Classes take place on Monday evenings from 7:00—9:00 at Temple Emanu-El and Congregation Beth Shalom according to the schedule.

Each evening consists of two class periods with snack served in between.  The weekly program consists of one mandatory class each week and a choice between 2 elective classes.

Depending on the topic, some classes are 2 weeks long, some 4 weeks long and many are one night stand-alone sessions.

For many holidays, we will have a 2 hour full group activity.

Classes are being taught by our Rabbis, Cantors, Educators, Synagogue and Community members.


Conversational Hebrew

Come and learn the basics of conversational Hebrew. Hi, how are you? What’s up? Are you hungry?  Learn to navigate the basics of Hebrew as a real language spoken daily in Modern Israel.


Brisket, latkes, hamentaschen. . . . .food has always been a part of being Jewish.  From the times of wandering the desert to the diaspora, culinary traditions were easy to keep, adding the local spices and foods along the way.  We will make and eat some traditionally Jewish and/or Israeli foods.

Create a Jewish on-line learning App

Using an interactive program, the students will create their own programs and games on Jewish subjects.  Ipads will be provided during class time although students are welcome to bring their own devices to class on which to develop their games. Please note the program currently only works on apple ipads and not android systems.


In Judaism, the realm of morality is not restricted to deed but rather includes our inner thoughts, emotions, intentions, attitudes and motives.  All are, to a degree, subject to our control and are moral judgements.  Concern for the dignity of man is another distinctive feature of the morality of Judaism, expressing itself primarily as respecting each person’s privacy and being careful not to cause anyone shame or embarrassment.

Foundation of Jewish Practice

Why do we, why don’t we?  Jewish people do some things and don’t do others.   Who told us, and how did they figure it out?  We’ll visit some of the sources of Jewish tradition, and maybe make some new friends.


The Book of Genesis is all too often read and taught as “Bible Stories for Children,” when in fact the narratives  present very sophisticated themes, and  carefully crafted literature.  This four-week class will be a close reading  and discussion of the first four chapters of Genesis.  Discussions will address: which of the two Creation stories is “true”?, why did God always want us out of the Garden of Eden?, and why is Cain a tragic hero?
Note:  this is required for all 10th grade students.


This class will read the three “Synoptic Gospels” of Matthew, Mark and Luke which separately tell the story of Jesus, his mission and message to the Jews.  Reading the Christian Gospels as Jews, the class will examine their thematic differences and individual perspectives on Jews and Judaism.  Living in a predominantly Christian culture, it is important for us to understand the texts that form the basis of Christianity.

Jewish Henna

Come and learn about the long history of Jews and Henna. As we explore the history and designs, students will be using real henna to further enhance their learning. Henna appears in the Bible and was grown and used in Israel during the Hellenistic period. Henna used for everyday and ritual purposes quickly became an established custom among Jews in the Diaspora particularly in Moroccan and North African communities.

Jewish Sign Language

Come for a unique class using sign language to connect us in a special way. We will be learning the sign language to the famous Arik Einstein song, Ani ve’ Ata that was used in an amazing program to bridge the deaf and the hearing communities in Israel.

Jews and the Simpsons

For millions in North America and globally who have never acutally met a Jew, “The Simpsons” has showcased us in a knowing, sympathetic, yet realistic way.  The series has portrayed numerous important aspects of modern (and ancient) Jewish life in brilliant 23 minute bites.  If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews is what they saw on “The Simpsons,” they—and we—could be well served.
Come and meet the Simpson Jews and let’s look at how they have influenced TV watchers everywhere!

Jews in Comic Books

 Look up in the sky:  it’s a bird, it’s a plane. . . No, it’s a minyan of comic book superheroes and their geeky Jewish creators.  From its inception, the modern comic book has been a friendly domain for Jews, from Marvel’s Stan Lee to Maus’ Art Spiegelman.  Hawkman, the Flash, Thor, Superman and Batman were all created by overactive Jewish imaginations.
Why the Jews?  How did the People of the Book become People of the Comic Book?  Come and learn about your favorite characters and their Jewish personas.

