Adult Education


Classes, events, and programs are open to Temple members and the community at large. It is Temple Emanu-El policy to make it possible for anyone to attend, regardless of financial situation. Call the Temple Office to make arrangements; your privacy will be respected.

Look for fliers, Ha-Sofer bulletin articles, and on the website for announcements with updated information about our programs.

New people bring new and interesting ideas. If you have suggestions or Jewish-related instructional talents you’d like to share, or if you would like to join the committee, which meets once a month, contact Adult Ed Chair, Madelynn Micon (619) 200-3237 or email

 Some of our learning opportunities include….

Adult Ed Film Series: The Israeli Mosaic

Our movie series “The Israeli Mosaic” will continue with Newland, especially chosen for Yom HaAtzmaut. The film was made in Israel in 1994 and directed by Orna Ben-Dor Nir.  It was nominated for four Israeli Film Academy Awards.

A boy and his traumatized younger sister arrive alone in Israel shortly after the War of Independence.  They have come to look for their mother, from whom they were separated during the Holocaust.  They are lodged temporarily in a transit camp among others fleeing from Displaced Persons camps in Europe or from persecution in the Arab nations of North Africa or the Middle East.  It is the period in Israel’s history that is paramount in  this movie.  Each character is headed toward outcomes that may be more or less difficult but never easy.  The Israeli nation will recover, but these survivors will carry their experiences with them throughout their lives.

Dr. Laurie Baron will introduce the film and lead the discussion afterward.  Suggested donation is $5, which includes popcorn and drinks. No reservations are needed.

Those who wish to come before the movie, can enjoy a Bring Your Own dinner and conversation.  The doors will open at 5:30 pm.

Conscience: The Duty to Obey and the Duty to Disobey
This five session, discussion driven course taught by Rabbi Lawson will examine the idea of conscience and the role conscience plays in our relationship to government, law, ethics, religion, human nature and God – and to each other. How do we decide on truth, trueness and prophecy? How does morality function in the issues about which we care?  Looking at Jewish texts regarding Economic Justice, Health Care, Disabilities, Reproductive Rights, Immigration, Guns and more – we will explore the role of conscience in making our decisions.  What potential for evil and for good rests within us as individuals and as a society? Come prepared to wrestle with significant issues of our day and for the future!  Cost for the class is $50 per person Sign up below or call the Temple Office at (619) 286-2555.
Cost is $50 per person.
April 4, 11 and May 6, 16 and 30    7 – 8:15 pm
Text: CONSCIENCE : The Duty to Obey and the Duty to Disobey by Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis    Available from Amazon or on Kindle.  Cost in paperback: $16.99

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Coffee with the Rabbi
Join us for our Coffee with the Rabbi series. These sessions will be an open forum to discuss topics of interest to the group and the rabbis.  No preparation is necessary, just an interest in Jewish learning and a chance to pick Rabbi Devorah and Rabbi Benj’s brains.

Cost is free.  No RSVP required.
Every other Wednesday, 11:15 am — 12:15 pm
October 10 & 24, November 7 & 21, December 5 & 19, January (2019) 2, 16 & 30, February 13 & 27, March 13 & 27, April 10 & 24, May 8 & 22, June 5 & 19.

Temple Emanu-El Book Group
Do you love to read?  Would you like to meet with other readers for lively discussions?  Our book group focuses on novels with Jewish content. Contact the Temple Office at (619) 286-2555 if you are interested.  Watch for dates and times in the bulletin and Shofar Blast announcements.

Introduction to Judaism
Beginning January 16, 2019

This course, taught by Rabbi Devorah and Rabbi Benj, introduces the fundamentals of Jewish thought and practice for anyone interested in exploring Judaism or reviewing the basics.  Topics include Jewish holidays and life cycle events, theology and prayer, Israel, history and Hebrew.  Registration through the Union for Reform Judaism is currently open.  Click here to register and for more information.

The Joy of Hebrew! – Adult Hebrew Classes
Adult Hebrew classes will be taught on Sundays at 11:30 am by Shelley Sloan for more advanced students and on Wednesdays at 6 pm by Becky Combest (102) and Shelley Sloan (101).  Cost is $54 per semester for texts and materials.  The second semester begins in January.  (Shelley Sloan will be teaching Hebrew 101 – for new beginners.  Becky’s class is a continuation of the first semester.)  Classes are subject to cancellation unless a minimum of eight students per class enroll for the semester so sign up early!  Click here to register online or call the Temple Office at (619) 286-2555.
Class Dates:
SUNDAYS: Semester 1 – September 16, 23 & 30; October 7, 14, 21 & 28; November 4 & 11; December 2, 9 & 16.  Semester 2 – January 6, 13 & 27; February 3, 10 & 24; March 3, 10, 17 & 31; April 7, 14 & 28; May 5 & 19.
WEDNESDAYS: Semester 1 – September 26; October 3, 10, 17 & 24;
November 7, 14 & 28; December 5 & 12.  Semester 2 – January 9, 16, 23 & 30; February 6, 13, 20 & 27; March 6, 13 & 20; April 3, 10 & 17; May 1, 8 & 15.

Adult B’nai Mitzvah Class
Do you wish you had a bar or bat mitzvah but never had the chance?  Do you want to learn Hebrew or learn more about our Jewish tradition?  Do you want to make friends and community here at Temple Emanu-El?  Well, this is the class for you!
The Adult B’nai Mitzvah class will meet weekly on Thursday evenings.  They will learn how to read Hebrew, how to chant the prayers of the service, and how to read Torah.  And for those who want to chant Torah, we will also provide chanting classes.  Once a month, the class will learn with Rabbi Benj about the prayer service, Torah, and more!  At the end of the second year of study, the Adult B’nai Mitzvah class will have their b’nai mitzvah ceremony on Shavuot (2020) and lead our synagogue community in prayer, read Torah, and give a d’rash, as they become bar or bat mitzvah!  Please call the Temple Front Office to register for the class.
Cost: $540 per year, which covers all classes, tutoring, and reception celebration luncheon (partial scholarships available for those who need them)
Class Dates:
Hebrew: Thursdays 6-7 pm –
October 4, 11, 18; November 1, 8, 15, 29; December 6, 13, 20; January 3, 10, 17, 24, 31; February 7, 21, 28; March 7, 21, 28; April 4, 11; May 2, 9, 16 & 23.

Judaica: Thursdays 7-9 pm – October 11, November 8, December
13, January 10, February 7, March 7, April 11 and May 9.

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