Community Learning

American Jewish Personalities we should know-Passover reminds us of the importance of 4 children. Learn about 4 (or more!) important American Jewish personalities who made an impact not only on the Jewish world but on the larger world. By looking at people in areas such as law, medicine, politics, literature, finance, and more, we can explore “what makes us tick as a Jewish people, how did the Jewishness of these individuals influence the world, and how does this impact each of us and our behavior?”  Coordinated by Community Learning Committee Chair, Fred Molod, presentations will be made by members of the congregation.
Wednesday, February 8 (Jews in Social Activism-Studying Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Rabbi Amy Eilberg, and Louis B. Marshall)

Wednesday, March 8 (Jews who made Jewishness public, studying Abraham Cahan, Sandy Koufax, Menachem Schneerson, and Barbra Streisand

Wednesday, April 5 (Studying Jews in Science including Jonas Salk and others)

Tuesday,May 16(American Jews who contributed to the growth of Israel by studying Louis Brandeis, Henrietta Szold, and studying Senator Charles Schumer and Rep. Jerry Nadler). All presentations will begin at 7 pm and include a thoughtful discussion amongst attendees. 

Short Story Aloud led by Sylvia Slatin Katz
Read and discuss a handpicked short story. Light lunch served
Monday, March 13 at 12:30 pm

Introducing the Five Books of the Torah: Do you want to understand the meaning of each of the major books of the Torah? Come to a study session with Rabbi Ain following shabbat Kiddush (12:30 pm) to learn about each of the 5 books. Saturdays October 22 (Genesis), January 14 (Exodus), March 25 (Leviticus), May 20th (Numbers and Deuteronomy)

Write Your Life Story: After a successful Fall, this class is returning in time for Winter…new students are encouraged to sign up! Do you like to reminisce about special times in the past? Are you intrigued by the way your life or your ideas have evolved over time? Perhaps you have thought of leaving a legacy for your children and grandchildren in the form of a written personal history. There are many kinds of life stories, and all have enormous value. Don’t let them get away from you! Learn with a congenial group of others how to shape your personal story into a lasting written work. You don’t have to be an experienced writer to benefit from the class! SPS member Roberta Hershenson, a longtime journalist, writing tutor, and fiction writer will lead the class.  To register:
Fridays at 11 am, beginning February 3

The Ethical Life: Jewish Values in an Age of Choice-Understand the source of Jewish ethics and then apply Jewish ethics to the concepts of global citizenship, the public good, and interpersonal relationships. Topics we will cover will include: The ethical dimensions of food production, Modern-day slavery and our ethical responsibility, the ethics of torture, Advance directives and end of life care, surrogacy, the ethics of enhancement, and we will discuss if lying is ever ethical. RSVP to
Mondays 4-5:45 pm: November 7, 14, 21, Dec 12, 19, January 23, 30, Feb 6, Feb 13

If These Walls Could Speak: The Art and Artifacts of SPS: Rabbi David Levy is excited to take you on a tour of our building. By examining not only the art in the sanctuary,  but art that is throughout the building, you will gain a deeper appreciation for the many ways Jewish tradition can be expressed. Saturday, February 18 at 12:30 pm

Does Judaism really believe that? There are many questions that people have about Judaism but haven’t asked. Do you know that Judaism does believe in an afterlife or that you can be buried in a Jewish cemetery with a tattoo? Join Rabbi Ain to understand what Judaism does, and doesn’t believe. Tuesday May 23 7:00 pm

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.