Winter/Spring 2021

The Adult Education programs in Winter/Spring 2021 will be online via Zoom or streaming services.

Beth Shalom offers learning opportunities throughout the year, sponsoring speakers, discussion groups, classes, and holiday programs. Programs are held at various times to accommodate congregants’ different schedules, including Shabbat, holidays, and weekdays during the day and evenings. These programs are open to the public.

Yom Ha’Atzmaut Watch Party

Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel

Celebrate Yom Ha’Atzmaut at Beth Shalom’s annual movie night. Bring your own popcorn, snacks, and drinks as we watch the movie Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel. Watch the movie as a group beginning at 8:00 p.m. on the Amazon Watch Party. Following the movie, join us on Zoom for a discussion. See the links below.

When? Sunday, April 11 at 8:00 p.m. A stirring story of sports, patriotism and personal growth, Heading Home charts the underdog journey of Israel’s national baseball team competing for the first time in the World Baseball Classic. After years of defeat, Team Israel is finally ranked among the world’s best in 2017, eligible to compete in the prestigious international tournament. Their line-up included several Jewish American Major League players – Ike Davis, Josh Zeid and ex-Braves catcher Ryan Lavarnway – most with a tenuous relationship to Judaism, let alone having ever set foot in Israel. Their odyssey takes them from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem where they are greeted as heroes, to Seoul where they must debunk their has-been, wannabe reputations. With their Mensch on the Bench mascot by their side, the team laughs, cries, and does much soul-searching, discovering the pride of representing Israel on the world stage.

This movie will be viewed on Amazon’s Watch Party feature.

How to join the watch party

This movie will be streamed through Amazon’s Watch Party feature. You will need to rent the movie from Amazon Prime in order to watch the movie with Beth Shalom. It will cost $1.99 and you will have the rental for 30 days.

  1. Click here to join the watch party.
  2. Login to Amazon (the page that you’re directed to after clicking the above link).
  3. Once you’ve logged in, you should be on the page for the movie.
  4. You then need to rent the movie.
  5. Once the movie is rented, you have to enter your name for the chat function.
  6. Then you can click on the join watch party button.

If you rent the movie in advance of Sunday, April 11, all you’ll need to do is click here to join the watch party and follow steps 5 and 6,

After the movie, head over to Zoom for a lively discussion! Click here to join the discussion on Zoom after the movie.

 Winter/Spring 2021 Adult Education Classes

Talmud Zooom!

When? Wednesdays beginning January 6 at 6:30 p.m. Come explore stories from the Talmud about courage, decency, deception, and fear. Everyone is invited to this weekly class, and you may join at any time.,

Conversational Hebrew

When? Tuesdays beginning February 2 at 2:00 p.m. This intermediate level class, with emphasis on grammar, conversational Hebrew, and vocabulary acquisition, is led by master teacher and native Israeli Ora Fisch. This class continues previous classes, but newcomers are welcome.

A Mi Shebayrach and a Pill 

When? Thursdays, March 4, 11 & 18 at 7:45 p.m. This course will review and discuss the traditional prayer texts Jews recite to promote spiritual healing. At least one text per class will be reviewed, and there will be a musical/meditative component to each class. If the participants agree, the course will conclude with a brief Jewish Healing service. Rabbi Philip Pohl received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Hebrew Literature, Master of Arts in Judaic Studies, and Doctorate of Divinity from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Beginning in 1978, he served as Rabbi of Congregation B’nai Shalom of Olney for 27 years. He has served as Jewish Chaplain for Montgomery General Hospital and Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, and co-founded the Washington Jewish Healing Network Enter passcode ADULTED after clicking here. To receive the texts for this week’s class in advance, please email the office.

