Page 1




otwithstanding Judaism’s emphasis on rituals and mitzvot, it is interesting to note that one of the primary teachings of our faith is that “the study of Torah exceeds them all.” As our tradition understands it, without education there can be no true faithfulness. Everything we do as Jews is contingent on knowing what, how, why and when, and only with limmud (learning) can we fully embrace the practices of our faith. That is why I am so pleased to be part of our exciting new Jewish Learning Project at Beth Yeshurun, and to extend my very special thanks to its Director, Rabbi Steven Morgen, and to our Program Director, Norma Gonzales. Together, and with the input of all our clergy, they have Rabbi David Rosen created the most comprehensive and sweeping selection of study opportunities ever offered by our Senior Rabbi congregation. May this be the year we all grow in Torah!


am thrilled to present the all new, updated and expanded Jewish Learning Project @ CBY. With this multi-faceted program of engagement in Jewish tradition we hope to inspire you to seek out the wisdom of our amazing history, faith, and culture. The Jewish Learning Project is especially designed to meet your needs and interests. Stimulating programs meet at Beth Yeshurun, or in a variety of public spaces across the Houston Metropolitan region – or even in your den or study area at home through podcasts and webinars. Come as often as you wish and are able to do so. Choose from monthly, weekly, single-event, or short-term topics. Mix and match your own program so you can enrich your Jewish life. We are here to offer you guidance and encouragement in your Jewish growth and learning! Rabbi Steve Morgen Associate Rabbi

“Ki hem hayenu v’orekh yamenu” (from Ahavat Olam prayer in evening service) “Because they (the words of Torah) are our life and the length of our days.” “Study is greater than action because it leads to action” (Talmud Kiddushin 40b)

W Rabbi Brian Strauss Associate Rabbi

e at Beth Yeshurun are very blessed. On top of our engaging worship services, vibrant programs, and our extraordinary schools for our children, we also have an engaging and diverse series of classes for our adults.

The rabbis teach that the giving of the Torah happened at one specific time, but the receiving of Torah happens all the time, in every generation. No matter your background and no matter your age, participating in our Jewish Learning Project gives you the blessing of receiving the insightful knowledge and wisdom of our tradition. I hope you will find the time to join us soon!



TABLE OF CONTENTS Jewish Learning Project @ CBY Sunday Jewniversity


Scholar - David Golinkin


Invitation to Judaism (Conversion program)


Book Circle


Weekday Classes


Adult B’nai Mitzvah Program


Children of Abraham Series


A Taste of Mussar


Scholar - Dennis Ross


Melton Scholars Program @ the J


Yom Limmud 2017


100 Jewish Men


World Wide Wrap 2017


Meet the Teachers


All classes and events will take place at Congregation Beth Yeshurun except where noted. If a class has already started or you miss one, come anyway! EVERYONE IS WELCOME!

CONTACT INFORMATION Jewish Learning Project @ CBY

Rabbi David Rosen - Rabbi Steve Morgen - Rabbi Brian Strauss - Cantor Meir Finkelstein - Rabbi Danny Horwitz - 3

Congregation Beth Yeshurun 4525 Beechnut Street Houston, TX 77096 For questions or more information email Norma Gonzales at or call at 713.666.1881


How did the West Bank Become so Important Israel’s victory in 1967’s Six Day War has often been described as miraculous. Yet, by having the West Bank and its one million Palestinians fall into Israeli hands, it set in motion a whole new line of attack against Israel that continues to the present day. Is Israel’s holding of the West Bank illegal, as much of the world argues? How many Israelis actually live in the West Bank and what is their status? What was Israel’s plan regarding the West Bank in 1967 and what is it today? Is there any way out of the morass that Israel finds itself in regarding this contested territory?

10:00am - 11:00am (Sundays - Oct 30, Nov 6 & 13)

The Most Disturbing Texts of the Torah The Torah is replete with passages that instruct, uplift and inspire. But it is also a book that contains numerous episodes and teachings that are disturbing and perplexing to the modern reader. With Rabbi Rosen as our guide, we will look at some of the most troubling passages in all of Scripture and seek to understand them through both the teachings of our rabbinic sages as well as contemporary teachers of Torah.

