Shir Tikvah Lifelong Learning Programs for 5782 (2021-2022)

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Multi-Week Lifelong Learning Opportunities

Autumn/ Winter 2021-2022 / 5782

What follows are multi-week courses during which participants experience both deep learning and developing meaningful relationships.

Please register in advance with your time and financial commitment; contact Alison Olig for questions about payment options.

These lifelong learning opportunities are offered in the spirit of ahavat-olam - love of Torah for the sake of love of life. Shir Tikvah’s teaching team is committed to creating learning environments that invite in holiness in the encounter among our participants and our holy texts. May our encounters with texts and teachings from our tradition help us live into our best selves, to create connections with texts, ourselves and one another, and community together.

Dear Shir Tikvah,


When Mishna Avot (1:6) teaches, “Make for yourself a rabbi and acquire for yourself a friend,” the rabbis are communicating the importance of communal learning. Both teachers and peers help clarify our learning and deepen community relationships.


We hope you will join one or more of the learning communities listed below, beginning or resuming after the High Holy Days.


I am particularly excited to know that as I leave Shir Tikvah, the Mussar program is expanding, facilitated by four longtime Shir Tikvah members and Mussar practitioners, Barry Epstein, Julie Jacobs, Laurel Riedel, and Lisa Hurtubise – and supported by Julie Dean! This practice is transformative.


This year’s Soulful Jewish Living course (for those looking to deepen your Jewish literacy and community) is in great hands with Rabbi David Thomas. Rabbi Thomas is a master teacher of Torah, bringing it alive and connecting it with participants’ lives. And happily, Steve Greenberg is continuing to offer Hebrew courses for adults!


These programs will meet via Zoom for now. Updates will be provided as classes near, but please understand there may be some shifts during the duration of the class as conditions change.


I am happy to answer any questions about these programs through their start in October. After that, Rabbi Latz will be the liaison for adult learning and engagement programs. 


Wishing you a sweet and healthy new year, shana tova u’metukah,


Mussar for a Better World


Announcing Two New Shir Tikvah Groups!


$180 (choose either the Wednesday OR the Thursday sessions)

Are you seeking to connect more deeply with yourself, others and Judaism? Are you interested in how changing your responses to life can make a positive difference in the world? Come join the exciting world of Mussar, a treasured Jewish pathway of discovering the inner life and exploring how small, practical shifts in our behavior and thinking can lead to a richer, more meaningful lives. Small groups (called a va'ad in Hebrew, plural va’adot) will explore middot (character traits) Jewish core values, and support one another in aligning our behaviors with our values. 

These groups are led by congregants who have extensive experience in the practices and teachings of Mussar and have completed in-depth training in facilitation. All facilitators have at least 4 years of Mussar practice and study, and are supported by master Mussar facilitator Julie Dean throughout the year.

The va’adot will gather via Zoom for now. We ask that participants make a financial commitment of $180 and a time commitment to the twelve sessions with your va’ad

Wednesdays 11:00 am - 1:00 pm: October 6 & 20, November 3 & 17, December 1 & 15, January 12 & 26, February 9 & 23, March 9 & 23.

Co-facilitated by Julie Jacobs & Laurel Reidel. Laurel has facilitated “Living Deeply, Dying Well” workshops for five years and looks forward to sharing the joy of Mussar discovery with Shir Tikvah. Julie Jacobs has been studying and practicing Mussar for 5 years. She says, “It has changed my way of being in the world.”

Thursday evenings, 6:30-8:30 pm: 10/7 & 21, 11/4 & 18, 12/2 & 16, 1/13 & 27, 2/10 & 24, 3/10 & 24.

Co-facilitated by Barry Epstein & Lisa Hurtubise. Barry Epstein has been teaching at Shir Tikvah for over twenty five years and says that Mussar has been life-changing for him. Lisa has experience leading Re-evaluation Counseling classes as well as a variety of workshops as an Occupational Therapist.

Soulful Jewish Living

Tuesdays 7:30-8:45pm

With Rabbi David Thomas and guest rabbis

Register here 


7:30-8:45 pm Tuesday evenings, October 12 - May 3

Soulful Jewish Living is Shir Tikvah’s basic Judaism course which explores all the foundations of Jewish life, including Jewish texts/literacy, holidays, life cycle, peoplehood, law, and more. Participants will meet 25 times between October and May. There will be recommended readings between sessions, so that participants can enter the conversations together, deepening their Jewish learning whether exploring Judaism for the first time or delving into the why’s and how’s of lifelong practices.

Beginning or Refreshing: Prayerbook Hebrew

Tuesdays 6:00-7:15pm

Hebrew is the language of our people and our prayers. Enter the conversation on your own terms by becoming comfortable with the language. Led by Steve Greenberg.

Alef Isn’t Tough: Learning the Aleph-Bet

October 19 - February 8 (13 sessions)

Register here

If you are new to Hebrew, and/or interested in a future adult b’mitzvah, this class is for you. Learn to recognize letters and vowels, with their associated sounds. $118; please purchase a copy of Alef Isn’t Tough: Learning the Aleph-Bet 

Alef Isn’t Enough: Continuing Practice

February 22 - May 10 (12 sessions)

Alef Isn’t Enough is for those who are familiar with the Aleph-Bet and are looking for some support putting the letters together, practicing prayers, and learning some root words. $118; please purchase a copy of Alef Isn’t Enough

Adult B’Mitzvah 

Shir Tikvah will not be starting an adult B’mitzvah cohort this year. If you are interested in exploring an adult B’mitzvah in the future, please register for and plan to take both Tuesday evening classes which begin October 12: Introductory Prayer Book Hebrew Classes and Soul of Jewish Living. These two classes are prerequisites for Shir Tikvah’s Adult B’Mitzvah program, and they are a chance for the cohort to begin to build a learning community together.

Free & Ongoing Lifelong Learning Opportunities

Ongoing Torah Study: Our People's Journey

2nd & 4th Fridays of the month


Word by word, phrase by phrase, each month join fellow congregants to explore approximately 15-20 verses of Torah as we make our way through the Five Books of Moses! This year, we continue with the fascinating stories in the Book of Deuteronomy. To be added to the email reminder list contact Gayle Zoffer. All are welcome to participate.

Morning Torah Study with Rabbi David Thomas

3rd Saturday of the month


Rabbi David Thomas guides a lively conversation connected with the weekly Torah portion, through the mystical and highly-relevant-today teachings of the Sefat-Emet.

Our Vision for Lifelong Learning

Shir Tikvah will be a welcoming, sacred Jewish community of learners of every age, ability, perspective, and background. Learners will engage in holy conversations about Torah, concepts of God, Judaism, Israel, and relevant issues of today's world in all their exhilarating, challenging, and profound forms. We will encounter innovative and flexible learning models in rhythm with Jewish holidays, lifecycle events, and Shabbat. Our learning will cultivate Jewish identity, build community and inspire us to live in harmony with our Jewish ethics.

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