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

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

We look forward to learning with you

All classes and events for the Fall 2020 Session will meet virtually on Zoom and are open to everyone. Explore below and register today.
If you have any questions, please contact Brigid Goggin, Managing Director, at

Ongoing Classes: Join Anytime

The TI Yeshiva: Learn to Read the Talmud

with Rabbi Suzie Jacobson
Tuesdays, 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
Meets weekly, starting October 6, 2020
No cost.

God? Self? Other? A Jewish Philosophical Exploration

with Rabbi Suzie Jacobson
Fridays, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Meets weekly, starting October 16, 2020
No cost.

The Wisdom of King Solomon

with Rabbi Elaine Zecher
Thursdays, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Meets monthly, starting November 5
No cost.

Making Prayer Meaningful

with Rabbinic Intern Andrew Oberstein
Sundays, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Monthly, starting October 18
No cost

Torah/Yoga with the Moon

with Yaakov Ginsberg-Schreck and Evelyn Punch of Breath Lab
Wednesdays, 4:00 – 5:45 p.m.
Month of Heshvon Series: October 21 – November 11

Lunch with the Librarian

with Temple Israel Librarian Ann Abrams
Tuesdays, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Meets weekly, starting September 15
No cost.

Multi-week Series Classes

PsalmSeason: Calling Out from the Depths

with Rabbi Or Rose
Wednesdays, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
7 sessions, starting October 7

Creative Spiritual Practice: Art Making Studio

with Natalya Bernstein
Tuesdays, 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.
4 sessions, starting October 20

Medieval Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts

with Dr. Lisa Fagin Davis
Thursdays, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
4 sessions, Starting October 29

The Secret Jews of Majorca Island: A Virtual Tour Experience

with Tour Guide Dani Rotstein
Wednesdays, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
3 session, starting November 4

Our Liberation is Bound Together: An Antiracism Workshop

A Workshop on Combating Racism, Antisemitism & White Supremacy
Facilitated by Kavod
Mondays, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
5 sessions, starting November 9

Biblical Gems: Stories Behind Famous Verses

with Rabbinic Student Jamie Stolper
Mondays, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.
6 session, starting November 9
Registration through Open Circle

The Feminine Scrolls and Social Transformation

with Rabbi Natan Margalit
Tuesdays, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
6 sessions, starting November 10
Registration through Open Circle

No Business Like Show Business: A Jewish History of Broadway

with Cantor Alicia Stillman
3 sessions, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Nov 30 (Monday), Dec 8 (Tusday), Dec 15 (Tuesday)
No cost

Baking and Breaking Bread Across the Diaspora

with Sara Gardner
Class postoned, new dates TBD

The Open Door and Jewish Living

Introduction to Judaism

with Temple Israel Clergy
Thursdays, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
October 15, 2020 – February 18, 2021

Becoming Jewish

with Rabbi Jen Gubitz
Sundays, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
4 sessions, starting November 1
No cost.

Learn to Read Hebrew

with Debbie Betesh
Wednesdays, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
5 sessions, starting October 21

Modern Couples, Big Jewish Questions

with Rabbi Jen Gubitz
Mondays, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
3 sessions, starting November 30
And a Friday night shabbat dinner on December 4

Bursting with Joy! Birthing Class

with Certified Nurse-Midwife Sarah Kleinman and Rabbi Suzie Jacobson
Sundays, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
3 sessions, starting November 8

Upcoming Events

Installation of Cantor Alicia Stillman

6th Annual Arts Matter Shabbat

Friday, October 23 at 6:00 p.m.

Join us for a special virtual Shabbat of music and celebration for the installation of Cantor Alicia Stillman at Temple Israel of Boston. Each year, Arts Matter Shabbat, in collaboration with JArts and MASSCreative, honors and supports how vital the arts are to Jewish cultural and identity. We can think of no better way to celebrate this year than to welcome and lift up our amazing new Cantor!

The State of American Democracy on the Eve of the 2020 Elections

with Professor Steven Levitsky

Friday, October 30 at 6:00 p.m.

Join us for a special Qabbalat Shabbat, featuring guest lecturer Steven Levitsky, 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 co-author (with Daniel Ziblatt) of How Democracies Die (Crown, 2018).

Ready to Turn the World Upside Down: Radical Feminism and Jewish Identity

Steinbaum Lecture with Professor Joyce Antler

Friday, November 20 at 6:00 p.m.

Join us for the 5781 Steinbaum Lecture, featuring Professor Joyce Antler, the Samuel J. Lane Professor Emerita of American Jewish History and Culture and Professor Emerita of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis University.

Although Jewish women were instrumental in shaping women’s liberation–the most important social movement of our era– historians and participants themselves have neglected their contributions as Jews. In placing these pioneer feminists at the center of this movement, Joyce Antler reshapes our understanding of Jewish and women’s history and shows how these activists created a powerful legacy for Jews today.


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