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TEMPLE EMANU-EL

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 Shlishi, 13 Tammuz 5775

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Adult Education Academy

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.

Click on a class title for more information or to register for classes.

samuel cohen talit
Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon

Join Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon for this three-part class on what makes places holy and what role the human-divine partnership plays in creating, transforming, maintaining, and losing sanctity over time. We will examine locations holy to a wide variety of religious traditions past and present, exploring their commonality and difference. What makes people choose a site for sanctification? Why do some become places of pilgrimage and how does that change them? How are we influenced by topography, history, and natural, shaped, and man-made beauty in our choice of sacred sites? And what kinds of experiences do these sites engender for believers and other visitors?

This class will focus on the most ancient sacred places of pre-history, before moving on to the holiest sites for Christians, Jews, and Muslims in Europe and the Middle East. Rabbi Cohon recently returned from his sabbatical trip to the holiest places on earth, visiting over 125 sacred places in 20 countries around the world in three months. He is working on a book on the journey.

Extensive photos, video, and audio will be used in the presentations.

Registration Fees: $45 for members; $60 for non-members
Thursdays from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
July 16, 23, 30 

Read more: Summer 5775/2015: The Holiest Places on Earth: Part I From Pre-History to Europe and the Middle East

Sandy Seltzer lightened
Rabbi Sanford Seltzer

The Zohar is the great medieval compendium of mysticism, myth, and esoteric teaching.  One of the most important bodies of religious texts of all times and places, it is also a lush literary celebration of love, expressed in sensuous religious language.  The Zohar's secret universe serves as the basis of Kabbalistic faith and is, at heart, a work of sacred fantasy.  

This remarkable work is explored using the new translation by Danny Matt, which enables even novice students of the Kabbalah to approach and understand the pivotal text.  In a guided exploration of this seminal work of mysticism, Rabbi Cohon helps open the "locked garden" of the Zohar in an interactive discussion class using both intellectual and meditation techniques.

Thursdays from 11:45 am to 1:00 pm.

 Session III: January 8, 15, 22, 29; February 5, 12
                                       Session IV: February 19; March 5, 12, 19, 26; April 2
                                       Session V: April 9, 16, 23, 30; May 7, 14

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

Read more: Spring 5775/2015: The Zohar: Soul-Text of Kabbalah

samuel cohen talit
Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon, Staff, and You!

This is a wonderful opportunity to probe the text of the weekly Torah portion in depth, as well as to discuss and argue with your fellow students at an extended, interactive Torah study and potluck lunch.  Join us for the best casual lunch and finest Jewish conversation in Tucson!

Free and open to all.  No registration is necessary.  Bring a dairy/vegetarian dish to share.
Saturdays at 12:00 noon
January 24; February 7; March 21; April 11; May 16 

samuel cohen talit
Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon & Rabbi Sanford Sletzer

Join us for reading, discussion, insight, stimulating argument and good coffee at this monthly book group exploring the latest in Jewish literature.  A vibrant exploration of the best of contemporary fiction and non-fiction.  The books for the 5775 series are: 

     January 7: The Lion Seeker, by Kenneth Bonert
     February 4: The Book of Life: Selected Jewish Poems, 1979-2011, by Alicia Ostriker
     March 11: Between Friends, by Amos Oz (translated by Sondra Silverston)
     April 1: A Replacement Life, by Boris Fishman
     May 6: Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem & Divided a Nation, by Yossi Klein Halevi
     June 3: City of Women, by David R. Gillham 

Registration Fees: For the entire 2015 series, $50 for members; $65 for non-members.  Registration in the Sefer Book Club is valid for the entire year.
                                      Wednesdays from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm.

Read more: Spring 5775/2015: The Wednesday Sefer Book Club: A Monthly Coffehouse of Contemporary Jewish...

Eliot Barron
Dr. Eliot Barron

The Talmud is a treasure trove of Jewish lore, legend, and wisdom.  Study excerpts are from the excellent Hebrew-English Talmud of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz.  No prior Talmud or Hebrew knowledge is necessary. 

Registration Fee: One time $18 charge for materials.  If interested, contact Eliot Barron at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Wednesdays from 10:00 am to 11:30 am
Beginning January 7th 

samuel cohen talit
Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon, Staff, and Discussion Leaders

An open, interactive exploration of the Torah portion of the week.

Free and open to all -- come and study with us!  No registration is necessary.
Saturdays from 8:30 am to 10:00 am (except Saturdays with a Rabbi's Tish).

Simply Shabbat is an exploration of the Friday evening Shabbat Service, with explanations of the service and introductions to Shabbat songs and prayers in a slower-paced, non-threatening celebrations of the Sabbath. Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon, Rabbi Batsheva Appel, and Cantorial Soloist Marjorie Hochberg lead this open approach to understanding the rituals, history and practice of a Reform Sabbath experience. Instead of a sermon, there is a question-and-answer session. Come find out what Shabbat is all about! All are welcome.

Simply Shabbat is a part of the Ruth F. and Samuel H. Cohen Outreach Program of Temple Emanu-El.

Read more: Simply Shabbat

Rabbi Appel 09 2014Rabbi Batsheva Appel

Through mitzvot, sacred Jewish obligations, we can change our lives and elevate the ordinary into the extraordinary. Jewish ritual can sometimes seem complex, and the "how" of Judaism can feel like something that was taught on the day that we missed class. This class is all about how to do ritual mitzvot, and how to fulfill the ritual aspects of Judaism.  We will learn about mitzvot for the holidays and ways to make them meaningful and spiritual, from Shabbat to Passover to Hanukkah and more. We will explore the mitzvot for life cycle events such as weddings, funerals, brit milah, and baby naming. We will examine the mitzvah of tzedakah, charity. In each instance, we will be actively doing andpracticing each of these mitzvot as we learn about them and the vocabulary that surrounds them.

