Adult Education

Shir Hadash offers a full slate of learning opportunities for the adult community. Are you:

  • Not Jewish but interested in learning more about Judaism?
  • Thinking about converting to Judaism?
  • Thinking about furthering your Jewish knowledge?
  • Thinking about preparing for adult bar or bat mitzvah?

We offer a number of classes to meet your interests, including:

  • Jewish Spiritual Parenting: Raising a Mensch
  • Leadership Training Course: Fostering New Jewish Leaders
  • Wise Aging: Living with Joy, Resilience, and Spirit
  • Hebrew Reading Courses
  • Torah Study/Modern Jewish Philosophy
  • Lunch and Learn with the Rabbi

Monday Evenings

Special Topics: Refuat Ha’Nefesh U’Refuat Ha’Guf (Healing of Soul and Body)
Judaism recognizes the importance of not just our spiritual health, but also our physical well-being. This series will explore various avenues to cultivating healthy minds, bodies, spirits, and souls.

  •  Oct. 10: Preparing our Souls for Yom Kippur (with Rabbi Eitan)
  • Nov. 14: Are We What We Eat? Conscious Eating as a Jewish Value (with Melanie Andes)
  • Dec. 12: Mussar as a Mindfulness Practice (with Lynn Liebling)
  • Jan. 9: Muscle Judaism: The Jewish Values of Physical Fitness (with Rabbi Seeg and others)
  • Feb. 6: Intro to Jewish Meditation (with Rick Zinbarg)
  • Mar. 6: Massage and/or Reiki
  • Apr. 3: Poetic Prayer: An Expression of the Soul
  • May 8: Siyyum–Maintaining Healthy Physical and Spiritual Lives

Special Topics: Ethics
One of the beauties of Jewish tradition is that it remains vital, vibrant, and relevant when applied to contemporary ethical issues. One of the challenges of Jewish tradition is that it rarely, if ever, speaks with one voice. This series will look at Judaism’s understanding of complex and challenging ethics issues.

  • Oct. 24: The Ethics of Speech and Language
  • Nov. 28: The Ethics of Eating/Food
  • Dec. 19: The Ethics of Business and Commerce\
  • Jan. 23: The Ethics of Abortion
  • Feb. 20: The Ethics of Euthanasia
  • Mar. 20: The Ethics of Capital Punishment
  • Apr. 24: The Ethics of Revenge
  • May 22: Siyyum–Creating an Individual Ethic

Every Sunday during Religious School

Shir Hadash Adult Education

Torah Study/Modern Jewish Philosophy

Class meets on Sundays from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. with instructor Fred Andes. Are you interested what the Torah has to tell us as modern Jews? Each Sunday, we’ll look at the upcoming week’s Torah portion (in English) and try to figure out what it meant to Jews back then and what it should mean to us now. Then, we’ll take a look at modern Jewish philosophy—including Cohen, Baeck, Buber, Kaplan, and a little Spinoza.

Adult Hebrew Reading

Sundays from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m.; Instructor Steve Lewin. Have you ever wondered what the words you read in prayers or Torah Parshot really mean? After re-enforcing the alef-bet and building a basic vocabulary, we will progress to learning prayers. We will also learn to chant the Torah blessings.

Modern Hebrew

Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; Instructor: Limor Wasserman. Hebrew is not limited to the Torah scroll or the prayer book. It is an energetic, modern language that is spoken not just in Israel but also all over the world. This introduction to Modern Hebrew will include basic words and phrases that are integral to Hebrew conversation.

Reconstructionism: American Judaism for 20th and 21st Century

Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; Instructor: Rabbi Eitan. Does Judaism adapt to the world or does Judaism change the world? This eight-week survey course focuses on the fascinating story of the Reconstructionist Movement in America and its promise for the future. Begins September 18.

Adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah

Dates/times TBA. We encourage our Jewish members who did not become Bar/Bat Mitzvah as a child to celebrate Bar or Bat Mitzvah as an adult. Most adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah candidates will need to study in a one- to two-year course to prepare for leading a Shabbat service and reading from the Torah. The preparation program includes classes in Hebrew Reading Proficiency, Service Leading Skills, Torah Study and D’var Torah Skills, General Judaic Knowledge, Ritual, Prayer and Celebration Knowledge, and Reconstructionist Philosophy.

Every Thursday, noon to 1 p.m.

Lunch & Learn with the Rabbis
Class meets on Thursdays from 12 to 1 p.m., Alternating between Rabbi Eitan and Rabbi Seeg. Join Shir Hadash members and friends for a refreshing and contemporary exploration of our Jewish biblical and wisdom literature. Don’t be surprised if archaeology, sociology, world affairs as well as law, medicine, and business ethics enter the lively conversation.

  • Sept./Oct. 2016: Kohelet (Ecclesiasties)
    Nov./Dec. 2016: Book of Maccabees
    Jan./Feb. 2017: Pirkei Avot (Verses/ Ethics of the Fathers)
    Mar./Apr. 2017: Shir Ha’Shirim (Song of Songs)
    May/June 2017: Ruth

Future Programming

Hebrew Reading Crash Courses; Instructors: Shir Hadash members

This program is presented in conjunction with the National Jewish Outreach Project.

  • Hebrew Reading Crash Course Level 1. Participants in the free Hebrew Reading Crash Course will learn to read Hebrew in five, 1 and 1/2 hour weekly sessions. Designed for Jews with little or no background in Hebrew, it concentrates on teaching the Hebrew alphabet and reading skills. Each participant will receive a free copy of NJOP’s Reishith Binah Hebrew primer.
  • Level II Hebrew Reading Crash Course. This free follow-up course enables participants to strengthen their Hebrew reading skills for increased fluency. Participants read (and even sing) passages in the text and develop their reading comprehension by learning to identify prefixes, suffixes and root words. Participants will also learn approximately 100 new vocabulary words.  Each participant will receive a Level II student text.
  • One Day Review. Designed to help participants brush up on their Hebrew letter recognition skills prior to starting a Level II class, the One Day Review can be completed in a few hours. It’s a refresher course which reinforces knowledge of letters, vowels, words, phrases and prayers.