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.

Spring 5776/2016: Intermediate Prayerbook Hebrew

Marjorie Hochberg
Cantorial Soloist Marjorie Hochberg

Learn reading and comprehension skills for Jewish participation, prayer, and vocabulary. This class is a natural follow-up for anyone who has taken Beginning Prayerbook Hebrew or has a moderate knowledge of the Hebrew alphabet, vowels, and pronunciation.

Registration Fee: $45 for members; $60 for non-members per semester

Sundays, 9:00 am to 10:15 am
January 24, 31; February 7, 14, 21; March 6, 13, 27; April 3


Read more: Spring 5776/2016: Intermediate Prayerbook Hebrew

Spring 5776/2016: Moral Courage: A Film Series

Sy Rotter

Why did some people in Nazi occupied European Countries defy threats of death by German authorities to provide safety for Jewish fugitives? The films in this series are an exploration of this little known chapter in the overwhelming Holocaust tragedy, and provide us with examples of Moral Courage that once seen, we may wish to honor in our thoughts.

February 2 - “Rescue in Scandinavia” introduces us to some of these individuals and their memories of those events help us to understand their motives. Narrated by Liv Ulmann

February 16 - “A Debt to Honor” features Italian rescuers, civilians and clergy. Narrated by Alan Alda
“It was Nothing - It was Everything” highlights the civilians, municipal authorities, and church leaders whose rescue efforts were critical to the few Greek Jews who avoided capture and deportation. Narrated by Irene Papas

Sy Rotter, filmmaker, will introduce and then lead post-film discussions on these award winning films.

Registration Fees: $8 for members; $10 for non-members per film
Tuesdays, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
February 2, 16

Read more: Spring 5776/2016: Moral Courage: A Film Series

Spring 5776/2016: The Genesis Project

samuel cohen talit
Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon

What is the purpose of creation? Is the Garden of Eden an account, a myth, or a metaphor? The “Sole of the Torah” delves into the undersurface (the “sole”) of the Torah. We begin at Genesis 1:1 and will continue to read and discuss this fundamental text of Judaism every week. The Genesis Project differs from weekly Shabbat Torah Study in that it is a continuous reading of Torah rather than being limited to the weekly Torah portion. The goal is a continuous reading to better understand the flow and linkages throughout the Torah. 
Registration Fees:  $45 per session, 4 sessions per year, $150 for the full year (members); 
$60 per session or $200 (non-members)
Tuesdays, 10:30 am to 11:30 am
Session III: January 26, February 9, 16, 23; March 1, 8, 15, 22; 
Session IV: April 5, 12, 19; May 3, 10, 17

Read more: Spring 5776/2016: The Genesis Project

Fall 5776/2015: The American Popular Song: A Jewish Invention?

Chris TackettChris Tackett

Over six sessions the class will tour the twentieth century theater, movie, and pop music worlds and how they were effectively invented by Jewish publishers, songwriters, lyricists, and composers. We’ll have a close look at the great songwriters of the era, including Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, Harold Arlen, and all the talented lyricists and collaborators that worked with them. We’ll also talk about how Jewish merchants in New York City in the late nineteenth century effectively invented music publishing and the modern system of pop charts and promotion. Many musical examples (live and recorded) will make this class a very enjoyable experience.

Class 1: The Invention of Music Publishing and Promotion, Irving Mills, and others - How a bunch of Jewish merchants turned an art form into a commodity
Class 2: Irving Berlin - How Israel Balint became an American and changed American music forever
Class 3: George Gershwin - From the tenements of Brooklyn to the concert halls of the world with his brother and chief collaborator, Ira Gershwin
Class 4: Harold Arlen - The great songwriter who’s almost one of America’s great secrets
Class 5: Richard Rodgers and Jerome Kern - The men who invented and perfected modern musical theater with collaborators Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II
Class 6: Who Else? - A look at many other Jewish composers, arrangers, lyricists, and creators of American music in the twentieth century and beyond, including Jewish refugees in Hollywood before WWII, into the television era, and beyond

Registration Fees: $55 for members; $70 for non-members
Mondays, 7:00 pm to 8:15 pm
October 12, 26; November 2, 9, 16, 23 [please note change in dates]

Read more: Fall 5776/2015: The American Popular Song: A Jewish Invention?

Spring 5776/2016: Why the Clarinet? Jewish Musicians and the Clarinet

Chris TackettChris Tackett

For as long as the clarinet has existed, Jewish musicians have been drawn to it and used it to make unique, inventive, and beautiful music. Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Dave Tarras, Naftuly Brandwein, and Mickey Katz are just a few of the people we’ll investigate as we look at this wonderful instrument and its role in musical history. There will be lots of jazz and klezmer listening along with a visit from a working clarinet player so you can ask your own questions.

Registration Fees: $50 for members; $65 for non-members
Mondays, 7:00 pm to 8:15 pm
February 1,8,15,22

Read more: Spring 5776/2016: Why the Clarinet? Jewish Musicians and the Clarinet