Lifelong Learning for Adults

The Shir Tikvah 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, life cycle events, and Shabbat. Our learning will cultivate Jewish identity, build community and inspire us to live in harmony with our Jewish ethics.

Summer 2016 Adult Learning Opportunities

iEngage Engaging Israel: Foundations for a New Relationship- Mondays, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm June 6th to July 25th (except July 4th)

Join Rabbinic Intern Meir Bargeron, who is returning from a year in Jerusalem, with Rabbi Debra Rappaport, for a series of in-depth conversations about Israel. Seven sessions will include video lectures from leading scholars from the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, study of Jewish texts and scintillating conversation on themes that include Religion and Peoplehood, Sovereignty and Identity, Power and Powerlessness, War and Occupation, Jewish and Democratic State.

The goal of the Shalom Hartman Institute’s iEngage project is to create a new narrative regarding the significance of Israel for Jewish life. This narrative will serve as a foundation for a new covenant between Israel and world Jewry, elevating the existing discourse to one rooted in Jewish values and ideas.

Tuition is $110 and includes all sessions and materials.

Open to all levels of learners, with the assumption that participants will do specified background readings before each session.

Register Here

Jewish Sparks This course is open to all levels of learners and is appropriate for those who want to know more about their Jewish heritage as well as those exploring conversion.

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 in inside us that animate Jewish life? What are those words of our tradition that ignite hope and the call to justice? The spark that demands we confront fear with compassion, that we make our world a better place for our children and the creatures of the earth? Those of us who grew up in the liberal Jewish world may not have learned – or remembered – much about the richness of Jewish life, or how our Jewish traditions can nourish our daily lives and work in the world. 

Unit 4  SPARKS OF REDEMPTION & RENEWAL  (Fall 2016)  Taught by Rabbis Latz and Rabbi Rappaport.

5 Mondays (August 15 & 29, September 12, 19, 26) 6:30 - 8 pm & 2 Sundays (October 16 , 23) 6 - 8 pm
Here is your chance to go deep into the teachings and meanings of the High Holy Days season. We will form a cohort to learn together and accompany one another on the journey from Tisha B’Av through Simchat-Torah. As appropriate, we will also explore Mussar Middot – personal qualities that we want to cultivate, with tools for how to do so.

Participants will do specified background readings before each session covering some of the foundations of Jewish literacy so that when we meet we can go deeper into the topics and how they relate to our lives and world today.

Monday, August 15 – Tisha B’Av, Tu B’Av, and the Season of Turning Inward

Monday, August 29 – Teshuvah, the work of Elul

Monday, September 12 – Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year

Monday, September 19 – the Ten Days of Awe

Monday, September 26 – Yom Kippur

Sunday, October 16 – Sukkot & Shmini Atzeret

Sunday, October 23 – Simchat Torah and Siyyum - Closing

Register Here 

Cost is $100, which includes all 7 classes of the Unit.
Scholarships are available - no student will be turned away. For more information, please contact the office at 612.822.1440.

Adult B’nei Mitzvah - Two year program. Requires enrollment in Jewish Sparks class and Beginning Hebrew class (see above) as well as ongoing participation in services, rituals and in serving the needs of the Shir Tikvah community.  For further details, contact Rabbi Rappaport

Beloved Conversations: Meditations on Race - Watch here for continuing programming

Beit Midrash with the Rabbis: Exploring Jewish Questions, Mysteries & Ideas from the Talmud to Today

Sundays 9:30-11:30 at Shir Tikvah

Dive deeply into great Jewish texts with a teacher and with one another. Each session includes an introduction by a rabbi or scholar, followed by chavruta

study (a special learning relationship, with a holy text and a partner) and a facilitated wrap-up at the end.

March 20: Rabbi Jeffrey Schein "Teens, Tweens & Texting: Support from Our Tradition"

April 3: Rabbi Alan Shavit-Lonstein: “Many Faces of Wisdom: Sacred Texts from the Torah and the New Testament”

April 10: Rabbi Debra Rappaport "Preparing a Lively Seder: The Four Children in All of Us"

April 17: Wendy Goldberg "Ethical wisdom For When Life (Parenting) is Challenging" – PART 2

May 8: Forrest Yesnes - "Jewish Life Continues beyond Religious School... But How?!"

