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Click on Community Learning

Jewish Learning Opportunities... Just a Click Away!

Welcome to our On Line Catalogue for Adult Jewish Learning. Whether you are new to Jewish study or a seasoned learner -- this resource is for all adults who wish to sample the rich offerings of Jewish learning & culture within the Greater Rochester community.
 
All courses, lectures & events are open regardless of your affiliation.

Please be sure to check this site often as listings change & will be updated often!
  

Offered Classes and Events:

Literacy: Judaic and Hebrew

Torah Study at Temple Sinai

Torah study is facilitated by the rabbis and is an open group that all are invited to attend and participate in. Texts are read in English and no knowledge of Hebrew is required in order to be an active participant. If you’ve never tried Torah study at Temple Sinai why not drop by one Saturday morning? New participants are always welcome. If you are a “regular” we look forward to seeing you!

Date: group meets most Saturday mornings
Time: 9:15-10:15 am
Location: Temple Sinai

Website: www.tsinai.org/learning/adults/ 

Exploring Our Prayer Book

An Introduction to Mishkan T'filah
Have you ever wondered why prayers occur in a specific order; why we bow, turn around, or stand on our toes during certain prayers; what the prayers mean and how we can relate to them? These, and may other, questions will be addressed in this first adult education mini-course of the new year, offered by Rabbi's Katz and Sapowith.  Join with fellow congregants and gain insight and become more comfortable with the prayer service.  No prior knowledge or Hebrew proficiency needed or assumed.
Temple Sinai, 363 Penfield Road, Rochester, NY, 14625
Sundays: 9:00 and 11:30 AM

Making Prayer Real

"Making Prayer Real" is a 20-session curriculum developed by Rabbi Mike Comins based on his book "Making Prayer Real: Why Prayer is Difficult and What to do About It" and offered by Rabbi Sapowith.  Rabbi Comins is known for his unique approach to Jewish spirituality and it connection to nature and was the guest rabbi for one of our Spirituality Retreats.  This course is designed for anyone who wishes they could pray but cannot, for those who want to explore and develop their own personal prayer style, and for those who are lookiing for new ways to pray.  No knowledge of Hebrew is necessary, and all that is required is an open mind and an open heart!
Temple Sinai, 363 Penfield Road, Rochester, NY, 14625
Saturdays: Beginning on October 12 and continuing on selected Saturday mornings thereafter
9:15 AM

Hebrew for Adults

Gain the ability to read, and begin to understand, the Hebrew prayers we recite in our services.  We offer classes for both Beginners and Intermediate students.  The class for beginners assumes no prior knowledge of Hebrew.  Although these classes began a few weeks ago, it is definitely not too late to join in! We will help those who join now to catch up quickly.  If interested, contact Dennis Goldsmith at dgoldsmith@rochester.rr.com
Temple Sinai, 363 Penfield Road, Rochester, NY, 14625
Sundays: 10:00 AM


 

Torah Study at Cong. Beth Hamedresh- Beth Israel


There is a monthly informal Torah Study group that meets and participants discuss their way sequentially through the Torah.  All levels of background are very welcome.  Members of the community are free to join at any time.  The formal name of this group is the "Small Conservative Shul Collaborative Joint Torah Study", and it is jointly sponsored by Cong. BHBI, Temple Beth Am, and Temple Beth David.

 

Date: Third Wednesday of each month

Time: 7:30 PM
Location: Cong. Beth Hamedresh - Beth Israel

Cost: No fee

Biblical and Rabbinic Hebrew Text Study
 
We will gather to read in Hebrew texts from our sages as they attempt to help us understand the weekly parsha - the weekly Torah reading.  This class will focus on
 
(1) Familiarization with the language structure of Bible, Talmud and Midrash
(2) Study of Hebrew roots, prefixes and suffixes
(3) Repetition of most commonly used vocabulary in the texts

Instructor:  Jan Katz
Date:   Wednesday mornings, ongoing
Time:   8:00 am – 9:00 am
Location:  The Summit at Brighton
Cost: $100 per 12-month year
Contact: Jan Katz at kivakatz@gmail.com for further details

Conversational Hebrew:  Intermediate

This course will offer the opportunity for class participants to choose topics for everyday life and carry on conversations in Hebrew with one another.  A topical glossary will be provided each week.  A portion of each class will be set aside for drills in verbs, nouns pronouns and adjectives, and other common grammar.  Feel free to come and try before signing up.

