Adult Study and Learning

It is taught that “the study of Torah equals in value all the other commandments” (Peah 1:1). Maimonides teaches that one is “required to study Torah, whether poor or rich…young or old…” and that one “must set aside definite times to study by day and by night…”

We at Town & Village we are dedicated to providing a variety of learning opportunities, at all levels of knowledge and at many times of day. We hope that you will find something here that you wish to study with us. If there is something you would like to see us offer in the future, please let us know.

Town & Village Synagogue is dedicated to making adult Jewish learning accessible to all of its members and to the community at large. If you are interested in a class we offer and the cost is a concern, we invite you to contact Nina Lehman or Rabbi Sebert privately to make arrangements that are affordable for you.  We look forward to  seeing you soon.

The coming year promises to be very exciting as we continue some programs and begin some new ones. Please check out our offerings listed below.

Sincerely,

Sharon Keller and Nina Lehman
Co-chairs, Adult Education Committee

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Town & Village Synagogue
ADULT EDUCATION CLASSES
5779

2018-2019

 

BOOK DISCUSSION GROUP

LED BY DR. STEFANIE HALPERN

10 Thursdays, 10:30AM  – Noon

Fee: Free for T&V members, $250 for non-members

September 13, 2018   Sadness is a White Bird                                    Moriel Rothman-Zecher
October 18                   The Polish Boxer                                                   Eduardo Halfon
November 15               An Egyptian Novel                                              Orly Castel-Bloom
December 13                The House in Smyrna                                        Tatiana Salem Levy
January 17, 2019        The Coincidence Makers                                   Yoav Blum
February 14                 Barren Island                                                          Carol Zoref
March 14                      The Ruined House                                               Ruby Namdar
April 18                         Eternal Life                                                            Dara Horn
May 9                            The Man Who Never Stopped Sleeping      Aharon Appelfeld 
June 13                          The Immortalists                                                Chloe Benjamin

LIMITED TO 15 PARTICIPANTS. This group is intended for readers who are committed to reading the entire book before the discussion and are prepared to come to the discussions with open minds and respect for the opinions of others. Priority will be given those who have previously participated in this group.

 

Stefanie Halpern received her PhD from the department of Jewish Literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2017. Her dissertation, Crossing Over from the Yiddish Rialto to the American Stage, explores the ways the Yiddish theater intersected with and ultimately became part and parcel of the mainstream American theatrical institution. Stefanie was the curatorial associate for the current “New York’s Yiddish Theater: from the Bowery to Broadway” exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York and is currently an archivist at YIVO.

IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION OR TO ENROLL EMAIL  ADULTED@TANDV.ORG

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CONTINUING OUR JEWISH JOURNEY: A  Two-Year Adventure

TAUGHT BY RABBI LARRY SEBERT

Fee: Free for T & V members,  $500 per year for non-members
Some book purchases will be required

2018-2019 30 Monday evenings, 7PM- 8:30PM
2018: Oct. 15, 22, 29, Nov. 12, 19, 26, Dec. 3, 10, 17
2019: Jan 14, 21, 28, Feb. 4, 11, 25, March 4, 11, 18, 25, April 1, 8, 15, 29
May 6, 13, 20, June 3, 17, 24, July 1

Basic Idea: If you would like to deepen your personal commitment to Judaism, join our Jewish Journey class, which will culminate in a communal (adult Bat/Bar Mitzvah) celebration. Together, through study, we will strive to deepen our connection to Judaism.

Some details (subject to change): Our learning (Year 1, 2018-19) will begin with an examination of the entire span of Jewish history. We will be work our way through Mark Rosenstein’s Turning Points in Jewish History (purchase required) which presents thirty pivotal moments in the Jewish people’s experience. Along the way we will discuss various controversies and schisms arising from Judaism’s encounters with power, powerlessness, exile, messianism, rationalism, mysticism, catastrophe, madernity, nationalism, feminism and more.

In Year 2, (2019-2020) we will explore in great depth the concept of mitzvah, Shabbat, the annual cycle of holy days and holidays and the important theological concepts that are the underpinnings of our rituals and holidays.

Throughout both years, we will also connect to the broader Jewish world by making a commitment to learn more Hebrew.