10:00am - 11:00am (Sundays - Jan 8, 15 & 29)



Is it Shabbat Already? Taking a day off in this crazy hectic world isn’t easy. We'll look at the essential meaning of the Sabbath day, how it has been traditionally observed, and how to get the most out of a day of rest even with all of our responsibilities to work and family. 10:00am - 11:00am (Sundays - Nov 20, Dec 4 & 11)

Afterlife - Believe It or Not... ...Jews have never had a single view of the Afterlife. Rather there are several views that often seem to contradict each other. We'll explore these different views so each participant can develop a personal belief that makes sense to her or him. 11:00am - Noon (Sundays - Feb 12, 26 & Mar 5)

Introduction to Jewish Law How did Jewish law develop from "an eye for an eye" to paying money as compensation? What are the traditional sources for Jewish law and how can one access them? How does the Conservative Movement interpret Jewish law ? Rabbi Morgen will share his insights as a Rabbi and a lawyer.

10:00am - 11:00am (Sundays - Apr 23, 30 & May 7) 5


Jewish Court Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court 11:00am - Noon (Sundays - Dec 4, 11, Jan 8, 15, 29 & Feb 5) Come learn about six justices as Jews as well as shapers of American Law. Louis Brandies, co-author of the Right to Privacy law review article and other lasting precedents, some of which may surprise you. Benjamin Cardozo, rescuer of the New Deal. Felix Frankfurter, non-English speaking immigrant. Arthur Goldberg, his short tenure did not diminish the important decisions he was responsible for. Stephen Breyer, one of Dr. Potvin’s first year professors, better known as a pragmatist interested in comparative law. Ruth Bader Ginsberg, as an attorney, she argued cases on gender equality before the court and as a Justice she came to embody the ideal of equality.

Jewish Women of Valor from the last Two Hundred Years 11:00am - Noon (Sundays - Mar 19, 26, Apr 2, 23, 30 & May 7) Come learn about six strong Jewish women who have shaped history. Rabbi Amy Eilberg the first woman ordained by the Conservative movement. Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella, Canada's first Jewish woman Supreme Court Justice. Rebecca Gratz, pioneer American educator, civic activist and founder of the first Jewish Sunday school. Golda Meir Israel's first woman prime minister. Rose Schneiderman - A suffragist, union activist, and concerned Jew. Dr. Nehama Leibowitz – Winner of the Israel Prize, she revolutionized the study of Torah and changed attitudes toward women as Torah scholars. 6


“Why is this Prayerbook Different from all Other Prayerbooks?” Our movement has produced a new prayerbook, and Beth Yeshurun has put it in our pews. Rabbi Horwitz will demonstrate how to get more out of our prayer experience by looking at the new and improved translations and commentary that this exciting new book offers us. 10:00am - 11:00am (Sundays - Oct 30; Nov 6, 13, 20; Dec 4, 11, 18; Jan 8, 15, 29; Feb 12, 26; Mar 5, 12, 19, 26; Apr 2, 23, 30; May 7)

The Great Hassidic Masters and What They Can Teach Us Hassidism began as a movement of deep spirituality, and the great Hassidic masters inspired their followers with moral messages as well as mystical experiences. Devotion to God, compassion for humanity, and gratitude for life’s blessings. These messages are timeless, and perhaps have even greater meaning for us in the 21st century. 11:00am - NOON (Sundays - Oct 30; Nov 6, 13, 20; Dec 4, 11, 18; Jan 8, 15, 29; Feb 12, 26; Mar 5, 12, 19, 26; Apr 2, 23, 30; May 7)



Beginning Hebrew for Adults Learn to read Hebrew and to recognize essential prayer vocabulary. No prior knowledge is necessary. Bring textbook "Alef Isn't Tough" to the first class. This course is open to everyone but is a requirement for Introduction to Judaism students. This is a year long course. Books can be purchased online, at the synagogue office during office hours or on the first day of class. Sundays 10:00am - 11:00am (Oct 30; Nov 6, 13, 20; Dec 4, 11, 18; Jan 8, 15, 29; Feb 12, 26; Mar 5, 12, 19, 26; Apr 2, 23, 30; May 7) Book is available the first day of class - $19 or visit the CBY Amazon Associate Store to purchase this book and others recommended by our clergy.

