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All presenters are TBZ members.
 Pre Registration recommended


The lifelong Jewish learning initiatives at Temple Beth Zion (TBZ) have been a hallmark of the congregation since its rejuvenation over 20 years ago. Our overall goal is to create literate Jews who are acquainted with the multifaceted and broad parameters of Jewish learning.

Whether it’s a weekly Mussar (character development) class; a semester long Wise Aging exploration; a monthly course on engaging with Israel; individual TBZ Talks; three-session courses, and day long study experiences, TBZ is blessed to utilize the marvelous reservoir of talent among our members. Our Rabbis and the professional academics in our shul, as well as lay experts in specific areas, help us to learn together and build community.

The Adult Education effort often partners with other TBZ groups to present special events that encourage our curiosity and provide us with a stronger basis for entering the millennial Jewish conversation. To that end, we are offering an assortment of stimulating and thought-provoking three week courses, monthly encounters and special events.

Winter 2019 Course Offerings

What is Jewish Renewal?
Wednesdays, January 23, 30, & February 6 | 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Introduction to Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi founder of Jewish Renewal's approach to Judaism, with Reb Moshe Waldoks.

Israel's Declaration of Independence
Tuesdays, February 5, 19 & 26 | 7:00pm - 8:30pm
As Israel celebrates its 70th anniversary, we shall study its declaration of independence. In the absence of a written constitution, the declaration is generally considered Israel’s founding charter of principles. We shall compare the declaration to the U.S. Declaration of Independence and also review its fingerprints on the prayer for Israel, read by many Jewish congregations in different versions every Shabbat.
The course will hold three sessions. In each we shall discuss

  1. Israel’s Proclamation of Independence
  2. The American Declaration of Independence
  3. Israeli Basic Laws fortifying or amending the foundational principles

Taught by Prof. Pnina Lahav, BU Law School.

Spring 2019 Course Offerings

Shabbat Candles, Hidden Light
Tuesdays, March 5, 12, 19 | 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Experience the hidden light within you through the writings of the Rebbe of Slonim, the Netivot Shalom. Through text study in hevruta, using music, meditation, reflection, and open discussion, we will explore how the mystical teachings of this Hasidic rebbe, beloved by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, can deepen and transform our Shabbat experience. Shabbat is central to sustaining the world. What is our role in this process? We will immerse ourselves in the words of the Slonimer rebbe, as well as our ancient texts to see how they might guide us into a more meaningful Shabbat practice. Taught by Rabbi Lev FriedmanFriedman was ordained as a rabbi in June 2018 by the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College in Newton, MA. Under the tutelage of Rabbi Zalman Schachter- Shalomi, he founded B’nai Or Religious Fellowship of Boston in 1982. Reb Zalman ordained him as Maggid, Rabbinic Pastor and Cantor in 1990. was the spiritual leader of B’nai Or, a Jewish Renewal community, from 1982-1996. He was the owner of Kolbo Fine Judaica in Brookline for almost thirty years until 2011.

Jews Beyond the Boundaries: Surprising Communities Seeking Jewish Identity
Wednesdays, March 6, 13, 27 | 7:00pm - 8:30pm
This class is an exploration of multiple African communities who see themselves as part of the Jewish people. Taught by Len Lyons, who has researched African Jewish communities and is the author of Ethiopian Jews of Israel: Personal Stories of Life in the Promised Land.
THIS CLASS HAS BEEN CANCELED. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Yiddish: Everything You Need to Know
Tuesdays, May 7, 14, 21 | 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Class 1: The Beginnings. From women’s literature to Tevye and his daughters (Fiddler on the Roof). Class 2: Yiddish Classic Literature. Class 3: Yiddish After the Holocaust. Taught by Dr. Rachel Rojanski. Dr. Rachel Rojanski is a professor in Brown University’s Program in Judaic Studies. She specializes in the political and cultural History of East European Jewish immigrants in the United States and Israel. Her research also encompasses the fields of Yiddish studies, Zionism and Israel, and gender. She is the author of two books, Conflicting Identities- Labor Zionism in North America 1905-1931 [Hebrew, 2005] and Yiddish in Israel –History, Indiana University Press, 2019 (forthcoming).

God and Us: Three Jewish Responses to a Tricky Relationship
Wednesdays, May 1, 8, 15 | 7:00pm - 8:30pm
This course will examine three moments in which the tension between Divine and Human Authority in the Jewish tradition exploded into polemic: in the Age of the Talmud, in the Age of the Printing Press and in the Age of Enlightenment.  Each week, after a brief presentation of background, we will read together a number of key texts in English translation and discuss them in an open conversation. No background is required. Taught by Adam Teller. Adam is a professor of Judaic Studies at Brown University. Born in London, U.K., he lived, studied and taught in Israel for 23 years. He has been at Brown since 2010, and Brookline and TBZ since 2012.

Summer 2019 Course Offerings

Aleph-Bet Meditation
Tuesdays, June 4, 11, 18 | 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Elena Rosenbaum and Penina Adelman have taught the Aleph- Bet meditation class before. We are both Jewish Meditation teachers trained at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality and long-time meditators. Elana teaches meditation all over the world based on Jon Cabot-Zinn’s stress reduction method.My passion ever since I began learning Hebrew as an adult has been to use the letters as focus for a greater connection to what is beyond and within oneself. The plan is to focus on the first 4 letters, Aleph, Bet, Gimel, Daled. Knowledge of Hebrew is not necessary but will be helpful. Focusing on the inner and outer meanings of the letters, according to Jewish sources and our intuitive sense, we will spend time in silence going more deeply into these meanings. The object of this course is to enable each student to cultivate their own relationship to each letter. In doing so, the letters become tools for meditation , prayer and growth.

Penina Adelman is a Scholar in Brandeis University’s Women’s Research Center. Her areas of interest are Creative Writing, Biblical Wome, Creative Ritual, Jewish Folklore, and Coming of Age Rituals. She is currently writing a fictionalized family memoir, which is integrated with Jewish history all the way back to the biblical version of Creation. Elana Rosenbaum is one of the pioneering teachers of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction involved in its unfolding since 1984. She is a mindfulness teacher, mentor, psychotherapist and consultant conducting workshops and trainings in the US and abroad. Elana has authored a new workbook for clients and clinicians, “The Heart of Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction” as well as “Here for Now: Living Well with Cancer through Mindfulness” and “Being Well (even when you’re sick).

Sun, September 15 2019 15 Elul 5779