Community Education

Feed Your Mind and Soul

Temple Beth Israel 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 Temple Beth Israel, 1175 E. 29th Ave., Eugene unless otherwise noted.

If you are interested in joining the Community Education Committee, or have ideas for teaching or a class offering, please contact Nina Korican.

In the Presence of Love with author Ani Tuzmani

Thursday, March 22nd, 7:00 pm

Ani will read from The Tremble of Love: A Novel of the Baal Shem Tov. Set in the richly textured Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth of the 1700s, this exquisite reimagining of one of history’s most revered and revolutionary mystics transports readers back in time to experience the true meaning of power and the timeless grace of love. Ani’s passages will be framed by music from TBI musicians, both transporting us back in time and into the timeless sanctuary of the heart. Followed by discussion, book signing and more!

Ani Tuzman is a novelist, award-winning poet, and writing mentor. Ani grew up the daughter of Holocaust survivors and became captivated by legends of an eighteenth-century Eastern European mystic rabbi known as the Baal Shem Tov. When Ani turned fifty, she experienced an inner call to write about this spiritual master.

Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day

Wednesday, April 11th
6:30 pm Commemoration Service
7:30 pm Songs of the Holocaust with Rachel Joselson and Réne Lecuona

In “The Songs of the Holocaust,” Rachel Joselson, music professor at the University of Iowa and soprano, revives music composed by Terezin inmates. The project began when Joselson, who is Jewish, heard a recording of a few songs composed at Terezin. Intrigued, she began to search for other works that were rarely or not yet recorded. “When I found out that there is a vast repertoire created in the camps, composed, and performed under the most inhumane living conditions, I was fascinated to know more,” she said.

She got in touch with colleagues in Germany and Israel, who sent her scans of unpublished or out-of-print music. Joselson has recorded a CD and shared these moving songs at colleges, synagogues, and special events. Joselson will be accompanied on piano by Réne Lecuona who is also a professor at the UI Music School.

For more information on “Songs of the Holocaust,” click here.

Prayer & Social Change w/Rabbi Ruhi

Thursdays, April 12, 19, 26, 7:30-9:00 pm

Do you love services but feel unsure how to bring the energy of your spiritual practice to work for social justice? Do you feel passionately about activism but not sure how a spiritual practice fits in? Sign up for this class if you would like to explore how spiritual practice can enrich our work for social change. Participants are asked to commit to all three sessions and some (but not extensive) homework. Class capped at 12.

Member ($18):      
Non Member ($36):      

Separating the Artist from the Art, and Other Questions of Jewish values in the #MeToo Moment

Sunday, April 15th – 10:00 am

Join Temple Beth Israel’s Rabbi Ruhi Sophia for an exploration of how Jewish values can help us navigate the questions raised by the #MeToo moment: What do we do with the intellectual or artistic contributions of people who have perpetrated sexual harassment? Can art be separated from the artist? Who gets to decide? Sponsored by Temple Beth Israel, The Jewish Federation of Lane County, and Oregon Hillel.

Yom Hazikaron/Yom Ha’atzma’ut at TBI – Celebrate Israel Memorial and Independence Days!

Wednesday, April 18th
5:00 pm – Memorial Service
5:45 pm – Dinner
6:30 pm – Israeli Dancing
7:00 pm – Israeli Movie (title TBA)

Celebrate Israel’s Memorial and Independence Days at TBI! Come for all or part of the program. TBI will provide the falafel, hummus, pitas, the cake, and an Israeli movie. Please bring a potluck side dish or salad – preferably an Israeli recipe, and your dancing shoes! Bring the whole family—admission is free.

Bread and Torah with Rabbis Jonathan Rubenstein and Linda Motzkin

Friday, April 20th, 2:00-5:00 pm: Challah Making w/Rabbi Jonathan. All ages welcome!

Saturday, April 21st, 7:00 pm: Havdallah and Hide stretching with Bnai Mitzvah Kids and Families w/Rabbi Linda

Sunday, April 22nd, 9:30 am-12:00 pm: Baking and Scribing with Talmud Torah Students with Rabbis Jonathan and Linda

Sunday, April 22nd, 12:30-2:00 pm: Sewing Panels & PowerPoint with Teen Program w/Rabbi Linda

Sunday, April 22nd, 2:30-4:00 pm: Sewing Panels & PowerPoint with Adults w/Rabbi Linda

Immigrant Integration Network Speakers Series: Why Don’t They Just Get in Line?
with Lise Colgan

Sunday, April 29th, 10:00 am

Presentations include a brief introduction to immigration basics, an update on the status of immigration policy, ways to stay informed, ways to help, and an opportunity to complete a survey about attitudes towards immigration.

Now You are My Neighbor

Sunday, May 6th, 2:00 pm

TBI Sisterhood & Community Education Committee present, “Now I Am Your Neighbor”, an original play telling the true stories of courage, hopefulness, and resilience of Lane County immigrants.  The Arts and Aesthetics committee will also have the related photo exhibit here at the time of the performance.

Jewish Literature Group – 7:00 pm

FREE; Donations gratefully accepted

March 29th: The Outside World by Tova Mirvis
April 26th:  Judas by Amos Oz
May 24: The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish
June 28: Dinner at the Center of the Earth  by Nathan Englander
July 26: Forest Dark by Nicole Krauss
Aug. 23: Call Me by Your Name by Andre Aciman

Reading with the Rabbi

Sunday, April 8th, 3:30 pm

Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities by Rebecca Solnit. 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. Everyone is welcome!

Jewish Genealogy Group

Wednesday, April 18th, 7:00 pm
You’ve Had Your DNA Tested — Now What?
Members who’ve done DNA testing will demonstrate various testing services’ websites to show their results, and will also compare results on Gedmatch. This will be followed by a discussion of strategies to figure out how people with DNA matches might actually be related. Pam Endzweig, Edward Winter, Reeva Kimble, and Joan Shea will lead the discussion, and Larry Gorchow will talk about features of various sites where DNA results can be uploaded.

Wednesday, May 9th, 7:00 pm
Using Smart Phone and Tablet for Genealogy Research
Michael Sussman will explain how to capture documents & photos, use translation tools, and make voice/video recordings. More info here.

Wednesday, June 13th, 7:00 pm
Hasidic Culture in Eastern Europe
Eliezer Froehlich and Hap Pondel present an overview, followed by details from Northern Lithuania. More info here.

Ongoing Events

Chanting Group – Thursdays, 5:30 pm

Tom Broeker and David Ouellette are offering a weekly, 2-hour workshop…an ongoing/drop-in group experience wherein each participant will experience his/her unique response to self-generated sound vibration within a group setting. The sound generated by a group of people weaves among all participants, uniting them via the vibration they share. The experience continues for 15 to 30 minutes, followed by a period of silence. Come join us. This practice is powerful.

Jewish Meditation Group w/Barry Nobel – Fridays, 8:30 am 

New and experienced meditators welcome! The central element of this group will be meditating for 20 minutes, and the format for the remained of the time will be determined by group needs.