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A Reform Jewish Community for all of Tucson
225 North Country Club • Tucson, AZ 85716
(520) 327-4501 • Fax: (520) 327-4504
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Yom Rivii, 23 Nisan 5774

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Past AEA Classes

Temple Emanu-El's Adult Education Academy provides relevant, vibrant and meaningful Jewish learning experiences to meet the diverse needs of all our congregants. In addition to formal educational opportunities, there are a variety of informal educational experiences such as Torah and Talmud study. Classes are open to the entire Jewish community. The scope of class offerings is extraordinary. The class schedule includes semester long and multi-year courses, as well as occasional short-term courses.

Listed below are several classes that have been offered through the Adult Education Academy in the past and may be offered again in the future.

Oshrat Barel_Photo_cropped
Co-sponsored with the Weintraub Israel Center
Oshrat Bar-El

A four-part course on contemporary Israel from a personal and professional perspective, taught by the popular Director of the Weintraub Israel Center. This class will focus on today's reality and current trends in the dynamic, modern, yet still ancient heartland of our people. Great for anyone traveling to Israel soon -- on the Temple Emanu-El Pilgrimage to Israel, June 11-23, 2014, or another trip -- or just interested in learning more about this fascinating country.

March 5: My Israel
March 12: New Modern Movements in Israel
March 19: Kibbutzim: a Success Story?
March 26: Innovation in the Start-Up Nation

Registration Fees: $45 for members; $60 for non-members
Wednesdays from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm.
March 5, 12, 19, 26.

samuel cohen talit
Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon

The Civil War was critical to forging the identity of the America we know today. As we commemorate the 150th anniversary of this climactic struggle, the bloodiest war in our country's history, our class will examine the role that Jews played both North and South. While they formed a tiny minority of the population of the United States in pre-secession 1860, Jewish soldiers, statesmen, patriots, and spies could be found at the highest levels and in the most important theaters of the massive war. 

From the seven Jewish Congressional Medal of Honor winners (a new award created by Lincoln) to the Jewish generals, colonels, captains, sergeants and privates, Jews were active on all major battlefield, sometimes heroically, and typically on both sides. In addition to many prominent Union men -- about 7,000, including 7 generals -- perhaps 3,000 Jews fought for the Confederacy. It was truly brother against brother. 

But there is a great deal more to the Jewish story of the Civil War. While Lincoln had a Jewish confidant, Isachar Zacharie, a podiatrist who served as advisor and diplomat, the South relied on several Jews for crucial service. Judah Benjamin, at different times the Secretary of War, Secretary of State, and Attorney General of the Confederacy, was also Jefferson Davis' spymaster, while both the Quartermaster General and Surgeon General of the South were Jews. 

There were also serious controversies involving Jews. While few Jews were major slaveholders, rabbis were to be found on both sides of the conflict, preaching both anti-slavery and pro-slavery views, and using Torah to support Union and Confederacy. And in a shocking and atypical episode ("Order Number 10"), General Ulysses S. Grant, the greatest military hero of the war, expelled all Jews from his military department, and was quickly overridden by his boss, Abraham Lincoln, the only time in American history that such an anti-Semitic order has been issued. Like the Civil War itself, the stories of Jews in this conflict teach us a great deal about America itself. 

MovieBlueandGrayThe class begins with a special showing of the film Jewish Soldiers in Blue & Grey on Wednesday, February 19th at 7:00 pm, followed by two classes, Wednesdays, March 12th and March 19th, 7:00 pm-9:00 pm.

Movie Registration Fee: $5 for refreshments
Wednesday, February 19th, from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Registration Fees: $20 for members; $30 for non-members
Wednesdays from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
March 12, 19. 

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Kelly Feinstein-Johnson, Ph.D.

This 9-week course examines major turning points in Jewish history from the early modern period through the tewntieth century: Expulsion from Spain and the formation of the modern Diaspora, the development of Jewish mystical and messianic movements, the challenge of modernization, the rise of political anti-Semitism, the flowering of Yiddish literature and culture, the Jewish enlightenment and the revival of Hebrew, the migration of European Jews to America, the nearly total destruction of European Jewry in the twentieth century, the advent of Zionism and the creation of modern Israel. We will ground these larger movements by focusing on important cities in Jewish history -- Seville, Venice, Constantinople, Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin, St. Petersburg, and New York. It will emphasize the diversity of Jewish cultures and their creative responses to the challenges (and catastrophies) they have encountered during the five centuries that extend from 1492 to the present. 

For those who have taken Basic Judaism, this course is a more in-depth look at the history introduced in that class. 

This class will combine lecture and discussion with occasional short readings for "homework". The accompanying text is Scattered Amongst the Peoples, by Allan Levine, and is available at amazon.com for $14.

Wednesdays from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm.
     Session I: February 5, 12, 19
     Session II: February 26; March 5, 12
     Session III: March 19, 26; April 2

     Registration Fees Per Session: $45 for members; $60 for non-members

Lori RiegelLori Riegel

Abraham Joshua Heschel, well-known for his literary works including God in Search of Man, coined the term "radical amazement" to describe our interaction with God and the world. Heschel was active in the Civil Rights movement with his contemporary, Martin Luther King, Jr. When asked why he marched with King, Heschel explained, "I was praying with my feet." This course will explore Heschel's major writings and teachings, including how prayer fits into our lives, our role in the Divine Covenant and recovering the ultimate questions about the universe. Suggested text is Abraham Joshua Heschel: Essential Writings by Susannah Heschel. 

Registration Fees: $45 for members; $60 for non-members
Tuesdays from 7:00 to 8:15 pm
February 4, 11, 18

Rabbi Appel 08 01 13 by Sally Shackart
Rabbi Batsheva Appel

A treasury of classical rabbinic literature -- Midrash, aggadah, folk tales, and sayings -- Sefer Ha-Aggadah is accessible, comprehensive, and systematic. The goal of Hayim Nahman Bialik and Yehoshua Hana Ravnitzky was to restore classical Hebrew literature to its former glory at the same time making it available to contemporary learners. More than a century later, Sefer Ha-Aggadah is still being studied by students at every level, from beginner to advanced learner.

Registration Fees: $45 for members; $60 for non-members

Mondays from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm.
February 3, 10, 24; March 3, 17, 24. 

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