Lectures & Courses

At Central Synagogue

Adult Engagement Fall Programming

Click here to download our digital brochure.


Interested in presenting at Central Synagogue?

If you are an artist, author, educator, or rabbi interested in presenting at Central Synagogue, we invite you to submit a request online. While we are unable to respond to each request individually, please note that all requests are read and evaluated.


Melton at Central: Experience “The Best of The Best” In Adult Jewish Education

Classes run September 2017-May 2018

Interested in creating connections with fellow congregants? Looking to strengthen your Jewish literacy in a pressure-free environment and feel empowered to bring meaningful Jewish practice into your home? Melton is an internationally renowned program for adult Jewish study designed for all levels of Jewish knowledge and practice. Join us for the coming year of Melton and come away with confidence and community!

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Israel Policy Forum: Fresh Takes on Longstanding Challenges Between Israel and its Neighbors

Sunday, October 22, 2017 at 2:00pm | The Streicker Center

Join Central Synagogue clergy and congregants as the Israel Policy Forum unpacks the latest developments concerning Iran’s nuclear program, ISIS, the prospects of a sustainable two-state solution, and Israel’s relations with the wider Arab world. Along with other institutions, Central Synagogue will be co-sponsoring this event.

You can use our case-sensitive promotion code: Central during checkout to receive a discounted rate.

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iEngage: Foundations

Tuesdays, Oct 24-Nov 14, 2017 at 11:00am | Community House

Members: $100 • Non-members: $150
This class explores the current relationship between Israel and world Jewry. The course will explore core issues such as Israel as the sovereign expression of Jewish peoplehood, as the Homeland of the Jewish People, Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, religious pluralism and human rights.

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The Book of Genesis: The Poetry of Life Begins

Wednesdays, Oct 11, 2017-Jan 17, 2018 at 10:30am | Community House
Taught by Jessica Greenbaum

Join award winning poet for a unique experience of studying the weekly Torah portions of Genesis. In this special series, you will look closely at those themes in each parsha which reflect the human condition as we experience it here and now, and you will have the opportunity to read related poems and write your own. No prior poetry or Judaic knowledge required. This class is free and open to both members and nonmembers of Central Synagogue.

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Teachings of Wonder, Wisdom, and Values

Thursdays, September 14-December 14, 7:15 | Community House
Taught by Joe Septimus

We will explore selected teachings from Torah, Talmud, Midrash, medieval, modern and contemporary sources. Our texts and discussions will enhance and deepen our appreciation of life’s wisdom and Jewish values. All texts will be in English. No prior text study experience required.

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Lunch and Learn Series with Conductor Cesare Civetta

Monday, October 30, 2017 at 12:30pm | Pavilion
A Tribute to Elie Wiesel taught by Conductor Cesare Civetta

This is the first of three multimedia presentations the Conductor and educator, Cesare Civetta, will present at Central Synagogue this Fall.
Join your community for lunch, starting at 12:30, followed by a one-hour exploration of Elie Wiesel’s life, philosophy, and achievements. The multi-media presentation includes many photos, interviews with Wiesel about caring for others, his establishment of an educational center for Ethiopian-Jewish children in Israel, his relationship with God, and the Middle East conflict.  The program also features footage of Wiesel singing songs he learned in Yiddish as a child, including Ven Ich Vol Gehat Koiech, Shebshifleinu, Harachaman, Oyfn Pripetshik, Es Brent, and Ani Ma-amin!

Don’t forget to check out our upcoming Lunch and Learn presentations on November 20, and December 11.

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“Jewish Gangsters of the Lower East Side” - Walking Tour Led by Rabbi David Kalb

Sunday, November 5, 2017 at 10:45am | Lower East Side
Taught by David Kalb

The Prohibition-era gangsters Meir Lansky, Bugsy Siegel, and Arnold Rothstein were all prominently featured in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. While the show was set in Atlantic City, their base of operations in the criminal under world was here in New York, and the city itself played an essential role in their organizations. We will see where these Jewish criminals engaged in their nefarious activities and discuss the issues of power, ethics, and acculturation that ensued.

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When Breath Becomes Air: A Conversation with Dr. Lucy Kalanithi (wife of the author)

Monday, November 6, 2017 at 7:00pm | Park Avenue Synagogue

On Nov 6, 2017 Central Synagogue will be partnering with Park Avenue Synagogue for a talk by Lucy Kalanithi. Her husband’s hauntingly beautiful book, When Breath Becomes Air, is the true and unforgettable story of a young doctor embarking on a promising career as a neurosurgeon, learning that he has stage 4 lung cancer. In his book, Dr. Paul Kakanithi grapples with his mortality and the existential question of what makes a life worth living in the face of death.
Thanks to a generous donation from Howard Sharfstein, congregant and former President of Central Synagogue, we will be co-sponsoring this event with Park Avenue Synagogue.