The decision about whether to culminate one’s learning with participation in a group ceremony is an individual one. There are additional requirements for an Adult Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

FOR MORE INFORMATION or TO ENROLL contact: adulted@tandv.org

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“PRAYER FOR THE PEOPLE”: LEARNER’S MINYAN 5778

LED BY RABBI BRONWEN MULLIN

“Prayer for the People” is a practical hands-on learning community within Town and Village’s spiritual home. This minyan will focus daven (pray)an abbreviated version of the entire service each week, adding additional lines to each of the prayers week after week. In this way the participants will do serious consistent learning and daven. Members will develop confidence in the recitation of each prayer’s ancient words and melodies. We will learn to focus our sacred concentration (kavanah) towards the timeless themes that these prayers evoke, and explore what we, as dynamic individuals, can reveal for ourselves and for others in these prayers.
“Prayer for the People” is a true hevre, a community, of spiritual seekers who learn from one another. Accordingly there will be optional “Prayer for the People” Shabbat dinners and lunches scheduled throughout the year to enjoy each other’s’ company and strengthen our bonds.

“Prayer for the People” will be held on the following dates from 10:30-11:30am.  We will then go upstairs to the sanctuary for Rabbi Sebert’s drash and the Musaf service.

Come pray and learn with us!
Shabbat mornings for 2017-18:

September 16

October 7 and 21

November 4 and 18

December 2 and 16

January 20

February 10 and 24

March 10 and 24

April 7 and 21

May 5 and 19

June 2, 16 and 30

July 14 and 28

Rabbi Bronwen Mullin is a playwright, composer, educator and T & V’s Rabbinic Artist-In-Residence. She earned her B.A. at Sarah Lawrence College (2006) in Theater and Religious Studies and was an Arts Fellow from 2008-2011 in Musical Theater Composition at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education. Rabbi Mullin was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 2017. Bronwen is the co-founder of MetaPhys-Ed, a gymnasium for the multi-media exegesis of Jewish texts with performance artist/director Jesse Freedman.

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A HISTORY OF THE JEWS OF PRAGUE

TAUGHT BY DR. JOSHUA TEPLITSKY

7 TUESDAY EVENINGS, 7:00-8:30PM

OCTOBER 30- DECEMBER 11

Free for T & V members, $250 for non-members

In this course we explore the long and variegated history of the Jews of the city of Prague, home for centuries to the largest urban population of Jews anywhere in Christian Europe. Situated at the crossroads of West and East, North and South, the Jews of “the lands between” the major centers of Jewish populations in Germany, Poland, Italy, and Amsterdam maintained ties with the wider Jewish world but also pursued Jewish life in an idiom all their own. Jews in Prague, a city in the heart of Europe, experienced many of the crosswinds of European history: the Crusades, the invention of printing, the Reformation and the Thirty Years War, royal Absolutism and Enlightened reform, the struggle for rights, the clashes of nationalism, experimentation in arts and literature, the horrors of twentieth century Nazism and Communism, and, most recently, entry into the European Union.

This course will be directed towards exploring the variety of Jewish experience in this majestic city through a series of seven lectures, accompanied by primary source readings from each period in question, as well as longer optional supplemental readings for those who wish to explore further.

 

October 30                        Week 1: Medieval Origins and the “Golden Age” of the Renaissance

November 6                      Week 2: Catholics and Jews in Baroque Prague

November 13                    Week 3: Enlightenment and Emancipation

November 20                   Week 4: Becoming National in the Nineteenth Century

November 27                   Week 5: Kafka’s Prague: Fear and Fantasy in the Habsburg fin de siècle

December 4                      Week 6: The Jews of Prague in the Interwar Period and the Holocaust

December 11                     Week 7: From Behind the Iron Curtain to the return to Europe

 

Joshua Teplitsky is Assistant Professor in the Department of History and the Program in Judaic Studies at Stony Brook University. He earned his PhD from New York University and held a postdoc at Oxford University from 2012-2014. His research centers on the history of the Jews of central Europe during the early modern period, and his larger scholarly interests include Christian-Jewish relations, the history of political cultures, and the history of the book. He is the author of Prince of the Press: How One Collector Built History’s Most Enduring and Remarkable Jewish Library (Yale University Press, 2019).

TO ENROLL EMAIL  ADULTED@TANDV

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WRITING YOUR LIFE: A WORKSHOP

Leaders: Elinor Nauen & Bob Rosenthal

 10 Tuesday afternoons,. 1:30-3 PM

December 12 and 19, January 9, 16, 23 and 30, February 6 and 13, March 6 and 20

Free for T & V members; $100 for non-members

Everyone’s life is interesting and capable of teaching important lessons. Writing Your Life is a workshop designed to enhance the skills at expressing ourselves in prose. Writing has always been a means to better understand our lives. Our workshop will utilize writing exercises, literary models, and detailed analysis to sharpen our use of details and emotional shadings. No previous writing experience is required.  We will be creating new writings that celebrate who we are.

