Community Learning

INTRO TO MUSSAR WITH RABBI RACHEL AIN
Saturdays, October 19, November 23, December 14, March 7, April 4 following Kiddush

Looking inward and at our own characteristics, this class will delve into how Judaism helps us understand various character traits and how we can better engage in the world in which we live. This is a perfect follow up to the self-introspection that is kicked off during the High Holiday season.

“ARE JEWS REALLY PROTECTED BY THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION?” TAUGHT BY SPS MEMBER DR. MARTY EDELMAN
Thursdays, October 24, October 31, November 7, November 14, November 21 from 4:30 pm – 5:30 PM

American Jews have always wanted to be treated on EQUAL TERMS, both legally and socially, with all other Americans. This “course” will examine whether current Supreme Court interpretations of the Constitution are promoting or inhibiting that objective.

THE ETHICAL WILLS PROJECT WITH RABBI AIN
Mondays October 28, November 25 from 4:30-5:45 PM

Rabbi Ain will facilitate the The Jewish Ethical Wills Project at SPS. The two-session curriculum explores ethical wills as an authentic Jewish practice that helps to articulate values, look at issues of legacy, and navigate liminal moments. The Ethical Wills Project is an initiative of JTS’s Center for Pastoral Education and the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan and is supported by a generous grant from the Charles H. Revson Foundation.

SHAKESPEARE AND TORAH WITH RABBINIC INTERN DAVID CHAPMAN
Saturdays, November 9, December 7, January 11, February 8, March 21 following Kiddush

Fie on him, Jezebel! (Twelfth Night, Act II). This course will explore connections between William Shakespeare and one of his most important influences, the Hebrew Bible. Together we will look at similarities in language, style, theme, and theology between the two canons. No acting experience necessary! Led by Rabbinic Intern David Chapman, a former theater director and Shakespeare enthusiast.

SHORT STORY ALOUD LED BY SYLVIA SLATIN KATZ
Mondays, November 11, December 9, March 9, April 13, May 11 at 12:30 PM

Read and discuss a hand-picked selection of short stories. Arrive 15 minutes early to enjoy a light lunch. Class is free. Register by calling the office or emailing sps@spsnyc.org

#SPSTALKS FACILITATED BY SPS BOARD MEMBER JEREMY REISS
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.

Should American Jews get involved in israeli politics?
Monday, November 18 at 7:30 pm


Anti-semitism: What is the essence of our outrage and how should we be responding?
Monday, February 3 at 7:30 pm


Zooming in: What is taking place on the ground between “ordinary”
Israelis/Palestinians…how do we make today better?
Monday. May 18 at 7:30 pm


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

THE GREAT DEBATES: A JTS CURRICULUM TAUGHT BY RABBI AIN
Mondays, January 27, February 24, March 23, April 27, May 18 at 4:30 PM

Sign up for this exciting class where we will contemplate questions such as: Are religion and reason compatible? Can we change the siddur as our worldview evolves? The nature of brit: Is our relationship with God based on law or love? Does the Holocaust play an outsized role in Jewish identity today? How do we teach about Israel? Love, loyalty, nuance and complexity? RSVP to sps@spsnyc.org

HOW TO’S OF JEWISH RITUAL AND PRACTICE WITH RABBINIC INTERN DAVID CHAPMAN
Wednesdays, March 11 & 18, April 22 & 29 at 7 PM

J oin Rabbinic Intern David Chapman for a practical course on the “how to”s of being Jewish. Topics include participating in the Torah Service, giving a D’var Torah, Bikkur Cholim (visiting the sick), Havdalah, and more.

Jews Around the World Led by SPS Member Fred Molod
Join us for 4 part speakers series with authors from the Jewish Book Council talking about Jews around the world.

“TEHRAN CHILDREN” WITH AUTHOR MIKHAL DEKEL
Monday, March 16 at 2 PM

“Tehran Children” is the true story of Polish-Jewish child refugees who escaped the Nazis and found refuge in Iran. MIKHAL DEKEL, the daughter of one of these children, spent eight years extensively researching and traveling around the world to write a far-reaching account of Jews who found asylum in Muslim lands.

HEBREW ROOTS: JEWISH ROUTES
Saturday, March 21, During Services

In partnership with the Jewish Book Council, SPS members will hear from esteemed environmental educator DR. JEREMY BENSTEIN. Dr. Benstein is a co-founder of the Heschel Center and former director of its Environmental Fellows program. He holds a PhD in environmental anthropology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Jeremy’s interests focus on the interplay of religion, culture and values with the environment, topics he has explored in his book “The Way into Judaism and the Environment.”

“KUGEL AND FRIJOLES: LATINO JEWS IN THE UNITED STATES” WITH AUTHOR DR. LAURA LIMONIC
Monday, March 23 at 2 PM

“Kugel and Frijoles” analyzes the changing construction of race and ethnicity in the U.S. through the lens of contemporary Jewish immigrants
from Latin America. Since Latino Jews are not easily classified within
the U.S. racial and ethnic schema, their ethnic identity and group affiliation challenge existing paradigms. DR. LIMONIC will be discussing: What countries are Latino Jews emigrating from? Why are they leaving? Where are they settling in the U.S? How are their customs, foods, languages, andreligious observances different from that of Ashkenazi & Sephardic Jews?

INTRO TO RABBINIC LITERATURE TAUGHT BY RABBI DAVE LEVY
DATE & TIME TBD

Rabbi David Levy will open learner’s eyes to the breadth and depth of Rabbinic literature by providing opportunities for participants to see what the Rabbis grappled with day in and day out.

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.