The Listening Room: Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest

When? Tuesdays, April 6, 13 & 20 at 7:45 p.m. Come and relax by listening to some wonderful Israeli songs—submissions for the Eurovision Song Contest. We will learn about the immensely popular and ever-changing competition and see how Israel’s musical submissions have been viewed on an international stage! Cantor Rebecca Apt received degrees in Music and Midrash from Columbia University and Albert A. List College, and her Master’s degree in Sacred Music from the H.L. Miller Cantorial School. Prior to joining Beth Shalom, Cantor Apt served as Hazzan of Shaare Tefila Congregation in Olney, MD. Enter passcode EURO after clicking here.

Learn about Israeli Music Live

When? Thursday, January 28 at 7:45 p.m. Come for a fun, interactive, audio-visual introduction to popular music in Israel today. You’ll learn about the hottest singers and music styles, and the different ways in which popular music is woven into Israel’s culture. The presenters are Mairov and Josh Shron, hosts of Israel Hour Radio on Rutgers University’s WRSU-FM for nearly 25 years. They want to make you a fan – whether or not you are fluent in Hebrew!

Friday Night Speakers

Torah Ethics for our Times: A Monthly Mini-Lecture Series with Rabbi Grossman

When? Fridays, February 12, March 12, April 23, May 14 & June 18 during services. When faced with difficult choices, how do we determine the right course of action for ourselves, our families, our community? As Jews, we begin by understanding the ethical values that appear in our foundational document, the Torah, upon which all Jewish values ultimately derive.

Shabbat Across America with Mazon – a Jewish Response to Hunger

When? Friday, March 5 during services. Please join us for a very special presentation from Mazon, a Jewish Response to Hunger. Samuel M. Chu is the National Synagogue Organizer for Mazon, guiding synagogue partners in leading local and regional advocacy campaigns around issues of food insecurity. In addition to his work at Mazon, Samuel is a fellow at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at University of Southern California and teaches at the Episcopal School at Claremont School of Theology. He is a frequent speaker and presenter at conferences and training institutes hosted at the Hebrew Union College, American Jewish University, the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute, and the United States Student Association, among others.

Ask the Rabbi – Passover Edition

When? Fridays, March 19 & 26 during services. Rabbi Grossman answers all your Passover questions in this annual Ask the Rabbi event. Because Passover begins Saturday night, March 27, there will be two weeks of Ask the Rabbi, to allow people to prepare based on the answers received.

The Seders Are Over, Now What?

When? Friday, April 2 during services. There is a lot more to Passover than the first two nights’ seders! Join Rabbi Grossman for an exploration of well-known and little-known traditions for the last days of Passover and the beyond.

Saturday Morning Speakers

Upcoming talks during Saturday morning Shabbat services

Sermon in Song

When? Saturday, March 13. Cantor Rebecca Apt will lead an in-depth exploration of the meaning and music of a particular prayer.

Torah Talks

When? Saturdays, January 9, March 6, April 10, May 8 & June 19.  Rabbi Amy Scheinerman leads us in this participatory Torah study on the weekly parsha (Torah reading) occurs during regular Saturday morning services.

Are We What We Eat? Jewish Views on Veg-ism and Healthy Living

When? Saturday, May 22. Join us during services for a D’var Torah and a discussion after services with our guests Sara Eifler and Jodi Graber as they address the Jewish basis for a plant-based diet. Hear about what our texts and rabbinic traditions tell us, what the leading nutrition studies say about the benefits of a plant-based diet, and what steps we, as individuals and collectively, can take to adopt healthy habits and embody compassion for all living beings.

Jewish Veg, founded in 1975, educates Jews about the highest ideals of our religion, especially as they relate to our relationship with animals, our physical and spiritual health, and the environment. Sara Eifler, Jewish Veg Program Director, has been vegan since she was 14 years old and is dedicated to activism and social change in both her personal and professional life. She is currently a rabbinic student at ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal. Jodi Graber, Jewish Veg East Coast Engagement Manager, combines her passion for health, well-being and her Jewish heritage through her work as a health coach and her role at Jewish Veg.