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Adult Education 2018 - 2019

Upcoming Classes and Events - Open for Registration

A Life of Godwrestling:

Rabbi Arthur Waskow in Conversation with Rabbi Mike Rothbaum

Saturday, March 23, 2019 ♦ 6:00 - 8:00 pm

Congregation Beth Elohim is honored to welcome Rabbi Arthur Waskow for a night of conversation and dialogue about his lifetime of work revitalizing and inspiring American Jewish culture. CBE’s Rabbi Mike Rothbaum will ask Rabbi Waskow about his decades of teaching and inspiring world Jewry, beginning with his engagement of the American Jewish community in the aftermath of the Holocaust, to his work today facing the modern challenges of climate change, racism, antisemitism, and militarism, utilizing the timeless power of Jewish liturgy, spirituality, social justice, as well as interreligious conversation.

Click HERE to read about Rabbi Waskow's remarkable achievements and contributions.  Rabbi Waskow was named, by the United Nations, as one of the world's 40 "Wisdom Keepers."

This event is free and open to all. Please help us to accommodate all who would like to attend by registering by March 20 if you plan to join us.




Putting Spirit in Your Seder

Sundays, March 31 and April 7 ♦ 10:15 - 11:30 AM

Learning with Rabbi Mike

Passover is the time when every Jew gets free. Each of us takes a personal journey from bondage to liberation. It happens, in true Jewish fashion, with food. We eat history, drink theology . . . and season with ethics. Join us for a two session class, exploring ways to make your Seder into a multimedia liberation journey for all ages.

This class is free and open to all.




Talmud’s Greatest Hits
Wednesdays, January 30; February 6, 13, 20, 27; April 7, 2019 • 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Instructor: Rabbi Mike Rothbaum

Interested in knowing more about the Talmud, but don’t know where to start? Join us as we investigate some of the best known passages from the Talmud. We will encounter the wisdom of the ancient sages, and discover the timeless wisdom in our ancient text. This class is open to all, regardless of background or level of knowledge. Each meeting will be a stand-alone lesson, perfect for dropping in.

No cost to congregants. Non-congregants: $60. 



Ongoing programs

Shabbat Torah Study
Leader: Rabbi Mike
Shabbat mornings, watch for announcements in The Star & Star-Lite calendar

Rabbi Mike leads us in a short Shacharit service, which is followed by study and discussion of the weekly parsha.  Various translations and commentaries are employed, as well as the rabbi’s own insight.

Bible and Bourbon with Rabbi MikeBible & Bourbon
Leader: Rabbi Mike
One Sunday night a month. Locations to rotate; watch for announcements in Star-Lite

A casual come-as-you-are time to talk Torah and have a drink with friends! Join us in congregants’ homes as Rabbi Mike presents a short text with lots of time to discuss and socialize.

Mid Week Bible Study
Facilitator: Waky
Wednesday 1:30 – 2:30 pm on Hebrew school days, beginning September 19.

A group of adult students has been studying Jewish texts together for several years. All are welcome; the chevruta style of learning, where we all share our thoughts on a wide perspective on the texts.  No previous knowledge is required nor is Hebrew a necessity.  Drop-ins are welcome.

Celebrating Rosh Chodesh
Facilitator: Leann Shamash

Join CBE's "Rosh Chodesh Group", a monthly women's group that celebrates each new Hebrew month and discusses Jewish topics from women's perspectives.  This is a wonderful opportunity to enrich our lives spiritually as we connect with the Jewish calendar and with one another.  Contact Leann for more info at


2018-2019 Past Classes and Events 

Introduction to Jewish Genealogy

Monday, February 25, 2019 ♦ 7:30 PM

Instructor:  Jessie Klein


Find your ancestors and tell their story with instructor, our very own congregant, Jessie Klein!

You don't have to be a celebrity to have an interesting family!  Learn how to find your ancestors and tell their stories.  Learn about the latest methods and resources to grow your family tree.

