Adult Education

Adult Education Classes – 5781 Spring

We warmly welcome attendance by anyone interested in advancing their Jewish education, regardless of CAA membership. Program fees are waived for CAA’s Kol HaKavod and Sustaining Members.

CAA seeks to provide an inclusive, accessible, and affirming community for all our learners. If you need accommodations to participate in our programs, please inquire. Any questions?  Email AdultEd@caa-austin.org

Please click on the class heading to register.

Zoom links provided with registration.


SUNDAY

Parsha Reading in Hebrew

In this class we will study brief passages from weekly Torah portions (parashot) in the original language and from that derive an improved knowledge and understanding of Biblical Hebrew. No prior study of Hebrew grammar is needed; however, participants should be familiar with the Hebrew alphabet and able to read aloud from a printed Chumash, aka Pentateuch or Torah. The latter, in whatever edition you have available, is the only required text.

Instructor: Mark Long

Time: Sundays, 9:30–10:50am 

Dates: January 24 – April 18 (No class: March 14, 21, 28, April 4)

Fee: Donation suggested.

crashcourseCONTINUED COURSE: Students will continue to draw from the Shabbat and Festival prayerbooks to gain facility with the Hebrew language.  Students will strengthen their ability to read prayers, gain more vocabulary, and begin learning Hebrew grammar.  New students are welcome; however, some facility with basic Hebrew reading is a prerequisite.

Instructors: Davida Charney & Cynthia Winer

Time: Sundays, 11:00am-12:20pm

Dates: January 24-April 25 (No class: March 14, 21, 28, April 4)

Fee: Donation suggested.

beitmidrashPerhaps it’s time to explore the wide and deep tradition of Jewish learning. Our sages have provided us with paths to deeper understanding of the Jewish tradition. Each Sunday morning we wade into texts from Mishnah, Tanakh, and Talmud. Sometimes deep and probing, other times light and humorous, this class explores our current thinking as it relates to ancient texts. An openness to explore Jewish tradition is the only requirement. All levels of learning are welcomed. Each class stands alone, so anyone can join at any time!

Instructors:  Dr. Harvey Raben and class guides 

Time: Sundays, 11:00am-12:20pm

Dates: January 24-April 25 (No class: March 14, 21, 28, April 4)

Fee: Donation suggested.

adult-trope2

Students will learn to chant Torah in a supportive and encouraging environment. Long-time Torah tutor, Risa Ferdman, will guide students to unlocking the code to the melodies of our most sacred text. The spring class will build upon the lessons from the fall class. New and continuing students are both welcomed.

Instructor: Risa Ferdman

Time: Sundays, 4:00-5:00pm

Dates: January 24-April 25 (No class: March 14, 21, 28, April 4)

Investment:  $36 + cost of the textbook

Text for the class to be purchased independently with link provided upon registration.

adult-virtualisrael2

“Zoom” to Israel on a rich journey exploring ancient sites, stories, archeology, holidays, and different aspects of Israeli life and culture. Class will be taught in English; however, you will also learn important Israeli phrases and slang! Maximum number of participants per class: 8.

Instructor: Sharon deKoning Kessel

Time: Sundays, 5:00-6:00pm

Dates: January 24-April 25 (No class: March 14, 21, 28, April 4)

Investment: $96

beitcafeCalling all writers and creative spirits!   This new experience will bring together veteran and emerging writers and poets using their talents to explore Jewish themes. The group will meet every other week to discuss and share their work in a safe and supportive space. At the end of the semester, the class will transform to an open mic event where participants are warmly invited to share their work with the community.

Guides/Hosts:  Zoe Miller & Stacey Glazer

Time: Sundays, 7:00-8:30pm

Dates: Jan 24, Feb 7, Feb 21, Mar 7, Mar, 21, April 11, April 25.

Open Mic Night: April 25th

Fee: Donation suggested.

adultbnaiAdult B’nai Mitzvah class is ongoing. We look forward to celebrating our students being called to Torah on February 20, 2021 (8th of Adar, 5781).

Interested in becoming B’nai Mitzvah? Our next adult cohort will begin in the Fall of 5782. Email adulted@caa-austin.org for more information.


MONDAY

askrabbisJoin us for a lively conversation about what’s in your heart and on your mind. Each meetup stands alone – anyone is welcome to attend at any time.  No prior registration needed. 

