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 which 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 throug 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 Winter/Spring 2019 Programs

Click here for Adult Education Course Registration Form

Martha Rozett – Unfinished People: Stories of Jewsih Immigrants in early 20th Century New York City

Wednesday mornings, November 7 – 28. 2018: 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Taught by Martha Rozett, professor emerita at the University of Albany

Fee: $20 members; $25 non-members

“Unfinished People” takes it title from Ruth Cays book Unfinished People: Eastern European Jews Encounter America.  Gay views the young Jewish immigrants who came to New York City in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as “unfinished” in  the sense that they had not learned to be adults in the old country and had to adapt quickly to the ways of America.  We will read excerpts from Unfinished People and from three other books: A Bintel Brief: Sixty Year of Letters from the Lower East Side to the Jewish Daily Forward; How I Found America: The Collected Stories of Anzia Yezierska; and The World of Our Fathers by Irving Howe.  The readings will be photocopied and provided to course participants who register at least one week in advance.  Class sessions will consist of a mix of short lectures, discussions of the readings and occasional opportunities to share our own family histories.

Memoir Writing Workshop.

Thursday October 11, 2018; 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm ONE SESSION

Taught by noted PJ Library and children’s book auther Linda Elovitz Marshall

Fee: $32 members; $40 non-members

Through writing games and brainstorming, Linda will encourage participants to weave a story around an event (large or small) in their lives.  Who knows?  A story suitable for a children’s book format could, possibly, germinate from these exercises.  An example of one that did is Linda’s own Grandma Rose’s Magic (Karben, 2012), the story of her grandmother who sewed and saved to buy beautiful dishes…and made magic in the  process.

A member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Linda served as her chapter’s 2017 Picture Book Mentor.  She has written over a dozen books, including PJ Library selections Shh…Sh.. Shabbat, The Passover Lamb and The Mitzvah Magician.  As a tribute to her father, she wrote the picture book Good Stuff Cheap: The Story of Jerry Ellis and Building #19, Inc.

Linda has taught people of all ages and has helped people in writing their life stories/memoirs.  Participants are encouraged to bring objects to class that might inspire storioes.  Please consider bringing special dishes, baseball gloves, anything with a “story” attached.  For more about Linda, see

Judeophobia: The Ancient Origins of Anti-Semitism

Thursday evenings, September 27, 2018 – November 8, 2018, 7:00 pm – 8:45 pm

Fee: $36 members; $54 non-members

Taught by Steve Start-Riemer, noted local lecturer on archeology, history, and religion of the Ancient Near East.

This course will consider anti-Semitism or “Judeophobia” in the ancient world.  The class will review the history of violence against Jews during an 800-year era from 410 B.C.E through 387 C.E. drawing from archaeology and other sources.  The course will also attempt to distinguish between the antipathy of early Christianity towrd Judaism as a threat to Christian identity and the irrational accusations against Jews in the Middle Ages of ritual murder, well poisoning and other atrocitites.

Click here for Adult Education Course Registration Form

Torah Study

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 examining the book of Daniel, 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!

Movie Nights

  • November 17, 2018

Watermarks — A documentary of the Viewnna Jerish Women’s swim team of the 1930s.

  • February 9, 2019


  • March 9, 2019


Synagogue Scholar Series — Save the Dates

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

November 9, 2018 –  Debbie Rausch

  • From Broken Glass and Shattered Dreams to Freedom” A presentation by Debbie about her Father’s experience growing up in Germany, his arrest during Kristallnacht and his service to the U.S. as an American soldier.


The following are some of the adult education courses and programs offered in the past by B’nai Sholom:


Program Name                                                                                            Date
5th Century Favorits – Rabbi Don Cashman  Fall 2013


Who Wrote the Hebrew Bible –  Steven Stark-Riemer October 10, 2013-
“The Ethics of Eating – or, Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is�? — Rabbi Don Cashman October 22, 2012 – January 28, 2013
Mahler on the Couch — Movie and Discussion October 19, 2013
Beginning Hebrew Fall 2012
Yiddish (Beginning and Advanced) Fall 2014

Winter 2014

Siblings: 2nd Temple Judaism – Steven Stark-Riemer January 2014 – March 2014
Isreal and the Holocaust — Prof Arthur Brenner January 20, 2014 – February 2014
Love at Second Sight — Movie and Discussion February 1, 2014
Born in Berlin — Movie and Discussion March 22, 2014
The Diversity of Ancient Israel April 16, 2013 – June 25, 2013
Doreen Rappaport, Author — Talk “Beyond Courage” Chronicles Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust April 28, 2013