Community Learning

Have you ever wanted to write your life story but haven’t known where to start? This workshop for both beginning & 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. Led by SPS member Roberta Hershenson, former arts journalist for The New York Times for 25 years.

Cost—Members: Complimentary, Guests: $50
Fridays, January 11 –February 15 (6 sessions) from 1:30—3:30 pm

Read and discuss a hand-picked selection of short stories. Light lunch served.

Mondays, October 8, November 12, December 10, March 11, April 8, May 13,12:30 pm

Shabbat Torah Study Taught by Rabbi Ain, Using Rabbi Naomi Levy’s Einstein and The Rabbi
Using Rabbi Naomi Levy’s book, Einstein and the Rabbi, spend Shabbat afternoon studying with Rabbi Ain as we ignite our souls and discuss ways of elevating our spiritual lives.

Saturdays, October 20, November 17, December 15, January 19, March 23, April 27
following Kiddush

SATURDAY, MARCH 16, Services begin at 9:15 am
professor of Religious Studies at Northwestern

Thanks to the generosity of our devoted member Irving Sitnick, in memory of Linda Sitnick, and in partnership with the Jewish Book Council, each SPS member was mailed a copy of Dr. Wimpfheimer’s latest book: The Talmud: A Biography.

On Saturday, March 16th as part of our Community Reads program, we will learn from Dr. Wimpfheimer, as he discusses his book, which takes readers on a journey from biblical and second-temple Judaism to its present-day use as a source of religious ideology, a model of different modes of rationality, and a totem of cultural identity.

Our hope is that you will have the opportunity to read The Talmud: A Biography over the next several months. However, whether you read the book or not, we hope you will join us on March 16th when Dr. Wimpfheimer shares his wisdom with our congregation.

Another way to engage with the contents of this book is by attending a course the rabbi will be offering on the Talmud. We will study this ancient text to understand how the Rabbis grappled with issues confronting their time (and ours!) This class will take place on Mondays, March 18 and 25 and April 1, at 7:30 pm
Jewish Experience in NY…past, present, and future….
The richness of NY is in its diversity. This three session program, led by SPS Members, will explore how NYC can be seen as a microcosm for the American Jewish Experience

Jewish Immigration and Religious Groups: How did the immigrant experience of the Jewish community in the late 19th and early 20th century impact the make up of the Jewish community today. We will look at key moments in how the Jews came to NY and explore what the diversity of Jewish NY looks like today. There might be an opportunity to do a “field trip” to places in NYC to complement this series. Presented by Joseph Baratz & Dr. Evelyn Rappoport
New date* Monday, March 18, 7:30 pm

The Labor Movement and Philanthropy: Jews were at the forefront of the Labor movement, and they took those experiences and eventually became involved as philanthropists around NYC and throughout America. Come to this evening for a deeper understanding of the history of the Jewish labor movement and how Jewish values not only played a role in the past but in how Jews are philanthropic today. Presented by Carol Mazin & Harold Fishman
Monday, April 8, 7:30 pm

How Jewish Culture and American Culture Intersected-Jews have always been involved in the creation of culture! We will look at the role Jews played in the Yiddish theater scene,
newspapers, books, and TV. We will see how that evolved into the characters that today we love and sometimes loathe. Presented by Alexis Azria & Fred Molod
Monday, May 13, 7:30 pm

#SPS Talks

Pluralism in the Jewish community today: Reform/Conservative/Orthodox; Secular/Haredi, Ashkenazic/Sephardic; even Israeli/Palestinian/Druze-how do we understand the various ways people identify today. Where we do find moments of connection and where do challenges arise? We will look at how issues of Jewish pluralism are playing out both in the United States and in Israel. Monday, March 11, 7:30 pm

How we treat the other: What are the Jewish values that are present as we grapple with questions of immigration, security, and human rights both here in US and in Israel.Monday April 15, 7:30 pm

Educating about Israel: How do we do it effectively? There is no question that talking about Israel and educating about what Israel, as a land, state, and people is, can be complex. This conversation will encourage thoughtful dialogue about how we simultaneously instill a love of Zionism with an understanding of how the issues of the past and the present should be communicated.Monday May 20, 7:30 pm

RSVP to Jeremy Reiss at so he can send you reading materials in advance.

Intro to TalmudTaught by Rabbi Ain
Study this ancient text to understand how the Rabbis grappled with issues confronting their time (and ours!) All texts will be studied in English however an exposure to the traditional text will take place.
Mondays, March 25 & April 1 at 7:30 pm

Jews and The Constitution TAUGHT BY DR. MARTY EDELMAN
SPS Member, Dr. Marty Edelman teach a class on how American constitutional law came to recognize the place of Judaism in American society. Topics will include: The appointment of Jewish justices and issues of concern to American Jews such as divorce, prayers in public spaces, kashrut and more. Please let the synagogue office know if you plan on attending.

Thursdays, October 18, 25; November 1, 8, 15, 4:30-5:45 pm