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Adult Learning

Havurah's Lifelong Learning Committee coordinates Havurah's Adult Education. The committee is co-chaired by Eve Berry and Joel Beinin. Members include Jack Lazareck, Elyse Hill, Tom Mitchell, Marjorie Walters, David Newman, and David Kertzner.

Adult learning falls into three broad categories: Expressive (hands-on, experiential learning, like cooking or constructing ritual garments); Culture (classes in history and literature); and Spiritual Practice (prayer, Hebrew, Torah study). Members of the committee reach out and listen to the interests of the community, mindful to be responsive to changing needs and interests over time. The committee offers regularly scheduled foundational classes along with other creative learning opportunities. You can read the committee's charter and specific tasks here.

Havurah's adult learning opportunities are available to all members free of charge, though a materials fee may apply. See our online calendar for details. Non-members are welcome as space allows, though we ask that you consider making a donation to Havurah Shalom. Materials fees may also apply. Classes with participant limits will open to non-members one week before the start of class, if space is available.

If you're interested in a multi-year learning process focused on Torah and prayer, please see our Adult B'nei Mitzvah program by clicking here

2021-22 Classes

Please check our online calendar for updates and to register. Classes are free to members; others may attend, but a $10 donation is requested. Learn about our talented teachers.

A Bird's Eye View of Jewish History
Using illustrations and maps, we will enjoyably learn the themes, geography and journey of the Jewish people. Led by Roger Brewer. 7 pm, Tuesdays, Oct. 12, 19, 26.

Using Hebrew to Understand Judaism and Prayer
Using in-depth, word-by-word study, we will build a vocabulary of words commonly used in Jewish prayer and uncover meanings beyond just a lexicon. Led by Deborah Eisenbach-Budner. 7-8:30 pm, Wednesdays, Oct. 20, 27; Nov. 3, 10, 17; Dec. 1, 8, 15; Jan. 5, 12, 19, 26; Feb. 2.

Psalms: A Deep Dive into “The Five Books of David”
Explore Psalms through historical, theological, structural and poetic lenses. We’ll compare translations, examine them as stories of emotional journey, and write our own psalms. Led by Tivona Reith. 6:30 pm, Thursdays, Nov. 4, 11, 18.

What is Israeli Food?
Enjoy a combination of demonstration, lecture and Q&A about the rich and savory variety of Israeli food. Taught by Jenn Louis. 2 pm, Sunday, Nov. 14.

Judaism’s Magical Practices
Many Jewish religious and cultural practices reveal traces of Judaism’s “magical” elements. We’ll examine questions about the relationship between spirituality, religion and magic. Led by Oren Kosansky and Deborah Eisenbach-Budner. 7-8:30 pm, Mondays, Jan. 10, 17, 24, 31.

The True Cost of Free Land: A Jewish Response to the Dispossession of Indigenous Lands
Using primary Jewish sources and contemporary analysis, we will analyze examples of collective apology and learn about Indigenous-led efforts for how to move forward. Participants will also have an opportunity to investigate how they personally have benefited from theft of Indigenous land. Led by Becca Clarren and Rabbi Benjamin. 7 pm, Wednesdays, Jan. 19, 26; Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23.

Old School Ashkenazi Favorites
Take a trip back to old-school New York Jewish immigrant cuisine! This one-hour session will visit the dishes brought to America when Jews came from the Old World. Led by JennLouis. 2 pm, Sunday, Jan. 23.

Writers’ Workshop (for Non-Writers!)
Explore memoir writing through reflection, engaging prompts, discussion and feedback, then develop a short piece in more depth and share at a low-key Friday Onegfor the Havurahcommunity. Facilitated by David Kertzner. 7 pm, Thursdays, Jan. 27; Feb. 3, 10, 17, 24; Mar. 3, 10, 17. OnegReading 7:30 pm, Friday, Apr. 1.

Hebrew Conversation Class
Practice basic Hebrew conversational skills while we plan an in-person party! Vocabulary will center on the food, invitations, music, games and decorations, and then the last class will be the party itself. Led by RacheliRoss. 7 pm, Thursdays, Feb. 3, 10, 17, 24; Mar. 3, 10, 17.

Israel Since 1948
This class will look at waves of immigration, the religious establishment and the state, the feminist movement, Palestinian Arabs who became citizens of Israel, Tel Aviv as a haven for the LGBTQI+ community, and much more. Led by Joel Beinin. 7-8:30 pm, Mondays, Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28; Mar. 7, 14, 21, 28.

Torah Study: Parshat Beshalaḥ
A thorough decoding of Exodus 13:17-17:16, Song of the Sea. We will build vocabulary and delve into themes resonant today, as well as refer to ancient and modern midrashim (interpretation) to magnify the nuances of the Hebrew text. Led by Deborah Eisenbach-Budner. 7-8:30 pm, Wednesdays, Feb. 16, 23; Mar. 2, 9, 30; Apr. 6, 20, 27; May 4, 11, 18, 25.

Using Israeli Flavors in Vegetable Dishes 
How do we celebrate Jewish cuisine while eliminating the meat? Spend an hour with JennLouis to expand your knowledge of vegetable dishes from Israel and the Diaspora. Led by Jenn Louis. 2 pm, Sunday, Apr. 10.

Literature and Trauma 
We will read three novels that explore the human response to severe trauma—William Styron's Sophie’s Choice, Toni Morrison's Belovedand ArundhatiRoy's The God of Small Things—and how people process, integrate and adapt to traumatic events. Led by David Newman and Laura Orgel. 7 pm, Mondays, Apr. 18, 25; May 16, 23; Jun. 6, 13.

Knitting Kippot
For intermediate knitters wanting to get to know other knitters in the community. Yarn and pattern will be provided, along with instruction regarding three skills: double pointed cast-on and increase, diamond lace motif and L-cord bind-off. Led by Marsha Green. 10-12 pm, Sundays, May 15, 22.

Punishment, Accountability, and Repair in Jewish Tradition and Contemporary Society: An Inside-Out Exchange Series at Oregon State Penitentiary 
Through engaging and learning with adults in custody at Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem, we will explore themes of punishment, accountability and repair within Judaism and other religious traditions, and examine how these issues play out in our society. Limited to 10 committed participants. Contact Rabbi Benjamin if you are interested. Facilitated by Aliza Kaplan and Rabbi Benjamin. Six sessions. Dates TBA.

Sun, October 2 2022 7 Tishrei 5783