Instructor:  Jan Katz
Monday mornings
Time: 8:30 – 10:00 am
Location: The Summit at Brighton
Class is ongoing, 12 months
Participants may join at anytime

Please contact Jan Katz for questions at kivakatz@gmail.com

Cost: Participants will be asked to purchase a text.

Temple Emanu-El - Beginning Hebrew Reading

This course is intended both for folks who are learning to read ("decode") Hebrew from scratch and for those who want a refresher.  The course is open to anyone - you do not need to be a member of Temple Emanu-El.  Participants may join at any time; however, advance registration is required.  For more information and to register, please contact Leslie Schwartz, president of Temple Emanu-El, at 585-944-2361, schwartzljs@gmail.com
Leslie Schwartz
Fridays: October 25, 2013 onwards
9:00 - 10:00 AM
Fee: Participants will need to purchase the text, "The Hebrew Primer - Derech Binah" by Ruby G. Strauss, Ahuva Schuller, and Lillian W. Adler

Temple Emanu-El - Intermediate Hebrew Reading

This course is intended for those who can read Hebrew, but who wish to improve their speed and accuracy.  We use Temple Emanu-El's Reform Prayer Book," Mishkan Tefilah".  The course is open to anyone - you do not need to be a member of Temple Emanu-El.  Participants may join at any time; however, advance registration is required.  For more information and to register, please contact Leslie Schwartz, president of Temple Emanu-El, at 585-944-2361, or email schwartzljs@gmail.com.
Leslie Schwartz
Sundays: October 27, 2013 onwards
10:30 - 11:30 AM
Fee: None

Temple Emanu-El - Introduction to Biblical Hebrew

This course is intended for folks who can already read Hebrew and who want to know what it means.  The Hebrew we'll be studying is that found in prayer books and Torah.  While it is close to the Modern Hebrew spoken in Israel, there are signficant (and lovely) differences.  The course is open to anyone - you do not need to be a member of Temple Emanu-El.  Participants may join at any time; however, advance registration is required.  For more information and to register, please contact Leslie Schwartz, president of Temple Emanu-El, at 585-944-2361 or email schwartzljs@gmail.com.
Leslie Schwartz
Thursdays: October 24, 2013
7:00 - 8:00 PM
Fridays: October 25, 2013
10:30 - 11:30 AM
Fee: Participants will need to purchase the text, "The Hebrew Primer - The Adult Beginner's Path to Biblical Hebrew" by Ethelyn Simon, Irene Resnikoff, and Linda Motzkin.

Temple Emanu-El - Beginning Conversational Hebrew

This course is intended for folks who want to be able to converse in Hebrew.  The course will start "at the beginning". The course is open to anyone - you do not need to be a member of Temple Emanu-El.  Participants may join at any time; however, advance registration is required.  For more information and to register, please contact Leslie Schwartz, president of Temple Emanu-El, at 585-944-2361 or email schwartzljs@gmail.com.
Leslie Schwartz
Sundays: October 27, 2013 onwards
9:00 - 10:00 AM
Fee: None

Temple Emanu-El - Intermediate Conversational Hebrew

This course is intended for folks who have some experience in Hebrew conversation and who want to increase their fluency and vocabulary.  The course is open to anyone - you do not need to be a member of Temple Emanu-El.  Participants may join at any time; however, advance registration is required.  For more information and to register, please contact Leslie Schwartz, president of Temple Emanu-El, at 585-944-2361, or email schwartzljs@gmail.com.
Jacob Vinocour
Wednesdays: October 23, 2013 onwards
7:30 - 8:30 PM
Fee: None

