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|At B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation we believe that Jewish learning is a lifetime project.
Please join us at any one of our course offerings this year. Membership is not required, and many of the classes have a nominal charge, suggested donation, or are free!
Archeology of the Religion of Ancient Israel (Via ZOOM)
Thursday mornings, September 8 through October 13 (6 classes); 10 AM to 11:45 AM Fee: $36 members; $54 non-members Taught by Steve Stark-Riemer
This course will begin with a history of the search for Ancient Israel's religion and will consider the distinction between "book religion" and "folk religion." Topics covered by other sessions will include Canaanite Religion before the emergence of ancient Israel; the cult of Asherah; Death in the Life of Ancient Israel and the transition from polytheism to monotheism. The course concludes with the Babylonian conquest and the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE.
Book Folding Class (At B'nai Sholom Only) Monday, December 12, 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM Fee: None (Registration Required) Join us on December 12 as we bring back by popular demand Beth Oldrich, author of Book Folding for Beginners and Beyond, for another workshop. Book folding is the art of repurposing hardcover books into book sculptures, a modern twist on origami. It's an easy craft to learn, is eco-friendly and would be fun for ages 13 to adult. We will be making a dreidel, just in time for Chanukah. See examples of book folding projects at Beth’s website: https://sites.google.com/view/bookfolding/home.
There is no charge and all one brings are a pair of scissors and a hardcover book at least 250 pages and 8 ½ inches tall with no photos to use for the folding. Call the synagogue to register or use the form on the back.
Beth is the daughter of temple members Bruce and Edith Goldstein.
"The Jewish Family Tree" (In-person and via Zoom) Teacher: Rabbi Danielle Weisbrot Thursday, December 1 and 8; Wednesday, December 14 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM Fee: $20 non-member; $15 member Watch for details to come!
Torah Study (Via Zoom)
Saturdays: Open to all.
Join in at 10 am for a continuation of our 20-year tradition of sacred text study. We closely read the weekly Parashat with the first Shabbat of the month devoted to the Prophets and the Writings.
All are welcome to participate and learn, reading aloud and discussing in the context of the history of the Bible, including the sociology, archeology, and politics of the land. No prior experience is necessary! Sessions generally last 90 minutes.
These sessions are open to all on a drop-in, occasional, or regular basis. BYOB – Bring your own Bible. Contact the office to receive the ZOOM link.
Layers of Learning
Once a Month on Thursday evening via ZOOM. (See calendar for date)
Join Rabbi Weisbrot on Zoom for a monthly “sideways dive” into other facets of Torah study – midrashic interpretations, Talmudic commentary, and whatever other thoughts and insights come up in the group as we look at the weeks Torah
portion. No prior registration or experience necessary. The link will appear in the weekly e-mail.
A series of talks by scholars from the congregation and beyond, presented following Friday night worship services.
—— Friday, September 9, 2022
The synagogue scholar program kicks off on September 9 with our member, and Albany County legislator, Sam Fein. Sam will talk about his family and how the Jewish values they instilled led him to public service. His maternal grandparents were Holocaust survivors who fled the Nazis in Poland and came to America after the war. On his father’s side, his grandfather Rashi Fine was an economist who was an architect of Medicare, while his grandmother was very involved in Jewish philanthropy work and was president of Combined Jewish Philanthropies in Boston.
Sam represents the 6th district, which includes parts of the South End and Arbor Hill. It is a community impacted by high poverty as well decades of disinvestment with a history of racially discriminatory policies such as redlining. He is a strong advocate for policies that advance the causes of racial and economic justice.
Sam grew up in Massachusetts and has lived in Albany since 2013 with deep family connection to the city; his great- grandfather grew up on Delaware Avenue and met the woman who became Sam’s great-grandmother at a Zionist club at the University at Albany. Sam’s family owned a chain of furniture stores in the Capital Region, including Breslaw Brothers Furniture on South Pearl Street.
The program will begin immediately following the congregation’s 8 p.m. Shabbat service
MOVIE NIGHTS ($5 suggested donation)
"Creating Modern Midrash" (Via Zoom) Teacher: Rabbi Danielle Weisbrot
Midrash – a form of rabbinic “creative writing” – has been a classical method of giving Torah new types of meaning. It ranges from word play to mining details of Jewish law to imaginative tales that fill in the “gaps” in the Torah text. Over time, this practice has become not just more popular but more diverse in its content and format (think poetry, art, and movies). Come learn about the types of classical and modern midrash that already exist and perhaps try your hand at creating your own.