Adult Education

Judaism is never just “pediatric” at Temple Beth El; adults have numerous learning opportunities:

Introduction to Judaism/Choosing Judaism Classes
Rabbbi Klein will offer an Introduction to Judaism class via Zoom, geared toward beginners and intermediate learners:  18 sessions (see below for schedule), 2 hours per session 6:30-8:30pm, starting January 7th and concluding May 13th:

  • Registration at
  • By Zoom probably until the end of the series. If we resume in-person gatherings, the class will decide by majority vote whether to hold sessions online or in person.
  • $0 (members/Associate Members); $54 (non-members interested in membership); or $108 (everyone else)
  • First half hour will be Q&A on ANY JEWISH TOPIC; the remaining 1.5 hours will focus on the topics below.
  • Students get their own books; a limited number of copies are also available for sale
  • Financial hardship grants available for those unable to afford enrollment and/or book expenses.
  • Homework will require reading sections of Telushkin’s Jewish Literacy and more (book list below)
  • Potential Jews by Choice and Adult B’nai Mitzvah will meet simultaneously with individuated guidance and assignments.

The books planned (for now); blue bold are required texts, others highly recommended:

  • Telushkin, Joseph. Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People, and Its History. William Morrow, 1991, 2001, or 2008. (I created a chart with all three versions’ assigned readings).  If you cannot find a new copy or prefer to save some money, I have 1991 editions for $10 each.
  • JPS Hebrew-English TANAKH. Jewish Publication Society, 1988.  Get a bilingual one.  Everyone should have a Jewish Hebrew Bible!
  • Sonsino, Rifat and Daniel Syme. Finding God: Selected Responses, Revised edition. Behrman House, 2002.  Essays on significant Jewish thinkers’ responses to the questions: Is there more than one way to perceive of God? How can we know God? What does God “want” from us? Please check that you are purchasing the latest edition. If you can only find the older version, Finding God: Ten Jewish Responses, we can accommodate by payment of an additional printing fee of $18.
  • Heschel, Abraham Joshua. The Sabbath. Farrar Straus Giroux, 1951. A classic work; republished many times (optional for students on a budget).
  • Knobel, Peter, ed. Mishkan Moeid: A Guide to the Jewish Seasons, New York: CCAR Press, 2013. oGates of the Seasons (CCAR Press, out of print).  Also available in a PDF electronic version.  A survey of the sacred days of the Jewish yearly cycle.
  • Knobel, Peter, ed. Navigating the Journey: The Essential Guide to the Jewish Life Cycle, New York: CCAR Press, 2018 or Gates of Mitzvah (CCAR Press, Out of Print)

And here are the sessions:

January 7
January 14
January 21
January 28
February 4
February 25
March 4
March 25
April 1
April 8
April 29
May 6
May 13
Tanakh Part I: Torah
Tanakh Part II: Prophets, Writings
Jewish History: post-Biblical to Modern
Denominations and Sub-communities
Holidays Part I: Shabbat, Holy Time
Holidays Part II: Passover, Season of our Freedom
Holidays Part III: Yamim Noraim and Sukkot, All the Days of Awe
Purim (no class)
Holidays Part IV: Purim, Shavuot, Tu BiShvat…Other Holidays
Prayer and the Prayer Book
God/G-d/Gd, Theology and Middot/Ethics
Mitzvot, Kashrut & Jewish Law
Lifecycle Part I: The Three B’s of Judaism
Lifecycle Part II: Weddings, Marriage, Divorce
Lifecycle Part III: Death and Dying
Lifecycle Part IV: Becoming a Jew
Anti-Semitism: The Shoah, Pogroms, and Blood Libel
Israel: Jewish Nationhood
It’s a Wrap!  Clean-up and Siyyum, ideally in person!

Whether you are:

  • New to Judaism with minimal to no knowledge whatsoever;
  • Jewish by birth but only somewhat aware of our traditions;
  • Observant of some but not all of the traditions; or
  • Just hoping to strengthen your Jewish knowledge

This class will teach you a thing or two!  Join us!




For those of you who made it past the age of 13 without marking this milestone, TBE will be offering an adult B’nai Mitzvah program. For more information on this upcoming program, email Rabbi Klein.