Programs & Classes
Welcome to the Congregation Beth El's Adult Education Programming.
Congregation Beth El Adult Education offers classes, programs and activities that deepen and enrich the Jewish learning of our congregants. Drawing from the rich resources of our congregation and our community, we offer a stimulating learning environment that encompasses the full range and diversity of the Jewish experience.
How to Chant Torah! Adult Ed with Rabbi Zellman
Begins Tuesday, October 22 • 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Tuesday evenings, October 22 – December 10 (No class on November 26)
Have you ever wondered how Torah chanters know what melodies to use, and where to start and stop? Have you been intrigued by the Torah’s more fabulous dots and squiggles?
These symbols are called “trope,” and they give us the Torah’s melodies, as well as punctuation and pronunciation. The system of chanting Torah is ancient, beautiful, fun and totally learnable.
No musical talent or previous familiarity is required; people of all backgrounds are welcome. The only requirement is basic ability to sound out Hebrew. Join Rabbi Zellman and fellow
community members to learn how to do this mitzvah and have a whole lot of fun. For more information, email Rabbi Zellman.
Rabbi Kahn's Roots and Branches: The Book of Psalms
Thursday, October 17 • 7:30 - 9:00 pm
(On-going through February 27)
Rabbi Yoel Kahn’s open-ended, on-going exploration of the texts and ideas of the Jewish tradition will look at the Bible’s Book of Psalms. No prerequisites, no homework; all texts are in English. Everyone is welcome.
The Beth Elders will hold a Dessert Potluck facilitated by Ann Gonski, MSW, at the home of Merle and Michael Fajans in Berkeley on Tuesday, November 12 from 7:00 - 9:00 pm.
The guest speaker, recommended by Beth El member and Architect Deborah Lane, is the principal of "Complete Construction," a firm highly respected in the field of disability access and ways to make our homes more livable for the future, including home-to-curb access with lifts.
Everyone is welcome; RSVPs are recommended. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org for the address.
Lunch & Learn
Lunch & Learn is a monthly speaker series, featuring an expert on topics including:
"Between Two Worlds: Straddling contemporary religious practice between Christians and Jews" presented by Bruce Carter on Thursday, November 14 from 12:00 - 1:30 pm.
"When Will My Grown-Up Kid Grow Up? with Elizabeth Fishel" on Thursday, December 12 from 12:00 - 1:30 pm.
Elizabeth Fishel, the author of five nonfiction books about family relationships, will discuss her newest book, When Will My Grown-Up Kid Grow Up? Loving and Understanding Your Emerging Adult (co-authored with Jeffrey Arnett). She'll share her research on twenty-somethings, the Millennials' lengthened journey to adulthood, and their search for work, love, financial security and their questions about faith and identity.
Bring a bag lunch, and participate in the discussion. For more information, contact Harry Margulius at email@example.com
People of the Book
Join the Congregation Beth El People of the Book group, for lively discussions of fascinating books!! Meetings take place on the third Thursday of the month beginning at 7:00 pm. You don’t have to read the book to attend (but it may add to your enjoyment!!).
- November 21: Jews and Words, by Amos Oz and Fania Oz-Salzberger: Novelist Oz and historian Oz-Salzberger roam the gamut of Jewish history to explain the integral relationship of Jews and words. Presented by Harry Margulius.
- December 19: Call It Sleep, by Henry Roth: the magnificent story of David Schearl, the “dangerously imaginative” child coming of age in the slums of New York. Presented by Wilma Rader.
The Beth El library has obtained copies of all these books.
People of the Book has openings for book presentations during the “Spring semester” (January through May). Books may be fiction or non-fiction, but bear in mind that they should appeal to a general audience. If you would like to present a book, please e-mail Barry Silverblatt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hannah Arendt Reading Group
A Reading Group on the writings of Hannah Arendt will be meeting on the first Tuesday of the month at 7:00 pm at Beth El, facilitated by Sandra Luft, PhD.
The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 5 at 7:00 pm. Please RSVP or contact Sandra directly for more information at email@example.com.
Lehrhaus Judaica is the Bay Area’s adult Jewish education school. Beth El partners with Lehrhaus to offer on-going Hebrew study, Introduction to Judaism classes and other programs and classes at our synagogue. Through this partnership, we are able to offer a continuous program of multi-level Hebrew study, serving everyone from beginners through advanced learners, with specialized classes in Biblical, prayer book and modern language. For current offerings, please see the Lehrhaus course catalog.