5780 Adult Education Classes

CAA is thrilled to offer a variety of Adult Education classes. Please see a list of our classes below. You can also click here to view our Adult Education brochure.

Sundays

 

Bible Times: What Happens in Jewish Scripture?

Today we take it for granted that historical events can be related to one another in terms of a timeline, using a conventional sequence of numbered years. During the period when the Tanach was being written, however, no such framework existed, and Israelite chroniclers had to resort to quite different strategies for maintaining an orderly record of their nation’s political and spiritual history. In this class, we will take a look at the ways some of those strategies are employed in scripture. We will also review attempts to establish a correlation between Biblical events and historical developments (often easier to date) in other ancient cultures.

Instructor: Mark Long

Time: Sundays, 9:30 a.m – 11:00 a.m.

Dates: 10/13, 10/20, 10/27, 11/3, 11/10, 11/17, 12/8, 12/15

Location: CAA History Room

Fee: No charge. Optional donation appreciated.

To register, contact Teresa Lavender (teresa.lavender@caa-austin.org)

 

Adult B’nai Mitzvah Class

If you didn’t have the opportunity to celebrate a bar or bat mitzvah as a child, or your Jewish journey began after the age of 13, perhaps you’ve decided that now is the time. This Adult B’nai Mitzvah preparation class will commence in November, with an expected completion date in the spring of 2021.

It is highly recommended that those new to Hebrew take CAA’s Hebrew Reading Crash Course (see below) or seek outside tutoring support in Hebrew.

Instructor: Matt Levitt

Time: Sundays, 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Date: Class begins November 3

Location: CAA Education Building Library

Investment: $360 (payment can be made in installments if needed) + cost of 2 books

For more information, please contact Matt Levitt at matthew.levitt@park.edu.

To register, please contact Teresa Lavender at teresa.lavender@caa-austin.org

 

Decoding the Siddur 101 – Crash Course

Ever get lost in the flow of a religious service?  Want to better understand the choreography – why we sit, stand, and bend when we do?  Want to be able to figure out what prayer we’re on and what we’re singing?  Learn more about why certain prayers were chosen for our services?  The goal of this workshop-style course is to help you get more meaning from your prayer experience.

Instructor: Davida Charney

Time: Sundays, 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Dates: 11/10 and 11/17

Location: CAA Small Conference Room

Fee: No charge. Donations appreciated to cover noshes.

To register, contact Teresa Lavender at teresa.lavender@caa-austin.org.

 

Hebrew Reading Crash Course – Level I

This introductory course is designed for those with little or no background in Hebrew and concentrates on the Hebrew alphabet and basic reading skills. This course, with curriculum developed by the National Jewish Outreach Program, can help participants to learn to read Hebrew in as few as five 1.5-hour weekly sessions. Recommended for Adult B’nai Mitzvah students new to Hebrew.

Instructor: Davida Charney & Cynthia Winer

Time: Sundays, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Dates:  11/10, 11/17, 11/24, 12/8, 12/15

Location: CAA Small Conference Room

Fee: No charge. Donations appreciated to cover noshes.

To register, contact Teresa Lavender at teresa.lavender@caa-austin.org.

 

(Stay tuned for Hebrew Reading Crash Course Level II, offered in the spring.)

 

Talmud Study, Beit Midrash Style

Agudas Achim Beit Midrash Talmud Study provides a unique opportunity to grow in Torah learning and engage in deep conversation. The Beit Midrash method utilizes learning partners (chevruta) to interact with our ancient texts, where participants are both students and teachers. Each session stands alone, and learners at all levels are welcome. Facilitated by Dr. Harvey Raben, CAA Director Emeritus of Congregational Learning.

Instructors: Various

Time: Sundays, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Dates: 10/13, 10/20, 10/27, 11/3, 11/10, 11/17, 11/24, 12/8

Location: CAA Social Hall A

Fee: No charge. Donations for noshes appreciated.

For more information or to register, contact Dr. Harvey Raben at harvey.raben@gmail.com.


Tuesdays

 

Chag in the Home

Chag in the Home is a series of monthly classes geared toward parents of children ages 3–10. Classes focus on child-friendly ways to invigorate Jewish holiday observance, including easy crafts, activities, conversation topics, and stories. Light refreshments will be provided.

Instructor(s): Co-led by a CAA Rabbi and a member of the CAA Young Families Community

Time: Tuesdays, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Dates: 3rd or 4th Tuesday of the month (subject to change); Begins September 17

Location: CAA Education Building, Room 147

Fee: No charge. Donations for refreshments appreciated.

For more information or to register, contact Jennifer Rubin at jennifer.rubin@caa-austin.org.

 

Talmud on Tuesdays: Berachot (Blessings)

All are welcome to explore key concepts of this opening book of the Talmud. Each week we will look at selections from the Babylonian Talmud. Each class stands alone, so feel free to attend as your schedule allows.

Instructor: Rabbi Neil Blumofe

Time: Tuesdays 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Location: CAA History Room

Fee: No charge. Optional donations appreciated.

