Lectures & Courses

At Central Synagogue

Adult Engagement Programming


Click here to view a complete list of Spring 2018 Adult Engagement Events.

Interested in presenting at Central Synagogue? Contact Lauren Dickel


Upcoming Lectures and Courses:


Lunch and Learn: Music of the Psalms: Their use in our liturgy and beyond

Monday, June 25, 2018 at 12:30pm | Pavilion
Taught by Cantor Dan Mutlu

The Book of Psalms is traditionally said to have been written by King David, himself. So many of these psalms include instructions for musicians as well as scenes which depict instrumentalists enhancing the words of praise. Come learn which of the many psalms are used regularly in worship and how they have been set to music in ancient times to today.

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Talking to God

Tuesdays, June 26 - July 24 & August 2, 5:00 pm | Community House
Taught by Lisa Lisser

Does anybody have a map? That’s what the parents in the musical “Dear Evan Hansen” ask the universe when they are struggling with issues related to their struggling kids.  Whether we are on our own, parents, children, or spouses dealing with issues that were not part of our original vision for ourselves, we all can use help finding the strength within. In this class, we will explore our relationships with God, the meaning of God to us personally, and modes of developing a personal vocabulary to connect with that Higher Power through both traditional and modern texts.

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How We Pray

Tuesdays, June 26 - July 24 & August 2, 6:15 pm | Community House
Taught by Rabbi Ari Lorge and Rabbi Nicole Auerbach

Have you sat through worship at Central wondering why everyone around you was bowing? What the Hebrew words mean? If we believe our prayers actually make change in the world? If so, join us for this introductory course on Jewish prayer. Over the course of six sessions we will consider these and other foundational questions. No prerequisite. This class is free and open to members and non-members

Registration is now full


Pirke Avot, Eighteen Centuries Later

Wednesdays, June 6 - June 27, 10:30 am | Community House
Taught by Jessica Greenbaum

Join award-winning poet Jessica Greenbaum for a unique approach to studying this iconic collection of teachings on justice, integrity, and virtue. We will be comparing the translations from two editions and analyzing their differences. No prior poetry or Judaic knowledge required. This class is free and open to members and non-members.

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An Evening of Art and Wine: Glass Making with Sasha Kopp

June 14 or July 19, 6:30 pm | Pavilion

Come enjoy an evening of art and wine with Central’s very own glass artist, Sasha Kopp. Sasha will guide you through the process of designing and creating your own fused-glass Mezuzah. Come alone, or with a friend – the evening will be fun for all! No prior art experience required. This class is open to members and non-members, there is a fee per art project. This class will be taught twice over the summer, on June 14 and July 19.

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The Ethical Life (A JTS Curriculum)

Thursdays, September 27 – December 20, 6:00 pm | Announced upon registration

Taught by Joe Septimus
From political and financial scandals to rapid progress in biomedical science and technology, the complex issues of modern society are, at their core, issues of ethical and moral concern. Now more than ever, we require a solid understanding of how Jewish ethics can inform our discussions and decisions about the critical questions of the day.

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Bereshit 2 – The Story of the First Jewish Family

Tuesdays, October 9 – December 11, 10:00 am | Announced upon registration

Taught by Rabbi Nicole Auerbach
This course follows the development of the first Jewish family, from “The Birth of Two Nations” and “Stolen Blessings” to “Reunion in Egypt” and “Blessing the Grandchildren.” These stories of sibling rivalry, wrestling with an angel, palace seduction, rape, and reconciliation provide some of the most dramatic and iconic images that reverberate across the millennia. Students must have taken Bereshit I in order to register.

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Vayikra – a Call to Holiness (Morning Option)

Tuesday, October 9 – December 11, 10:00 am | Announced upon registration

Taught by Rabbi Lori Koffman
Chosen by the Rabbinic sages as the first book of the Torah that children should learn, contemporary readers often perceived Vayikra (Leviticus) as inaccessible. Yet, embedded in the laws of sacrificial practices, ritual impurity and purity, and the pursuit of holiness are messages and values that have relevance to the universal condition. In our study of Vayikra, we will examine themes including the role of rituals, responding to tragedy, bringing sanctity into one’s daily life, and more. Through a textual study of selected passages, this course uncovers the depth and wisdom of the third book of the Torah and reveals its enduring messages.

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Vayikra – a Call to Holiness (Evening Option)

Tuesday, October 9 – December 11, 6:00 pm | Announced upon registration
Chosen by the Rabbinic sages as the first book of the Torah that children should learn, contemporary readers often perceived Vayikra (Leviticus) as inaccessible. Yet, embedded in the laws of sacrificial practices, ritual impurity and purity, and the pursuit of holiness are messages and values that have relevance to the universal condition. In our study of Vayikra, we will examine themes including the role of rituals, responding to tragedy, bringing sanctity into one’s daily life, and more. Through a textual study of selected passages, this course uncovers the depth and wisdom of the third book of the Torah and reveals its enduring messages.

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The Crescent and the Star - The Long Relationship of Judaism and Islam

Mondays, October 15 – December 17, 10:45 am | Announced upon registration

Taught by Rabbi David Kalb
Jews and Muslims have co-existed, both peacefully and contentiously, for more than a millennium. What do they have in common? What are the sources of tension and conflict? During the first thousand years after the founding of Islam, it was better to be Jewish in a Muslim country than in a Christian country. Only after that period did the relationship between Jews and Muslims deteriorate, particularly in the Middle East. This course will examine the longstanding relationship between Judaism and Islam, broadening our understanding and challenging our assumptions..

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Ongoing Classes

Registration required.