One on One Study for Men

Study any Jewish subject you want with your own personal teacher or in a small group. From Hebrew reading to Talmud study or anything in between

Instructor: Rabbi Avi Mammon
Date: Every Monday and Wednesday evening, ongoing
Time: 7:30pm- 8:30pm
Location: Light of Israel, 1161 Monroe Avenue
Contact: Rabbi@conglightofisrael.org / 490-3147

One on One Study for Women

Study any Jewish subject you want with your own personal teacher or in a small group. From Hebrew reading to Talmud study or anything in between

Instructor: Rabbi Avi Mammon
Date: Every Tuesday evening, ongoing
Time: 8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Location: Light of Israel, 1161 Monroe Avenue
Contact: Miriammammon@gmail.com

Jewish Living (Co-sponsored with the Jewish Federation)

This course and inclusion program is designed for adults with special learning needs who want to continue to learn more about Judaism. Participants will be actively engaged in learning more about Jewish holidays, prayers, songs, rituals, Torah lessons, and Israel.  Class sessions also include crafts, baking projects, and guest presenters.  Participation in relevant Jewish community events is scheduled throughout the year.

Instructor: Elliot Fix
Time/ Date: Wednesdays: 7:00pm-8:15pm (weekly sessions from September through May)
Location: Temple B’rith Kodesh
Fee: Please contact Elliot Fix,
efix@rochester.rr.com


BOTH: The Hillel Community Day School Adult Learning Series

Come participate in a Torah discussion! A different community rabbi or Jewish educator will facilitate on the second Thursday of each month during the school year.  Coffee and tea will be served.  Speaker and topic to be announced.
Dates: October 10, December 12, January 9, February 13, March 13, April 10, May 8, June 12
Time: 08:00 AM - 09:00 AM
Place: Hillel Community Day School
       191 Fairfield Drive
       Rochester, NY, 14620
PH: 271-6877
Contact: Melissa Nunes-Harwitt,
melissanh@gmail.com

Hebrew 1

Join Vered Tzur for beginning Hebrew classes to learn the Aleph-Bet and increase your reading skills.
Temple Beth El, 139 Winton Road South, Rochester, NY, 14610
Mondays: October 1 - May 19
6:30 - 7:30 PM
Fee: Members - $125:00
     Non-members - $150:00

Hebrew 11

Learn to speak modern conversational Hebrew with Vered Tzur
Temple Beth El, 139 Winton Road South, Rochester, NY, 14610
Wednesdays: October 9 - May 14
6:30 - 7:30 PM
Fee: Members - $125:00
     Non-members - $150:00

The Sacred Art of Writing: Tapping into your soul

Join Rabbi Freidson-King in the Beit Cafe for an hour of calm, coffee and creativity with this spiritual writing group.  Sharing is optional.  Connect with others; reconnect with yourself.
Beit Cafe, Temple Beth El, 139 Winton Road South, Rochester, NY, 14610
Sundays: October 6, November 10, December 15, January 12, February 9, March 2, April 6, May 4
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Fee: Free to members; $35:00 to non-members

Torah, Tapas and Tequila: Ancient Wisdom meets Modern World

Are you a Jewish Rochester Area Young Professional?
Are you interested in learning Torah while enjoying drinks and appetizers at CHAR?
Join Rabbi Freidson-King for a new monthly event, beginning October 9, at CHAR, the bar/restaurant at the newly renovated Strathallan Hotel to discuss How Does Technology Change Us?
Connect Jewish values with daily living in this hour long discussion designed to engage and inspire.
Wednesday, October 9
7:30 - 8:30 PM

Monday, November 18, 2013 What are you thankful for?
Wednesday, December 18, 2013 Who is in your community?
Monday, January 20, 2014 Martin Luther King Junior Day: What would you sacrifice to repair the world?
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 What have you learned so far?
Monday, March 24, 2014  Are we free?
Wednesday, April 23  What does the world need from you?
Wednesday, May 14, 2014  Where do you feel at home?