Jessie Klein is the co-president of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Boston and has taught in their Foundations of Jewish Genealogical Research course.  Jessie has been doing family research for over 15 years.

This class is sponsored by CBE Adult Education and is FREE and open to the public.


Scholar in Residence Weekend with Rabbi Or Rose

February 8, 9, 10, 2019

Jewish Spiritual Renewal in a Pluralistic Age 


Session 1: Friday, February 8, 2019
Shabbat service at 7:30 pm with guest drash by Rabbi Rose:
“Towards a Theology of Jewish Pluralism”

Session 2: Saturday, February 9, 2019
Study with Rabbi Rose at 10:00 am
“American Mystics: Reverend Howard Thurman & Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi”

Session 3: Sunday, February 10, 2019
Brotherhood Breakfast at 9:15 am with guest speaker Rabbi Rose:
“Case Studies in Religious Cooperation & Challenge”

About Rabbi Or Rose:

Rabbi Or Rose is the founding Director of the Betty Ann Greenbaum Miller Center for Interreligious Learning & Leadership of Hebrew College. 


A Taste (and a Breath) of Meditation 

Tuesday, February 5 at 7:30 PM and/or Monday, February 11 at 7:30 PM

Instructor: Cantor Sarra

Attend one of the sessions or attend both!

Come and experience a taste of meditation with Cantor Sarra. Learn how performing your everyday activities with greater awareness can help you relax and rejuvenate your spirit. Discover how “taking a breath” and building your concentration can lead to more balance in your life.

With guided meditations and teachings from Jewish tradition, we’ll experience and learn about the intersection of Judaism and meditation. The class will be preceded by an optional 15 minutes of gentle stretches and relaxing movement to help you transition from your busy day.

There is no cost for this adult education class.

Finding Your Voice: Chanting Torah
Wednesdays, October 17, 24; November 7, 14, 28; December 5 • 7:30 – 8:45 pm
Instructor: Cantor Sarra Spierer

Have you ever thought about learning how to chant Torah? If you already have some basic skills, would you like to sharpen your ability to chant? Join Cantor Sarra for an introduction to Torah trope and a deeper understanding of the art of Torah reading. A basic ability to read Hebrew is required - no singing or previous experience needed! We will be using the book, “Chanting the Hebrew Bible: Student Edition” by Professor Joshua Jacobson.

Cost of Book: $18  The class is free for congregants. Non-congregants: $60 + the cost of book.

Please register by September 26th in order that we may purchase materials.  Email Cantor Sarra @ with any questions.

The Midrash We Live In: The Book of Exodus and the Struggle against White Supremacy 
Tuesdays, November 13, 20, 27; December 11 • 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Instructor: Rabbi Mike Rothbaum

The Book of Exodus and the Struggle against White Supremacy: thinkers from Zora Neale Hurston to Abraham Joshua Heschel to Martin Luther King Jr. have noted the resonance between the struggle against Egyptian bondage and the struggle against American racism. As such, racial injustice in the US can be seen as a 400 year midrash on the book of Exodus. Join us as we look at source texts from the Bible to today, and explore the Torah’s call for justice that remains essential in our day.

No cost to congregants.  Non-congregants: $40

Why are there streets named "Balfour" in dozens of cities & towns all over Israel?
Tuesdays, November 13, 20, 27; December 4, 11 • 2:00 – 3:30 pm                           
Instructor: Rabbi Lewis Mintz

Last November marked the 100th anniversary of 2 momentous world events: The Russian (Bolshevik) Revolution & Britain issuing the Balfour Declaration.  It has been called, "The Magna Carta of the Jews" and begins by stating, "His Majesty's Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish People." Come explore the geopolitical, literary, and Christian religious impulses that lead up to this dramatic decision; its galvanizing impact on the development of the growing Jewish community in the Land of Israel and on world Jewry; and the eventual response of Arab leaders and concessions made by the British Mandate during the 2 decades that followed.

No cost to congregants.  Non-congregants: $50

Fri, March 22 2019 15 Adar II 5779