Programs & Classes

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. 


Talmud Study
Fridays, On-going • 5:00 - 6:00 pm 
All texts are provided in English; no experience or prior knowledge required. You really are welcome! 
See our current and past texts at www.bethelberkeley.org/talmud. For more information, contact Lisa Feldman.

Shabbat Poetry
Saturdays, 4:00 pm 
Learn more about our poetry heritage in Beth El members' homes. We read aloud one ancient and one modern Hebrew poem in translation. Lively discussions. For more information contact Florence Lewis.

Rabbi Kahn's Roots and Branches
Roots and Branches is our open-ended, on-going exploration of the central texts and ideas of the Jewish tradition. All texts in English; no homework; no prerequisites; drop-in anytime. Takes place most Sundays.

2018/2019 dates TBD.

Hannah Arendt Reading Group
The Arendt Reading Group will resume meeting on Sept. 3. 2019.  As many have noted, there are unfortunate affinities between current political and cultural processes in the world today and historical processes in the late 19th and 20th century that led to totalitarianism: waves of migrants and loss of human rights suffered by stateless peoples, economic disparity between elites and disenfranchised groups, tribal nationalism, transformations of populations today from active citizenship into mass societies and then into “mobs", co-option of the mob by autocrats. For this reason Arendt’s analysis of that development is still very relevant, and we have decided to reread Origins of Totalitarianism. Those interested in joining us are very welcome, and  have the summer to start reading. We generally discuss about 50 pages of the work at each monthly meeting. Please contact Sandra Luft, srluft@sfsu.edu

James Joyce Reading Group
Saturdays at 12:30 pm
The James Joyce Reading Group at Beth El is dedicated to reading James Joyce's Ulysses, using the Penguin Student Annotated Edition. It meets every Saturday from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm in the Beth El library. Please contact Ann Brickann.brick@comcast.net for further information, or, even better, come to the next meeting on Saturday! 

Lehrhaus Judaica

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.

Beth El Garden- Dig in the dirt, grow your own food, and create a beautiful space!
Have you been inside Beth El’s community garden? Come check out our 12 vegetable beds, where we grow corn, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh herbs, and more.