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!

B’nai Sholom Adult Education Fall 2021 Programs

Click here for Adult Education Course Registration Form

A Split Diaspora?: The Nature of the Dispersion in the Aramaic-speaking East and the Greek-speaking West  (Via Zoom)
Teacher: Steve Stark-Riemer
To Be Rescheduled to Spring, 2022

When considering the Jewish Diaspora, we often think of the forced removal of the people from the land of Israel at the hands of a foreign power.  However, some elements of the Diaspora were the result of voluntary relocations, some to enhance already existing communities, others to begin new ones.  It is generally believed that there was a basic, ongoing connection between the scattered Jews of that era.  However, recent scholarship argues that the Jewish world separated into two basic spheres during the Rabbinic period which developed after the year 70, due primarily to a language gap and a geographical divide.

The course will study the accepted view by tracing the existence and development of Diaspora communities in Babylonia, Egypt, and throughout the Greco-Roman world.  After establishing the context of Diaspora Jewry in antiquity, we will explore the recent scholarship that argues for a split between Eastern Jewry (Israel and Babylonia) and Western Jewry (Egypt, northern Africa, Asia Minor, Greece, the Balkans, Italy, southern France, Iberia, and the Mediterranean islands).

The “Split Diaspora” argument holds that Jerusalem and the Land of Israel provided a central unifying force binding this extensive Jewish world together.  After the Roman destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E., this was no longer so.  Without this centerpiece, the diaspora of Jews in the east developed very differently from the diaspora of Jews in the west.  Besides the obvious geographical divide, language served to be a barrier between east and west, the former speaking and writing Hebrew and Aramaic, the latter Greek.  This linguistic gap led to a much deeper cultural gap.  In our study, we will take up the scholars’ conclusion that this discontinuity helps to explain the successful spread of earliest Christianity to the west, rather than 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 Parshot 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 about 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.


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


MOVIE NIGHTS ($5 suggested donation)


Adult Ed Tools

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