Hebrew for Adult B’nai Mitzvah Students Students will learn the prayers and Torah readings for the Adult B’nai Mitzvah service which will be on April 8, 2017 No book purchase is necessary - Siddurim will be available to use during the class. Students who wish to purchase their own copy can buy them from Gayle Schnurr during office hours for $40. Sundays 9:00am - 10:00am (Oct 30; Nov 6, 13, 20; Dec 4, 11, 18; Jan 8, 15, 29; Feb 12, 26; Mar 5, 12, 19, 26; Apr 2) 8

SHABBAT MORNING WITH RABBI DIANA R. SIEGEL Jewish Learning Project @ CBY Every Shabbat we meet to analyze, interpret, debate, question, and understand what our Etz Hayim, Tree of Life Torah teaches us. By exploring different themes of Torah Wisdom we learn their relevance for our daily life today.

Every Saturday morning at 11:45am - Schepps Board Room


Mishná-La Senda de Nuestros Sabios Mishna - Pirkei Avot - Ethics of Our Sages (class is taught in Spanish) 11:00am - Noon (Sundays - Oct 30; Nov 6, 13, 20; Dec 4, 11, 18; Jan 8, 15, 29; Feb 12, 26; Mar 5, 12, 19, 26; Apr 2, 23, 30; May 7) En esta clase vamos a analizar en profundidad las enseñanzas éticas y morales, espirituales y prácticas de nuestros Sabios del Periodo de la Mishná. Nuestras discusiones interactivas y los comentarios clásicos y contemporáneos nos ayudarán a reconocer la intemporalidad y la relevancia de esta influyente y significativa compilación de máximas. In this class we will analyze in depth the ethical and moral, spiritual and practical teachings of our Sages in the Mishna period. Our interactive discussions and classical and contemporary commentaries will help us recognize the timelessness and relevance of this influential and meaningful compilation of maxims. 9


Torah Means Teacher: Exploring Exodus with Dr. Nahum Footnick An ongoing class dedicated to learning valuable lessons from the Torah verse by verse. 10:00am - 11:00am (Sundays - Oct 30; Nov 6, 13, 20; Dec 4, 11, 18; Jan 8, 15, 29; Feb 12, 26; Mar 5, 12, 19, 26; Apr 2, 23, 30; May 7)

Peace by Piece - Adventures in Israel and the Peace Process with Gayle Kamen-Weinstein 11:00am - Noon Sunday, October 30 Gayle Kamen-Weinstein, LMSW, Director of the Beth yeshurun Healing Center, traveled to Israel this summer. She was a student at Bar Ilan University studying conflict resolution and peace strategies. "Track 2" negotiations are taking place each day in Israel with many successes. She will also share her personal experiences and strategies of finding peaceful solutions.

Gene by Gene with Bennett Greenspan 11:00am - Noon Sunday, November 6 We have all heard of genetic diseases like Tay Sachs, but many other devastating genetic diseases exist and it is important to be aware of them. Gene by Gene has created a way to test for more than 250 of these genetic diseases. Carrier screening assesses the risk of having children with an inherited genetic condition, allowing for more informed family planning decisions. Testing opportunity 10 also available (cost $100).


Invitation to Judaism For Adults At Beth Yeshurun, we have a program that enables newcomers to Judaism to learn the basics of our way of life, our way of thinking about God, and our way of looking at the world. The program is called An Invitation to Judaism, and is coordinated by Rabbi Morgen. The program involves classes that are taught on Sunday mornings beginning in September and continuing through May. One hour is devoted to a topic of Jewish belief, history, or practice. A second hour is devoted to learning the Hebrew alphabet and word pronunciation. Registration is requested. Books are required and available for purchase the first day of class Sundays 9:00am - 10:00am (Sep 18, 25; Oct 16, 23, 30; Nov 6, 13, 20; Dec 4, 11, 18 Jan 8, 15, 22, 29; Feb 5, 12, 26; Mar 5, 12, 19, 26; Apr 2, 23, 30; May 7, 14, 21)

