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:

  • Living Judaism: Introduction to Jewish Spirituality & Civilization (Sunday Mornings)
  • Reconstructionism 101 (Sunday mornings)
  • Torah Study/Modern Jewish Philosophy (Sunday Mornings with Fred Andes)
  • Adult Hebrew Reading (Sunday mornings)
  • Adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah Class
  • Taste of Mussar (Fall 2018)
  •  “LTC” Leadership Training Course: Fostering New Jewish Leaders (Selected Monday evenings)
  • Second Friday Speaker Series (Winter-Spring 2018)
  • Lunch and Learn with the Rabbi (Thursday afternoons with Rabbi Weiner-Kaplow)
  • WISH/MOSH Bagel Breakfast and Speaker (Once-a-month Sunday mornings)
  • Shavuot Service and Study Evening (May 19, 2018)
  • Jewish Festivals for the Perplexed (During Religious School Family Education Days)

Monday Evenings

“LTC” Leadership Training Course: Fostering New Jewish Leaders

Shir Hadash Professional Staff and Guests; 7 to 9 p.m.; fee: $36. TBD.
Leaders are not born; they are made. At Shir Hadash, we encourage our members to take leadership roles in our community, at work, and elsewhere. This course is designed to give emerging leaders the necessary background, resources, and tools to lead not only our Jewish community but in every area of their lives. Some of the things the course will cover are ethical decision making; how to plan, inspire, and motivate; the functioning of our synagogue and Chicago Jewish community, resisting burnout; goal setting; time management; and envisioning the future. Class size is limited; please contact Rabbi Eitan to register.

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. beginning October 11; 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.

Living Judaism: Introduction to Jewish Spirituality & Civilization

Sundays, 11:15 a.m. to 12:25 p.m.; Nov. 12, 19; Dec. 10; Jan. 14, 21, 28, 2018; Feb. 11; Mar. 11, 18; Apr. 15, 22, 29. A survey of essential and fundamental concepts of Judaism—its roots, history, sacred texts, holidays, and life cycle celebration. This class is for everyone—from those with no Jewish background to those with a strong Jewish background.


Adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah:

At Shir Hadash, 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. Students can celebrate adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah as individuals or in small/large groups. Year 1 consists of three classes: 1) Torah Study/Modern Jewish Philosophy, 2) Living Judaism, and 3) Adult Hebrew Reading. Year 2 classes focus on Hebrew Reading Proficiency, Service Leading Skills, Torah Study and D’var Torah Skills.

Sunday Bagel Breakfast and Speaker Series

Sundays, 11 am. to 12:30 p.m.; Dec. 3, Jan. 7, 2018, Feb. 4, Mar. 4, Apr. 8, May 5; $5 fee. WISH and MOSH sponsor a monthly bagel breakfast in the sanctuary. From 11-11:30 we’ll enjoy breakfast and brief announcements about events at the synagogue. Each class features a speaker who will present on some fascinating and little known aspects of Jewish life, history, spirituality, current events, culture, etc.

Jewish Festivals for the Perplexed

During holiday focused Family Education days. Why do we eat latkes on Hanukkah? Why is Tu B’Shevat, a holiday for trees, in the middle of winter? Are we really supposed to drink to excess on Purim? And what is the deal with rice during Passover? Get the answers to these questions and so many more as we explore the roots, development and contemporary rituals for our Jewish holidays. But wait, there’s more! We will also explore stories, games, foods and activities that make the holidays fun for the whole family!

Every Thursday

Brunch & Lunch & Learn with the Rabbi

  • First and Third Thursdays, 1 to 2 p.m. Lunch & Learn at the Synagogue. Dates: Nov. 2, 16; Dec. 7, 21; Jan. 4, 18, 2018; Feb. 1, 15; Mar. 1, 15; Apr. 5, 19; May 3, 17.
  • Second Thursdays, 10 to 11 a.m. Brunch & Learn at The Continental Restaurant, 788 S. Buffalo Grove Road, Buffalo Grove. Dates: Nov. 9; Dec. 14; Jan. 11, 2018; Feb. 8; Mar. 8; Apr. 12; May 10.
  • Fourth Thursdays, 12 to 1 p.m. Lunch & Learn in the Loop. Dates: Nov. 30; Jan. 25, 2018; Mar. 22, Apr. 26; May 24.

Join Rabbi Eitan, Shir Hadash members, and friends for a contemporary exploration of the weekly Torah portion, a selected book of the Bible, or a contemporary work of Jewish wisdom.