Jews in Sports

Jews in Sports tell the largely underappreciated story of Jewish athletes from the famous to the unknown. Can you name a Jewish Olympic gymnast who won 10 medals in 3 Olympiads? Can you name a Jewish southpaw who hurled two no-hitter but never pitched for the Dodgers? Did you know that one of Spain’s most celebrated bullfighters was a Jewish boy from Brooklyn? Jews aren’t just smart, we’re sporty too, come and learn more about our Jewish skills.

Jews in the News

Mass media commonly stereotypes Jews. Examples of these stereotypes can be found in many forms of media from The Big Bang Theory to Weeds.  In truth, Jewish people can be wealthy or poor, intelligent or less intelligent, kind or otherwise.  It is important, particularly with a global history of anti-Semitism, that Judaism be portrayed in a balanced manner that does not encourage such popular misconceptions.


What are some of the mystical teachings of Kabbalah. Based on ten principles of Kabbalah, our teens will be exposed to the concepts and shown how Kabbalah can help them make good choices in their daily lives. Made famous by Madonna and red string bracelets, Kabbalah has something for everyone.


Exploring two Jewish concepts “Im ain ani li mi li””If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?” from Pirkei Avot (Ethics of Our fathers) and “Kol D’mama Daka” “Still Small Voice” from Torah. These concepts through music and discuss how the composers used the concepts in their songs, what the concepts mean to the students, and how these concepts apply to them in today’s world.

Peer Training (Special Needs)

The objective of the Peer to Peer support class is to provide opportunities for general education students to learn to relate to people with different needs and develop an increased understanding of individual differences.

Sibling Rivalry

In this course, we will explore  the relationships of siblings in biblical stories, particularly emphasizing their fatalities and the similarities of those experiences with siblings  in our own lives.  We will use storytelling, role play and discussion to understand the causes and resolutions for these issues

Social Action

Social Action is a month-long culmination to our year where we will have guest speakers and work together on a closing project highlighting the needs of others.


Laws and legends of Judaism.  These classes will show how Talmud is at the heart of both religion and spirituality exploring texts, social, psychological and ethical issues. Apply mind-bending, brain-twisting, hair-splitting Talmudic reasoning to solve real-life modern dilemmas—situations that actually happened yet seem impossible to solve. What do you do when your gut tells you one thing, and your brain tells you another? Prepare for a mental expedition to mind-wrestle with situations that force us to choose between two reasonable truths.

There’s Always Someone Jewish 

Jews often feel an innate bond to other Jews because of a collective consciousness that connects them to one another.  Similar beliefs and sentiments contribute to this feeling of connection.  The famous sociologist Emile Durkheim would say that Jews have a strong sense of collective consciousness because of shared values; this is exactly like Americans connecting over value and appreciation of a democratic government.  People simply seem to feel more comfortable with others who share common views—especially tradition.


Trope is the term for the notation system for chanting Torah.  Trope are symbols for when to pause and where to stop in the Torah reading.  They each have a different set of associated notes and when strung together become the chant for a given portion.  The technical term for trope is Ta’amei haMikra, “the flavor of reading.”  It lets us know where our earlier ancestors thought the punctuation belongs since there isn’t any in the Torah scroll text itself.
That’s right—there is no punctuation in a Torah scroll and no trope.  The melodies were an oral tradition, which could be conducted with hand signals anf inally were encoded in written symbols.
There are 27 tropes, 14 are for endring phrases, the rest are used to build up a phrase.  Come and learn how to chant by learning to decode the Trope symbols!

Typos in the Torah

Sometimes people who chant the Torah don’t read what’s in the scroll but a different word—and they do this intentionally.  This isn’t cheating though.  We’ll take a look at some of these words and talk about what this could mean.  Some people find this topic upsetting, so be warned.

Who are the Jews, and What is Our Connection to Israel

In the four sessions of this class, you will explore the nature of the Jewish People; what it means to be Jewish and why, since we are American, we are connected to Israel.  You will also learn in detail about Israel’s 70 year quest for peach with her neighbors.  At the end of the class we will explore Israel’s relationship with the Palestinians, and look at the current strategic situation in Israel.


 Using a variety of tools and supplies, students will build a piece of Judaica for themselves or work on a group project for Temple.
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