Small Conservative Shul Collaborative Torah Study

The Small Conservative Shul Collaborative Torah Study sessions have been occurring monthly for the past 4/5 years.  These sessions are a collaboration of Congregation Beth Hamedresh-Beth Israel, Temple Beth Am and Temple Beth David, and grew out of an initiative of the 3 congregations to support having lay Jews discuss and learn more about Torah portions.  The Torah study group meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 7:30 PM at BHBI (1369 East Avenue, Rochester, NY, 14610) and they have an in-depth discussion of a Torah portion for about an hour. 

Parashat Hashavua: Torah Study on the Weekly Portion:

Explore the weekly Torah Portion and the insights of our Sages with Rabbi Freidson-King.  This indepth study enables yuo to add your unique voice and perspective to the 3500 year old Jewish conversation.
Temple Beth El, 139 Winton Road South, Rochester, NY, 14610
Saturdays: December 7, February 1, April 12
10:00 - 11:00 AM
Fee: Free

Beyond the Basics 2

Join Alice Nussbaum, popular educator in the Rochester Jewish community, for the second session of "Beyond the Basics 2", a cozy drop-in for adults to learn about Jewish holidays and values in an intimate setting.  Parents and grandparents: become Jewish role models!

Passover
345 North Landing Road, Rochester, NY
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
7:00 PM
RSVP: 482 - 4666


Conversational Hebrew with Tamar Fix

JCC Yiddish Cultural Center, JCC, 1200 Edgewood Avenue, Rochester, NY, 14618
Thursdays: January 9 for ten weeks
10:00 - 11:00 AM
Contact Joy Getnick at 585 461 2000 X 239 or email jgetnick@jccrochester.org
Fee: Members - $90; Non-Members - $120


New Trends in Conservative Judaism Series:

Jewish Law within Conservative Judaism - February 24, 2014
The latest changes in Conservative Jewish Law - March 31, 2014
To live as a modern Conservative Jew means... - April 28, 2014
Rabbi Bitran
Temple Beth El, 139 Winton Road South, Rochester, NY, 14610
6:15 - 7:30 PM
Contact cconuksever@tberochester.org or call 585 473 1770
Fee: Member - $18; Non-member - $36

Introduction to Talmud and Other Jewish Texts

Rabbi Rebecca Gutterman
In this ongoing course we will continue our study of Talmud while also expanding our discussions to include other categories of Jewish literature such as Midrash and Responsa.  New and returning participants are welcome to join us as we explore the formation of these texts and how they impact Judaism as we live it today.
Summit of Brighton
Tuesdays: February 25; March 11, 25; April 29; May 13, 27
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Contact Temple B'rith Kodesh at kollel@tbk.org or call 244 - 7060 X 242

Lunch and Learn with The Women's Torah Commentary

Rabbi Rebecca Gutterman
Since its publication in 2008, The Torah: A Women's Commentary has brought the voices of women out of the shadows of our Biblical text.  Join us for a close reading and exploration of Torah, enhanced by the commentary and poetry of notable female scholars.  This class, now in its fifth year, is open to men and women.  New and returning students are welcome.
Temple B'rith Kodesh, 2131 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY, 14618
Tuesdays: February 18; March 4, 18; April 8, 22; May 6, 20
12:15 PM - 1:15 PM
Contact Temple B'rith Kodesh at kollel@tbk.org or call 244 - 7060 X 242
Fee: $36.00