Led by:  Rabbi Neil Blumofe 

Time: Mondays, 12:30-1:15pm

 


TUESDAY

talmudIn this time, we will complete our chapter from Baba Metzia (a discussion of what constitutes evidence of ownership) and enter into Berachot and a discussion of dreams and dream interpretation!  All backgrounds are welcome!  Though classes build upon one another, each can stand alone, so everyone is welcome to attend at any time.  No prior registration needed.

Led by:  Rabbi Neil Blumofe

Time: Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00pm

Dates:   Ongoing (No class March 30)

adult-livingjewish2New Course! Designed as an extension of “Living Judaism,” this course explores questions around what it means to live Jewishly. We will explore traditions and ways of thinking about obligations of tzedakah and Jewish Peoplehood while we look at the diversity of Jewish life around the world.  Finally, we will delve deeply into how to “exercise the Jewish soul,” through learning, personal prayer and our relationship with the earth and all life.  This is an engaged group who love to learn and discuss.  While this class began in the fall, new students are welcome to join.  

Instructor: Cathy Schechter

Time: Tuesdays, 7:30–8:30pm

Dates: January 26 – April 20 (No class: Feb 2, March 16, 30)

In lieu of our regular class meeting, students are invited to attend the community-wide “Cooking in Community” event on Feb 2.

Investment: $75 ($100/couple) + cost of the texts if joining in Spring Semester

Text for the class to be purchased independently with links provided upon registration.


WEDNESDAY

hebrewtorahCONTINUED COURSE: If you have some basic knowledge of Hebrew, join us as we continue our informal, organic approach to its grammar and vocabulary.  Using verses from the weekly Parshah and snippets of the siddur as study texts, we’ll explore how words that look and sound very different are actually related. We’ll build upon what you already know about Hebrew, whether you realize it or not! Expect the instructor to interject fun and surprising facts about language in general and about Hebrew’s interconnections with Arabic, Yiddish, English, Spanish, and more.

Instructor:   Gail Tosto

Time:  Wednesdays, 1:00pm-2:00pm

Dates: January 20-May 5th (no class: March 17 or 31)

Fee:   Donation suggested.

hebrewbet*New students welcomed upon conversation with instructor to confirm level.

CONTINUED COURSE: Class will continue to expand Hebrew literacy and conversation skills in a fun, dynamic way. Contemporary media as well as Israeli culture and slang will also be incorporated into the learning experience. Each class session will be followed by a custom newsletter summarizing the material covered, with links to resources, and suggested practice tasks.

Instructor:   Sharon DeKoning Kessel

Time: Wednesdays, 4:30-6:00pm

Dates: January 27-April 28 (no class: March 17 or 31)

Investment: $144 + cost of the texts

Text for the class to be purchased independently with links provided upon registration.

hebrewgimel*New students welcomed upon conversation with instructor to confirm level.

CONTINUED COURSE: Students will continue to deepen Hebrew fluency through expanding skills in reading, writing, and conversation. Contemporary Israeli poetry, literature, and media will also be incorporated into the learning experience. Each class session will be followed by a custom newsletter summarizing the material covered, with links to resources, and suggested practice tasks.

Instructor:   Sharon DeKoning Kessel

Time: Wednesdays, 6:30-8:00pm

Dates:  January 27-April 28 (no class: March 17 or 31)

Investment: $144 + cost of the texts

Texts for the class to be purchased independently with link provided upon registration.

adult-livingjudaism2CONTINUED COURSE: Join Rabbi Neil Blumofe for this dynamic class, which will introduce or refresh many areas of Judaism and Jewish life, including history, holidays, life-cycle events, philosophy, theology, and Israel. This class is for anyone who wishes to learn more about Judaism, including those who are Jewish and those who are not. 

Instructor: Rabbi Neil Blumofe

Time: Wednesdays, 6:30–8:00pm (following minyan at 6:00pm)

Dates: January 13- May 12 (No class:  March 17, 31)

Investment: $150 ($200/couple) + cost of texts

For more information, please contact Jane Weiss at jane.weiss@caa-austin.org


THURSDAY

hebrewdalet*New students welcomed upon conversation with instructor to confirm level.

CONTINUED COURSE: Students will continue to expand fluency through conversation. Each class will focus on a different topic and will be focused primarily on conversing in Hebrew around specific topics. Contemporary media, as well as Israeli poetry and literature, will be integrated. Each class session will be followed by a custom newsletter summarizing the material covered, with links to resources, and suggested practice tasks.

