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Lifelong Learning Committee


The Adult Learning Committee develops and helps implement adult learning activities at Havurah. 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. We offer regularly scheduled foundational classes, along with other creative learning opportunities.

Do you have an idea for a class? Or a skill you'd like to share? Please contact Adult Learning Committee Chair Eve Berry or Education Director Deborah Eisenbach-Budner by April for classes that will start in the upcoming year’s programming, which begins in the autumn.


Adult Learning

Our community offers us the opportunity to learn together. 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, though tuition and materials fees may apply.


Adult Learning in 2019-20

Please check our online calendar for updates and to register.

Hashiveinu: Musical and Spiritual Preparation for the Days of Returning
We will interweave singing High Holiday melodies with reflecting upon and discussing the themes and meaning of this sacred time. Facilitated by Rabbi Benjamin and others. 7-8:30 pm, Thursdays, Sept. 12, 19, 26

Music and Meaning in the Shabbat Morning Service
A walk through the Shabbat morning service, focusing on the meaning and resonance of prayers we generally sing at Havurah. Taught by Rabbi Benjamin. 7-8:30 pm, Wednesdays, Oct. 30; Jan. 8, 15

Familiar Food That Is Full of Surprises (and usually also garlic)
Join us to learn the fascinating history behind old and new Jewish foods. We’ll discuss, cook and (best of all) eat. Taught by David Feder. 10-11:30 am, Sundays, Nov. 3; Dec. 1

Moroccan Flavors of Jewish Cooking
An introduction to the broad scope of Moroccan Jewish cooking in in its cultural and historical context. Participants will also prepare a simple salad often served on Shabbat and other festive occasions. Taught by Oren Kosansky. 3-5 pm, Sunday, Nov. 17

Tallit Class
Would you like to create your own tallit? Then please join our class as we learn to create a tallit, tie the tzitzit and learn of the meaning of the gematria wound and knotted into the holy fringe. 10:30-12 pm, Sundays, Nov. 17; Dec. 8

InterPlay Torah Study: Fun as a Spiritual Practice!
Step into the Living Torah! Beginning in text, we’ll use simple, incremental forms of “sacred play” to find and express our own meaning and connections. Facilitated by Cassandra Sagan. 7-9 pm, Tuesdays, Jan. 7, 14, 21; Feb. 4, 11, 18

Jewish Power and Powerlessness
“They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s… talk about it.” The 20th century provided examples of extreme Jewish powerlessness and unheard-of Jewish power as well. We’ll break down the longer history, from Philo to philo-Semitism. Taught by David Feder. 10-11:30 am, Sundays, Jan. 12, 19, 26

Musical Theater New Works Workshop
Join us as we workshop a new musical—Freedom: The Untold Story of Moses. This will culminate in a staged reading performance. Facilitated by Chari Smith. 7-8:30 pm, Mondays, Jan. 13, 20, 27; Feb. 3, 10, 17, 24; Mar. 2, 16, 30; Performances Sunday, Apr. 5, 2 pm and 7 pm 

Reconstructing Judaism: An Exploration
What does it mean that Havurah is a member of Reconstructing Judaism? We will explore values and approaches that have inspired and guided the movement. Taught by Rabbi Benjamin. 7-8:30 pm, Wednesdays, Feb. 5, 12, 19

Writing Group
An amateur writing group exploring our interest in memoir. We’ll generate short pieces each week, culminating in a Friday Oneg for the Havurah community. Facilitated by David Kertzner. 7-9 pm, Thursdays, Feb. 6, 13, 20, 27; Mar. 5, 12 and 19; Oneg and public reading Friday, Mar. 20

Extreme Parenting
A workshop/support group for parents of young adults struggling with mental or physical health conditions, disabilities, addiction or history of trauma. Facilitated by Laura Orgel, psychologist and child/family therapist, and Deborah Eisenbach-Budner. 7-8:30 pm, Mondays, Feb. 10, 24

2000 Years of Jewish Understandings of Slavery and Freedom: Preparing for Passover
We will look at themes of freedom and slavery throughout the Torah narratives, 600 years of haggadot, the construction of the seder by the rabbis, and the liberation of gender that has marked the last 40 years of creative Jewish seders. Led by Deborah Eisenbach-Budner. 7-8:30 pm, Wednesdays, Feb. 26; Mar. 4, 11, 18

Rethinking Israel/Palestine
We’ll address questions about the origins of Zionism in Eastern Europe and about confrontations between Israel and its neighbors. Taught by Prof. Joel Beinin. 7-8:30 pm, Tuesdays, Mar. 3, 10, 17, 31; Apr. 7, 14, 21, 28; May 5, 12

Intergenerational Conflict and Sexuality in Yiddish Poetry
Using sexuality as a focal point, we will see how Jewish language and culture are used in early 20th century Yiddish literature to explore themes of generational conflict, identity and cultural transition. Led by Deborah Eisenbach-Budner. 12-1 pm, Thursdays, Apr. 30; May 7, 14

Va’ani Tefilati: A Prayer Leadership Workshop
For those interested in leading tefilah (prayer), or who already lead, we will cover details of language, melody and choreography and also explore the craft of attuning to and guiding the community’s energy as a leader of prayer. Facilitated by Rabbi Benjamin. 7-8:30 pm, Wednesdays, May 6, 13, 20

Israeli and Palestinian Literature 
We will read four works of fiction that offer a perspective on Israel/Palestine, centering the human dimension and reminding us of the vibrancy of both modern Hebrew and Palestinian Arab culture. Taught by Prof. Joel Beinin. 7-8:30pm, Tuesdays, May 19, 26; June 2, 9, 16, 23

Mikvah Learning Sessions
While visiting the community mikvah, Rachel’s Well, we’ll learn about this ritual bath of “living waters” sourced from rain. Led by Deborah Eisenbach-Budner and community members. Dates TBD

Sun, May 29 2022 28 Iyyar 5782