Adult & Family Education

The Temple Israel Adult and Family Education committee's goal is to offer classes of interest to the whole Temple Israel community – for all ages, interests, and backgrounds. We hope you will find something listed here that will pique your curiosity. We welcome your ideas for new programs and events. Would you like to learn to chant from the Torah? Read Hebrew? Attend a Shabbat learner's service? Make your own tallit?

Check back frequently for new programs and speakers that will be added throughout the year. Join our mailing list by sending your name and email address to

If you have ideas for classes or programs, or would like to get involved, please contact the committee chair, Janet Aronson:

NEW! Join the Adult and Family Education email list to stay up-to-date on upcoming programs and events. Emails will be sent approximately monthly. Subscribe by clicking here.

Our Programs

Temple Israel’s Adult & Family Education Committee has some exciting programs planned for the entire community in the coming year! View these and more, from other TI arms and committees, listed in our Gates of Learning 2017-18 program guide (opens new PDF page).


TI Reads

Temple Israel's popular book club:
Nov. 1 at 7:45 pm (The Zookeeper's Wife), Jan. 23 at 7:45 pm (film: The Women's Balcony), Mar. 12 (Judas) at 7:45 pm

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Join Margie Maidman and the community for a book discussion. November's book is The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman: “A true story in which the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo saved hundreds of people from Nazi hands.”  
In January, we will watch and discuss The Women's Balcony. Finally, in March, we will discuss Judas by Amos Oz: “At once an exquisite love story and a coming-of-age novel, Judas offers a surprising perspective on the state of Israel and the biblical tale from which it draws its title.”

Please consider a donation of $18 to cover the costs of this program. Click here and choose Adult & Family Ed, and type TI Reads in the In Honor Of box or send a check to the office with TI Reads in the memo section.


Shabbat Torah Table Talks

Shabbat Torah Table Talks return after services on October 28 with a new format. After kiddush, join a lively discussion as we explore the topics and issues that will be raised during that morning's sermon or parsha. Bring your food and join us in the Lang Galleria.

Conversational Hebrew

This class returns for beginner and intermediate levels of Hebrew and is taught by Brandeis University instructor Esther Shorr. 
Meets at Temple Israel Nov. 16, 30, Dec. 7, 14, 21, 28, Jan. 4, 11 from  7:30-8:45pm. Cost is $250 for 8 sessions, plus materials. We need a minimum of 4 students to run the class, so sign up now!
Email  or for more info or to register.

Ritual Round Robin – Hands-On Learning Workshop

Sunday morning, January 7, 2018
Through hands-on learning for all ages, try out synagogue and home-based Jewish rituals like having an aliya to the Torah, making kiddush, and blowing the shofar. More info to come.
Sponsored by Ritual Committee and Adult & Family Education

Family Havdalah & Games

Feb. 10, March 24 late afternoon
Following on last year’s success, please join us again for schmoozing and board games for all ages, followed by a family-oriented Ma’ariv and Havdalah service led by our clergy. Light refreshments will be served.

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A Game of Thrones: Studying the Biblical Text of Samuel 1

Tuesdays (6 weeks), starting March 20, 2018
With Maureen Mintz. Turbulent times call for steady, sober leadership. Can the nation survive with a Commander-in-Chief who might not be up to the task? Let's explore together—using text, art, poetry and our own thoughts—the way the first book of Samuel examined the challenge of leadership over 2500 years ago. This class meets you right where you are: with or without previous knowledge or Hebrew skills.
Cost: $36 for the series








Divrei shalom v’emet Nov 30 2017.jpg

Divrei Shalom v'Emet -
Words of Peace and Truth:
The Jewish State and the unrealized dream of Zionism

November 30 at 7:45 pm at Temple Israel
Rabbis Fish and Silverman of Temple Israel joined with Rabbi Meszler of Temple Sinai and Rabbi Cheses of Young Israel to discuss their different yet overlapping views of God, Torah and Israel.  This is the 2nd meeting of this group of rabbis to discuss their ideas. This session focused on the nature of Judaism in Israel today. If you missed this great panel discussion live, please click here for an audio recording.

Me'ah Select: Muslims and Jews

11 Thursday nights starting February 1, 2018, 7:30-9:30pm AT Temple Sinai
With Alan Verskin, Ph.D., assistant professor of history at the University of Rhode Island. By looking at case studies of Muslim-Jewish relations in Spain, Iraq, Egypt and Syria, we will try to identify the religious and social factors that led to toleration or persecution of Jews in those lands historically, and in the Middle East today. Me’ah Select is a single semester of classes that is open to all.
Sponsored by Adult & Family Education with Hebrew College, CJP, and Temple Sinai

Featured (past) Program:
Scholar in Residence Weekend
November 3-5, 2017
A&FE Scholar in Residence:
Rachel Fish, Ph.D., Associate Director,
Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University

•       Friday Evening: Israel on Campus – only for high school and college students. Dr. Fish will lead this special program for high school and college students to help them prepare to respond to the discussions and debate about Israel they’ll encounter on the college campus. Includes Shabbat dinner and services.

•       Shabbat Morning: One Hundred Years Since Balfour - November 2, 2017 marks the 100 year anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, asserting the British government’s support for the establishment of a Jewish homeland. Dr. Fish will speak about the meaning of that historic event a century ago, and what it means for Israel and the Middle East today. Dr. Fish will introduce the topic during Shabbat morning services. Services will be followed by a festive Kiddush luncheon. Dr. Fish’s talk will begin after Kiddush, approximately 12:45 in the afternoon in the sanctuary. 

•       Saturday Evening at 7:30 pm: Relax, nosh, sing and shmooze at our Israeli-style coffee house! Featuring a sing-along led by George Aronson and Israeli dancing led by Eric Pomerantz. 

•       Sunday Morning: Israel on Campus – for all adults, including high school and college students and their parents. Dr. Fish’s final talk of the weekend will help us all understand the myths and reality about the contentious debate regarding Israel on the college campus, and how that debate fits within the larger geopolitical context. Breakfast begins at 10:00, talk begins at 10:30. Cost is $20. Please register using the link below.

Scholar in Residence Weekend is sponsored by Adult & Family Education and Brotherhood.