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Adult Education

Busy yourself as much as possible with the study of the divine things, not to know them merely, but to do them; and when you close the book, look around you, look within you, to see if your hand can translate into deed something you have learned.      - Moses of Evreux   
 
In seeking wisdom the first step is silence,
The second: listening, 
The third: remembering, 
The fourth: practicing,
The fifth: teaching others.                
-  Ibn Gabirol

Upcoming in Adult Education

 

All Events
  • Sunday ,
    FebFebruary  25 , 2024
     
     
    Adult Hebrew

    Sunday, Feb 25th 5:00p to 6:00p
    Learn to read the Prayerbook with Elizabeth.

    MORE INFO

  • Monday ,
    FebFebruary  26 , 2024
     
     
    Men's Torah Study

    Monday, Feb 26th 7:00p to 8:00p
    CBE's new Men's Torah Study group is seeking members to meet on Zoom one evening a month to discuss the wisdom and paradoxes of the Torah's ancient stories.

    MORE INFO

 

Adult Hebrew

SHALOM!

Feeling rusty?  Never learned but want to?  Just curious?

Our new adult Hebrew program is geared toward those interested in gaining comfort, familiarity and potentially fluency in the Hebrew language and liturgy.

Explore modern conversational Hebrew and develop decoding text and prayer skills, this class meets Sundays in person and via Zoom 5-6PM.  All levels welcome.

Register here to learn with CBE member Elizabeth Moore. Class fee is $54.00; the book is $28.  Classes start February 11. See CBE calendar for specific dates.

Mussar

Meets year-round [almost] every Thursday, 1PM – 2:30 PM at CBE.

What is Mussar?  Mussar is a traditional Jewish ethical-spiritual discipline that is in the process of being rediscovered in our time.  The method guides us in bringing positive virtues or ‘soul traits’ to bear in our daily lives.  This class has had on-going, enthusiastic attendance since 2008.  Each session is divided into two parts.  In the first hour, we combine text study, lecture and discussion around a particular midah [soul-trait], such as compassion, humility, joy, silence, honor, patience or gratitude.  The second part of the class is devoted to supporting one another as one person volunteers to share a personal challenge or situation that they would like to approach from a mussar perspective.  This class prompts curiosity about the attributes of divinity while offering insight into the human psyche, practical guidance for daily living and growing our moral-spiritual selves, and especially mutual support and friendship.  Come and see why this class has attracted such a devoted following.  And if you cannot make the midday time-slot, get on the e-mail list to receive weekly teachings to support your on-going study and practice.

CBE Book Club

June: Superman is Jewish by Harry Brod. Many of us know that the superheroes at the heart of the American comic book industry were created by Jews. But you’d be surprised to learn how much these beloved characters were shaped by the cultural and religious traditions of their makers. Superman Is Jewish? follows the “people of the book” as they become the people of the comic book.

 

August: The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish. Set in London of the 1660s and of the early twenty-first century, The Weight of Ink is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect: Ester Velasquez, an emigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, just before the plague hits the city; and Helen Watt, an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history. 
 
When Helen is summoned by a former student to view a cache of newly discovered seventeenth-century Jewish documents, she enlists the help of Aaron Levy, an American graduate student as impatient as he is charming, and embarks on one last project: to determine the identity of the documents' scribe, the elusive "Aleph."

October: The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay by a disgraced rabbi knowledgeable in the ways of dark Kabbalistic magic. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert and trapped centuries ago in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard. Chava and Ahmad meet accidentally and become friends and soul mates despite their opposing natures. But when the golem’s violent nature overtakes her one evening, their bond is challenged. An even more powerful threat will emerge, however, and bring Chava and Ahmad together again, challenging their very existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice.

December: Shayna by Miriam Ruth Black. In a small trunk in the corner of an abandoned shed a young woman huddles hiding from the Cossacks ravaging her shtetl, burning homes and killing Jews. Shayna Rifkin, seventeen, loses everything. Desperate to find safety, she dreams of reaching America. Shayna rescues her four-year-old nephew and with her fiancé and his mother braves a perilous trek across Europe. Shayna’s courage and determination bind them together, weaving a strong fabric from their separate threads to make a family, a safe place from which to build a new life in a new country.

February: Apeirogon by Colum McCann. Bassam Aramin is Palestinian. Rami Elhanan is Israeli. They inhabit a world of conflict that colors every aspect of their lives, from the roads they are allowed to drive on to the schools their children attend to the checkpoints, both physical and emotional, they must negotiate.
 
But their lives, however circumscribed, are upended one after the other: first, Rami’s thirteen-year-old daughter, Smadar, becomes the victim of suicide bombers; a decade later, Bassam’s ten-year-old daughter, Abir, is killed by a rubber bullet. Rami and Bassam had been raised to hate one another. And yet, when they learn of each other’s stories, they recognize the loss that connects them. Together they attempt to use their grief as a weapon for peace—and with their one small act, start to permeate what has for generations seemed an impermeable conflict.

April: Fam­i­ly Papers: A Sephardic Jour­ney Through the Twen­ti­eth Century by Sarah Abre­vaya Stein. Prizewinning Sephardic historian Sarah Abrevaya Stein uses the Levy family’s correspondence to tell the story of their journey across the arc of a century and the breadth of the globe. They wrote to share grief and to reveal secrets, to propose marriage and to plan for divorce, to maintain connection. They wrote because they were family. And years after they frayed, Stein discovers, what remains solid is the fragile tissue that once held them together: neither blood nor belief, but papers.

With meticulous research and care, Stein uses the Levys' letters to tell not only their history, but the history of Sephardic Jews in the twentieth century.

Taboo Topics Series

June 7, GUN VIOLENCE: The right to life implies a right of self-defense. Where do we find limiting principles when political tensions arise between those who assert unlimited rights to keep and bear weapons capable of annihilating en masse the lives of children in schools, shoppers, theater goers, worshippers, night club gatherers, and workers in their places of employment - to name only a few. The victims are so vast we can not name them, only the places of devastation: Columbine, Aurora, Boulder, Uvalde, Sandy Hook, Las Vegas, Covenant School, Highland Park, Buffalo, Dayton. Is that the actual sacrifice that the abstract concept of self-defense ought to allow? If so, why; if not, then how do we construct a healthier balance?

March 1, HUMAN COMPOSTING: Daniel Ziskin will discuss end-of-life options with a focus on the newer services of Body Composting and Water Cremation. Together, we will examine these alternatives from several perspectives, including Judaism, state law, ecologically and national trends. This talk will be uplifting and suitable for a general audience but Daniel will be prepared to answer any questions if that's where Congregation Beth Evergreen wants to go.

January 4, CHEVRA KADISHA: “DON’T PANIC.” (With apologies to Doug Adams in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.) Many of us, perhaps most of us, are uneasy when confronted with death. In addition to our feelings of loss, we may cringe from the physical evidence of the body that has been so recently vacated. That which was familiar in life becomes foreign in death. Despite this natural avoidance, we want to honor the spirit of the departed and do so within our Jewish traditions. But how do we do so? How do we operate on this level? And this is where we turn to the Hevra Kaddisha, the sacred society whose function is to care for the body of the deceased from death until burial. 

December 7, DYING WITH DIGNITY: Cindy Kaufman will discuss how end-of-life doulas, also called death doulas, provide non-medical support and care for the dying person and their loved ones through one of the most meaningful and difficult transitions in life – dying and death.

Fri, February 23 2024 14 Adar I 5784