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elcome to a new year of learning with the Gertrude Lederman Family Continuing Education Program! Continuing Education classes at Beth El offer a wonderful chance to deepen your understanding of different aspects of Jewish thought, culture, and identity. Check out all our classes and events by clicking on “Continuing Education” on the synagogue website at; go there to get the latest updates and detailed information and to register for classes and events. Please contact Ali Drumm, Director of Informal Education, with any questions at or 847-432-8900 x218.



Torah Fund Book Club

Jewish Laws of Daily Living Florence Melton Core Classes Bible with Commentary Advanced Conversational Hebrew Advanced Beginning Conversational Hebrew Beginning Conversational Hebrew Shalom Hartman Institute Discussion Series Torah Cantillation Ghosts of the Third Reich Mini-Course Jewish Mindfulness (The Omer)

Sunday Open Conversational Hebrew Literature: Short Stories

Monday Judaism 101 Intermediate Conversational Hebrew Pray-er: Exploring Tefillah

Tuesday Talmud: Tractate Brachot Conservative Judaism Looks at Modern Issues Midrash for the Modern World The Wisdom of Jewish Tradition Jewish Mindfulness (Hanukkah) Jewish Literacy: A Survey of Judaism from the Bible to Beth El

Thursday Florence Melton Rachel Wasserman Scholars Series Conversational Hebrew Study in the Loop/Suburbs

TUITION AND PAYMENT INFORMATION The following represents regular Continuing Education classes, but not special workshops and programming. Classes are offered in three trimesters–Fall (October–December), Winter (January–March), and Summer (May–July). •Trimester Fee: $60 for members; $90 for non-members •Pay for one trimester class and come to other trimester classes that same trimester at no extra cost. •Tuition will be billed – as part of the regular synagogue bill for members and to the home for non-members. •Sisterhood Torah Fund classes have a separate fee of $36 for the entire year, made payable to Sisterhood Torah Fund. For registration and further information, contact Marilyn Lewis, Torah Fund vice-president, at 847-433-3506 or

SCHOLARS AND SPECIAL PROGRAMS Irving and Janet Robbin Scholar-in-Residence

Rabbi Dr. Amy Kalmonofsky Friday, October 18-Sunday, October 20, 2013

Beth El Magical Havdalah Shabbaton Shabbat, January 25, 2014 Rabbi Irving and Amy Frankel Scholar

Social Action Program

Rabbi Gershom Sizomu

Danny Siegel

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

Shabbat, October 26, 2013 The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Central District Scholar

Rabbi Joel Levy Shabbat, November 2, 2013 D'var Torah and Post-Kiddush Lecture

Tikkun Layl Shavuot/Rabbi Phillip Lipis Memorial Lecture followed by all-night study and sunrise Shacharit

Dr. David Shyovitz Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tu B’Shevat Seder

Rabbi Michael Schwab Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Ghosts of the Third Reich

Claudia Ehrlich Sobral, Dr. Bernd Wollschlaeger, and Anette Isaacs Sunday, November 17, 2013, 10:00am (film and presentation) and Wednesdays, December 4, 11, and 18, 2013, 7:45–9:30pm (mini-course) NSS Beth El will commemorate the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht (November 9, 2013) with a film screening/ presentation and a three-session mini-course. The film Ghosts of the Third Reich documents the poignant and anguished stories of descendants of the Nazis, who confront their families’ pasts and communicate their most profound feelings of guilt by inheritance. A Question & Answer Session with filmmaker Claudia Ehrlich Sobral will follow. Also presenting will be Bernd Wollschlaeger who is featured in the documentary. Born in 1958 to a highly decorated German World War II tank commander, Dr. Wollschlaeger was “sheltered” from any knowledge of the Holocaust. His journey for truth and spiritual peace brought him to Israel where he converted to Judaism, got married and served in the Israeli Defense Forces. Lecturer and Germany expert Anette Isaacs’ mini-course on three Wednesday evenings in December will cover the following topics: The Land of the Perpetrators: The Question of German Guilt; Never Forget: Remembering the Holocaust in Berlin and Germany; and Germany and Israel: A Story of Guilt and an Unlikely Friendship.