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

 

Downtown Study Group

Come and join a thriving monthly discussion with facilitator Dr. Harvey Raben. This year, the group will focus on a study of King David’s leadership using the book David: The Divided Heart, by thought leader Rabbi David Wolpe. (Harvey to add details here.) Feel free to bring your lunch!

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

Time: Tuesdays (one Wednesday), 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Dates: Wednesday 10/23; Tuesdays 11/19, 12/17, 1/21, 2/18, 3/24, 4/21, 5/19

Location: Austin History Center; 810 Guadalupe St.

Fee: No charge. Optional donations appreciated.

 

 

Parenting as a Spiritual Practice

Can’t make CAA’s evening classes because of the kids’ bedtime? Looking to connect with other parents? Join Rabbi Swedroe as we explore the spirituality of parenting with Jewish texts, conversation, and journaling. This year, we’ll be reading from Wendy Mogel’s book The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Timeless Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children. Feel free to bring your lunch. Babysitting available for $10 at Shalom Austin.

Instructor: Rabbi Gail Swedroe

Time: 2nd Tuesday of the month, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Dates: 9/10, 11/12, 12/10, 1/14, 2/11, 3/10, 4/14, 5/12

Location: CAA Education Building, Room 147

Fee: No charge. Optional donation appreciated.

 

Modern Hebrew – Intermediate/Bet Level

Take a break from the routine and immerse yourself in Hebrew learning! The class will begin with level-based conversation, then move into structured reading and writing practice. This fun, engaging class will also incorporate contemporary media, such as podcasts, video, music, and modern texts. Exposure to the natural rhythm of the Hebrew language, including slang and cultural references, is incorporated. Each class session will be followed by a custom newsletter summarizing the material covered, with links to resources, suggested practice tasks, and invitations into lively conversation. This class is ideal for someone preparing to visit Israel.

Intermediate/Bet-level students will expand Hebrew vocabulary, reading, writing, and conversation skills. Content includes reading of stories and practice with dialogue.

Instructor: Sharon de Koning Kessel

Time: Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Dates: 10/29, 11/5, 11/12, 11/19, 12/3, 12/10, 12/17

Location: CAA History Room

Investment: $72, including books and materials

To register, contact Teresa Lavender at teresa.lavender@caa-austin.org.


Wednesdays

 

Modern Hebrew – Beginner/Aleph Level

Take a break from the routine and immerse yourself in Hebrew learning! The class will begin with level-based conversation, then move into structured reading and writing practice. This fun, engaging class will also incorporate contemporary media, such as podcasts, video, music, and modern texts. Exposure to the natural rhythm of the Hebrew language, including slang and cultural references, is incorporated. Each class session will be followed by a custom newsletter summarizing the material covered, with links to resources, suggested practice tasks, and invitations into lively conversation. This class is ideal for someone preparing to visit Israel.

Aleph-level class will cover the aleph bet and then begin to build Hebrew vocabulary, basic conversation, and beginning reading and writing skills.

Instructor: Sharon de Koning Kessel

Time: Wednesdays, 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Dates: 10/23, 10/30, 11/6, 11/13, 11/20, 12/4, 12/11, 12/18

Location: CAA History Room

Investment: $72, including books and materials

To register, contact Teresa Lavender at teresa.lavender@caa-austin.org.

 

Living Judaism: A Guide to Jewish Awareness and Practice

Join Rabbi 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 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (following minyan at 6:00 p.m.)

Dates: September 4 – April 22 (No class: 9/25, 10/9, 10/16, 11/27, 12/18, 12/25, 1/1, 3/18, 3/25, 4/8, 4/15)

Location: CAA Social Hall

Investment: $150 ($200/couple) + books

For more information or to register, please contact Jane Weiss at 512-735-8404 or jane.weiss@caa-austin.org.


Thursdays

 

Mahjong for Beginners

All skill levels are welcome! Each player will need to have a current card. If you have a Mahj set, bring it. If not, don’t worry!

Instructors: CAA Sisterhood Members

Time: Thursdays, 6:30 p.m – 8:30 p.m.

Dates: 9/12, 9/26, 10/10, 10/24, 11/14, 11/28, 12/12, 12/26, 1/9, 1/23, 2/13, 2/27, 3/12, 3/26, 4/9, 4/23, 5/14, 5/28

Location: CAA Social Hall

For more information or to register, contact Ellen Singer at elleville00@gmail.com


Fridays

 

Friday Morning Learning

Following Shachrit minyan, please join us for study of the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch—Blessings.

Instructor: Rabbi Neil Blumofe

Time: Fridays, 7:40 a.m. – 8:30 a.m., following minyan

Location: CAA Chapel

Fee: No charge. Donations requested to cover food costs.

 

 

Modern Hebrew – Advanced/Gimel Level

Take a break from the routine and immerse yourself in Hebrew learning! The class will begin with level-based conversation, then move into structured reading and writing practice. This fun, engaging class will also incorporate contemporary media, such as podcasts, video, music, and modern texts. Exposure to the natural rhythm of the Hebrew language, including slang and cultural references, is incorporated. Each class session will be followed by a custom newsletter summarizing the material covered, with links to resources, suggested practice tasks, and invitations into lively conversation. This class is ideal for someone preparing to visit Israel.

