Adult Education


Contact us to sign
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 Winter 2021 Programs

Click here for Adult Education Course Registration Form

Advanced Beginner Hebrew 2.0 (Via Zoom)

Teacher: Carol Smith
January 4, 2020, January 12, 19, 26, February 1, 9, 16, 23 (All Tuesdays in January and February, except Monday, January 4 and Monday, February 1)
6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
$30 non-member; $25 members
Textbook cost $25

Using Aleph Isn’t Enough, the sequel to Aleph Isn’t Tough, we will take the next step beyond learning the letters and vowels of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet. Over the course of eight weeks, we will learn some basic vocabulary, roots, basic Hebrew grammar and keep up with regular reading practice. This course is meant for people who are somewhat comfortable recognizing and pronouncing Hebrew letters and vowels.
The course will be a different format in that it is designed as a collaborative approach to learning. Carol is fine with organizing and facilitating the class but will need your help in figuring out some of this material! So be prepared to work together as we make our way through Aleph Isn’t Enough. The course will aim to cover 5 of the 10 chapters with the remaining 5 chapters to be covered in in the spring. Please register, or at least call the office, as soon as possible so we can order the book for you.

Co0king Class with Deanna Fox (Via Zoom)

Teacher: Deanna Fox
February 9, 2021
4:30 – 6:00 p.m.
$18 per screen (register and pay by February 5)
Join food journalist Deanna Fox as she hosts a cook-along featuring two Persian recipes with Jewish roots (Purim is coming!) that can easily be recreated at home. You will be provided a shopping list, a materials list and recipes for the class. Log-in using our Zoom link (to be provided upon registration) and cook with Deanna in your own kitchen, as she guides you in making:

  • Gundi, a traditional Persian chickpea flour and chicken meatball soup (a vegetarian option will be offered)
  • Zoulbia, a sweet fried dough spiced with saffron, cardamom and rose water

Deanna Fox is a freelance food and agriculture journalist who travels the globe in search of the story, meaning and purpose of food. She focuses specifically on food history, the business of agriculture, profiles, trends reporting, home cooking and the socio-political implications of food. She was also a cooking instructor and owned Albany Cooking School for many years. More can be found at


Life after Death…Belief and Customs (Via Zoom)

Teacher: Rabbi David Katz
February 17, 2021 – March 10, 2021 (4 weeks)
7:00 – 8:00 p.m.
$20 non-member; $15 members

Does our tradition teach that there is life after death?  If so, what is it supposed to be like?  What if we don’t believe in a “world-to-come?”  What should we say to our children or grandchildren if we ourselves have doubts? When a loved one dies what are the first things we should do?  Or not do? 

If you want to know the meaning behind putting pebbles on gravestones, what the best yahrzeit candle is, why a ribbon is torn before the funeral and what the words mean to the blessing recited before it is cut, why the door at a house of mourning is left ajar and what should be said or not said to a mourner – all this will be explained in a four week course that explores both the Jewish  beliefs and practices surrounding death.


The Archeology and Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Via Zoom)

Teacher: Steve Stark-Riemer
March 2, 2021 – April 20, 2021 (7 weeks)
7:30 – 9:00 p.m.
$54 non-member; $36 members
The Dead Sea Scrolls are the most important collection of Jewish texts from the Second Temple Period and perhaps the most important archaeological discovery of the 20th century.  The class will start from the history of the discovery near the ancient site of Qumran and then will address: the sects of the Second Temple Period; the development and character of the Qumran sect and the archaeology of the settlement there; women in the Dead Sea Scrolls; and messianism in the Scrolls and its influence on Judaism and Christianity.

Torah Study (Via Zoom)

Studying Vayeitzei

Saturdays: Open to all.

  • 9:00-9:45 am: Led by Rabbi Katz 9:00-9:45 AM
  • Join in at 10 am for a continuation of our 20-year tradition of lay-led 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