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Adult Education

It’s never too late to educate … to educate oneself in the history, traditions and values underlying the foundation of what it means to be Jewish. With this mission in mind, Adath Israel has organized a varied program of classes and workshops to give greater meaning and relevance to your Jewish heritage, its traditions and value concepts. We encourage you to join us and expand your knowledge of Jewish subjects. 

Classes are free for Adath Israel members and $10/session for non-members. Donations to the Adult Education Fund are appreciated to help defray program costs. Register to attend any of our programs by calling the Adath Israel Education Office at (610) 934-1920. All classes begin at 7:00 PM.

Winter 2020 Classes

"Scribes of the Cairo Geniza Project"
Wednesday, January 15, 2020

A geniza is a storehouse for old, used and damaged books, Torah scrolls, and other sacred Jewish texts. The Cairo Geniza, which dates back mostly to the 10th-13th century, is widely recognized as the most important documentary source for reconstructing the lives of Jews and others living in the Mediterranean basin at a time when 90% of Jews lived in the Islamic world. You will learn about this exciting project, a collaboration between the University of Pennsylvania Libraries and other partners, which invites the public to help classify and transcribe over 400,000 manuscript pages and expand our shared understanding of the Cairo Geniza.

This class will be led by Emily Esten, Judaica Digital Humanities Coordinator, University of Pennsylvania libraries.

"Am I a Good Jew?"
Belief vs. Action in the Jewish Tradition
Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Does Judaism demand that we hold certain beliefs, such as the oneness of God, the Sinai Revelation, or that most central belief of all that God exists?

Can an atheist, an agnostic, or just your typical scoffer be a 'Jew in good standing?' What about Jews who attach themselves to other belief systems - have they renounced their 'Jewish citizenship?'

Or perhaps it is actions that define us - certain behaviors or deeds (such as brit milahkashrut, keeping Shabbat) that a Jew must perform to in order to make the grade.

With the helps of original source texts, we'll explore these issues and shed some light on the question of what it really means to be a Jew.

"Guns & Moses: Torah Perspectives on Gun Control"
Wednesday, March 25, 2020

How could a study of ancient texts inform us about a "Jewish" attitude towards gun ownership in the 21st century? The Bible and the Talmud, as well as legal scholars and philosophers spanning three thousand years, speak to this topic.

Is there a particular stance regarding weapons that we can discern? Should private individuals possess them, and how do we balance the need for collective and individual security when the two seem to be in conflict? 

As we look at the classical sources, and modern writings as well, we will consider their application to the circumstances of our day.

These two classes will be led by Elisha Stein, a Jewish educator and writer, who teaches classes at Makom and around the community.

Tue, June 2 2020 10 Sivan 5780