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Adult Bet Midrash

Weekly Adult Classes will be offered 9:00 - 10:00am every Shabbat morning throughout the school year.

Chanting with Melissa Schaffer
1st Shabbat of the Month 
Dates: October 1, November 5, December 3, January 7, February 4, March 4, April 1, May 6

When we join together as individuals in community to chant sacred phrases from our Jewish liturgy, we come to support each other in accessing our ancient selves and selves to be, in achieving old and creating new dreams, in examining and helping our sorrows and celebrating our joys. In chanting together we find inspiration and intention for the day, the week, the month and are greatly awakened by the discovery of our own voice and the voices surrounding us.

This might sound challenging but...it's rather simple. You come, you learn a Hebrew or English phrase, you repeat it. The chants become more comfortable as we practice them; they become a form of meditation. We feel more connected to the pathways of the Torah, to each other, to ourselves.

Melissa Schaffer leads Hebrew chant based on Jewish sacred texts for transformative spiritual growth. Melissa has been studying with Rabbi Shefa Gold since 2008 and completed an 18 month chant leadership course in 2010.

Rabbi Ariann
2nd Shabbat of the Month

Fall Dates: October 8, November 12, December 10
"Diving Deep on Reproductive Rights in Jewish Tradition"

Through biblical, rabbinic, and contemporary texts, we will explore Jewish thinking on questions of personhood, bodily autonomy, birth control, and abortion.
Winter / Spring Dates: February 11, March 11, April 22 (Note 4th Shabbat of the month), May 13
"Jewish Prayer Before the Prayer Book"

How did Jews pray before there was a prayer book? Using evidence from genizah collections, Talmud, and the earliest published siddurim, we will try to piece together what prayer might have looked like across the Jewish world in antiquity.

Rabbi Elliott
3rd Shabbat of the Month
Dates: October 15, November 19, December 17, January 21, February 18, March 18, April 15, May 20

"Reimagining God"
Reimagining God: New (old) metaphors for talking about holiness and God. Too often when we argue about God, we are stuck debating an extinct metaphor of God as A Very Powerful Person. In this class, we will explore alternative metaphors found in the Bible, Rabbinic literature, and the prayer book to create alternative entry points for experiencing and understanding holiness. This class will be rooted in the new book God Is Here: Reimagining the Divine by Rabbi Toba Spitzer available in the front office. 

Talmud Class (every Shabbat)
Come dip your feet into the Talmud, the 2000-year-old discussion of Jewish Law that is studied daily in Yeshivos around the world.

This year, our group is learning Bava Metzia, the laws of property.

No prior Talmudic experience needed. We can help you jump right into the 2000-year-old conversation.

Class Series
Sign up Required

Hebrew Reading Crash Course with Rabbi Ariann
Dates: November 17, December 1, 8, 15 (7:30 - 9:30pm)
Hebrew for absolute beginners, those who have fallen out of practice, or those who just can't remember the difference between a Dalet and a Reish. This class will get you up to speed on the rudimentaries of decoding Hebrew and provide a launching pad for deeper engagement with Jewish practice and Hebrew language. This class is offered in partnership with NJOP

Register for Hebrew reading here:

 

Cultivating Anti-Racism / Dismantling White Supremacy
Class once a month on Wednesday evenings at 7:30pm
Nov 2, Dec 14, Jan 11, Feb 8, Mar 8, Apr 12

Registration is required:

Teachers: Rabbi Ariann Weitzman, Shana Stein, Barbara Reisman, Noemi Giszpenc, Ellen Kolba and Deb Levy. 

Hillel said: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?” This course approaches white supremacy from our perspective as Jews and members of a Jewish community.

This course is a continuation of the one offered last year. Returning participants and new participants are welcome to register. The learning journey offers chances to deepen understanding, explore new ideas, and practice mindfulness and intentional action. Like last year, we will pair each registered participant with a chevruta study partner, and place each pair in a small learning group of ~6 people to allow more meaningful conversations.

It is written in Pirkei Avot, "You are not obligated to complete the work but neither are you free to desist from it." 
 

Intro to Judaism (resuming in Jan, 2023)
If you would like to begin, or continue, building your knowledge about Jewish culture, traditions and rituals, join us for a wide-ranging, laid-back course that aims to get you comfortable participating in home and BK ritual events as well as general Jewish knowledge. We will meet every other week for about 90 minutes and will follow the school calendar. The precise time will be based on the consensus of the group, either on Shabbat morning or one mid-week evening. Topics include: Jewish history, synagogue and home rituals, halacha and life cycle and will be informed by the group’s level and what participants most want to study. In previous years we have also built community by practicing some of what we learn together in each others' homes sharing a Shabbat meal, a havdalah and other celebrations together. We will decide by consensus to meet in person on via Zoom or hybrid. Membership is not required. Contact the BK office if you are interested: 973.746.4889

Ongoing Learning Opportunities

Women's Rosh Hodesh Group

The Rosh Hodesh group at Bnai Keshet is an open, warm, social and friendly group for all women in the community. The group meets in the evening closest to the new moon to celebrate the coming month, exploring the spirituality of the month by discussing the upcoming holidays and the theme of the month. Together the group chants, sits quietly, sometimes engages in some easy stretching or even dancing and then an exercise centered on the theme of the month, leaving the participants with words, thoughts, and intentions for the month to come.
Contact Mindy Rosenthal for more info.

Lunch and Learn

Please click here to see our calendar for weekly class schedule.

Sun, December 4 2022 10 Kislev 5783