Choosing a Jewish Life* by Anita Diamant ($13) To Life!* by Harold Kushner ($11) Essential Judaism – A Complete Guide to Beliefs, Customs and Rituals* by George Robinson ($16) Jewish Study Bible – Tanakh Translation with commentary – Oxford ($30) Jewish Literacy by Joseph Telushkin ($26) We Jews and Jesus by Samuel Sandmel ($12) Aleph Isn’t Tough*, for Hebrew class ($19)

*Paperback 11

WEEKDAY CLASSES Jewish Learning Project @ CBY

Jewish Meditation Group Together we will explore tools for mindfulness. Find a different way to talk to God. Deepen your prayer with meditation and chanting. Free and Open to all. For more information: Every Wednesday * 7:00pm - 8:00pm *with the exception of holidays please visit to view our calendar

Living Parsha Join Rabbi Aryeh Wolbe in an inspiring discussion that brings each weekly Parsha to Life through the teachings of his esteemed grandfather, Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe Z"L. Free and Open to all. Every Thursday* 9:30am - 10:30am *with the exception of holidays please visit to view our calendar




YOM LIMMUD Jewish Learning Project @ CBY Perhaps the best known of the Federation's programs is its annual Yom Limmud or Day of Jewish Learning. Yom Limmud provides a unique opportunity for Jews from all denominations and walks of life to come together in one place at one time to learn, exchange ideas, and share experiences. Rabbis Rosen, Morgen, Strauss, Segal and Horwitz will be a part of the feature presentations and scores of seminars by other rabbis, cantors, Jewish educators, college professors, cultural arts specialists, and other experts are facilitated throughout the day. The event also provides special programming for children and teachers.

Sunday, February 19, 2017 - Congregation Emanu El For More Information Contact Barbara Loeser

WORLD WIDE WRAP Jewish Learning Project @ CBY

Start your Super Bowl Sunday with a Prayer and let’s Wrap and Roll!! Conservative Jewish men and women around the world will celebrate the Mitzvah of Tefillin at their morning minyanim, joining thousands of other men and women in the annual “World Wide Wrap”.

Sunday, February 5, 2017 | 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM Questions? Contact Rabbi Brian Strauss,

To RSVP for the brunch, go to 15


BOOK CIRCLE Jewish Learning Project @ CBY Historically, when we Jews have been described as the People of the Book, the “Book” being referred to has always been the Torah. In more modern times, that passion for reading, studying and growing has been channeled into other kinds of literature as well: compelling histories, novels and works of Jewish thought that have inspired and informed us and helped us understand what it means to be Jewish. The Jewish Book Circle of Congregation Beth Yeshurun is a way for us to share in reading and discussing four outstanding books, some new, some classics. We urge you to read each book, form your opinions and write down your questions, and then join with others in sharing insights about what makes these works special. Free and Open to all. Registration is requested. Sundays 10:00 am - 11:00 am



The Adult

Program Etz hayim hi lemahazikim ba – It is a Tree of Life for those who take hold of it. Those who seize it are happily blessed. For those adults who have not yet had a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, Beth Yeshurun is offering this wonderful opportunity to do it now! During this five-month class you will learn the sources of Judaism’s rich spiritual, ethical and thought-provoking traditions with Rabbis Morgen and Strauss, and you will learn to sing many of the Shabbat morning prayers and to chant a few verses from the Torah with Cantor Dorf. The class culminates in leading Shabbat morning services at Beth Yeshurun on April 8, 2017.

