Lectures & Courses

At Central Synagogue

Adult Engagement Programming

Interested in presenting at Central Synagogue? Please contact Lauren Dickel, Adult Engagement Program Manager, at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Omer: A Season of Reflection

Thursdays, April 1–May 13, 2021, 9:00–10:00 am | Zoom

With Rabbi Nicole Auerbach

The period between Passover and Shavuot, known as the Omer, has traditionally been a time for self-reflection and spiritual preparation. Explore the traditional Kabbalistic approach to understanding the Divine attributes within us, and how to work with them to live with greater skill, joy, and intention.

Register here.


Bible and Bagels

Wednesdays: 8:15-9:15 am | Virtual

Led by Rabbi Sarah Berman

Join us as we continue our journey through the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible); we are currently reading Isaiah.

Join via Zoom.


Weekly Torah Study with Central Clergy

Wednesdays: 12:00-1:15 pm | Virtual

Taught by Rabbi Mo Salth

Explore the weekly Torah portion from ancient and modern perspectives.

Join via Zoom.

Samuel I and II

Wednesdays: 1:30-2:30 pm | Virtual

Led by Cantor Suzanne Skloot

Dive into the text of Samuel I and II. Together we will look at and compare the translations of the Jewish Publication Society and the more recent translation by UC Berkeley professor Robert Alter, and learn why Alter believes that the character of David is the finest portrayal of a human life from antiquity.

Join via Zoom.

Jewish Mysticism: Tracing the History of Kabbalah

Wednesdays, February 24–May 5, 2021, 6:00–7:15 pm | Zoom

With Harman Grossman

Using primary texts, we’ll seek to understand how Jewish mysticism developed. Each class will include discussions that address the timeless mysteries of human existence along with numerous other eternal and universal questions.

Register here.


From Memorial to Celebration: Honoring Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha’Atzmaut

Wednesday, April 14, 2021, 7:30 pm | Virtual

Rabbi Angela Buchdahl and Cantor Daniel Mutlu come together with other Upper East Side clergy and leaders to observe Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day, and then transition to celebrate Yom Ha’Atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day. Join us for moving personal testimonies, words of inspiration, and songs of remembrance.
In partnership with NYC’S UES Jewish community.

Register here.


Israeli National Holidays: Jewish Space and Time in Israel 2021/5781

Thursdays, April 8 & 15, 2021, 1:00–2:15 pm | Virtual

This two-part series explores how Israel created sacred space and time in the early years of its independence while also taking a thoughtful look at the upcoming holidays of Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZikaron, and Yom Ha’Atzmaut. 

Register here.


Israeli National Holy Days: Jewish Space and Time in Israel 2021/5781 (Two-Part Series)

Thursdays, April 8 and 15, 2021 1:00–2:15 pm | Zoom

With Tour Guide Mike Hollander

Explore how Israel created sacred space and time in the early years of independence in this special two-part program led by Central tour guide Mike Hollander.

First Session: Thursday, April 8, 2021
Explore Mount Herzl (Mount of Remembrance) in Jerusalem, a site dedicated to commemorating the Shoah, great Zionist leaders, and the heavy price of Jewish sovereignty. 

Second Session: Thursday, April 15, 2021
Delve into the evolution of three national Israeli holidays—Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZikaron, and Yom HaAtzmaut—and the sacred ten-day period which is a cornerstone to understanding the expression of Jewish sovereignty in Israel.

Register here.


White Supremacy in 2021: Putting Violent Extremists on Trial

Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 7:00pm |

Join Integrity First for America Executive Director Amy Spitalnick, civil rights lawyer Robbie Kaplan, and Rabbi Angela Buchdahl as they explore the path of White Supremacy from Charlottesville to the Capitol and beyond, and discuss how we can hold these violent extremists accountable.

Register here.


Alper Talmud Study

Fridays: 8:15-9:15 am | Virtual

Taught by Dr. Rachel Rosenthal and others

Explore one of the most radical rabbinic texts in all of Judaism, the Talmud.

Join via Zoom.


Next Gen Teachers

Fridays, March 5–April 23, 2021, 10:30–11:30 am | Zoom

Led by Rabbinic & Cantorial HUC Students

Before Angela Buchdahl was a rabbi, she was a rabbinical student; before Dan Mutlu was a cantor, he was a cantorial student. It was in school that both began to develop their voices as Jewish leaders.

This course gives you an opportunity to learn from the next generation of rabbis and cantors, who will be shaping and shepherding Judaism in the future. Each week you will get to learn with a different creative and thoughtful HUC student, who will present their favorite text. Text selections are drawn from Torah, midrash, prayers, and popular music—a diverse and beautiful range of Jewish perspectives. Classes will require no advance preparation.

This class will be offered on Central Synagogue’s Facebook page, at no cost and with no need to register. All are welcome to view the class.

      16 April – Noah Lawrence, Contemporary Song Lyrics

      23 April – Stefanie Green, Musical Theater as Midrash

Watch live on Facebook.


Ripped from the Headlines: Torah and the Challenges of Modern Life

Mondays, February 22–April 19, 2021, 9:30–10:30 am | Zoom

With Rabbi Rebecca Rosenthal​
Full of poetry, art, and commentary, and beautiful new translations, this very special Mishkan HaSeder: A Passover Haggadah has just been published by CCAR Press. We join editors, Rabbi Hara Person and poet Jessica Greenbaum to discuss the book’s innovations.

Register here.


Biblical Women

Mondays, February 22–April 19, 2021, 5:30–6:45 pm | Zoom

With Rabbinic Intern Chelsea Feuchs

Expand your understanding of Biblical women. We will read the stories of several specific characters in order to delve into the various ways women are portrayed in our most sacred text.

Register here.


Jewish Flavors: Communities, Cultures, and Cooking Around the World

Tuesdays, February 23–April 27, 2021, 3:30–5:00 pm | Zoom

With Rabbi Sarah Berman

Learn about Jewish culture in Italy, India, the American South, and beyond—all through food. Each week we will make a recipe or two from our destination and expand our knowledge about these unique communities. 

Register here.


Poetic Shabbat: The Siddur as an Evening-Long Poem of Transformation

Wednesdays, April 21–May 26, 2021, 10:30–11:45 am | Zoom

With Award-winning Poet Jessica Greenbaum

Take a close look at Central Synagogue’s Friday night service’s collage of psalms and text, distilling their ideas, and pairing them with contemporary poems.

Register here.


Jewish Bookshelf: Rabbi Mark Sameth and Rabbi Sarah Berman

Thursday, April 22, 2021 7:30–8:30 pm | Zoom

The Jewish Bookshelf series welcomes into the Central community a variety of scholars, writers, thinkers, and doers, who share with us the books that have formed their Jewish identities. On April 22, Rabbi Sarah Berman invites you to join her and Rabbi Mark Sameth, the author of The Name: History of the Dual-Gendered Hebrew Name for God. Together they will discuss what Jewish texts and writings have informed their work and life.

About Rabbi Mark Sameth:
Named to The Forward’s list of “America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis,” featured in Berne and Belchman’s God: 48 Famous and Fascinating Minds Talk about God, Rabbi Mark Sameth’s essays include “Our Father, Who Art Our Mother” (Religion Dispatches) and “Is God Transgender?” (Op-Ed, The New York Times) — links to which may be found on his website.

Register here. 


Ongoing Classes

No registration required and free of charge. Classes take place in our Community House.