How’s your Hebrew?

If you know the letters but want to take it to the next level and learn some meanings, join the Adult Hebrew class "Alef Isn't Enough" beginning Wednesday January 20th. Amaze yourself with how quickly you can begin to understand the words of the siddur (prayer book). Taught by Matt Levitt.

The first class, January 20, will be a review of the letters and vowels. This first class is free and open to the community! Come check it out, review your Hebrew, and see if the class is right for you.

“Alef Isn’t Enough will meet Wednesdays, 6:30-8 p.m. 

January 20 and 27; February 3, 10, 17, 24; March 2, 6, 16 [no class on the 23rd or 30th]; April 6 and 13.

Register Here

Cost: $125, including textbook.

Monthly Mussar - FULL

Beginning September 17 at Shir Tikvah Congregation, co-sponsored with Hineni and Adath Jeshurun Congregation - Registration Closed

After our Community program on August 20th, those who want to devote themselves to a practice of Mussar are invited to join a Va’ad (community of practice) which will meet 7:00 -8:30 pm the third Thursday of the month, September through June (except April – 2nd Thursday). Support between meetings will also be provided. Cost TBD Facilitated by Rabbis Debra Rappaport and Amy Eilberg.

“Mussar” (literally, “instruction”) is an ancient Jewish system of teachings and practices meant to develop character, elevate the soul, and invite Jews more deeply into righteous living. Mussar has undergone a revival in our day, as large numbers of Jewish leaders and community members have recognized the potential of Mussar to facilitate spiritual and moral growth. Through group discussion, text study, personal journaling, and spiritual exercises, group members will explore qualities of the soul such as humility, equanimity, responsibility, patience, and trust. The middot (qualities of the soul) will be studied and explored with the explicit goal of applying them in our lives.

Wise Aging - Currently the class is full

What is Wise Aging?

“Old age is not a defeat, but a victory, not a punishment but a privilege. The test of a people is how it behaves toward the old…mankind’s potential for change and growth is much greater than we are willing to admit, and old age can be regarded not as the age of stagnation but as the age of opportunities for inner growth.” – Abraham Joshua Heschel

“Wise Aging” refers to a vision of how we can grow in our later years with consciousness and joy, within a supportive community. During this session, facilitated by Rabbi Debra Rappaport, we will explore the question, “What is this stage of life?”

Shir Tikvah’s Wise Aging cohort will meet approximately twice per month from mid-October (after the High Holy Days) until mid-April (before Passover). Specific meeting times and dates will be determined by the availability of the majority of interested participants. A copy of the book will be included with registration fees; we ask that participants contribute a minimum of $60 ($5/session) and ideally $216 (equivalent to $18 or chai per session). 
Thoughtful Jewish Parenting  - Currently on hold until further notice

Ongoing & Free Learning Activities:

Morning Minyan Every Thursday at 7:45 am
Start your Thursdays with a rich and meaningful weekday service. Learn about and go deeper into prayer.

Torah Study: An Exodus Journey:  Second Wednesdays of the month from 12:15pm-1:30pm.  Word by word, phrase by phrase, each month we explore approximately 12-14 verses of Torah. Join us as we journey through the book of Exodus.To be added to the email reminder list contact Gayle. All are welcome to participate.

Petach libi: Second Shabbat morning of the month, 9:30-10:30 AM. Open your Heart to the Power of Jewish Prayer: Join Rabbi Latz as we dive deeper into Jewish prayer. This ongoing monthly project seeks to open up our Siddur and make Jewish spirituality more accessible to all. 

Ten Minutes of Torah We are delighted to partner with the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) to bring Jewish study right to your inbox. Five days a week, the URJ publishes Ten Minutes of Torah, a daily email providing opportunities to study a commentary on the week’s Torah portion, read about a significant moment in Jewish history, connect with life in Israel, or learn about an upcoming holiday. In just ten minutes, you can add to your Jewish knowledge. You can even read Ten Minutes of Torah on the go with your smart phone or tablet.Sign up today for this special version of Ten Minutes of Torah. It only takes 10 minutes a day to get started on a lifetime of Jewish learning. Begin today!

Adult Education Events and Classes - Click on event to Register


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