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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 Sheini, 7 Sivan 5775

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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.

Sandy Seltzer lightenedSomething to Remember when Ordering Your Next Frappuccino
Rabbi Sandy Seltzer

A three session examination of critical events in early modern Jewish history of which we are the beneficiaries.

Session I: How the discovery of coffee permanently transformed Jewish life: its impact upon palate, religious practice, and emancipation

Session II: When Jews were Christians, Christians were Jews, and some were a little of both: its enduring legacy

Session III: When Jews were ghettoized, and the Talmud, the prayer book and other Jewish texts censored: the unforeseen benefits


Registration Fees: $45 for members; $60 for non-members
Mondays from 7:00 to 8:30 pm
November 3, 10, 17 

Read more: Fall 5775/2014: From Coffee House to the Origins of Interreligious Dialogue & the Judeo-Christian...

Lori RiegelFitting Jewish Values and Teachings into Today's Fast-Paced Life
Lori Riegel

This course will explore core Jewish values including K'vod Haberiyot (Honoring Human Beings), Gemilut Chasadim (Acts of Lovingkindness), and Baal Tashchit (Do Not Destroy). Looking through the lens of Jewish values, we will explore how these values fit in, or are at odds with, the complexities of technology in everyday life.

Registration Fees: $45 for members; $60 for non-members*
Tuesdays from 7:00 to 8:15 pm
October 21, 28; November 4*

*note price and date change

Read more: Fall 5775/2014: Twitter, Texts, Torah?

Kelly Feinstein-Johnson cropped
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.

NOTE: This is a repeat of the course offered in Spring 2014. If any students from the previous course "missed" a 3-week set of sessions, they can enroll in that section this fall.

Wednesdays from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm.
     Session I: October 15, 22, 29
     Session II: November 5, 12, 19
     Session III: December 3, 10, 17

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

Read more: Fall 5775/2014: Modern Jewish History

samuel cohen talitRabbi Samuel M. Cohon

This three-part class will help those who have a modest knowledge of Jewish life to better understand Judaism as practiced in America.  This is a broad-based presentation of three major themes in American Judaism, a fun, upbeat but intelligent approach to getting a better handle on just what today's version of our ancient religion is all about.  

Taught in the same energetic, interactive style as the hugely popular Taste of Judaism series, the classes include "Jews in America -- Movements (Reform, Conservative, Orthodox & More)""Assimilation & Creativity: From Davening to Rock? A Jewish Way to Pray", and "American-Israeli Relations".  Includes delicious "tastes" of traditional Jewish foods.  

Registration Fees: $25 for members and non-members (includes snacks and two CDs of Jewish music)
Thursdays, October 2, 9, from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Wednesday, October 15, from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm 

Read more: Fall 5775/2014: Taste II, Another Bite: Jewish in America

bcohon for aeaRabbi Baruch Cohon

Session I: Melody, rhythm, geography and purpose. Melodic patterns distinguish tunes made familiar in the synagogue. Cantorial music is typically recitative -- governed only by the accent of the words. With rhythm added, those melodies become community songs and therefore more familiar. Their style is historically different for Sephardim than for Ashkenazim. Political causes like Zionism and Socialism produce their own music, with some surprising similarities. Examples will come from various Jewish sources.

Session II: Composers, performers and scholars. Religious, symphonic and operatic: Rapaport, Idelsohn, Rosenblatt, Pinchik, Copland, Halevy, etc. Interchange between Western classical and traditional Hebrew music. Jewish Musicology introduced. Yiddish Theater, Tin Pan Alley and Broadway: Thomashefsky, Secunda, Adler, Bock, Gershwin, Berlin, etc. From By Mir Bistu Sheyn to Hava Nagila.


Registration Fees: $35 for members; $45 for non-members
Mondays from 7:00 to 8:15 pm
September 22, 29

Read more: Fall 5775/2014: What Makes Music Jewish