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Adult Education Classes


The Adult Version of the Book of Esther Taught be TEE Congregant Marvin Schwab (Sunday, March 1, 10:15am-11:15am,) It is Purim, the time of costumes, children’s carnivals and the reading of the Magillah. It is a happy holiday and traditionally the original Jewish gift giving holiday. However, is there a darker side hidden in all the noisy merrymaking? What could possibly be hidden in a holiday based on a text which begins with a six month party and then gets down to the serious drinking, resulting in a king banishing his queen into exile? Is Purim the embodiment the classic definition of a Jewish Holiday: They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat? If so, why did we turn it into a children’s holiday?
Taught by Rabbi Marvin Schwab
Cost: Free

Beginning Adult Hebrew Taught by TEE Dir of Education, Phil Hankin, on either Sunday afternoons (12:45pm-1:45pm) or Wednesday evenings (5pm-6pm). 
Classes begin Sunday Oct 13 and Wed Oct 16

Whether you are interested in learning your Aleph/Bet or beginning the process of wanting to become an adult B’nai Mitzvah, come and learn Hebrew from our
Director of Education in a fun and interactive manner.

Cost: $36 for supplies

Adult B’nai Mitzvah Cohort Taught by TEE Clergy and Dir of Education, Phil Hankin

Our two year Adult B’nai Mitzvah program (concluding in May 2021) provides a chance for adults who have never had a Bar/Bat Mitzvah to participate in group study that will culminate in being called to the Torah and leading Shabbat Services for the entire congregation.

This program is designed only for those members of Temple Emanu-El who want to broaden their Judaic knowledge and experience. Past participants have commented that the B’nai Mitzvah experience has helped strengthen their Jewish identity and enhanced their connections to our Jewish community in ways they never imagined. It is a moving and emotional experience and one that you will always cherish. (Enrolling in Beginning Adult Hebrew a Pre-requisite)

Cost: TBD

Fasts, Feasts, and Festivals: The Jewish Year:  Taught by TEE congregant and Chair of the Ritual Committee, Branden Frederick (10:15am-11:15am, Sundays; Oct. 6, 20; Nov 3, 10)
Some festivals we celebrate together as a community, some we observe quietly at home, and some we don’t even acknowledge. Join our discussion as we delve into the Hebrew Calendar, de-mystifying the minor holidays, and deepening our understanding of the major ones. We’ll look at the prayers central to each of the festivals, talk about their historic roots, match the holidays up with the agricultural cycle, and seek to understand Reform Judaism’s unique approach towards these ancient (and not-so-ancient) observances.

Cost: $18 for TEE members; $25 for non-TEE members

Introduction to Judaism: Taught by various Rabbis. See Description (7pm-9pm, Tuesdays; Oct 29—May 5, 2020 ; no class 11/26, 12/24, 12/31, 3/10, 4/7, 4/14 )
An overview of the Jewish life-cycle, holidays, and ritual. Students will gain an understanding of Jewish belief, history, and calendar, and gain exposure to important Jewish books including the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud. Each session includes thirty minutes of Hebrew instruction. Please note that the class location rotates among local synagogues and the JCC based on which rabbi is teaching that day. For class locations, please check the syllabus (available this fall). 

Instructors: Rabbi Berkenwald of Congregation Sinai, Rabbi Aron of Congregation Shir Hadash, Rabbi Alpert of

Congregation Beth David, Rabbi Magat of Temple Emanu-El, and Rabbi Seid-Valencia of the APJCC. To join this ongoing class, please contact Maya Jacobson at to receive the syllabus and other class materials.

Cost: $180 for all attendees

Hillel and Shammai Taught by TEE congregant Rabbi Marvin Schwab (Sunday November 24, 10:15am-11:15am)

Can rivals be friends? Hillel is well known for his formulation of the “Golden Rule” and for his warmer more welcoming persona? What did Shammai contribute to all of this? What can we learn from the conduct of these two sages? What does the Talmud ultimately tell us about this pair?

Cost: $5 for TEE members; $10 for non-TEE members

Finding God: Taught by TEE congregant Rabbi Marvin Schwab (7pm-8pm, Wednesdays; Nov 6, 13, 20; Dec 4, 11)
Judaism is not a static museum piece. It evolves and responds to the new challenges that changing societal pressures, world views and technology present it. Motor vehicles, electricity and organ transplantation were never mentioned in the Bible, yet Traditional Judaism has developed responses to each of these developments. And the same is true for God. In each era of our long history, the way our Tradition has come to see God has varied. Some elements tend to remain the same, others not. Are you most comfortable with a "Limited Theology?" Do you prefer a theology that has God determining the life of every sparrow and every leaf that will fall from a tree? From Biblical, to Ancient Rabbinic, to Modern, and Post Holocaust, come and explore the ways that Jews have tried to cope with a changing and abiding relationship with God.

Cost: $18 for TEE members; $25 for non-TEE members

The Maccabees: Heroes or Villains Taught by TEE congregant Rabbi Marvin Schwab (Sunday December 15, 10:15am-11:15am)

We all identify the Maccabees with Chanukah, and we celebrate their victory over the Greco-Assyrians every year. However, if they were so wonderful, why was the Book of Maccabees not included in the Jewish Bible? Was there really a Chanukah miracle? Why did the ancient rabbis insert a slam against the Maccabees in the Traditional blessing after the reading of the Haftarah? What is the connection of Maccabees to the Dead Sea Scrolls?

Cost: $5 for TEE members; $10 for non-TEE members

Temple Emanu-El Members, please login to your account to access member pricing.


Fri, August 14 2020 24 Av 5780