Adult Education 2018–19

The Adult Education team invites you to examine the program for the upcoming year consisting of classes, a lecture series and discussion groups. There are some old favourites, some are new additions. The team is quite excited about the Exploring the Sephardi Legacy series, and the new book and parashah discussion groups.
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Classes

Modern Hebrew

Stacks Image 1307
Instructor Betsi Boeno covers written and spoken Modern Hebrew with an emphasis on basic Hebrew conversation skills. Betsi is fluent in Modern Hebrew and experienced in teaching Hebrew to newcomers in Israel.

Fall session: October 15* – December 17, 2018 (10* classes) Fee: $120/$180*
Winter session: January 7 – April 15, 2019 (14 classes) Fee: $TBA*
Spring session: April 22 – June 24 (10 classes) Fee: $TBA*

There is no class on February 18 (Family Day)

Note: Pre-register through the office (250-382-0615)


* Revised since original announcement


Stacks Image 1311
Morashah — an in-depth study of Judaism
Participants must have completed the prerequisite class, Judaism – An Introduction. Candidates wishing admission to the Morashah class must meet with Rabbi Brechner to obtain approval for entry into the class. This fall the Morashah class includes beginner’s Hebrew (Biblical) alternating weekly with Judaism studies.
Weekly on Thursdays, 7:30 – 8:30 pm from September 2018 to March 2019 beginning on September 27.
For further information and registration, email Chanah.

Hebrew School for Grownups

Stacks Image 1315
Did you miss out on the Hebrew School experience? Was your Hebrew school experience so bland or painful that you tuned out? This class will give you some of the basic building blocks of Jewish knowledge and fill in some important gaps; from learning that Hebrew song that everyone else seems to know, to helping you make sense of Jewish liturgical prayer. Each class will include prayer, Hebrew song and basic Hebrew language learning as we explore the calendar cycle, the holidays, and Jewish life cycle rituals while trying to make sense of current events from a Jewish context. B’kol Echad (bentsher) will be used during the course and may be purchased from the congregation Simcha gift shop.
Weekly at Congregation Emanu-El sanctuary for eight sessions on Thursdays, 7:30 – 9:00 pm
Spring Session: April 25 – June 13, 2019
Fee: TBA
For further information and registration, email Chanah.

Judaism – An Introduction

Stacks Image 1320
Join Rabbi Harry Brechner from Congregation Emanu-El for this informative 8-week course, which introduces Jewish beliefs, practice and history.
The course reflects egalitarian Conservative Judaism: the topics include holidays, life cycle celebrations, theology and core beliefs, prayer, Jewish sacred texts, history, the Holocaust, and Israel. This course is open to anyone wishing to explore the many facets of Judaism.

Weekly for eight sessions in Congregation Emanu-El sanctuary, on Thursdays, 7:00 – 8:30 pm late fall 2019 Fee: TBA
For Further information and registration, email Chanah.
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Lecture Series

Exploring the Sephardi Legacy

Stacks Image 1328
The word Sephardi comes from the Hebrew word for Spain (ספרד, Sepharad). Sephardim refers to the descendants of the Jewish communities expelled from Spain and Portugal in the late 1400s—one of the great tragedies of Jewish history.
For a century, Spain had been one of the major centres of Jewish life, especially during the so-called “Golden Age”, from 950-1150 CE, the period of la convivencia, the interfusion of the Jewish, Muslim and Christian cultures in Muslim Spain. The greatest Jewish philosophers, poets, politicians, and mystics came from Spain. Sephardi Jews were massacred, forcibly converted and finally expelled, first in 1492 from Spain, and then in 1497 from Portugal. Their descendants scattered over the Mediterranean, and founded rich and creative communities in Amsterdam, London and the New World. In this series, we will explore the legacy of those Sephardi Jews beginning with the Hebrew poetry of medieval Spain, moving on to the Netherlands Jewish communities, Sephardic food and music concluding with the Sephardi diaspora experience.
We begin in the fall with the following sessions:
Sephardic Poetry with Shamma Boyarin on Sunday, October 14, 2018 at 2 pm
The Sephardim of Amsterdam with Rick Kool on Sunday November 18, 2018 at 2 pm
Sephardi Food with Betsi Boeno on Sunday, December 9, 2018 at 3 pm
Venue: Congregation Emanu-El synagogue Participation: By donation
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Discussion Groups

Mystic Moka

Stacks Image 1339
Come explore the weekly Torah portion with Rabbi Harry. Together we will mine classical Kabbalistic and Ḥassidic commentaries to find personal insights and spiritual nourishment, as we search for deeper meaning and understanding.

Grab a nosh and join Rabbi Harry for this weekly learning at Discovery Cafe , 664 Discovery Street on Fridays, 12:30 – 1:30 pm beginning October 12. Participation: by donation.

Ḥug Ivrit

Stacks Image 1343
“Conversational Hebrew with native Hebrew speaker Dahlia Beck”

If your Hebrew is well beyond the beginner level, but you require more practice speaking to improve your listening, comprehension and vocabulary skills—Ḥug Ivrit may be for you. We meet with native speaker Dahlia Beck at her home and, under her careful guidance, immerse ourselves in Hebrew conversation and culture.

Weekly at Dahlia’s home on Wednesdays, 7:00 – 8:30 pm, from October 10
Participation: by donation.

Not-Your-Usual Book Club

Stacks Image 1347
Book lovers come together to explore Jewish themes within a variety of settings—from Canada to Europe to Israel. Meeting monthly, we’ll delve into the complexities of Jewish life, and how they reflect on our times, our lives, and our future. The initial selection is Visitation, by the German author Jenny Erpenbeck. Visitation is a meditation on the fate of a tract of land outside Berlin and that of its diverse inhabitants, mostly during the 20th century.
In our first meeting, we will take time to discuss future book selections so come with suggestions. The participants will determine which titles will be read for the following encounters.
The first meeting will be at Dahlia Beck’s home, Wednesday, November 7, at 7 pm. Future meetings are set for December 5 and January 2.
Participation: by donation
For more information, email Dahlia

Shiur al parashat hashavua

Stacks Image 1352
This weekly study session (shiur) will be on the parashah (portion of the Torah), that will be read in the synagogue in the week ahead. The intent is to acquire a sense of the continuity and depth, the beauty and enigmas, of the readings. Participants will read the text beforehand, and come with questions and insights; we will focus on particular passages. Francis Landy, a biblical scholar and specialist in the poetry of the Hebrew Bible, will lead the discussion. It will be like a ‘book club with only one book’.

The High Holy Dates this year are such that we will have to start with a handicap — the synagogue will have finished with Bereshit on the Shabbat before we begin. Nonetheless, we will begin at the beginning and devise our own catch-up from there.

Weekly on Tuesday evenings at 7:00 – 8:30 pm beginning October 9, 2019 at Francis Landy’s home.

Participation: by donation

Note: Preregister for this program by emailing Francis