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

Be sure to check our home page for additional offerings. This page will have more details about the classes soon!

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

A bilingual Tanakh on a table with a shofar

Prophets and Writings of the Hebrew Bible

Sundays Starting Oct 3, 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 will lead a weekly discussion on these two often overlooked sections of the Bible. Our ḥevruta (study group) will read 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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Introduction to Judaism

Fall term, part 1, 9 sessions: Wednesdays, Oct 6 – Dec 8 (no class Nov 24), 7:00-8:30pm, via Zoom
(Winter term, part 2, 9 sessions: Jan 5 – Mar 2)
with Rabbi Alyson Solomon

Rabbi Solomon will be teaching 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.

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Rosh Hodesh New Moon Gathering

Postponed due to Covid
with Sharma Rapoport, LPC

Gather (in-person, masked, physically distanced) at the beginning of the Hebrew month to renew and set intentions. We will begin with a short introduction, move into a creative process through art, have the space to share a piece of our story, and then end with an activity acknowledging the connection to the Jewish seasons. All genders and backgrounds welcome to explore, learn, and participate in connecting to ourselves and the world.

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Book Launch

Thank You, Modeh Ani by Rabbi Alyson Solomon

Sunday, Oct 10, 2:30pm
Special reading of her first published book

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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

Series begins in October, via Zoom (Details TBD)
Hosted by Rabbi Ruhi Sophia Motzkin Rubenstein

shedding our stars

Guest Author Professor Laureen Nussbaum

Shedding Our Stars: The Story of Hans Calmeyer and How He Saved Thousands of Families Like Mine
Sunday, Oct 17, 4:00pm

once we were slaves

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

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Controversies for the Sake of Heaven

Mondays, Nov 1, 8, & 15, 7:00-8:15pm, via Zoom
with Barry Nobel, JD, PhD

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Global Day of Jewish Learning

This year’s theme is Sacred Connections
Sunday, Nov 7 (Details TBD)


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 with Rabbi Ruhi Sophia

Thursdays, Noon — via Zoom

All are welcome to join Rabbi Ruhi Sophia for an engaging discussion of this week’s Torah portion and how it impacts our lives.

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. Led by Rabbi Ruhi Sophia.

Next ones: Fall 2021

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
(Check the calendar or contact Ellen Rifkin)

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, 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.

Jewish Literature Series

 October 28:
Tolstoy Lied
by Rachel Kadish

November 18:
The Scent of Pine
by Lara Vapnyar

December 20:
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.