Registration Fees: $55 for members; $70 for non-members
Tuesdays from 7:00 pm to 8:15 pm
January 13; February 10; March 24; April 7 

 

Read more: Spring 5775/2015: Practical Judaism


Rabbi Appel 09 2014Rabbi Batsheva Appel

This year-long class presents a thematic introduction to Jewish ideas, texts, theology, history, and culture taught in an interactive and participatory discussion style.  Learn all the basics, exploring the most important texts of Jewish tradition: Torah, Prophets, Writings, Mishnah, Gemara, Midrash, Codes, Philosophy, and Liturgy.  This class is a prerequisite for the Adult B'nai Mitzvah program, Adult Confirmation, and for all conversion students.  Course fees include textbook.

Registration Fees: $95 for members; $135 for non-members
Thursdays from 7:00 pm to 8:15 pm.
January 8, 15, 22, 29; February 5, 12, 19; March 5, 12, 26; April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; May 7, 14

Read more: Spring 5775/2015: Basic Judaism

Sandy Seltzer lightenedRabbi Sanford Seltzer

More advanced than Basic Judaism, this is a year-long study of the ideas, practices, and connections that make Judaism a vital and evolving religion today.  As a comprehensive exploration of the reality of today's Judaism, Intermediate Judaism focuses on the great ideas and trends of modern and contemporary Judaism: the origins and development of Reform, Conservative, and Modern Orthodox Judaism, Reconstructionist ideas, and other movements within modern Judaism.  This course will focus on themes of current importance and debate.

Registration Fees: $95 for members; $135 for non-members
Thursdays from 7:00 pm to 8:15 pm
January 8, 15, 22, 29; February 5, 12, 19; March 5, 12, 19, 26; April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; May 7, 14

Read more: Spring 5775/2015: Intermediate Judaism

Marjorie HochbergCantorial Soloist Marjorie Hochberg

Learn to read Hebrew in two fun sessions -- just seven hours -- guaranteed!  This year, read along with the prayers at services, and make Hebrew a language you know.

Registration Fee: $45 for members; $60 for non-members
Sunday, January 11, from 1:00 to 5:00 pm and Monday, January 12, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm 

Read more: Spring 5775/2014: Hebrew Marathon

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 Hebrew Marathon or has a basic knowledge of the Hebrew alphabet, vowels, and pronunciation.

Registration Fee: $45 for members; $60 for non-members per semester
Sundays from 10:15 to 11:15 am.
January 25; February 1, 8, 15, 22; March 8, 15, 22, 29; April 5

Read more: Spring 5775/2015: Prayerbook Hebrew

samuel cohen talit
Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon

Temple Emanu-El's Adult Confirmation program provides the adult Jewish learner with the opportunity for directed education at the most advancedlevel.  A two-year program with significant prerequisites and substantive ongoing requirements, it offers an exciting and challenging approach to creating heightened Jewish knowledge, awareness, comprehension, and creativity.  Classes emphasize an interactive seminar format with required outside reading and writing.  The framework for course study is "Moments of Revolution in Judaism".  Each block is organized around one such central moment in Jewish history, with all of its implications for the development of Judaism and with a full exploration of its relevance today.  In the course of the two years of study, each Adult Confirmand will create his or her own Jewish theology, exploring and explicating her or his own beliefs about God, Torah, and Israel.  

Adult Confirmation is the most advanced and challenging Adult Jewish Education experience available in Arizona. Adult Confirmation concludes with a confirmation ceremony and a service led by the confirmation students in the spring of 2016.

The Adult Confirmation program is only available to members of Temple Emanu-El. Please contact our office for a list of course prerequisites in order to prepare to enter the Adult Confirmation program in the fall of 2014.

samuel cohen talitRabbi Samuel M. Cohon and Staff

A two-year program that prepares participants for a group Adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah service, this is a wonderful opportunity to deepen Jewish knowledge and commitment.  The required courses in the first year include completion of a Hebrew Marathon and a follow-up Beginning Hebrew class, as well as completion of the Basic Judaism course.  The second year course is direct participation for a group Bar/Bat Mitzvah service on Saturday, May 2nd, 2015.

The second-year course in the Temple Emanu-El Adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah Program, this eight-month long course leads to a group Bar/Bat Mitzvah service. Students gain familiarity and comfort leading the liturgy for both Friday night and Saturday morning services, as well as the ability to chant from the Torah and Haftarah. In addition, a fundamental understanding of Jewish prayer and study concepts and techniques will be taught. This class culminates with a group Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony on Saturday, May 2nd, 2015, with class members leading the service and chanting from the Torah and Haftarah. For more information, call Rabbi Cohon at (520) 327-4501.

Registration Fees: $275 for for the full year, including all materials
Sundays from 10:00 am to 11:20 am
January 4, 11, 18, 25; February 1, 8, 15, 22; March 8, 15, 22, 29; April 5, 12, 19, 26
Additional class sesions and rehearsals may be scheduled as necessary.
Saturday, May 2nd, 10:00 am, Adult B'nai Mitzvah Service

 

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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.