Jewish Culture, History and Ethics

Beyond Borders: The History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Melton Scholars Curriculum for all adult learners!
This Scholars course provides students with a strong, text-based historical overview from the late nineteenth century through today.  Course material is designed to encourage discussion and debate, and to challenge students to appreciate the basis of the conflicting historical claims made by all sides in the conflict.  The complexity of the conflict forces students to grapple with issues of religion, culture, history, politics, economics, identity and survival - all reflected through primary sources, including newspaper articles, poetry, songs, government documents, speeches, photographs and memoirs.  The 20-lesson course will provide students with new tools for understanding and critiquing texts and events as the conflict continues to unfold.
Jewish community Center of Greater Rochester, 1200 Edgewood Avenue, Rochester, NY, 14618
Wednesdays: October 23, 30; November 6, 13, 20; December 4, 11, 18; January 8, 15, 22, 29; February 5, 12, 19, 26; March 5, 12, 19, 26
7:15 - 8:45 PM
Try the first class free!
Contact Jacqui Lipschitz at
jlipschitz@jewishrochester.org or call 461 - 0490 X 8651
Fee: $275 per student includes a student reader, partially underwritten by the Melton Scholarship Fund of the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester
This fee applies to 15 students (price will be reduced upon registration of additional students)

Halachah in a Reform Context or “Who Made You the Boss of Me?”

“One of my partners is a Modern Orthodox Jew.  At my office, we have a microwave oven which we all share.  Before he warms anything up in it, he puts a cup of water in the oven and lets it boil for a few minutes.  When I asked him why he did this he explained that it is the halachically proper way to kosher a microwave oven.  Now, since I didn’t want to be disrespectful I didn’t share my thoughts with him but, I am pretty sure that no rabbi who gave opinions in the Talmud – which forms the basis of most halachic rulings and was written between 200 CE and 500 CE -- even conceived of the notion of microwave ovens, much less thought about how to kosher one!  So how can this reflect halachah?” 

The Adult Learning specialists at the Union for Reform Judaism, in consultation with Rabbi Mark Washofsky, PhD, have developed a series of interactive lessons which focus on understanding how Reform Halachah works, and why we should care about it.  By examining and discussing various case studies addressing issues such as the ethics of nuclear war, to the disclosure of personal medical information, to whether a convert whose non-Jewish parent asks the child not to recite kaddish for him exempts the child from performing this mitzvah, you will gain a deeper understanding of – and perhaps respect for – the tenets of Reform Halachah.

Instructors: Rabbi Amy Sapowith and congregant Gil Maker
Location: Temple Sinai
Date(s): Sunday mornings, beginning in February
Time: 9:00 – 11:00  or 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m
Contact: Temple Sinai 381-6890

 

Parenting Through a Jewish Lens

Do You Love Him As Much As You Love Me?
Family Relationships in the Torah
Rabbi Sarah Freidson-King
Wednesdays: January 8, 15, 22, 29

If I Have to Tell You One More Time!
Repetition in Parenting
Rabbi Sarah Freidson-King
Wednesdays: March 5, 12, 19, 26; April 2, 9

5:30 - 6:15 PM
Fee: Free for members, Religious School and Keshet Families
     Non-members - $35:00

 

More than one life to live

Join Rabbi Rachel Smookler as she explores Jewish tales of reincarnation, midrashim on the world to come and how some modern Jewish authors interpret this mystical belief in Judaism.  From resurrection to reincarnation, we will discuss how these often divisive beliefs can play a meaningful role in our lives today.
Temple Beth El, 139 Winton Road South, Rochester, NY, 14610
Sundays: March 23, April 6 and 27
10:00 - 11:00 AM
Contact:
ckonuksever@tberochester.org or call 585 473 1770
Fee: Members - $18; Non-members - $36

The Beginning of the Jewish Kingdom

Rabbi Shaya Kilimnick
An intense study of the Book of Samuel One, as we learn about the coronations of King Saul and King David and the conflicts between them.  Encounter conversations in Jewish history, philosophy, and mysticism fueled by the insights and humor of Rabbi Shaya Kilimnick.
Temple B'rith Kodesh, 2131 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY, 14618
Tuesdays: April 1, 8, 29; May 6, 13; June 3, 10, 17, 24
Thursday: May 15
9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Contact Temple B'rith Kodesh at
kollel@tbk.org or call 244 - 7060 X 242
Fee: $36.00

The Trolley Problem and Other Moral Dilemmas: What is the right thing to do?