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The Development of Jewish Music

Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at 6:00pm | Pavilion
Taught by Cantor Daniel Mutlu

This class will explore the origins of Jewish music and its subsequent development to the modern day. Distinct major periods of Jewish music will be illuminated and discussed.

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What Matters - Book Discussion of the Kalaniti book When Breath Becomes Air

Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 5:30pm | Pavilion

In the book’s foreword by Dr Verghesee, he suggests not only reading When Breath Becomes Air but also “listening to the overwhelming response it prompts in you”. I guarantee that finishing this book and then forgetting about it is simply not an option.” We agree with Dr Verghese, and invite you to join us on November 16th at 5:30 in Central Synagogue’s Pavilion, for a discussion about the existential questions raised by Dr. Kalanithi in his book When Breath becomes Air. The book discussion will be led by Susan Schlechter PhD.

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What Matters - Book Discussion of the Kalaniti book When Breath Becomes Air

Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 5:30pm | Pavilion

In the book’s foreword by Dr Verghesee, he suggests not only reading When Breath Becomes Air but also “listening to the overwhelming response it prompts in you”. I guarantee that finishing this book and then forgetting about it is simply not an option.” We agree with Dr Verghese, and invite you to join us on November 16th at 5:30 in Central Synagogue’s Pavilion, for a discussion about the existential questions raised by Dr. Kalanithi in his book When Breath becomes Air. The book discussion will be led by Susan Schlechter PhD.

Register »

 


Lunch and Learn Series with Conductor Cesare Civetta

Monday, November 20, 2017 at 12:30pm | Pavilion
Exploration of the life of Daniel Barenboim and the West Eastern Divan Youth Orchestra taught by Conductor Cesare Civetta

This is the second of three multimedia presentations the Conductor and educator, Cesare Civetta, will present at Central Synagogue this Fall.
Join your community for lunch, starting at 12:30, followed by a one-hour exploration of the fascinating West Eastern Divan Youth Orchestra. The orchestra was founded in 1999 by the Argentine-Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim and the Palestinian-American academic, Edward Said. It is comprised of youth from Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Spain. It was started as an experiment of how to cope with the other. In Barenboim’s words, “The orchestra was conceived as a project against ignorance, that it is absolutely essential for people to get to know the other, to understand what the other thinks and feels, without necessarily agreeing with it.” It is a first-rate orchestra that meets each summer to record and tour throughout the world.  The presentation features footage from rehearsals and performances, and interviews with the youth, and its founders.
Learn more about the orchestra

Don’t forget to check out our other upcoming Lunch and Learn presentation on December 11.

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Combatants for Peace

Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 6:00pm | Community House

Combatants for Peace is a bi-national, grassroots movement of Israelis and Palestinians who lead a non-violent struggle against the occupation, and support a peaceful solution for all peoples in Israel and Palestine. Co-founders of the organization were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, 2017. The Combatants are coming to speak, to tell their personal stories of transformation from violence to nonviolence. We will have two speakers: one Israeli and one Palestinian, and a screening of a short clip of their recent award-winning documentary, Disturbing the Peace.

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Lunch and Learn Series with Conductor Cesare Civetta

Monday, December 11, 2017 at 12:30pm | Pavilion
A Tribute to Arthur Rubinstein taught by Conductor Cesare Civetta

This is the third of three multimedia presentations the Conductor and educator, Cesare Civetta, will present at Central Synagogue this Fall.
Join your community for lunch, starting at 12:30, followed by a tribute to the Great Arthur Rubinstein. Rubinstein declared himself to be a “proud Jew” who donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Jewish causes especially to further the cultural life of Jerusalem, and whose ashes, as per his will, are buried in Rubinstein Firest, overlooking Jerusalem Forest. Civetta will present rare recordings, photos, film footage, and interviews of Rubinstein.

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The Voices of Women in Jewish Tradition

Every Other Wednesday, Oct. 18-Dec 13, 2017 at 6:30pm | Pavilion
Taught by Shani Ben Or, Cantorial Intern

This class will explore narratives featuring Jewish women protagonists. We will explore the challenges these narratives have posed over time and the dynamic impact they continue to have on Jewish identity.

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An Introduction to the Golden Age of Chazzanut

Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at 6:00pm | Pavilion
Taught by Cantor Daniel Mutlu

Discover what made the period of Jewish music from 1890-1950 one of the greatest artistic achievements in our tradition.

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Ongoing Classes

Registration required – join anytime.