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

TILLI Peer-Led Learning

Temple Israel's Lifelong Learning Institute

Temple Israel’s Lifelong Learning Institute (TILLI) provides opportunities for Temple Israel members and others to engage in peer-led, intellectually stimulating study groups covering a broad range of topics, to enjoy cultural events together, and to develop social relationships and a community. For more information, email

"TILLI study group leaders are my peers. They are careful to qualify their topics by providing credible documentation and authentic research. Intelligent people of our generation grew up knowing that a legitimate fact is supported by unassailable proof and concrete evidence to be true."

Bob Martin,
TILLI Study Group Leader

Morning Study Groups

Jewish Angelenos

Jewish Angelenos: An Abbreviated History of a Growing Jewish Mosaic

Taught by Judy Berkowitz. LA is home to the second largest Jewish population in America. We will explore the establishment of Jewish roots in LA; the growth of two communities on the east side and west side of the LA river; Leon Lewis, an unsung American and Jewish hero; waves of Jewish immigration and suburbanization; and today’s LA Jewish mosaic. Learn more here.

Palestinian Voices

Palestinian Voices

Taught by Helen Kolsky. We are accustomed to the media showing angry young Palestinians hurling rocks or helpless women in headscarves, in anguish over a dead loved one or a demolished house. Beyond this stereotype, what do we learn from their writing? In this Study Group, we will read fiction by Palestinians, written over a time span of roughly 75 years, that will attempt to answer these questions. We will attempt to understand their diversity as some leave their homeland for various diasporas. Learn more here.

Money Matters!

Money Matters!

Taught by Irwin Price. When bartering became too complicated, human beings invented money. Money is central to our society and to the world order, determining how nations and individuals interact. In this Study Group we will discuss what money means and how it is created, the Federal Reserve, the US central bank, capital markets, the role of stocks and bonds, the tools of Keynesian economics, and The Great Recession of 2008. Learn more here.

Pyrates of the Caribbean

Pyrates of the Caribbean - Jewish and Others

Taught by Rob Ebert. Hollywood movies, novels, and theater have given us pirates who are heroes. But the reality of pirate life was cruel and violent, as we will see. We will learn some interesting facts: some Jews of Jamaica took up piracy, terrorizing the Spanish who had expelled them; Jean Lafitte, the well-known Jewish pirate, helped defeat the British at the battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812. Learn more here.

Afternoon Study Groups

Refugees: Their Fight and Their Flight

Refugees: Their Fight and Their Flight

Taught by Ted Greenwood. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that here are 25.9 million refugees in the world today, not counting the 41.3 million internally displaced people and 3.5 million asylum seekers. This is the highest number of refugees since the aftermath of World War II. Why do people flee their homeland? This and related questions will be the subject of this Study Group. Learn more here.

Ingrid Bergman: A Retrospective

Ingrid Bergman: A Retrospective

Taught by Edmond Murad. Participants in this Study Group will review three works of the great actress, Ingrid Bergman, by watching and discussing three of her movies: Joan of Arc, Casablanca, and A Woman Named Golda. In addition to the movies, we will consider Bergman’s complicated life and its impact on her career. Learn more here.

How Our Brains Work

How Our Brains Work: An Introduction

Taught by Penelope ReVell and Phillip Stubblefield. The human brain, made up of billions of cells that have trillions of connections with each other, is arguably the most complex structure on earth. We are endlessly fascinated with its ability to consider, to remember, and to plan. How does memory work? Are our memories always reliable? What is consciousness? We will explore these questions and more. Learn more here.

"What does it mean to have a voice in an institution? What does it mean to be engaged in intellectual life semester after semester. What does it man to feel that you are part of a community? This is TILLI.  We have changed the stereotypical image of aging and have a renewed sense of who we are and what can be accomplished at any age in the context of life-long learning. TILLI provides a canvas to satisfy our thirst for knowledge, meaning making and connections. And that is what TILLI of Temple Israel has accomplished. Now that’s something to celebrate."

Rhoada Wald,
TILLI Core Committee

"TILLI doesn’t offer the same courses over and over, so a lot of instructors have spent a lot of time developing new courses. We do because the students teach us as much as we teach them. It’s life-long learning for everyone involved."

Mike Sandman,
TILLI Study Group Leader

TILLI Leadership Structure


Co Chairs: Judy Berkowitz & Larry Koff
At Large: Ruth Klepper
Archivist and Caring Community:  Abby Greenberg
Curriculum: Judy Herman
Entertainment: Joan Loren
Events: Debi Gandre & Susan Fliegel
Lunch & Learn: Bob McCorkle
Membership & Hospitality: Priscilla Golding & Mark Kaplan
Movie Madness:  John Freeman
Summer Programs: Saralynn Busch
Winter Programs: Paula Folkman

"After a career in an area in which I had no training or credentials, TILLI has given me a chance to realize what I alway thought would be my destiny: teaching the humanities."

Peggy Morrison,
TILLI Study Group Leader

TILLI Programming

What's going on?

For six weeks in both the spring and the fall, TILLI offers study sessions on a variety of topics led by members of the community. During the winter, we have monthly films or presentations with discussion sessions. Throughout the year, we have regular lunch sessions to hear and question experts from a wide range of fields. We also go on guided trips throughout the year to different museums and well-known local institutions in the Boston area.

TILLI Participation

What's my role?

Because TILLI is a peer-led learning program, participation is key. We are always looking for new study topic ideas and help with planning the evolving future of our group. We invite you to extend your learning and involvement by planning and leading a study group.

Connect with Us

Sue Misselbeck

Executive Coordinator for Cantor Einhorn, Rabbi Jacobson, Rabbi Friedman, Rabbi Mehlman & TILLI


TILLI in the News

March 9, 2016
How We Engaged Older Adults and Transformed Temple Life
URJ Blog, by Rhoada Wald