George Adler
What shapes our values, and how do these values lead us to respond? We will read and discuss a variety of classic and current issues which require us to examine our own concept of what is the right thing to do.  The only requirements are respectful listening to opposing viewpoints and enthusiasm for the dialogue.
Temple B'rith Kodesh, 2131 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY, 14618
Mondays: March 10, 17, 24, 31; April 7
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Contact Temple B'rith Kodesh at
kollel@tbk.org or call 244 - 7060 X 242
Fee: $36.00

97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement

Deacon Thomas Driscoll
Based on the fabulously popular 97 Orchard by Jane Ziegelman (Harper 2010), we will explore the heart and soul of New York's Lower East side, around 1900 - a city within a city - where Germans, Irish, Italians and Eastern European Jews attempted to forge a new life.  The lens of exploration is of the immigrants' stories and the foods they ate.  Ziegelman's book will be used in the course.  A variety of foods will be sampled.
Temple B'rith Kodesh, 2131 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY, 14618
Tuesdays: March 18, 25; April 1, 8
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Contact Temple B'rith Kodesh at
kollel@tbk.org or call 244 - 7060 X 242
Fee: $36.00

Interfaith Studies 

What kind of a Jew was Jesus?

Deacon Thomas Driscoll
Two thousand years ago, an itinerant Jewish preacher and miracle worker walked across the Galilee, gathering followers to establish what he called the "Kingdom of God".  The revolutionary movement he launched was so threatening to the established order that he was captured, tortured, and executed as a state criminal.  Within decades after his shameful death, his followers would call him God.  We will examine the exciting and thought-provoking work Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan (Random House, 2013).  Was Jesus a man full of conviction and passion, yet rife with contradiction? Was Jesus a practicing Jew or the founder of a new religion?
Temple B'rith Kodesh, 2131 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY, 14618
Tuesdays: April 22, 29; May 6, 13, 20
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Contact Temple B'rith Kodesh at kollel@tbk.org or call 244 - 7060 X 242
Fee: $36.00

Holocaust Studies

Holocaust Film Series

Sponsored by The Rochester Kollel and Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester's Center for Holocaust Awareness and Information (CHAI).  How is the Holocaust represented in the movies?  Do American films portray the Holocaust differently from European films? Has the portrayal of the Holocaust in film changed over time? These questions will be explored in this course.
Deacon Thomas J. Driscoll, Bonnie Abrams and Ruby Glicksman
Temple B'rith Kodesh, 2131 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY, 14618
Wednesdays: October 16 (Imaginary Witness), November 13 (Mortal Storm), December 18 (Europa Europa), January 15, February 12, March 19, April 23, May 21
7:00 - 9:30 PM
Fee: $72:00

Churchill, Roosevelt and the Jews

Deacon Thomas Driscoll
How easy it is to label political leaders and assume we know their motives.  Or to look at one incident and draw all the conclusions we need.  Perhaps events and historical decisions are not so black and white or so simple.  Perhaps the labels we assign to those living in and around the Shoah are inadequate.  The class will look at debunking the misconceptions that Churchil was the Jew's best friend and Roosevelt was anti-Semitic.  What REALLY motivated these men? What did they really accomplish with and for the Jewish community?
Temple B'rith Kodesh, 2131 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY, 14618
Monday: June 2
Tuesdays: June 10, 17, 24
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Contact Temple B'rith Kodesh at kollel@tbk.org or call 244 - 7060 X 242
Fee: $36.00

 

Holocaust Film Series

Sponsored by The Rochester Kollel and the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester's Center for Holocaust Awareness and Information (CHAI)
Deacon Thomas J. Driscoll, Bonnie Abrams and Ruby Glicksman
How is the Holocaust represented in the movies? Do American films portray the Holocaust differently from European films? Has the portrayal of the Holocaust in film changed over time? These questions will be explored in the course.
Temple B'rith Kodesh, 2131 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY, 14618
Wednesdays:  March 19: In Darkness
             April 23: God on Trial
             May 7:   The Two of Us
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Contact Temple B'rith Kodesh at kollel@tbk.org or call 244 - 7060 X 242
Fee: $36.00 (no fee for continuing students)