HEBREW LANGUAGE Intermediate Conversational Hebrew

Edith Belkind Mondays, begins October 14, 6:30–7:30pm (Fall, Winter, and Summer Trimesters) Improve your conversational and reading Hebrew skills. New students are always welcome! Advanced Beginning Conversational Hebrew

Dov Kahana Wednesdays, begins October 16, 6:30–7:30pm (Fall and Winter Trimesters) Build on your beginning conversational Hebrew skills. Beginning Conversational Hebrew

Dov Kahana Wednesdays, begins October 16, 8:00–9:00pm (Fall and Winter Trimesters) Students will gain an understanding of Hebrew grammar and vocabulary; emphasis in this class is on speaking and comprehension. Advanced Conversational Hebrew

Edith Belkind Wednesdays, begins October 16, 6:30–7:30pm (Fall and Winter Trimesters) Strengthen and retain your Hebrew skills from Intermediate Conversational Hebrew.

Conversational Hebrew (Sisterhood Torah Fund)

Alicia Gejman Thursdays, begins October 3, 10:00–11:00am This class is designed for adults who have basic fluency in reading and writing Hebrew. The focus of the class is to engage students in simple conversation using real life situations. Classes include the use of props, songs, dialogues and readings. Open Conversational Hebrew Sundays, begins September 8, 10:00–11:00am (free) Practice Hebrew conversation and reading informally with other participants.


Rabbi Michael Schwab Mondays, begins October 7, 9:00–10:00am (this free class meets Fall and Winter Trimesters) Join this lively discussion on our prayers, services, holidays and other topics you wish to "ask the rabbi" each week.

Talmud: Tractate Brachot

Rabbi Vernon Kurtz Tuesdays, begins October 1, 8:30–9:30am (Fall and Winter Trimesters) Study Jewish law in the original text. Discussion and commentary are in English. New participants are always welcome!

Pray-er: Exploring Tefillah

Jewish Laws of Daily Living

Merle Tovian

Rabbi Michael Schwab

Mondays, begins April 28, 8:00–9:00pm (Summer Trimester) Exploring the keva (how) and kavanah (why and with what intention) of Jewish prayer – we will look at the siddur but also at other forms of spontaneous and personal Jewish spirituality.

Wednesdays, 8:00–8:30am (this free class meets year-round) Join us for breakfast and study of the Shulhan Arukh – the basic code of Jewish law. Each week we read and translate a short chapter, exploring its impact on our lives and on the way we, as Conservative Jews, interpret it for our time. This is an ongoing class, but no experience is required and new members are welcome at any session.

Conservative Judaism Looks at Modern Issues (Sisterhood Torah Fund)

Rabbi Vernon Kurtz Tuesdays, begins October 1, 10:00–11:00am Join a discussion of the principles of Conservative Judaism, its interpretation of Jewish law, and its response to modern issues, including ritual, ethics, sex and politics. Midrash for the Modern World (Sisterhood Torah Fund)

Rabbi Michael Schwab Tuesdays, begins October 1, 11:00–Noon Explore the depth of meaning in passages of the Torah via beautiful interpretations and engaging stories created by the rabbis, speaking to the core values of Judaism. Learn the text and discuss its meaning and relevance to us today. The Wisdom of Jewish Tradition

Rabbi Michael Schwab Tuesdays, begins October 15, 8:00–9:00pm (Fall Trimester) Come learn from one of the greatest books of our tradition, Pirkei Avot - The Wisdom of Our Ancestors! In this incredible and accesible ancient text we can discover relevent and meaningful lessons for how to live life today. No background or previous experience necessary. This text study class will be dynamic and interactive, including discussion.

Bible with Commentary

Aaron Klein Wednesdays, begins October 16, 10:30–11:30am (Fall, Winter, and Summer Trimesters) Explore the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) with commentaries in English, as we connect the text in its historical context to our own experiences today. Torah Cantillation

Hazzan Larry Goller Wednesdays, begins October 2, 7:50–9:00pm (7 sessions, Fall Trimester) Students learn the history and function of cantillation (trope), how to recognize, sing and apply them to Torah text. Students prepare a Torah portion for chanting. Study in the Loop

Rabbi Vernon Kurtz Thursdays, October 17, November 21, and December 19, 2013, Noon–1:30pm, at the Illinois Decalogue Society (3 sessions) A study session in the Loop, centered around the ethical issues of our lives. *Advance reservations are necessary; lunch is provided for a nominal fee. Registration for the entire series is (continued on next page)

encouraged; please contact Lennie Kay at 847-432-8900 x221 or Study in the Suburbs