713.666.1881 | WWW.BETHYESHURUN.ORG 18

2-hour class meets on Sunday mornings beginning October 30. 9:00-9:55am B’nai Mitzvah Hebrew Preparation with Cantor Diane Dorf

10:00 - 10:55am B’nai Mitzvah Prep with Rabbis Steve Morgen & Brian Strauss

Saturday, April 8, 2017 Celebration of B’nai Mitzvah Class Pre-registration appreciated To register visit or call 713.666.1881 x317

The World of Mussar is open before you, and You are invited to enter. Gen X’ers and Millenials are invited to learn the Transformative Teachings and Practices of Mussar

PATH OF THE MENSCH with Rabbi Brian Strauss

This program goes beyond self-help, and provides an authentic Jewish pathway toward fulfilling the potential of your higher nature, the soul. Everyday Holiness will focus on the traits of Humility, Patience, Order, Equanimity, Honor, Truth, Moderation, Responsibility & Trust

Wednesdays Noon - 1:30pm Jan 11, 25; Feb 8, 22; Mar 8, 22; Apr 5, 20 (Thurs class); May 3, 17 Registration is requested. Classes held at CBY $90 fee includes materials and lunch (15 spots available) Outside reading and study required


MELTON SCHOLARS PROGRAM THE J Jewish Learning Project @ CBY The Melton Scholars Program features semester-long courses that focus on specific topics. These courses can be taken independently. For more information on the complete Melton Core & Scholar Programs and the cost go to

Rhythms of Jewish Living - Year One Core Class Rabbi Danny Horwitz

(Wednesdays | Sept 13 , 2016- May 25, 2017 | 8p-9p | ERJCC)

The American Synagogue: The Stories Our Buildings Tell Us - Trimester 1 Dr. Bernice Heilbrunn Potvin

(Tuesdays | Sep 12 - Dec 15 | 10:15a - 11:15a | ERJCC) (Tuesdays | Sep 12 - Dec 15 | 8:00p - 8:50p | ERJCC)

The Mystical Meaning of Torah- Trimester 1 Rabbi Danny Horwitz

(Tuesdays | Sep 12 - Dec 15| 7:00p - 7:50p | ERJCC)

More Jewish Women in Their Own Words- Trimester 2 Dr. Bernice Heilbrunn Potvin

(Tuesdays | Jan 9 - March 9 | 10:15a - 11:15a | ERJCC)

American Jews and Civil Rights - Trimester 3 Dr. Bernice Heilbrunn Potvin

(Tuesdays | March 13 - May 25 | 10:15a - 11:15a | ERJCC)

Jewish Prayer for Modern Jews - Trimester 3 Rabbi Steve Morgen

(Thursdays | March 13 - May 25 | 10:45a - 11:45a | Merfish Teen Center)


100 JEWISH MEN - YEAR 15 Jewish Learning Project @ CBY 100 Jewish Men is a group of men dedicated to improving themselves and each other as men, fathers, husbands, brothers, sons, friends and Jews. Through sometimes controversial but always thoughtprovoking speakers and small group discussions, we will explore what usually remains unspoken in men’s lives at work and at home. We have an incredible year planned and we hope you choose to be part of it. All programs at CBY unless indicated otherwise. In September we kick off the year with Gilbert Tuhabonye and how he turned his anger into forgiveness and a desire to make his beloved country a better place to live. In November we will hear about The DNA of the Jewish People with Bennett Greenspan. In December we will learn how to Survive an Active Shooter Attack presented by Stephen Daniel, HPD Senior Community Liaison. January 2017 will feature a conversation with long time Astros broadcaster, Bill Brown. In February we will reach for the stars during a conversation with Walter Cunningham, best known as America’s second civilian astronaut. In April, the men in our community will gather for a Men’s Model Passover Seder at UOS led by Rabbi Brian Strauss and Rabbi Barry Gelman. Our fifteenth year will end on a great note as we enjoy dinner at Genesis Steakhouse and learn to Make Every Day Count with Joel Roffman. All dinners begin at 6:30 pm followed by the featured program at 7:00 pm

Membership Fee: $110 CBY Member/$150 Non-Member Two Ways to Register: 1. Online at 2. Mail check made out to: Congregation Beth Yeshurun, 4525 Beechnut St. 77096, Attn: Rabbi Strauss Registration Deadline September 16, 2016 *Financial Assistance is available - please contact Rabbi Strauss

100 Jewish Men Member Registration Form 2016-2017 Mr. Dr. Name: __________________________________________________________________________________ Address, City, Zip: ________________________________________________________________________________ Phone Number: _______________________________________ E-mail: _____________________________________ Membership Fee: $110 or $150

Optional Scholarship21 Donation Included $____________

MEET THE TEACHERS Jewish Learning Project @ CBY

Rabbi David Rosen, Senior Rabbi Rabbi David Rosen will be celebrating his 20th year as Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beth Yeshurun next year. A native of Houston, Rabbi Rosen grew up at Beth Yeshurun, attended the synagogue’s Hebrew School.

