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.

community ed_omer mincha moment

Omer Mincha Moment w/Rabbi Solomon

Mondays, March 29 to May 10
Noon – 12:30pm (Zoom)

We’ll focus on the weekly tikkun, the healing potential, found within the practice of counting the Omer. We will study a brief text, sit in meditation or journal privately, and reflect together on the weekly theme, supporting each other to go deeper in our own spiritual count-up. For more info on counting the omer, go to ritualwell.org or wikipedia.

tbi tot time w RAS

Tot Time in the Ohel (Tent) w/Rabbi Solomon

Saturday, April 10, 9:30am

Celebrate Shabbat in-person in the new ohel (tent) in the courtyard with songs, stories, sharing, and Shabbat! Tots ages 0 to 5 (and parents and siblings) are welcome to join for this fun half hour that’s geared to our youngest community members.

chevra kadisha single candle

Yom HaZikaron w/Rabbi Ruhi Sophia

Wednesday, April 14, 5:30pm (Zoom)

Gather during Wednesday Minyan for special Yom HaZikaron prayers.

seven species

Seven Species: Tastes and Texts w/Rabbis Jonathan Rubenstein & Linda Motzkin

Sunday, April 25, 10:00am (Zoom)

Register here

The Seven Species (Shivat Haminim), derived from Deuteronomy 8:7-8, are two grains and five fruits associated with the Land of Israel and imbued with special holiness and significance. The Mishnah (Bikkurim 1:3) states that “Bikkurim (first fruits) are brought only from the seven species.” The first fruits of the seven species—wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates—were the only acceptable offerings in the Temple in Jerusalem. Kabbalists ascribe special spiritual qualities to each of them. Customarily the first fruits are eaten on Tu B’Shevat, Shavuot, and Sukkot. The Seven Species are also a Jewish folk motif and are frequently represented in Jewish art.

In addition to a text study and discussion of a selection of biblical, rabbinic, and kabbalistic sources on the significance of the Seven Species, we will also show some artistic representations of the Seven Species, and share ideas on how to incorporate the Seven Species into a special Shavuot challah and other special holiday foods.

Register here.

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Lag B’Omer w/Fire Dancer Exhibition!

Thursday, April 29th 8:00pm in the TBI Parking Lot

The high energy and intense spirit of the fire dancing community burns through my heart and shines into every show I put on! Big flames, high energy, an intense spirit, and fun tricks are his forte’ ! Keep your eyes peeled for the high flying tosses and cool contact tricks that his show has in store for you ! 🔥🔥🔥

We’re also having a firepit with smores. Bring a lawn chair, blankets, and warm clothes. We’ll provide basic ingredients for smores—graham crackers, chocolate, and gelatin-free marshmallows. In case of rain, this event will be cancelled.

The period between Pesach and Shavuot is called the “Counting of the Omer” (sefirat ha’omer), after the ancient rite of the bringing of the first sheaf (omer) of the barley harvest to the priest (Lev. 23:9-14). Lag B’Omer is the shorthand way of saying the thirty-third day of the omer. It is celebrated to commemorate the day a plague ended in which thousands of students of Rabbi Akiba, a Talmudic scholar, died during the Counting of the Omer. The period of counting is traditionally observed as a period of mourning. The mourning, however, is set aside on Lag B’Omer, making it a day of special joy and festivity.

Lag B’Omer is not mentioned in the Torah and only hinted at in the Talmud. Consequently, there is no formal ritual, but rather a series of customs that the people found attractive and meaningful.

Many weddings take place on Lag B’Omer. In the Israeli traditional community, it has become a day when three-year-old children get their first haircuts. Parties and picnics abound and, at least in Israel, hundreds of people attend midnight bonfires and many children carry little bows and arrows. Click here for more information.

shavuot wheat on blue sky

Tikkun Leil Shavuot w/Rabbi Ruhi Sophia

Sunday, May 16, 8:00pm (Zoom)

Traditionally, one stays up all night studying until dawn and eating dairy snacks on the night of Shavuot to celebrate the giving of the Torah. This year you can do so in your pajamas from the comfort of your own home. Grab a pint of ice cream, some bonbons, a cheesecake, or your favorite dairy alternative and join the celebration. We’ll have diverse teachings offered by clergy and lay leaders from TBI and Temple Beth Sholom in Salem (and possibly other regional synagogues, TBD). Stay all night, or tap in and out as you have energy and interest. Details will be announced closer to the event.

There will be Shavuot Services Monday, May 17, and Tuesday, May 18, at 9:00am.

Ongoing

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.

Shabbat Yoga w/Rabbi Solomon

Second Saturday of the month, 1:00-2:00pm

Join Rabbi Solomon via Zoom for chanting and gentle yoga. Ideal to have a mat, some water, and comfortable clothes. Elders, tots, and pets are all welcome!

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: April 24 (D), May 8 (E), June 5 (F)

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

April 22
Jonathan Safran Foer
Everything Is Illuminated

Contact Martha Ravits for details and Zoom link

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.

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.