Adult Education


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up or with any questions!

At B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation we believe that Jewish learning is a lifetime project.  Judaism offers a wealth of rich, deep, sophisticated ideas that are most useful for adults.  Adults make decisions about raising children, choosing careers, medical care for themselves and loved ones, where to live and whom to love.  Adults need the guidance of a religious system to help them through this maze of serious choices.  Adults also experience fully the deep sorrow of loss and the great joy of true love.  Jewish tradition can guide adults through these emotional highs and lows.

Adult learning at B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation equips our lifelong learners to face the complexity of their lives armed with Jewish knowledge.  Whether taking a Judaism course, current events, or an archeology course, our learners come away from the experience with a greater appreciation of Judaism’s profound depths, and a greater understanding of how to lead an inspired life.

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!

Other Jewish Adult Education opportunities:


All are Invited
We welcome everyone, Jewish or not, member or not, to attend our classes and programs.  Please join us!

Enrollment and Cancellation Policies:

  • Some classes and programs have limited enrollments.
  • Register early to avoid disappointment.
  • If enrollment is too low, an event or class may be canceled.
  • To be notified of schedule changes or cancellations, you must be preregistered.

B’nai Sholom Adult Education Spring 2019 Programs

Click here for Adult Education Course Registration Form

Archaeology of the Religion of Ancient Israel

Wednesday mornings, September 11 through October 30 (no class October 9); 10 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Fee: $36 members; $54 non-members

Taught by Steve Stark-Riemer, noted local lecturer in archaeology, history and religion of the Ancient Near East.

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 in 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.

 Archeology and History of Ancient Israel

Thursday mornings, April 11 through May 30; 10 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Fee: $36 members; $54 non-members
Taught by Steve Stark-Riemer, noted local lecturer on archeology, history and religion of the Ancient Near East.

This course will summarize the development of biblical archeology and the consider the geographic and historical contexts in which Ancient Israel was situated. It will also review the archeology of the Egyptian descent and Exodus as well as the Wilderness Wandering and the emergence of Early Israel as a People. The course concludes considering the united Monarchy of David and Solomon through the Babylonian conquest and destruction of the First Temple.

Beginning Hebrew

Wednesday evenings, October 16 and 23, then Monday evenings, October 28 through December 2;
All classes 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
(note: the class shifts from Wednesdays to Mondays after the first two sessions)
Taught by Carol Smith

This course is for people who want to learn and/or practice reading Hebrew. Over 8 sessions, we will go over the letters in the Hebrew alphabet and the sounds they make. We will go over vowels and how to pair them with the letters. All along the way, we will practice reading. Lots of practice!!
We will be using as  a text Aleph Isn’t Tough: An Introduction to Hebrew for Adults, Book 1 by Linda Motzkin ($23). Please register by October 3 and we will order the book for you.

Amoz Oz: Israel’s Storyteller        

Wednesday mornings, November 6 through December 4; 10:30 a.m. to Noon       
Taught by Martha Rozett, professor emerita at the University at Albany
Details to come…


Click here for Adult Education Course Registration Form

Torah Study

Studying Vayeitzei

Saturday Mornings, 9:30 – 11 a.m.

Extended Text Study one Saturday of each month, 9:30 a.m. – Noon

At Torah Study, we read translations and various commentaries in English, and discuss the meaning of the weekly Torah portion.

On Extended Study days, we’ve been working our way through the Tanakh with Rabbi Cashman.  Currently we’re about to start the book of Chronicles, which provides rich material for discussion.   Our Extended Study is powered by coffee, bagels, and an assortment of other delicious breakfast food.

These sessions are open to all on a drop-in, occasional, or regular basis.  BYOB – Bring your own Bible, but we’ve got extras.  No previous knowledge necessary!  Share what you know!


Our series of talks by scholars from the congregation and beyond as presented following Friday night worship services.

May 10 – Adah Hetko, currently a fellow at the Yiddish Book Center, will present a talk after the 8 PM service with audio/video clips on “Becoming Yiddish: Contemporary Yiddish Women Singers.”



Adult Education Pictures

  • Bible Study 1

    Bible Study 1