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!

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:

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

Who started the Reform Movement? Is there more than one way to be Orthodox? Do Jews around the world all pray the same way? Come learn about the spectrum of Jewish life – how and when the different movements were born, what makes them unique, distinctions among some global Jewish communities and how all our varied branches intersect on the Jewish Family Tree.


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. (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, January 6, 2023

Book Talk Selection: PEOPLE LOVE DEAD JEWS, by Dara Horn

Dara Horn’s essay collection, PEOPLE LOVE DEAD JEWS, has a title that seems designed to offend or challenge the reader.  Most of the 12 essays were published elsewhere in recent years and some have been the subjects of a podcast on Tablet.  Horn is a terrific novelist (THE WORLD TO COME, ALL OTHER NIGHTS) with a doctorate in Hebrew and Yiddish literature.  In the course of her reading, she realized that Jewish literature often lacks the kinds of happy endings, or resolutions, that we expect from fiction.  She is troubled by the way readers expect “uplifting” stories about Jews and their rescuers that emphasize redemption, arguing that such stories minimize the suffering experienced by the Jewish people throughout history.  Hence, her premise that people who are moved by dead Jews – Anne Frank is the preeminent example – are uncomfortable with living ones.  This is a provocative book, but a timely one, for we live in a world where anti-Semitism, both subtle and violent, continues to be widespread. 

In her annual book talk, a tradition begun about 15 years ago, Martha Rozett, professor emerita at UAlbany, will examine four of the essays in PEOPLE LOVE DEAD JEWS, leaving time for discussion: “Everyone’s (Second) Favorite Dead Jew,” “Frozen Jews,” “Legends of Dead Jews” and “Commuting with Shylock.” The program will begin following the conclusion of our Shabbat service.

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

B'nai Sholom Albany NY