Community Learning

AFTER THE IMMERSION
A course for individuals and couples who have gone through the conversion process. We will look at prayers that are said as part of the Shabbat services to give further insight and inspiration to those on their Jewish journey. Conversations about how to make Jewish ritual & Jewish living accessible now that the conversion is complete will also take place. Please let Rabbi Ain know if you are interested in this course.
Wednesdays, October 4, November 1, December 6, February 14, March 14, April 18, May 16 from 7:30—8 am

Israel’s Milestones and Their Meanings
This course explores the pivotal events of 1917, 1947, and 1967 as key moments when Zionism unleashed new thinking about the meaning of Jewishness for generations to come. As we look to Israel’s future, we need to engage anew with our past and explore its meanings and consequences. Together we will study topics such as: nationhood, land, Sovereignty, Jerusalem, Occupation and Moral Red Lines. This class will be taught by Rabbi Ain. RSVP to the office for the class. Cost $20
Mondays, October 16, 23 & 30; November 6, 20 & 27; December 18 from 4—5:45 pm

SPS Talks
In a thoughtful, facilitated manner, we invite members of SPS to join together to discuss issues that are near and dear to us but might place us in opposition to one another. The only way to learn and to grow is through listening.
Plan to come to SPS at 7pm on Wednesdays to discuss:

October 18: “Challenging the BDS Movement: Celebrating the Existence of the Jewish State while engaging in thoughtful critique”

January 24: “Who are our bedfellows?  How do we promote Jewish values when we partner with other groups?”

March 14: “Religious Pluralism in Israel: Why does it matter and what should we do about it?”

May 23: “Current Developments in the Middle East-is there a path to peace in the region?”

RSVP to Jeremy Reiss at Jeremy_reiss@msn.com so he can send you reading materials in advance.

Pirkei Avot
Study Pirkei Avot, or Ethics of the Fathers – a compilation of rabbinic teachings dealing with ethical and moral living. We will be looking at specific teachings within this collection that deal with giving respect/showing kindness to ourselves, to others, and to God, and discuss the question “how can we apply these teachings to our lives today?”
Tuesdays, October 24, October 31, November 7, November 14 at 4:30 pm (With JTS Rabbinical Student Daniel Novick) RSVP to sps@spsnyc.org

Write Your Life Story
Have you ever wanted to write your life story but haven’t known where to start? This workshop for both beginning and experienced writers will give you the tools and confidence to produce a lasting written work. Whether you wish to leave a legacy for your children and grandchildren, or you are writing for yourself and friends, this workshop offers a supportive setting in which to shape your memories. Class led by Roberta Hershenson, a member of SPS, who worked as an arts journalist for The New York Times  for 25 years. Her essays and features can currently be found on the website NYCityWoman.com. She especially enjoys helping others unlock the stories within them. RSVP to sps@spsnyc.org
Fridays, October 20, 27; November 3, 10 & 17; December 1, 8 from 11 am – 1 pm

Jewish Parenting with Rabbi Ain
Using personal stories and sacred texts, this class will look at how to incorporate Jewish values into your home as we discuss gratitude and giving, life and loss, what it means to it means to “parent Jewishly” in the 21st century.
Fridays, November 3, December 1, January 12, February 2, March 2, 9:15 am

Short Story Aloud
Read and discuss a hand-picked selection of short stories. Light lunch served.  Led by SPS member Sylvia Slatin Katz.
Mondays, November 13, December 11, March 12, April 9, May 14, June 11 at 12:30 pm

Crash Course in Jewish History
Be prepared to be introduced to 2000 years of Jewish history in just 4 sessions as we explore important periods in Jewish history and how the culture and context were catalysts for Jewish growth, innovation, and survival!

Each course will be taught by a renowned scholar from the Jewish Theological Seminary on Thursdays, November 30 (Dr. Burton Visotzky-Ancient Rabbinic History), January 18 (Dr. Benjamin Gampel-Medieval Jewish History), Feb 15 (Dr. David Fishman-Modern Jewish History), March 8 (Dr. Shuly Rubin Schwartz-American Jewish History)

All Lectures for this series will begin at 7:30 pm

This Day in Jewish History
Presentations will be given by SPS on key dates in Jewish history as a follow up to the “Crash Course in Jewish History.” We will explore moments of deep sadness and tremendous joy, moments where Jews raised their hands in protest, and times where members of our communities were lost. By studying specific moments of history we will understand the impact of individual people on the world.

Mondays, April 16, June 11; Wednesday, May 9

All presentations will be given by members of SPS and will begin at 7:30 pm

Private or Semi-Private study with Rabbi Ain
Rabbi Ain is available to meet with individuals or small groups to study the weekly Torah portion, the prayer book, or big ideas in Judaism at your convenience. Please reach out to her directly to set up times to study.

Learn to Read Torah: Do you know how to read Hebrew but want to learn how to read Torah? If so, Cantor Keren is waiting to hear from you! Contact Cantor Keren directly and he can give you the resources necessary to help you learn to read Torah so you can participate actively in our shabbat morning services.

Learn to Chant Haftorah:  SPS member, Joel Arthur, has volunteered to help people learn how to read haftorah. If you are interested in learning or feel you need a tune up since your bar or bat mitzvah, please be in touch with Rabbi Ain and she will make the match. (If you already know how to do a haftorah and would like to schedule a Saturday where you will chant one, don’t hesitate! Call the Rabbi and find a date that works for you!).

Do you want to learn to read Hebrew? If you are looking to learn the alef-bet, there are people at SPS who can tutor you! Please be in touch with Rabbi Ain and she will connect you to a tutor who, for a agreed upon fee, will work with you to help you feel comfortable in services.

Are there other things that you want to study but you can’t make it to these scheduled courses? Please be in touch with Rabbi Ain directly and she will be happy to set up time to meet you during the day at your home, the synagogue, or office.