TO ENROLL EMAIL  ADULTED@TANDV

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THREE FAVORITE WORKS OF HISTORICAL FICTION: ISSUES RAISED

TAUGHT BY RICHARD CLAMAN

3 Shabbat afternoons after Kiddush

January 19, February 23 and March 23

In this series of talks, we will consider: (i) the debate over emending Talmudic texts raised by Chaim Potak in The Promise (and anticipated in The Chosen)  (ii) the portrayal of faith versus philosophy in As A Driven Leaf by Milton Steinberg and (iii) the relative development of Judaism in Israel and the US as depicted in James Michener’s pre-Yom Kippur war The Source.

Each session will stand on its own. Please feel free to read or re-read these books in advance although doing so is not required.

Richard Claman,is the founding editor of Zeramim, a free on-line journal of applied Jewish thought, and has published articles there and elsewhere derived from the prior 22 years of his annual lecture series at T&V. He and
his wife (Beth Clark) and their two children have been members of T&V for almost 30 years.

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JEWS IN POPULAR CULTURE

TAUGHT BY DR. DAVID KAUFMAN

5 TUESDAY EVENINGS 7:00-8:30PM

FEBRUARY 13-MARCH 13

Free for T & V members; $200 for non-members

A five-part course on the Jewish role in the creation of American popular culture, addressing two key questions: What accounts for the extraordinary influx of Jews into the popular arts & culture of 20th century America? And two, what did these Jewish creatives inject of their Jewishness into their art? Cultural arenas to be considered include: the Hollywood film industry, pop Music/musical theater, Comedy, Comics/Cartooning, and Television.

David E. Kaufman is a scholar of American Jewish History, with over twenty years of teaching experience, having taught at Hebrew Union College/LA and Hofstra University. His publications include two books, Shul with a Pool and Jewhooing the Sixties. He is now devoting himself to public history education, and is the founding director of “NEW YORK JEW: Center for New York Jewish History, Culture, and Community,” an online resource center and facilitator of Jewish educational tourism in NYC.

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DISCOVERING JEWISH MUSIC

TAUGHT BY CANTOR SHAYNA POSTMAN

4 TUESDAY EVENINGS, 7:00-8:00 PM

APRIL 17 AND 24, MAY 1 AND 8

Free for T & V members; non-members $100

Delve into the details of “Discovering Jewish Music”, based on the book by Dr. Marsha Bryan Edelman. Sessions will focus on references to song and music in the bible and ancient Temple, Music of the Diaspora, the Art of Jewish Music and Synagogue music in America.
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AMERICAN JEWISH COMPOSERS

TAUGHT BY DR. JONATHAN YAEGER

7 TUESDAY EVENINGS, 7:00-8:30PM

MAY 15 – JUNE 26

Free for T & V members, $250 for non-members

Week 1: Gustav Mahler (1860–1911). How did Mahler’s time in the US affect him and his music?
Week 2: Arnold Schoenberg (1874–1951).  How did Schoenberg change during his 18 years in the USA?
Week 3: George Gershwin (1898–1937).  Does he represent the melting pot? The Brooklyn shtetl? Both?
Week 4: Erich Korngold (1897–1957).  Wagner goes to Hollywood
Week 5: Leonard Bernstein (1917–1990).  All things to all people? Jewish through-and-through?
Week 6: Stephen Sondheim (b. 1930). Last of his kind?
Week 7: Steve Reich (b. 1936). Return to Judaism

There will be  optional reading, listening, and viewing assignments each week.

Jonathan Yaeger is a Professor of Music History at The Julliard School. His research focuses on the music, politics, and culture of postwar Germany, especially the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). Yaeger is working on a book about the conductor Kurt Masur and his tenure leading the famous Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. Yaeger’s publications on the topic include articles in the edited volumes Classical Music in the GDR and Music and Diplomacy. Yaeger has presented papers at the American Musicological Society, the Medieval Academy of America, and the Leipzig Stasi Archive (BtSU), among others. His other areas of interest include music of the Middle Ages, the medieval revival of the 19th century, and American popular music. He serves as music director and organist at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church in New Canaan, Conn. He received his PhD in musicology from Indiana University and his master’s in choral conducting from the University of Cincinnati (CCM). He received his BA in history from Yale.
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For an archive of past classes 2011-17, click here