Rabbi Steve Morgen, Associate Rabbi

Rabbi Morgen was a corporate attorney in Los Angeles for nine years before going back to Rabbinical School at JTS. He has been a rabbi at Beth Yeshurun for 18 years. He directs the Jewish Learning Project @ Beth Yeshurun and is engaged in a variety of outreach and interfaith programs in the Houston community. He is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute, and has served on the Boards of the Jewish Federation of Houston, the ADL and the AJC. He also leads the Invitation to Judaism program that has enabled hundreds of people to celebrate Jewish tradition and to join the Jewish people .

Rabbi Brian Strauss, Associate Rabbi Rabbi Brian Strauss joined Congregation Beth Yeshurun in July 2001. Rabbi Strauss is a graduate of the Zeigler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles and the University of Texas at Austin. He serves on the Texas State Commission on Holocaust and Genocide. He is also a member of the prestigious program “Rabbis Without Borders,” sponsored by the National Jewish Center for Learning & Leadership (CLAL).

Cantor Meir Finkelstein Cantor Finkelstein was born in Israel, the son of the late Cantor Zvi Finkelstein. Meir is one of the best-documented composers of contemporary Jewish music. He has composed over 150 settings for the liturgy, and Meir's compositions are sung all over the world, his most famous settings being "L’Dor Vador" and "V'al Kulam".

Rabbi Danny Horwitz, J.B. Greenfield Chapel Rabbi Horwitz was ordained by the Academy for Jewish Religion in 1980 and has also served as President of the Mid-Continent Region of the Rabbinical Assembly (Conservative). He received his Doctor of Jewish Studies degree in 2013 from the Spertus Institute of Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago. 22

MEET THE TEACHERS Jewish Learning Project @ CBY

Cantor Diane Dorf Cantor Diane Dorf has decades of experience teaching adults and children alike how to read Hebrew, chant from the Torah and Haftarah, and learn to lead Shabbat and weekday services. She grew up in Cherry Hill, NJ, and lived in Manhattan for several years, working (among other places) for the National Foundation for Jewish Culture.

Dr. Nahum Footnick Dr. Footnick has been teaching the Exploring Exodus class for years at Beth Yeshurun, closely examining each verse to understand its meaning and context.

Dr. Bernice Heilbrunn Potvin Bernice Potvin, a Harvard Law School graduate with a Masters in History from the same school, earned a PhD at UH and started a second life teaching Jewish studies. She is a popular Melton teacher and Yom Limmud instructor.

Rabbi Diana R. Siegel Rabbi Diana R. Siegel is a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Has a B. A. from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem; a M.A. from the HUC-JIR, Cincinnati; and was ordained rabbi by the JTS in New York. She taught languages, secular, and religious subjects in Argentina, Israel, and the US for decades.

Gayle Weinstein, CBY Healing Center Director Gayle Kamen-Weinstein, LMSW is a Social Worker and has practiced in Houston for 30 years. She is a certified mediator and a grief counselor. Gayle is the Director of the Beth Yeshurun Healing Center where she leads groups and activities.

Rabbi Aryeh Wolbe Rabbi Aryeh Wolbe was born in Jerusalem, and raised in New York. Rabbi Wolbe teaches several Mussar classes every week in the various communities in Greater Houston. His passion for Mussar started at young age, while developing a close relationship with his legendary grandfather, Mussar Master, Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe, z"l. Much of his teachings are based on the writings, words and lessons of his grandfather. 23




5777 Jewish Learning Project - Adult Learning Catalog  
5777 Jewish Learning Project - Adult Learning Catalog