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

In light of the current situation with COVID-19, we have suspended in-person meetings for all of our classes and events until further notice. Our classes will continue to run virtually via Zoom.

If you would like to join a class at any time, you can register with the links below, or contact Brigid Goggin to register and receive Zoom instructions. 

Adult Jewish Learning

Since its inception in 1854, Temple Israel has been 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.

The Center for Adult Jewish Learning at Temple Israel of Boston continues this tradition as a hub for intellectual discovery, cultural exploration, and personal meaning-making for the Greater Boston Area with a diverse offering  of classes, community events, and trips. Whether you are learning about Judaism for the first time, embarking on a new stage in your Jewish life, or a life-long learner looking to connect with local scholars, there is something for you.

Everyone is welcome here. Join us, spread the word, and invite your friends. We never want cost to be prohibitive to your participation in our programs. To inquire about scholarships, or to learn more about the Center, please contact Brigid Goggin, Managing Director, at

Current Classes - Summer Session 2020

Our summer classes are all virtual and open to everyone. Learn more and register below.

Introduction to Jewish Spiritual Tools: Nurturing Your Inner Life

with Andrew Oberstein
Wednesdays, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.
8 sessions, starting June 17
Free class via Zoom

Preparing to Prepare for the High Holidays

with Rabbi Elaine Zecher
Thursdays, 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
6 sessions, starting June 25
Free class via Zoom

The History of the State of Israel: Zionism through 2020

with Uri Feinberg
Tuesdays, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
5 sessions, starting July 21
Virtual class via Zoom
Sliding scale registration

Yoga & Torah: Month of Tammuz

Wednesdays, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
4-week series, June 24- July 15
Free class. Meets virtually on Zoom

The TI Yeshiva: Learn to Read the Talmud

with Rabbi Suzie Jacobson
Tuesdays, 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
Meets weekly, ongoing.
No cost.

For the Perplexed: Reading Maimonides Together

with Rabbi Suzie Jacobson
Fridays, 2:00 – 3:00 .m.
Meets weekly, ongoing.
No cost.

A Taste of Judaism®

with Andrew Oberstein
Tuesdays, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
3 sessions, starting July 14
Free class via Zoom

Mussar: Becoming Your Finest Self

with Rabbi Jen Gubitz
Wednesdays, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
6 sessions, starting June 3
Free class via Zoom

Upcoming Events

Chasing Social Justice: How Do We Advance the Work that Matters Most?

Reading and Discussion with Author Laurie Sherman

Thursday, August 6 at 7:00 p.m.
Temple Israel member Laurie Sherman has published her first book, and it couldn’t be more timely, as the title reveals: CHASING SOCIAL JUSTICE: How Do We Advance the Work that Matters Most? The book, both somber and humorous, is a mix of stories from lived experience plus political analysis, based on lessons from movements of the past three decades.

Join us for this interactive online event, as Laurie reads some excerpts from the book and leads us in a discussion about how the lessons can apply to the challenges of today: the pandemic, work to address racism, and the 2020 election.

This event is free and open to the public. Click here to register and receive the Zoom link.  Contact Brigid Goggin directly at with questions.

To read the book beforehand, you can purchase the paperback or e-book from a local independent bookstore by clicking here. Or for more information on the book or on Laurie’s work, visit


About Laurie Sherman:
Over the past three decades, Laurie has held leadership and management positions in public health, educational equity, neighborhood organizing, and human rights. She served as a policy advisor for Tom Menino, Boston’s longest-serving mayor. While working for Mayor Menino, Laurie spearheaded the creation of the city’s plan to prevent the academic achievement gap in the next generation of students. For the past five years she served as Executive Vice President at Thompson Island Outward Bound in the Boston Harbor.

Laurie earned a Master’s degree in Management and Social Policy from Brandeis University’s Heller Graduate School and an undergraduate degree from Brown.

A member of Temple Israel for almost 20 years, Laurie lives in Brookline with her new husband (!) Jim and various of her three young adult offspring who come and go from college and graduate school.


Temple Israel’s committed learners are honored with the “Chochmat Lev, A Learned Heart” certificate by completeing five courses over any length of time within our five categories of learning:

  • History
  • Justice, Politics, and Contemporary Issues
  • Bible, Rabbinics, and Philosophy
  • Arts and Culture
  • Spirituality

Temple Israel has been a congregation of tremendous learning for many years. Our dedicated learners honor us, lift us up, and help to define our community. The “Chochmat Lev, A Learned Heart” certificate allows us to honor our Learned Hearts as well as our Generous Hearts (Nadiv Lev), and to see that both are needed in the ongoing work of building this sacred community.

Past Brochures

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