Yesod (Adult Ed)

TBJ Adult Education Offerings 5779 (2018-2019)

Note: All Sunday morning classes are held on days when Religious School is in session. Weather cancellations for Religious School also apply to Sunday Adult Education classes.


  1. Jonah: The Reluctant Prophet

Taught by Rabbi Robin Nafshi

Every Yom Kippur afternoon, we hear the story of Jonah, the prophet chosen to go to Nineveh, but who instead flees from God, gets swallowed by a big fish, repents, and then gets a second chance to perform his task. The Ninevites, too, repent, but Jonah is unhappy that God forgives them. Who was Jonah? Why do we read this book each Yom Kippur? First class September 30.            

Sundays 9:00 am-10:00 am fall semester


  1. Adult Hebrew I (Reading Hebrew)

Taught by Shaun Moore

This class starts at the beginning, assuming no knowledge of Hebrew, with the decoding, reading, and writing of Hebrew letters and words. We usually get far enough to begin Prayerbook Hebrew and some elementary translating. First class September 16.

Sundays 10:00 am-11:00 am                       Text: Teach Yourself to Read Hebrew (provided)


  1. Adult Hebrew III (Translation)

Taught by Marty Bender

Translation of the Prayerbook in the way that WE like! How do you feel about translating Ma Tovu into “how lovely?” In this class, we will attempt to do our own Hebrew to English. All you need is some knowledge of Hebrew, a biblical Hebrew dictionary (printed or online) and a desire to rewrite the Siddur with lots of conversation and fun. First class September 9.

Sundays 10:00 am-11:00 am


  1. Adult Hebrew II (Prayerbook Hebrew)

Taught by Marty Bender

We will review some of last year’s material and forge ahead into the unknown. New class members who can decode (sound out the Hebrew letters and vowels) and want to gain reading fluency and some translation skills are encouraged to join. First class September 9.

Sundays 11:00 am – noon                Text: Prayerbook Hebrew the Easy Way


  1. Spiritual Parenting

Facilitated by Laura and Todd Kozikowski

Parenting can have its challenges and its rewards. Sometimes it’s a rollercoaster, and sometimes it’s smooth sailing. Often times, this can all happen in the same day, or even in the same hour! The focus of this class will be discussion of topics raised in parenting books and articles, and through our own experiences. The first book will be The Blessing of a Skinned Knee, by Wendy Mogel. Other readings TBD.

Sundays: October 14, November 4, December 9, January 13, February 3, March 10,

April 7, May 5     10:00 am-11:00 am


  1. Prayers in Pairs: Learning About Liturgy Through Chevruta Study

Taught by EJ Cohen

For 18 years, EJ lead a study group in England, which she is bringing to TBJ. We will discuss t’filah (prayer): what it means, how to make it more personal, and how to discuss it. No Hebrew or prayer knowledge is needed! All materials will be provided. Additional dates for winter and spring will be announced as we progress.

Sundays: October 21, November 11, others TBD 10:10 am-11:00 am


  1. Ruth: The First Convert

Taught by Rabbi Robin Nafshi

Ruth is considered to be the first convert to Judaism. Her story, told in The Book of Ruth, is read each year on Shavuot, the holiday on which we re-enact standing at Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments. So important is Ruth in our history that Jewish tradition teaches that the Messiah will be one of her descendants. Who was Ruth? Why do we read this book each Shavuot? First class January 6.

Sundays 9:00 am-10:00 am spring semester


  1. Torah Study

Led by Rabbi Robin Nafshi

We read and discuss the five Books of Moses verse by verse with the assistance of Rabbi Gunther Plaut’s Torah Commentary. New participants are welcome at any time. Check the Temple calendar or website for days we are not meeting. Feel free to bring your lunch. Ongoing.

Wednesdays noon-1:00 pm


  1. Introduction to Judaism

Taught by Rabbi Robin Nafshi

Once again, TBJ will offer an Introduction to Judaism class for those considering conversion or simply wanting to learn more. This class will meet for 24 sessions throughout the year. First class October 22.

Mondays 7:00 pm-8:30 pm               Text: Honoring Tradition, Embracing Modernity (CCAR Press)  


  1. Monthly One-Time Events

The Adult Education Committee has planned a series of one-time events throughout the year on the theme of Telling Our Stories; Sharing Our Lives. Check your bulletin and calendar for updates and specifics. As of October of 2018, mark your calendar for the following:


  • Tuesday, October 16, 7:00 pmWriting Our Stories, with Arlene Taranow; Arlene served as a teacher consultant and co-director for the National Writing Project in New Hampshire. She will bring her passion and skills to guide us into writing our own stories – finding ways to express the moments that truly matter.
  • Tuesday, November 13, 7:00 pmHaving the Difficult Conversations with Our Aging Parents; with the help of experts in law, psychotherapy, and spirituality, we will explore how to talk with our aging parents about elder care, end of life care, and other end of life decisions.
  • Tuesday, January 15, 7:00 pmFlory’s Flame is a documentary film about the Sephardic (Bosnian born) legendary singer-songwriter, Flory Jagoda. (Co-sponsored with the Music Committee.)
  • Friday, February 1, 7:00 pm – The Adult Education Committee will host the oneg at the annual TBJ Learners’ Service.
  • Tuesday, March 5, 7:00 pm A Jewish Food Q&A and Challah Making; Join other TBJers in braiding (and baking) challah while chatting about the Jewish laws and customs around food and eating.
  • Tuesday, April 9, 7:00 pmWomen’s (Pre-) Passover Seder, led by EJ Cohen. 2018’s seder was fun and educational, with delicious desserts. EJ will lead the seder once again, using a different Haggadah with a different theme.
  • Tuesday, May 7, 7:00 pmUncle Chatzkel is a documentary film about Chatzkel Lemchen, who lived through the Russian revolution, two world wars, a communist regime, and the transition of Lithuania from Soviet republic to an independent state. During the Holocaust, the Nazis killed his parents and children, and he and his wife were sent to separate concentration camps in Germany. He survived through his skills as a linguist and lexicographer. At 93, he still lives and works in Vilnius, Lithuania.