Instructor:   Sharon DeKoning Kessel

Time: Thursdays, 10:30-11:30am (class time to be mutually agreed upon by students)

Dates:  January 28-April 29 (no class: March 18 or April 1)

Investment: $96 + cost of any texts 

zoomtownMeets Monthly.New group members welcomed anytime. Come and join a thriving monthly discussion with the group previously known as the “Downtown Study Group.”  Participants dive into a variety of topics including Sources of the Bible, Biblical Midrash, and Lives of the Chasidic Masters.  At present, we are discussing a series of Talmud Tales from the book, A Bride for One Night, by Ruth Calderon (JPS). This will be a literary exploration of human relationships and intimacy in the Talmud. We will have an open opportunity to reflect and challenge the words of the text and beyond.

Facilitator: Dr. Harvey Raben, CAA Director Emeritus of Congregational Learning 

Time: Thursdays, 12:00–1:00pm

Dates: Jan 21, Feb 18, Mar 18, Apr 29, May 20

Fee: No charge. Optional donations appreciated.

Text: A Bride for One Night, by Ruth Calderon (JPS)

mindfulEnhance your week with Shalom through a meditative, body-mind awareness practice that lowers stress and increases energy.  We will explore the following questions:  How can I move in a way that feels easier?   What can allow me to experience the flow of life in a more positive way?  What movement cues evoke body-positive feelings?  Through this practice, we can learn to recall and re-experience such movements in our body so they become familiar and foster greater peace.

Instructor:   Bobbie Nehman

Time: Mondays, 4:00-5:00pm

DatesJanuary 28 – April 15 (No class: March 18, April 1)

Investment: $36

adult-bookclub2Meets Monthly. Join award-winning author and CAA family member, Douglas A. Burton, for a monthly discussion of both fiction and non-fiction books. Upcoming books will be listed below as they are determined. Email jennifer.rubin@caa-austin.org with book suggestions. 

Host/Guide: Douglas A. Burton

Time: Thursdays, 7:00-8:30pm

Dates: Jan 14, Feb 11, Mar 11, Apr 29, May date TBD

Fee: No charge. Optional donations appreciated.

January Book: The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

 


FRIDAY

adult-friday2Following Shacharit minyan, please join us in studying Midrashim from the portion of the week!  Texts easily found on the Sefaria website. 

No prior registration needed, visit our Service Streaming page and click button to join “Morning Minyan.”  Click button for ‘Morning Minyan’

Facilitator: Rabbi Neil Blumofe 

Time: Fridays, 8:40-9:10am, following minyan

Fee: No charge. 

modern hebrew poetryNew Course! The how, what, and why of reading Hebrew Poetry, from Biblical to modern times, revealed by practice with different forms, modes, and methods. This course will be conducted in English, with many readings in Hebrew and English facing-page translation and transliteration. Materials for the course and syllabus will be posted by instructor on a specialty class newsletter. Maximum number of participants per class: 8.

Instructor: Sharon DeKoning Kessel

Time: Fridays, 12:00-1:00pm

Dates: Jan 29-April 16 (No class: Feb 26, Mar 19, Apr 2)

Investment: $72

Texts provided by instructor.


SHABBAT SATURDAY

limudBeginning at 8:30am, we begin Shabbat morning with a lively Torah study, verse by verse, with Rashi commentary and lots of discussion. If you want to dive into a dynamic and meaningful conversation about Torah with a group of engaged learners, this experience is for you! All are welcome. No prior registration needed, visit our Service Streaming page and click button to join “Shabbat Limud.”

 
Facilitator: Rabbi Neil Blumofe 

 

Time: Saturday, 8:30-9:30am

Fee: No charge. 


New in 2021

cooking bannerA collaborative, quarterly series among Congregation Agudas Achim, Temple Beth Shalom, and Congregation Beth Israel

Time: 7:00-8:30pm

February 2 – Leah Koenig

cooking in community 1

 

May 4 – Vanessa Weisbrod

Gluten-free Jewish classics: In honor of Celiac Disease Awareness month

Author of My Gluten-Free Family Kitchen: 151 Fast, Fun, and Flavorful Recipes, The Delight Gluten-Free Cookbook: 150 Delicious Recipes, and Gluten-Free Recipe Sampler

August 3 – TBD

November 2 – TBD