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Temple Beth-El Adult Education Program 5784 (2023-2024)


Adult Education classes are open to all members of the TBE community free of charge. Contributions to the Adult Education Fund support this program and are deeply appreciated.

Registration is required, just click HERE to sign up electronically.  If you prefer, you may also call the Temple office at (607) 273-5775 any time and tell us which classes you'd like to attend.  Additional programs are being planned, so be sure to check back!  Questions?  Just email us at:


One Day Classes

"Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Reform: The Matrix of American Judaism"

Ross Brann
Monday, October 2, 2023@ 7 PM in the Social Hall and via Zoom

"Arthur and Lilly" Book Reading

Lilly Maier
Monday, December 11th at 7pm in the Social Hall and via Zoom

What do a 75-year-old Los Angeles based rocket engineer and an eleven-year-old schoolgirl from Austria have in common? Not much at first glance, but Arthur and Lilly influenced each other’s lives in a fateful way.

A moving tale of two lives that fatefully cross paths, and an immensely knowledgeable insight into an unknown Holocaust story: the rescue of hundreds of Jewish children to America on a Kindertransport.

Exploring Contemporary Uses of Mikveh

Marlaine Darfler
Sunday, February 11, 2024 at 10:30 am in the Rubinstein Chapel

Whether it be enhancing the sexual intimacy of contemporary relationships, marking the end of chemo treatments, entering retirement, finalizing a divorce, ending a period of mourning, celebrating gender identity, or becoming a grandparent, the waters of the mikveh can enfold us, helping to bring us to a place of openness, celebration and connection as we encounter life and all its experiences.  Marlaine Darfler, trained at the Mayyim Hayyim Mikveh in Boston, will guide this discussion. Explore the many immersion ceremonies available and take a fresh look at the beauty and strength offered to women who chose to use the mikveh for monthly renewal.  The mikveh will be open for a tour.


What our DNA tells us about Jewish origins and migrations

Rita Calvo
Thursday, March 21 at 7 in the Social Hall and via Zoom 
please register to receive the Zoom link.

Ongoing Classes

Chanting the Tanakh

Cantor Richard Rosenfield
Sundays @ 10:00 AM beginning October 22, 2023.

This class is for all adults who are able to read Hebrew, understand the text (with the help of a translation), and want to learn to chant Torah or Haftarah using the cantillation symbols in the Chumash or Tikkun. We will be learning the musical motifs of A. W. Binder, Cantor L. Avery and Cantor E. Schleifer. For more information, please contact Richard Rosenfield HERE.

Prayerbook Hebrew

Cantor Richard Rosenfield
Sundays @ 11:15 AM beginning October 22, 2023.

This class is for all adults who would like to learn how to read and understand prayerbook Hebrew. We shall be using the textbooks Teach Yourself to Read Hebrew (revised edition), Prayerbook Hebrew The Easy Way (3rd edition), and The First Hebrew Primer (3rd edition) all from EKS Publishers. For more information, please contact Richard Rosenfield HERE

Zionism And its Discontents

This mini-course examines the history of Zionism as an idea and as a political movement in all its various forms, currents, and transformations from its origins in mid-and late-nineteenth century Europe to the present. Despite its success in establishing the State of Israel in 1948, Zionism, which also sought to “normalize” Jewish collective life and provide a safe haven from persecution, has encountered multiple internal challenges and discord from the outset. The class will examine how these internal divisions inform the current constitutional, social, and cultural crisis in Israel.

Suggested reading:

Derek Penslar, Zionism: An Emotional State. Rutgers U Press, 2023 (pb)
Michael Stanislawski, Zionism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford, 2017 (pb)

Ross Brann
Wednesdays, October 11, 18, 25, November 1,8,15 @ 7pm in the Social Hall and via Zoom

"Stories within Stories"

Jonathan Boyarin
Mondays, November 6, 13, 20 @7pm in the Rubinstein Chapel - IN PERSON ONLY

Stories are always told within a certain social situation, often where folks are together with some time on their hands. These three sessions will present in turn one of Sholem-Aleichem's classic tales set among Jews together in a railroad car; a personal narrative told to Jonathan decades ago by his Galicia-born professor; and numerous masholim, parables from the Old Country each with its own distinct moral.

Demons & Angels in Judaism

Jason Mokhtarian
Thursdays at 6pm May 2,9,16 in the Rubinstein Chapel - IN PERSON ONLY

Mon, May 20 2024 12 Iyyar 5784