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.

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!

“A Split Jewish Diaspora“    (Via Zoom) 
Teacher:  Steven Stark-Riemer
Mondays, March 21 through May 16 (no class May 2), 10AM to 11:45 AM
$54 non-member; $36 member

After the destruction of the Second Temple by Rome in 70 C.E., the Jews of the East - Israel and Babylonia - developed
very differently, from those of the West - Egypt, northern Africa, Asia Minor, southeastern and southern Europe.
In addition to the obvious geographical divide, language served as a barrier between East and West, with the
former speaking and writing Hebrew and Aramaic and the latter speaking and writing Greek. This linguistic gap led 
to a much deeper cultural gap. The course will discuss the theory that this discontinuity helps to explain the successful
spread of earliest Christianity to the west, rather than to the east.


Torah Study (Via Zoom)

Studying the torah
Studying Vayeitzei

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. April 21, 2022, May 5, 2022

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 February 25, 2022:

Martha Rozett will talk about the book Outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued Millions of Yiddish Books by Aaron Lansky

Lansky’s 2004 account of his adventures, which began when he was twenty-three years old, is a wonderful collection of tales about a rag-tag group of young people who saved Yiddish books from extinction, one trip at a time, with borrowed cars and rented trucks, last-minute phone calls and a growing circle of supporters.  Lansky and his volunteers visited with elderly Jews who had no one to pass their books on to, and in the process, forged a community and preserved a history and language that was in danger of being forgotten.  The book is often hilarious, always heartwarming, and above all, a record of the way the Yiddish language and culture – once thought to be dead — outwitted history by surviving and flourishing.

For those interested in reading Outwitting History, copies are available in the Albany Public Library system and for purchase online.  We will acquire a copy for the B’nai Sholom library which congregants are encourage to sign out and return promptly so that others can borrow it.


MOVIE NIGHTS ($5 suggested donation)


Past Programs:
"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.


Adult Education Pictures

  • Bible Study 1

    Bible Study 1

  • Extended Study

  • Extended Study - Pomegranates led to another topic

  • Extended Study

  • Torah Study

  • Torah Study - Noah

  • Torah Study

  • Torah Study

  • Completion of Beginning Hebrew Class -- December 2019

B'nai Sholom Albany NY