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.
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 proudly introduced 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:
Spring 2019 "Classroom" Registration Links
Elijah & Elisha, The TI Yeshiva, Monthly Mussar, From Buffalo to Jerusalem, Building New Bridges Between Science and Religion, Tikkun: To Take on the World
Spring 2019 "Open Door" Registration Links
Spring 2019 Town Hall Programs
HONORING THE LEGACY OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. SHABBAT TZEDEK: SABBATH OF JUSTICE
with Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley
Friday, 1/18 at 6:00 p.m. No cost.
Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley is an advocate, policy-maker, activist, and survivor. Raised in Chicago as the only child of an activist mother who instilled in her the value of civic participation, Pressley understands the role that government can play in helping to lift up our communities. After leaving Boston University to help support her mother, she worked for 14 years as a senior aide to Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II and later Senator John Kerry. In 2009, she won the election to the Boston City Council, marking the first time a woman of color was elected to the Council in its 100-year history. On the Council, Pressley has worked in partnership with residents, advocates, and other elected leaders to address the challenges facing our communities. She led the establishment of the Committee on Healthy Women, Families, and Communities; championed the introduction of a comprehensive sexual health curriculum in Boston Public Schools; convened the first “listening-only” hearing in the Council’s history, focused on gun violence and trauma; and successfully pushed for the creation of new liquor licenses that spurred economic development in previously underserved communities, among much other work. On November 6, 2018, Pressley was elected to represent Massachusetts’ 7th Congressional District in Congress; she is first woman of color to represent Massachusetts in Congress.
WYNER LECTURE: HOPE IN EXILE - PRAYER, MUSIC AND DANCE
with Ilya Vidrin and Reciprocity Collaborative
Friday, 4/12 at 6:00 p.m. No cost.
The Reciprocity Collaborative presents Hope in Exile, an unforgettable evening interweaving worship with live music and dance. Weaved throughout the Qabbalat Shabbat experience, expressive choreography will be paired with the passionate music of Jewish composers including Mieczysław Weinberg and Ernest Bloch, both exiled due to the Holocaust. We offer a space of meditation, reflection, and community through aesthetic experience. The Reciprocity Collaborative is committed to bringing together creative professionals through research, performance, and community engagement. Music Direction by Daniel Kurganov and Artistic Direction by Ilya Vidrin, more information can be found online at www.reciprocitycollaborative.com.
FEINBERG LECTURE: LOVING AND WRESTLING WITH ISRAEL: REFORM ZIONISM FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
with Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the URJ
Friday, 3/8 at 6:00 p.m. No cost.
Even though many recent Israeli government policies are challenging to Reform Jews in North America, we must double down on deepening our connections to our Jewish State. How do we strongly advocate for a Jewish-Democratic state, that promotes equal rights, pluralism, and builds the infrastructure of peace while helping our people fall in love with Israel? That’s the challenge and great opportunity for our movement.
REMEMBERING THE HOLOCAUST: STORIES FROM ACROSS GENERATIONS WITH A SURVIVOR, DAUGHTER, AND GRANDDAUGHTER
with Holocaust survivor Lilly Salamon
Monday, 4/29 at 7:00 p.m. No cost.
Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) 5779 marks 74 years since the end of World War II. This year we have invited Holocaust survivor Lilly Salcman to share her story and provide a powerful and personal connection between the past and present. Lilly Salcman will be interviewed by our members, her daughter Suzanne Salamon and her granddaughter Alex Einhorn Smith. Through the story of three generations of survival, we will commemorate and mourn the loss of so many lives and celebrate the endurance of the human spirit.
The conversation is co-sponsored with the Tent: A Jewish Learning Community for Greater Boston Teens at Temple Israel, and will be followed by a short Yom HaShoah service.
AUTHOR EVENT: CELEBRATING PRIDE THE HUB OF THE GAY UNIVERSE: AN LGBTQ HISTORY OF BOSTON, PROVINCETOWN, AND BEYOND
with author and Temple Israel member Russ Lopez
Tuesday, 6/18 at 7:00 p.m. No cost.
LGBTQ Pride is celebrated in Boston in the entire month of June. This year is a particularly big deal as it’s the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Temple Israel member and author, Russ Lopez, will help us celebrate Pride this year. Join us as he leads a reading from his new book, The Hub of the Gay Universe: An LGBTQ History of Boston, Provincetown and Beyond.
INTRODUCING: “CHOCHMAT LEV, A LEARNED HEART” CERTIFICATE
This year, we honor Temple Israel’s committed learners with the “Chochmat Lev, A Learned Heart” certificate. With this introduction comes five new categories of learning in “The Classroom” space of the Center for Adult Jewish Learning:
- Justice, Politics, and Contemporary Issues
- Bible, Rabbinics, and Philosophy
- Arts and Culture
The Chochmat Lev certificate will be earned by those who complete five “Classroom” courses, one from each of these categories, over any length of time. 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 will allow 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.
Sample some of our past programs:
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.