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….

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 for beginners.  Cost is $54 per semester for texts and materials.  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!
Starting after the High Holy Days, 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. 

Zionism: An Unfinished Conversation
Join us as we explore the history and origins of Zionism, and then move on to look deeply at Israeli society, Israeli politics, and the intersection with the world’s diaspora community.  This class will offer us the opportunity to consider what Zionism was, what it is, and what it can be in the future.  We’ll work to gain a deeper understanding of Israel, as well as our own views and how they have been shaped.  A reader will be provided to all participants. 
Cost: $36.  The class will be taught by Rabbi Devorah and Rabbi Benj. 
6 Sessions: Wednesdays, October 10, 17, 24, 31 and November 7 and 14 at 7—8:30 pm.
Click here to register for this class.

Smart Vote Proposition Seminar
Each election, the number and complexity of the propositions seems to increase. Some are written in a style so confusing that it’s difficult to determine whether a “yes” or a “no” vote accurately represents your position. Our Adult Education and Social Action Committees want to help you become a more knowledgeable voter by presenting Smart Vote.

Jason Bercovitch will lead the seminar. His background includes a degree in Business Economics and Political Science from the University of California in Riverside, and began in local politics as an intern for Congresswoman Susan Davis. He has worked on a variety of campaigns in San Diego County, and comes with a wealth of knowledge on the issues. He will explain the issues without taking a stand on any. His goal is to encourage as many people as possible to become politically engaged, and to vote in every election. We are fortunate that he is willing to lead our evening.

There is no charge for the evening, but a donation of $5 per person is requested to help defray costs. Reservations are welcome for planning purposes, but not essential. For reservations or for questions about Smart Vote, please contact Barbara Pollack at

 Bring your voter’s pamphlet to make it easier to follow the talk. A brief question and answer session will follow the presentation.

Are you registered to vote in the November election? Have you moved since you last voted? Your registration must be postmarked or submitted online by October 22. For online registration, go to or call (800) 345-8683 to receive a voter registration card by mail.

Adult Ed Film Series: The Israeli Mosaic
The opening movie of this year’s series is Children of the USSR, the story of a group of young immigrants from the Soviet Union and their transition to a provincial Israeli town. Special guest speaker will be Dr. Luba Levin-Banchik, Visiting Scholar at SDSU.  Dr. Laurie Baron will introduce the film and lead the discussion afterward. Cost is $5, which includes popcorn and drinks. Saturday, October 13, 7 pm.  No reservations required.

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 will open through the Union for Reform Judaism website in late Fall.  Click here for more information.

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