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 are suspending in-person meetings for all of our classes and events until further notice. Our classes will continue to run virtually via Zoom.

If you are currently registered for a class, you will be contacted directly with information on how to join class meetings with 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. 

For live updates on the status of any programs at Temple Israel during this time, click here.

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

Spring 2020 Classes

All of our classes are going virtual! Register or contact Brigid Goggin to learn how to join us via Zoom.

Classes are categorized by four entry points: The Open Door, for those exploring or rediscovering Judaism; Core Classes, taught by Temple Israel clergy; Featured Classes, for those who want a deep dive into a specific topic; and Jewish Living Classes, to support the many aspects of a Jewish life. 

To see a one-page index of all Spring 2020 class offerings, click here.  If you have any questions, please contact Brigid Goggin. Registration is required for all classes.

Click on the photos below to learn more and register for a Spring 2020 class, or call Brigid Goggin at 617-566-3960.

Open Door Classes

A Taste of Judaism®

with Rabbi Leora Abelson
Mondays, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
3 sessions, starting January 27.
No cost.

Introduction to Judaism

with Temple Israel Clergy
Thursdays, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
March 5 – June 25
(Option to join in any time)

Becoming Jewish

with Rabbi Jen Gubitz
Thursdays, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Meets monthly.
No cost.

Core Classes with TI Clergy

Modern Midrash: Who Was King Solomon?

with Rabbi Elaine Zecher
Thursdays, 8:45 – 10:00 a.m.
Meets monhtly, ongoing.
No cost.

The TI Yeshiva: Learn to Read the Talmud

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

Featured Classes

Learn to Read Hebrew

with Debbie Betesh
Tuesdays, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
4 sessions, starting March 31
$100 TI members; $140 public

Jewish Values & the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

with Rabbi Dan Slipakoff
Tuesdays, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
8 sessions, starting March 31.
$200 TI members; $280 public

Women Who Wrote

with Dr. Rachel Greenblatt
Mondays, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
6 sessions, starting April 27
$150 TI members; $210 public

Introduction to Jewish Philosophy Workshop

with Rabbi Suzie Jacobson
Sunday, May 3
12:00 – 3:00 p.m.
No cost.

Cantor Roy Einhorn: A Musical Retrospective

with Cantor Roy Einhorn
Tuesdays, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
3 sessions, starting June 2
Cost: $60, dinner included

Power, Broad-Based Organizing, and Leadership

with Kathleen Patrón
Postponed: New dates TBD

Jewish Living Classes

Adult B'nei Mitzvah: New Cohort

with Rabbi Jen Gubitz
(Semester 1 of 3)
Sundays, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Meets monthly, starting February 2
Cost: $450

Prep for Passover: Poetry for Your Seder

with Rabbi Suzie Jacobson
Thursday, March 26
7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Free class via Zoom

Prep for Passover: Virtual Charoset Making Class

with Sara Gardner
Sunday, April 5
10:00 -11:30 a.m.
Free class via Zoom

Bursting with Joy! Birthing Class

with Sarah Kleinman, CNM, and Rabbi Suzie Jacobson
Tuesdays, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
4 sessions, starting April 21
Cost: $200 TI members; $250 public

Modern Couples, Big Jewish Questions

with Rabbi Jen Gubitz
Sundays, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
4 sessions, weekly
Postponed: New Dates TBD

Planning a Jewish Wedding: Ketubah Edition

with Rabbi Jen Gubitz
at KolBo in Brookline
Postponed: New Dates TBD

Spring 2020 Events

“Unsettling”: An intimate look into life in a West Bank Settlement

Film Screening and Discussion

Thursday, June 25 at 7:00 p.m.
Join us for a screening of the documentary film, Unsettling. After the film, New England J Street Regional Director, Janette Hillis-Jaffe, will moderate a discussion on the film and the settlement enterprise, based on research as well as her personal experience of living in a West Bank settlement. Please note: This event will take place in person or virtually, depending on the recommendations of the CDC at that time.  

Film Blurb: Director Iris Zaki from Tel Aviv, enters the heart of Tekoa, an Israeli settlement in the West-Bank, to talk to the residents. She sets up a small pop-up film studio in the middle of the town, and stays put for over one month in order to meet the young settlers face to face. Their honest, surprising and sometimes funny conversations offer a fresh take on Israeli reality from both sides of the Green Line. Click here to view a trailer.

Postponed Events: New Dates TBD

For more information or questions, contact Brigid Goggin.


The Carl A. Steinbaum Lecture with Steven Levitsky






Steven Levitsky is the David Rockefeller Professor of Latin American Studies and Professor of Government at Harvard University. His research focuses on democratization and authoritarianism, political parties, and weak and informal institutions, mostly in Latin America. He is the co-author (with Daniel Ziblatt) of How Democracies Die (Crown, 2018).

The Challenge of Israel for American Jews

The Feinberg Lecture with Robert Mnookin






Robert H. Mnookin is the Samuel Williston Professor of Law at Harvard Law School,  and the Director of the Harvard Negotiation Research Project. A leading scholar in the field of conflict resolution, Professor Mnookin has applied his interdisciplinary approach to negotiation and conflict resolution to a remarkable range of problems; both public and private. His most recent books are The American Jewish Paradox: New Decisions for the Chosen People and Kissinger The Negotiator: Lessons from Dealmaking at the Highest Levels (with J. Sebenius and R.N. Burns).

An Evening with Chef Adeena Sussman

Author of "Sababa: Fresh Sunny Flavors From My Israeli Kitchen"






In an Israeli cookbook as personal as it is global, Adeena Sussman celebrates the tableau of flavors the region has to offer, in all its staggering and delicious variety

In Hebrew (derived from the original Arabic), sababa means “everything is awesome,” and it’s this sunny spirit with which the American food writer and expat Adeena Sussman cooks and dreams up meals in her Tel Aviv kitchen. In Sababa, Sussman presents 125 recipes for dishes inspired by this culinary wonderland and by the wide-varying influences surrounding her in Israel.

A Musical Evening with Elana Arian

The Rudolph H. and Sara G. Wyner Lecture






Elana Arian is one of the leading voices in contemporary Jewish music. A composer, multi-instrumentalist, and recording artist, Elana inspires communities across the country with her soulful songwriting and spirit.


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