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:


The Ethical Life (A JTS Curriculum)

Thursdays, September 27 – December 20, 6:00 pm | Announced upon registration
Taught by Joe Septimus

“The Ethical Life” is about you. Your uniqueness, your choices, your community, your informed inclinations, your personal imperatives and the questions you choose to ask. We will use the JTS Curriculum as a spring board to explore various ethical issues, from conceptual issues like; do you need God or religion to be ethical, and filtering down to contemporary and practical ethical issues. We will primarily discuss “Jewish Ethics” and what our thinkers, texts and practices have to say about issues old and new, but we will also explore the philosophical and procedural issues that undergird ethical development including the foundational questions of “what is my responsibility to improve myself and the world around me”, “what if my ethical principles and religious understanding are at odds”,  “how does one infuse Judaism, a traditional system that draws from text and precedent, with contemporary knowledge and practices” and “in what ways is my uniqueness as a human being an ethical imperative for me to contribute”? Our goal will be to learn from our texts and one another, and to grow as Jews, in our knowledge, our hearts and our hands and feet.

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10 Terrific Talmudic Tales

Wednesdays, October 3 - December 19, 6:15 pm | Community House
Taught by Rabbi Rebecca Rosenthal

The Talmud is more than just laws and edicts. It is a fascinating account of the life of the rabbis – how they lived, loved, ate, argued and helped to form the basis of the Judaism we know today. In each class, we will study one story from the Talmud and you will uncover everything from supernatural acts to rabbinic scandals in an interactive conversation. We will do both hevruta (studying with a partner) and full group examination and debate.This class is free and open to members and non-members.

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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, 6:30 pm | Announced upon registration
Taught by Sarah Berman

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.

Register »


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.