Adult Education

Congregation Agudas Achim 

Adult Education Classes – 5781 Fall

Join the Journey

Classes will be held via Zoom until otherwise indicated. All are welcome.

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 HebrewIn 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 published edition you own or can purchase, is the only required text.

Instructor: Mark Long

Time: Sundays, 9:30–11:00am 

Dates:  Oct 18, Oct 25, Nov 1, Nov 8, Nov 15, Nov 22, Dec 6, Dec 13.

Fee: Donation suggested.

crashcourseIn Year One, students learned the aleph-bet and gained skill at reading words and phrases. This year’s materials draw from the Shabbat and Festival prayerbooks.  Students will strengthen their ability to read prayers, gain more vocabulary, and begin learning Hebrew grammar.  New students are welcomed (need not have taken Year One); however, some facility with basic Hebrew reading is a prerequisite.

Instructors: Davida Charney & Cynthia Winer

Time: Sundays, 11:00am-12:30pm

Dates:  Oct 18, Oct 25, Nov 1, Nov 8, Nov 15, Nov 22, Dec 6, Dec 13.

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-12:30pm

Dates:  Oct 18, Oct 25, Nov 1, Nov 8, Nov 15, Nov 22, Dec 6, Dec 13. Will continue into Spring.

Fee: Donation suggested.

adult-trope2New Course! It’s a journey of Jewish jingle—unlocking the ancient code of melodies that accompany many of our most sacred texts.  In this course, students will gain an understanding of the meaning and history of trop, as well as the ability to chant Torah using this ancient musical system.   Prepare for an enthusiastic, encouraging and supportive environment utilizing multi-sensory cues, musical notes and lots of mnemonics.  Mastery of basic Hebrew decoding skills highly recommended.

Instructor: Lori Kline

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

Dates:  Oct 18, Oct 25, Nov 1, Nov 8, Nov 15, Nov 22, Dec 6, Dec 13.

Investment:  $36 + cost of the textbook

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

adult-virtualisrael2

POSTPONED UNTIL SPRING 2021

New Course!  “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 likely learn important Israeli phrases and slang! The experience will culminate in a virtual tour of Israel through the Jewish National Fund to take place 4:00-5:00pm for one week, Nov 30-Dec 4th. Maximum number of participants per class: 8.

beitcafeNew Course!  Calling 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:  Oct 18, Nov 1, Nov 15, Dec 6, Dec 13.  Will continue into Spring.

Open Mic Night:  Dec 13th

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

mindfulBegin 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, 9:00-10:00am

Dates:   Oct 19, Oct 26, Nov 2, Nov 9, Nov 16, Nov 23, Nov 30, Dec 7, Dec 14

Investment: $36

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 and Rabbi Gail Swedroe

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

Dates:   Oct 19, Oct 26, Nov 2, Nov 9, Nov 16, Nov 23, Nov 30, Dec 7, Dec 14 Will continue into Spring.


TUESDAY

talmudWe will study from the tractate, Baba Metzia (a discussion of possession, ownership, and what constitutes evidence) — all backgrounds are welcome!  Though classes build upon one another, each can stand alone. So anyone is welcome to attend at any time.  No prior registration needed.

Led by:  Rabbi Neil Blumofe

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

Dates:   Oct 20, Oct 27, Nov 3, Nov 10, Nov 17, Nov 24, Dec 1, Dec 8, Dec 15. Will continue into Spring.

adult-livingjewish2New Course!  Designed as a follow-up to “Living Judaism,” this year-long course explores questions around living a Jewish life inside our homes and outside in our community. 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.   Though the class builds on lessons from Living Judaism, all are welcome to deepen their knowledge of Jewish culture, tradition and wisdom throughout the ages, as well as to join with a community of people who love to learn and discuss. 

Instructor: Cathy Schechter

Time: Tuesdays, 7:00–8:30pm

Dates: October 20 – December 15 (No Class: 11/24); January 19 – April 6 (No Class: 3/16, 3/30)

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

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


WEDNESDAY

hebrewtorahHebrew Through Torah Prep Class: 

This class is for those who want to take Hebrew Through Torah in the Fall semester and need to master the Hebrew aleph-bet and vowel points. Students will be introduced to both consonants and vowels, get practice sounding out Hebrew syllables and words, and learn mnemonic devices to help retain the material. 

Hebrew Through Torah:

Are you able to sound out Hebrew words but wish you knew what you were saying? Join us for an informal, organic introduction to the Hebrew language using verses from the weekly Parsha 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 the knowledge of Hebrew you already have, whether you know 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

Prep Class Dates:  Sept 16, Sept 23, Sept 30

Prep Class Time:  Wednesdays, 12:00-1:30pm (note: these are 90-min classes)

Hebrew Through Torah Class Dates:   October 7-December 16th; no class November 25. Will continue into Spring.

Hebrew Through Torah Class Time:  Wednesdays, 12:00-1:00pm (note: these are 60-min classes)

Fee:   Donation suggested.

hebrewbetClass will build Hebrew literacy through expanding vocabulary, conjugation, and conversation skills. 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. 

Maximum number of participants for class:  8

Instructor:   Sharon DeKoning Kessel

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

Dates:   Oct 14, Oct 21, Oct 28, Nov 4, Nov 11, Nov 18, Dec 2, Dec 9, Dec 16

Investment: $96 + cost of the texts

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

hebrewgimelStudents will deepen Hebrew fluency by expanding Hebrew vocabulary and facility with reading, writing, and conversation. Contemporary Israeli 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.

Maximum number of participants for class:  8

Instructor:   Sharon DeKoning Kessel

Time: Wednesdays, 7:00-8:00pm

Dates:   Oct 14, Oct 21, Oct 28, Nov 4, Nov 11, Nov 18, Dec 2, Dec 9, Dec 16

Investment: $96 + cost of the texts

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

adult-livingjudaism2Join 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: October 14- May 12 (No class:  Nov 25, Dec 23, Dec 30, Jan 6, Mar 17, Mar 31)

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

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


THURSDAY

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

Maximum number of participants per class: 8

Instructor:   Sharon DeKoning Kessel

Time: Thursdays, 10:00-11:00am

Dates:   Oct 15, Oct 22, Oct 29, Nov 5, Nov 12, Nov 19, Dec 3, Dec 10, Dec 17

Investment: $96

zoomtownMeets Monthly. 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.  

Sometimes our traditional texts can be difficult. This fall we will be 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: Oct 22, Nov 19, Dec 17, Jan 21, Feb 18, Mar 18, Apr 22, May 20

Fee: No charge. Optional donations appreciated.

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: Oct 15, Nov 12, Dec 10, Jan 14, Feb 11, Mar 11, Apr 22, May 27

Fee: No charge. Optional donations appreciated.

November Book: How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi


FRIDAY

adult-friday2Following Shacharit minyan, please join us in studying selections from the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch. No prior registration needed, visit our Service Streaming page and click button to join “Morning Minyan.”

Facilitator: Rabbi Neil Blumofe 

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

Fee: No charge. 


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.