Shir Tikvah Lifelong Learning Programs for 5780 (2019-20)

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Our Vision for Lifelong Learning

Shir Tikvah will be a welcoming, sacred Jewish community of learners of every age, ability, perspective, and background. Learners will engage in holy conversations about Torah, concepts of God, Judaism, Israel, and relevant issues of today's world in all their exhilarating, challenging, and profound forms. We will encounter innovative and flexible learning models in rhythm with Jewish holidays, lifecycle events, and Shabbat. Our learning will cultivate Jewish identity, build community and inspire us to live in harmony with our Jewish ethics.

Multi-Week Lifelong Learning Opportunities

What follows are multi-week courses during which participants experience both deep learning and developing meaningful relationships.

Please register in advance with your time and financial commitment; contact Alison Olig for questions about payment options.

Jewish Sparks

Inside every Jew, the Rabbis teach, is a n’kudah tovah – a spark of holiness, goodness – a unique gift that no one else in the world has. The mystics explain that this is a spark of divine holiness, the chamber of our souls. What are those sparks  inside us that animate Jewish life? How can our Jewish traditions nourish those sparks in our daily lives and work in the world?

Shir Tikvah’s Sparks series is designed for people of all backgrounds who want to dig deeply into Jewish heritage and contemporary relevance - whether you grew up Jewish or are exploring conversion. Each session has at-home reading to prepare in advance, so that when we meet we can go deeply into the topics and how they relate to our lives and world today.

2019-2020 Sparks of Jewish Time

Judaism marks times in ways that are linear and cyclical.

The next series of courses explores Jewish time through the annual holidays and the unique moments we ritualize over our lifetimes. 

Sparks of Shabbat

Shir Tikvah Clergy

Philosophy, theology, and how-to’s of Shabbat

January 6-February 2 (5 sessions)


Sparks of Shabbat 2019 Registration

Winter and Spring Holiday Sparks

Shir Tikvah Clergy

Learn the meanings and how-to’s of Jewish spring holidays through an environmental lens, including our relationship with the lands in which Jews live. 

February 24, March 2 (Purim); March 23, March 30, April 6 (Passover and Omer); April 20 (Yom HaShoah - Holocaust Remembrance); April 27 (Modern Israeli Holidays); May 11, May 18 (Shavuot); 9 sessions


Spring 2020 Sparks Registration

Beginning or Refreshing: Prayerbook Hebrew*

Mondays 7:30-8:45pm

Hebrew is the language with which we talk to God! If you are new to Hebrew, and/or interested in an adult b’nei-mitzvah, this class is for you.* Learn with b’nei mitzvah tutor and experienced teachers.


Winter/Spring 2020Alef Isn’t Enough

February 24 - May 18 (11 sessions, no class 3/9, April 13) 

Alef Isn’t Enough is for those who are familiar with the Aleph-Bet and are looking for some support putting the letters together, practicing prayers, and learning some root words. 

$118 (Minimum 10 people)

Register here


*If you know your letters and vowels, you may join in the winter or spring session or you may want to learn Hebrew at the college level on Tuesday and Thursday nights with Hineni

Shlemut: Jewish visions for living authentically and with purpose

Rabbi Rappaport

Mondays November 11 & 25, December 9 & 16, 6:30 - 8:15 pm (plus a Sunday workshop on December 1, time TBD by participants) 

With so many things competing for our attention (some worthy and some not), many of us need extra support for returning to our own centers and remembering what matters. In this workshop, we will explore some of Judaism’s best tools and teachings for resilience. Specific practices include: spiritual qualities to cultivate for wellbeing; exploring the wisdom in our prayers; hitbodedut - calling out to God; silence; time in nature; creative expression; journaling; and more


Register here


The Inner Light of Hanukkah: A Celebration of Practice & Learning

December 8, 12:30-2:00pm, Shir Tikvah Sanctuary

Jewish mindfulness and contemplative practices are powerful tools for experiencing a deeper and more meaningful connection to daily life and to Judaism. For two decades, IJS (The Institute for Jewish Spirituality) has taught Jewish spiritual practices -- including mindfulness meditation, text study, prayer, and singing -- that engage the head, heart, body, and soul.

Join us on Sunday, December 8, 2019 for 90 minutes of revitalizing practice prepare for the festival of Hanukkah and celebrate IJS’s 20th anniversary. Using online video technology, we will join together with participants across the country (& around the world!).

Free of charge; donations welcome! No registration necessary


Jewish Medical Ethics: A 21st Century Discussion

Melton Course, co-sponsored by Hineni

Taught by Rabbi Lynn Liberman, Board-Certified Chaplain

Mondays, 7:00-8:30pm; January 13-April 13 (ten sessions)

Within the field of ethics, one of the most challenging frontiers is medical ethics. While contemporary medical knowledge preserves life, modern advances have raised moral and ethical dilemmas related to the sanctity and dignity of life—issues whose scope was unimaginable a generation ago. Written by Rabbi Elliot Dorff, PhD, Jewish Medical Ethics explores Jewish approaches to a number of 21st century ethical issues, including human cloning, surrogate motherhood, genetic identity, assisted suicide, and genetic manipulation. CEU’s available.

Jan 13: Introduction and The Cloning of Plants, Animals and Humans

Jan 20: Genetic Interventions and the Termination of Pregnancy

Jan 27: Surrogate Motherhood & Multiple Parents

Feb 3: Sperm Banking and Posthumous Sperm Retrieval

Feb 10: Genetic Identity

Feb 17: Genetic Testing

Feb 24: Pain Management and Drug Addiction

March 2: Passive Euthanasia: Heroic Efforts vs Letting Nature Take its Course

March 16: Assisted Suicide/Aid in Dying

$250; Register at


Talmudic Folktales

Rabbi David Thomas 

Co-sponsored with Hineni

Wednesdays, 6:30-8:00 pm March 4 - April 1

Rabbi Thomas has collected dozens of wonderfully subversive, multi-vocal folktales from the Talmud mined from the work of Yonah Fraenkel and others. These tales cover a wide range of universal human questions which the rabbis felt safest embedding in stories, rather than in halachic (legal) discourse. Texts are in English and Hebrew and the teaching is interactive and discussion based. Topics include: Free-will vs. Predetermination, Miracles: Can’t live with em, Can’t live without em, Confronting mortality, and more.

$72; register here

Ongoing Lifelong Learning Opportunities

Torah Study: A Numbers Journey 

2nd & 4th Fridays of the month 12:15pm-1:30pm

Word by word, phrase by phrase, each month we explore approximately 12-14 verses of Torah. Join us as we complete our journey through the book of Numbers. To be added to the email reminder list contact Gayle Zoffer. All are welcome to participate.

Shabbat Morning Torah Study with Rabbi David Thomas

Second Saturday of the month, 9:00-10:15 am, resuming Fall 2019

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