Rabbi Vernon Kurtz Thursdays, March 20, April 24, and May 15, 2014, Noon–1:30pm, at BJE (the Board of Jewish Education), 3320 Dundee Rd, Northbrook (3 sessions) A study session in the suburbs, centered around the ethical issues of our lives. *Advance reservations are necessary; lunch is provided for a nominal fee. Registration for the entire series is encouraged; please contact Lennie Kay at 847432-8900 x221 or Preparing for the Light of Hanukkah Tuesdays, November 19 and 26, 2013, 8:00–9:15pm; ($10 per session; free if registered for another Fall Trimester class) Hanukkah is a time to focus on light. During this season, we bring awareness to the ways in which we experience darkness – and we redouble our efforts to both create and receive more light. Join us for two-sessions exploring how Hanukkah can

be lived as a practice of growth, truth and hope. Each session will incorporate text study and discussion with short periods of accessible mindfulness meditation (instructions will be given for beginning meditators). A Journey through the Wilderness: The Mindfulness Practice of the Omer Wednesdays, May 7, 14, 21, and 28, 2014, 8:00–9:15pm (Summer Trimester) Jewish tradition recognizes that we can actively cultivate the qualities we hope to embody. The period between Pesach and Shavuot, the Counting of the Omer, is seen as a period of moving through the wilderness, from Egypt (Pesach) to Sinai (Shavuot), from Redemption to Revelation. The Omer period contains within it a curriculum of ethical-spiritual growth, in which we focus on particular qualities each day. Join us to learn how the period of the Omer can be experienced as a heightened time of reflection, practice and growth. Each session will look at a different midah (ethical-spiritual trait), using text study in conjunction with accessible mindfulness meditation techniques.

JEWISH LIFE AND CULTURE Shalom Hartman Institute Beit Midrash Discussion Series: Dilemmas of Faith

Literature: Great Short Shories

Rabbi Vernon Kurtz

Sundays, 11:15am–12:45pm; October 13, October 27, and November 24, 2013; March 2, April 6, and May 18, 2014. (Trimester Fee) Reading stories by Amos Oz, Nathan Englander, and others illuminates the human condition. The assigned story for each class is to be read before coming to class. Some stories may be available to be picked up in the Maxwell Abbell Library, but some will be found in books which need to be purchased. Books on Vernon in Glencoe will provide a ten percent discount if the purchaser mentions that the books are for Ms. Miller’s class.

Wednesdays, 7:00–9:30pm; once a month (9 sessions; Oct. 10, Nov. 20, and Dec. 10 [Tuesday] 2013, and Jan. 8, Feb. 5, Mar. 12, Apr. 9, May 14, and Jun. 11, 2014). The fee for this class is $70 for members and $100 for non-members, which includes the course sourcebook. (Trimester Fee) A series of nine lectures and conversations with Hartman Institute scholars led by Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman that explore the foundational issue of faith. The series addresses the big questions raised by the intersection of faith and reason, history, and politics.

Lillian Miller

Sisterhood Torah Fund Book Club

Jewish Literacy: A Survey of Judaism from the Bible to Beth El

Rachel Kamin

Rabbi Michael Schwab and Merle Tovian

Saturday afternoons, 12:30 –1:30pm; October 5 and November 16, 2013; January 11, February 22, March 22, April 26, and May 31, 2014 Stay after Shabbat Kiddush and discuss books selected by the Director of the Gray Cultural and Learning Center.

Tuesdays beginning February 11, 8:00–9:00pm (Winter Trimester) Come explore our rich Jewish heritage in a meaningful and accessible way! This engaging course covers Jewish tradition, belief, and history in broad strokes in order to provide the context needed to further appreciate our great religion. This course will advance one’s understanding of our people and our texts and give you the tools to dig even deeper. Open to students of all levels.

