any testing service to GEDmatch and see a number of different comparisons of your DNA with relatives who used other tests. Presented by Linda Slate.

Save these dates. Programs TBA
October 13, 1:00pm
November 10, 1:00pm
December 8, 1:00pm

Learn more here.

The Vinkl (Yiddish Corner)
1st & 3rd Monday of the month (Subject to change)

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.

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

Fall 2019

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

Contact Martha Ravits

September 26
Spies of No Country by Matti Friedman

October 24
Inheritance by Dani Shapiro

December 12
The Extra by A. B. Yehoshua


Lunch & Learn w/Rabbi Ruhi Sophia and others
Thursdays – Noon. FREE. Donations gratefully accepted 

October 10, November 7, December 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.

reading book with rabbi generic

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. Next book will be announced soon.