Sign In Forgot Password

Adult Bet Midrash

Weekly Adult Drop-in Classes will be offered 9:00 - 10:00am every Shabbat morning throughout the school year.
Please join us every Shabbat morning for our innovative Intergenerational Bet Midrash program, which begins with singing and prayers at 9:00am and provides parallel learning tracks for adults and children. Stay with us for adult classes until 10:00am and then join us for Shabbat morning services!

1st Shabbat of the month

God is Change with Rabbi Elliott:
"All that you touch You Change. All that you Change, Changes you. The only lasting truth is Change. God is Change," Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower. In this moment of great change we will be exploring the impact of change and our relationship to it through the science fiction writing of Octavia Butler and the imagined theology she called Earthseed. We will use this as a jumping off point for discussing process theology and our own agency to make change.

The Book of the Living a theology created by the fictional character Loren Olamina in the books Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents.


2nd Shabbat of the month

with Rabbi Ariann: The Megillot: Seasons of our Joy and Sorrow

Read through the 5 Megillot (scrolls) that accompany Jewish holidays through the year with an eye toward the philosophical and theological claims and demands they make on us.  We will read Ecclesiastes, Esther, Song of Songs, Ruth, and Lamentations as we move through the holiday cycle.
Continuing an exploration of the megillot associated with each holiday, we will be studying Song of Songs and its association with Passover. Why do we read a romantic love story on one of our most important holidays?

3rd Shabbat of the month

Chanting with Melissa Schaffer 
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'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. 

Come as yourself, try something new (and ancient), then come again. We await you with open hearts.

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.

Talmud Class 
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 in to the 2000 year old conversation.

4th Shabbat of the month
Medieval Jewish Philosophy, Some Poetry and Personality
Between the 9th and 15th centuries, thought leaders of the three major monotheistic religions were compelled to reconcile their faith with the science/reason of their time. The Science, or natural philosophy as it used to be called, was largely based on the work of the great Greek Philosophers primarily Plato, Aristotle and Plotinus. The Jewish thinkers we will look at came to these ideas by way of Arabic translation and Islamic commentary. We’ll consider the Poets Solomon Ibn Gabirol and Judah Ha Levi, the Astronomer Levi Ben Gershon (Gersonides or the Ralbag) and of course, the Physician, Moses Ben Maimon (Maimonides or the Rambam). What did they struggle with as Jews? What was the greater world they lived in? What can they teach us today

Session 1 January 25th
Ibn Gabirol and Judah Halevi; strong feelings and ideas

Session 2 February 29th
Maimonides and Gersonides; Perplexing and Radical

Session 3 March 28th
What is still relevant and meaningful about their ideas today?
Zoom recording of Marty's class on March 28th

Annual Classes
Lunch & Learn
Class meets on the third Wednesday of each month with Rabbi Ariann from noon - 1:30pm.
Subversive Sequels: This year, we will study "subversive sequels" in Tanakh - stories that are retold with important twists to make theological, historical, or sociological points. We will use Judy Klitsner's book Subversive Sequels in the Bible as a jumping-off point as well as add additional stories. Please feel free to come to one class, some, or all, no previous knowledge is necessary.

Intro to Judaism 
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. Topics will 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. We will also build community by practicing some of what we learn together in each others homes sharing a Shabbat meal, a havdalah and other celebrations together. Membership not required. Contact the BK office ASAP if you are interested: 973.746.4889
Upcoming dates: Jan 11, 25, Feb 8, 22, Mar 7, 21, Apr 4, 18, May 2, 16

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. 

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

Sat, August 8 2020 18 Av 5780