COMMUNITY LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES Florence Melton Adult School of Jewish Learning Sponsored by the Board of Jewish Education of Metropolitan Chicago Note from Rabbi Kurtz: I want to recommend this wonderful opportunity for Continuing Education in our community. We are very proud to be part of a consortium sponsoring the Florence Melton Adult School. We are pleased that so many members of our Congregation have graduated from this program of serious on-going Jewish study. It has made them more knowledgeable and involved Jews. If you have not already signed up, I encourage you to do so and make Continuing Education a priority in your life. You will gain from the experience and be pleased with the results. Come be part of the Melton School and discover a world-class curriculum created by scholars at Hebrew University that gives you a chance to explore Jewish thought and text. Choose either Core classes (first year of a two-year curriculum) or Scholars Series classes. Core Year 1: Rhythms of Jewish Living (taught by Judy Weiss); Purposes of Jewish Living (teacher TBD) Wednesdays, 9:30–11:45 am at North Shore Congregation Israel (fall) and NSS Beth El (spring); begins October 16 (30 sessions per year) Tuition: $550 for the year for NSSBE and Melton Consortium Site members, $650 for nonConsortium students. Rhythms will examine the Jewish calendar, holidays, and life-cycle events. Purposes will explore Jewish thoughts and beliefs. ConTEXT Jewish University for a Day: A Program of the Institute for Jewish Learning of JTS Sunday, November 10, 2013; 11:00am–4:45pm Solomon Schechter Day School, Northbrook This single-day event is designed to generate interest in high-level academically-focused adult Jewish learning. Leading scholars from The Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City will be joined by outstanding instructors from prestigious local academic institutions to form the core faculty for this Jewish learning event. All the instructors are Jewish Studies scholarteachers with advanced academic degrees. The event is the kick-off for an array of ConTEXT (The Adult Learning Programs of JTS) semester-long seminars and 3 and 4-session Mini-Courses beginning in Spring 2014.

Rachel Wasserman Scholars Series: Bamidbar: Leadership Defied and Defended (Fall, 10 sessions taught by Rabbi Jordan BendatAppell); Thursdays, 9:30–11:45 am at NSS Beth El; begins October 17. Tuition: $290 for NSSBE and Melton Consortium Site members, $340 for non-Consortium students. Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah (Spring, 10 sessions, teacher TBD); Thursdays, 9:30–11:45am at NSS Beth El; begins January 2014. Tuition: $290 for NSSBE and Melton Consortium Site members, $340 for non-Consortium students. The Scholars Curriculum presents classic and modern texts that have shaped Jewish perspectives for thousands of years, and invites students to lend their voices to the ageless pursuit of Jewish wisdom. Registration for the Core Curriculum and Scholars Curriculum must be accompanied by a minimum of $100 per person with checks payable to BJE. For further information, including scholarships available through the Marcia Fisher Webb Adult Education Fund, contact Rolly Cohen at Jewish Mindfulness Meditation with the Center for Jewish Mindfulness (CJM)

Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell Mondays, 8:00–9:15pm at NSS Beth El; September 30, October 14, October 28, and November 11, 2013; suggested donation of $10–$20; drop-in for any session, no RSVP required. Rabbi Akiva taught (Pirkei Avot 3:17) that silence facilitates wisdom–come join the CJM for an experience of how silent meditation can help us access wisdom, as well as a greater sense of calm and presence. Each session begins with a brief teaching related to the weekly Torah portion or upcoming holiday and then includes silent meditation followed by discussion. Suitable for beginners to meditation or those with developed practices. Find out more about the CJM at or email Jordan:

1175 Sheridan Road Highland Park, IL 60035

NSS Beth El Continuing Education Registration Form Complete this registration form indicating which classes you are planning to take. If you have any questions about registration, please contact Marcie Eskin, Informal Education Assistant, at or 847-432-8900 x234. You may also register online by clicking on the Registration link on the Lederman Continuing Education page of the synagogue website.

Name: Address: Email: Primary Phone:

Additional Phone:

Beth El Member?   Yes    No Tuition: The following represents regular Continuing Education classes, but not special workshops and programming. Classes are offered in three trimesters – Fall (October–December), Winter (January–March), and Summer (May–July). Trimester Classes – $60 for members; $90 for non-members. Pay for one trimester class and come to other trimester classes that same trimester at no extra cost. Sisterhood Torah Fund Classes – These classes have a separate fee of $36 for the entire year, made payable to Sisterhood Torah Fund. For registration and further information, contact Marilyn Lewis, Torah Fund Vice-President at 847-433-3506 or I am registering for the following classes:

BE 2013 Continuing Education Brochure  

North Suburban Synagogue Beth El 2013 Continuing Education Brochure

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