Qabbalat Shabbat: Friday, 6:00 p.m. Torah Study: Saturday, 9:00-11:00 a.m. Weekday Minyan: 6:15 p.m.

Center for Adult Jewish Learning

Adult Jewish Learning

In Pirkei Avot, the rabbis give this advice for our Torah study – "Turn it, and turn it, for everything is in it. Reflect on it and grow old and gray with it. Don't turn from it, for nothing is better than it.” Join us as we mine the richness of our tradition, turning it and exploring it as we discover new wisdom for our generation.

Spring 2018 Town Hall Events

Inclusion Shabbat with Nataly Zukerman

March 23 at 6:00 p.m.

Nataly Zukerman is a Jewish-Israeli performance artist who produces projects in the field of disability arts. At the age of 12 she was severely injured at a summer camp and suffered from a severe neural back injury. Today, her disability is almost invisible and she does not fulfill the typical stereotype of a disabled woman, creating a dissonance between the physical visibility and the internal experience.

“The Last Act” at Calderwood Pavilion’s Martin Hall

May 19, 4:00 p.m.

“Theatre should be dangerous, or else it should not be!” snarls Gilly. This fiery, sexy drama portrays the Palestinian-Israeli conflict with a play on Strindberg’s Miss Julie. Relentless and demanding, pulsing with passion and power and deception and sensuality, this intensely potent combination of Israeli culture, political firestorm, and human emotion represents the best theater can offer. This is a full production from Israeli Stage.

Feinberg Lecture with Etai Friedman

April 6 at 6:00 p.m.

It has been 50 years since the start of the Israeli military occupation over Palestinian territories, and 22 years since the end of the Oslo Accords, which means that majority of the population in the Middle East today has been born into this reality. Moreover, any teenager whose formative years followed 1995, does not know what it’s like to possess legitimate hope for peace. Amidst such a reality, in which the word collaboration often has a negative connotation, MEET, The Middle East Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow, brings together Israeli and Palestinian bright young leaders to create positive social and political change through technology and entrepreneurship.

Wyner Lecture with Rabbi Anisfeld

June 8, 6:00 p.m.

It has long been considered a truism that Israeli society is deeply divided between “hilonim” and “dati’im” — between secular and religious Jews — but a more nuanced picture can be seen in the writing of contemporary Israeli poets over the last several decades. Many self-identified “secular” writers wrestle deeply in their poetry with their relationship to Jewishness, to the legacy of the Bible and rabbinic texts, and to the personal search for God.

The Tent Hosts Avi Wisnea

April 9 at 6:00 p.m.

In 2015, Singer, Songwriter & Storyteller Avi Wisnia returned to Poland with his grandfather, Cantor & Holocaust survivor David S. Wisnia. Together, they visited the city of Warsaw where David grew up, performed music and led services for a new generation of Jews in Poland, and revisited the infamous death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau where David Wisnia was a prisoner for nearly 3 years. Through story and song, Avi Wisnia recounts his travels with his grandfather and the profound journey of tracing his grandfather’s footsteps from child singing prodigy to Auschwitz survivor to American soldier.

Welcome to the Center for Adult Jewish Learning

Since Temple Israel’s inception in 1854, we have been a center for Jewish living and learning in the Greater Boston area. We are known as a place committed to deep Jewish scholarship, a community that is unafraid to ask the difficult questions and think about Judaism in new and exciting ways. Temple Israel is a synagogue where some of the greatest Jewish teachers, preachers, and learners have gathered to find deeper meaning, understand our shared history, and incubate ideas for a new generation.

Building upon the wonderful Torah study, clergy teaching, and learning opportunities that are already staples in our yearly calendar, in the 5777 year we are proud to introduce a new educational venue for the Greater Boston Jewish community: The Center for Adult Jewish Learning at Temple Israel.

The Center presents adult learning in four primary “locations”: The Open Door, introductory courses and content such as introduction to Judaism and basic Hebrew classes; The Town Hall, large events for the larger community, including our endowed lecture series; The Classroom, varied opportunities to explore Jewish content in small groups with TI clergy, and local rabbis and scholars; and The Beit Midrash, learning experiences cultivated and facilitated by TI members, particularly TILLI, our initiative for life-long learners. See what we’re offering this year in each of our four locations:

Sample some of our past programs:

Burstein Scholar-in-Residence

In 1979, Maxwell and Bobbie Burstein endowed an annual Scholar-in-Residence program to broaden Temple Israel’s educational program, recognizing the importance of knowledge to the continuity of the Jewish people. The lecture series brings outstanding Jewish scholarship to Temple Israel and the Greater Boston Jewish community.

Peter Fox-Penner, 2017

Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson


Rabbi Aaron Panken, Ph.D.


Rudolph H. and Sara G. Wyner Lecture Series

This lectures series celebrates Rudolph Wyner’s love of Jewish art and folkways. The series was later renamed the Rudolph H. and Sara G. Wyner Lecture Series after his wife’s death.

Dr. Samuel Thomas and ASEFA, 2017

Rose Feinberg Memorial Lecture Series

Rose Feinberg was a religious school teacher at Temple Israel for more than two decades. The Israel-centered program, endowed in 1982 in her honor, serves as a living tribute to a woman with a great love of Israel and Jewish learning.

Joshua Sobol, 2017

Herbert M. Karol Musical Weekend

In 1990, the Karol family endowed Temple Israel’s longtime Annual Music Service in honor of their father, Herbert M. Karol, a trombone player and lover of music. The service is a liturgical celebration of Jewish music and composers.

Saul Kaye, 2015

Noah Aronson, 2016

Joy Ungerleider Jewish Book Month Program

The Joy Ungerleider Jewish Book Month Program is an endowed lecture series established in memory of author, curator, philanthropist, and visionary Joy Ungerleider by the Dorot Foundation, and is under the supervision of the Temple Israel Library Committee.

Barney Frank, 2015

Michelle Ephraim, 2016

Carl Steinbaum Lecture

In 1999, Ellen Steinbaum endowed an annual lecture series in memory of her husband, Carl Steinbaum, who died in 1996, in appreciation of the warmth and intellectual inquisitiveness of the Temple Israel community. The lecture series celebrates Carl Steinbaum’s love of Judaism and history.

Dr. Jacqueline Vayntrub, 2016