Community and Adult Education

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.

For more information and for Zoom links, please sign up for This Week @ TBI, our weekly e-newsletter.

Current Offerings

Our congregational theme for 5782 is Rodef Shalom, pursuing peace. Our Community Education offerings this year aim to provide pathways for us to become pursuers of peace, each in our own way. Together we will explore themes of sacred time, productive dispute, personal resilience, our relationship to Israel and Palestine, and the relevance of Judaism in our lives. We invite you to become a rodef shalom, pursuer of peace.

How to be a rodef shalom? A person should be a pursuer of peace among people, between each and every one. Go out from one’s own place, search in the world and pursue peace among people. – Avot d’Rabbi Natan

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The Human Faces of the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict: Learning from those doing the work on the ground for a better society

In honor of TBI’s theme for 5782, “pursuing peace,” this series explores the efforts and experiences of Israelis and Palestinians who invest their energy and resources in building the shared society they envision. It is our hope that their presentations will help break down the false binary of “supporting Israel” versus “supporting Palestinians” and instead allow our members to engage with the many possible visions of a just society in Israel–and to get to know and support the Israelis and Palestinians already working towards those visions.

Series via Zoom and hosted by Rabbi Ruhi Sophia Motzkin Rubenstein

Sunday, December 19, 10:00am Pacific time: Parents Circle – Families Forum in Israel & Palestine

»  Register here

The Parents Circle – Families Forum (PCFF) is a joint Israeli-Palestinian organization of over 600 families, all of whom have lost an immediate family member to the ongoing conflict. Moreover, the PCFF has concluded that the process of reconciliation between nations is a prerequisite to achieving a sustainable peace. The organization thus utilizes all resources available in education, public meetings and the media, to spread these ideas. Learn more here.

Sunday, November 21: Friends of Roots

»  Learn more about Friends of Roots here

Sunday, October 31: Standing Together

»  Watch recording on our YouTube channel

»  Read more about Standing Together

Israel’s Hand in Hand School Principals

Sunday, December 5, 10:30am, via Zoom

»  Register here

Hosted by Havurah Shalom, Portland, Oregon

This online program features two of Hand in Hand school principals from Israel, Manar Hayadre and Efrat Meyer, who will discuss the important work they do.

The Israeli organization, Hand in Hand, established a network of integrated Jewish-Arab schools in Israel, with thousands of Jewish and Arab students. This social movement proves that people can live together as Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians.

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Introduction to Judaism

Winter term, part 2, 9 sessions: Jan 5 – Mar 2, 7:00pm, on Zoom
with Rabbi Alyson Solomon

Starting in January, Rabbi Solomon will teach the second part of the curriculum of The Miller Introduction to Judaism Program, which is part of the Maas Center for Jewish Journeys at American Jewish University. For the past seventy years, American Jewish University has been a thriving center of Jewish resources and talent built upon core values of Jewish Learning, Culture, Ethics, Leadership, and Peoplehood. Today, American Jewish University is one of the most respected and most innovative Jewish institutions in the country.

All are welcome for part 2 of this course, even if you did not participate in part 1.

»  Register here

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Prophets and Writings of the Hebrew Bible

Sundays, 10:00am, via Zoom (See the e-news for the Zoom link.)
with Deborah Green, Professor of Ancient Religion, Bible, and Rabbinic Interpretation

Learn about  נ”ך (na) – the Prophets and Writings parts of the Hebrew Bible. Deborah Green, professor of ancient religion, Bible, and rabbinic interpretation leads a weekly discussion on these two often overlooked sections of the Bible. Our ḥevruta (study group) reads together in English and explore one or two chapters each week. You need access only to a Jewish Bible in English, preferably the Jewish Publication Society translation, and an inquisitive mind.

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Guest Author Professor Laura Arnold Leibman

Once We Were Slaves: The Extraordinary Journey of a Multiracial Jewish Family
Monday, Oct 25, 7:00pm, via Zoom (registration required)

View the presentation on our YouTube channel.

Book preorder – Amazon or direct from the publisher.

Laura Arnold Leibman is a Professor of English and Humanities at Reed College in Portland, Oregon (USA) and the author of The Art of the Jewish Family: A History of Women in Early New York in Five Objects (Bard Graduate Center, 2020) which won three National Jewish Book Awards. Her earlier book Messianism, Secrecy and Mysticism: A New Interpretation of Early American Jewish Life (2012) won a Jordan Schnitzer Book Award and a National Jewish Book Award. Her work focuses religion and the daily lives of women and children in early America and uses everyday objects to help bring their stories back to life. She has been a visiting fellow at Oxford University, a Fulbright scholar at the University of Utrecht, the University of Panama, and the Leon Levy Foundation Professor of Jewish Material Culture at Bard Graduate Center.


Anticipating the New Year: environmental, social and spiritual implications of Shmita w/Rabbi Ruhi Sophia

These sessions were held in August.
Watch recorded classes on our YouTube channel

At three different points, Torah commands that every seventh year, the “shmita” year, shall be a year of Shabbat for the land, humans and animals. This Rosh Hashanah of 5782 begins a new shmita year. Though the original laws of shmita only technically applied to agriculture in the ancient land of Israel, this three-part series will explore the radical implications of the shmita year for all of us, as we prepare for the new year to begin. All Jewish learning levels welcome.


Torah Study w/Mat Wilson

Thursdays, Noon — via Zoom

All are welcome for an engaging discussion of this week’s Torah portion and how it impacts our lives. See the weekly e-news for the Zoom link.

Learners’ Services

Occasional Saturdays, 9:00am

Not just for b’nai mitzvah students, but for anyone who wants to better understand the flow of the Shabbat morning liturgy. Each session (A-F) focuses on a different section of the service, in rotation. You don’t have to attend them in order.

Exploring Judaism

3rd Sunday of the month, 3:00pm

Join the group for a monthly discussion with the Rabbi and non-Jews, new-Jews and any-Jews interested in exploration. All are welcome, but this is an especially good opportunity for people new to Judaism in general and TBI in particular to learn more and get to know fellow explorers in a welcoming, casual setting. Questions? Contact Mark Watson.

The Vinkl (Yiddish Corner)

Usually the 1st & 3rd Mondays of the month, 2:00pm — via Zoom
(Contact Ellen Rifkin for the Zoom link.)

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 encouraged!

Shabbat Torah Study

Saturdays via Zoom, 8:45 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. All levels of experience welcome. Text study is done in English, with occasional close examination of the Hebrew text in an inclusive manner.

Jewish Literature Series

December 22:
House on Endless Waters
by Emuna Elon

January 27:
Morningside Heights
by Joshua Henkin

February 24:
The Lost Shtetl
by Max Gross

Contact Martha Ravits for details and Zoom link

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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.

This is on hold during the pandemic.

General Information

Yes, absolutely! View brochures from the current and previous terms by clicking the images below.

Each program may have different registration details. View the individual program listing for details and contact information.

Fees or donations for programs scheduled on Shabbat must be paid in advance (or after Shabbat). We will not collect money on Shabbat.

No refunds will be given to registrants 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 prepaid registrants.

All programs meet at Temple Beth Israel 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.