Advanced/Gimel-level students will use contemporary Israeli poetry and literature to deepen Hebrew language skills, in addition to expanding skills in reading, writing, and conversation.

Instructor: Sharon de Koning Kessel

Time: Fridays, 12:00 p.m – 1:30 p.m. (Bring your kosher lunch!)

Dates: 10/25, 11/1, 11/8, 11/15, 11/22, 12/6, 12/13

Location: CAA History Room

Investment: $72, including books and materials

To register, contact Teresa Lavender at teresa.lavender@caa-austin.org.


Saturdays/Shabbat

 

Shabbat Limud: Beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Shabbat mornings, congregants gather in the CAA Chapel to study Torah, verse by verse, with Rashi commentary and lots of discussion. Led by Rabbi Blumofe. All are welcome to join!

 

Deep Dive into Prayer: Interested learners are led through a deep exploration of prayer within the Shabbat morning service. All are welcome to join!

Facilitators: Rabbi Gail Swedroe and Yaira Robinson

Time: Saturdays, 9:40 a.m.

Dates: 9/14, 11/9, 12/14, 1/11, 2/8, 3/14, 4/11, 5/9

Location: CAA Chapel

 

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 Parshah and snippets of the siddur as study texts. We’ll approach Hebrew as if it were a jigsaw puzzle, exploring how the different components fit together and 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 study leader to interject fun and surprising facts about language in general and about Hebrew’s interconnections with Arabic, Yiddish, English, Spanish, and more. Class will be conducted in a Shomer Shabbos fashion.

Instructor: Gail Tosto

Time: Saturdays, 1:15 p.m – 2:15 p.m.

Dates: Begins October 26

Location: CAA History Room

Fee: No charge. Optional donations appreciated outside of Shabbat.

For more information, please contact Gail Tosto at gailtosto@gmail.com.

To register, contact Teresa Lavender at teresa.lavender@caa-austin.org.

 

Prepping for the Hebrew Through Torah Class

If you’d like to take Hebrew Through Torah (see entry above) but haven’t yet mastered the Hebrew alphabet and vowel points, this four-week class is highly recommended for you. We’ll cover all the Hebrew letters, vowels, and how to put them together to make syllables and words. Class will be conducted in a Shomer Shabbos fashion.

Instructor: Gail Tosto

Time: Saturdays, 1:15 p.m – 2:15 p.m.

Dates: 9/28, 10/5, 10/12, 10/19

Location: CAA History Room

Fee: No charge. Optional donations appreciated outside of Shabbat.

For more information, please contact Gail at gailtosto@gmail.com.

To register, contact Teresa Lavender at teresa.lavender@caa-austin.org.

 

Jewish Sages Society — A new adventure, merging adult Jewish learning with the art of writing your own modern midrash. We kindle the spark needed to unleash your midrashic muse and tap into your inner sage. Participants reflect on Jewish themes as we delve into the heart and soul of Jewish spirituality and explore the inner dimensions of Judaism, at all levels of interpretation. We share our insights when we meet, followed by an engaging group discussion. Expand your knowledge of Judaism and deepen your connection to Jewish spirituality, while weaving your present moment and personal voice into the fabric of Jewish interpretation. We offer a peaceful and supportive Shabbat environment free from critiques, debates and politics.

CAA Education Building Library, every other Saturday, 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Contact Abigail Laviolette at jewishsagessociety@gmail.com for more info and to save your space.


DATES/TIMES TBD

 

Hebrew/English Coffee & Conversation

Those with emerging fluency in Hebrew or English are invited to join together in conversation. This program is offered in collaboration with the Israel–American Coalition, Austin Chapter.

Facilitator: TBD

Date/Time: TBD

Location: TBD

Fee: No charge. Items available for optional purchase.

For more information, contact Brooke Hersh-Thompson at hersh18@yahoo.com.

To register, contact Teresa Lavender at teresa.lavender@caa-austin.org


CAA Social Action/Social Justice Initiatives

Led by Rabbi Blumofe and Rabbi Swedroe, each of these monthly learning experiences highlights a different social issue in our world and what our tradition has to say about them. All are welcome to join in an engaged, thought-provoking discussion.

Tuesday, October 29, 12:00 p.m – 1:15 p.m.: Affordable Housing w/Rabbi Swedroe

Erev Shabbat, November 29, 7:30 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.: Food Insecurity w/Rabbis Blumofe and Swedroe

Shabbat, December 28, 1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.: Cost & Access to Education w/Rabbis Blumofe and Swedroe

Location:  CAA, Room TBD

Fee:  No charge. Optional donations appreciated outside of Shabbat.

For more information, contact Teresa Lavender at teresa.lavender@caa-austin.org.


SPEAKER SERIES 5780

Winter 2020

Topic: Contemporary Anti-Semetism

Ticket Cost: $18

Information will be posted to www.theaustinsynagogue.org as it becomes available.