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Adult Education

OZ Adult Education (OZAE) seeks to engage congregation members and the broader community both by drawing on members’ experience and skills and by responding to an appetite for learning. Whether directly related to Jewish practice and philosophy, or of a more secular nature, OZAE programs will promote connections—between young and old, Jews near and far, our present and our past – all dedicated to enhancing the quality of participants’ Jewish life. OZAE focuses on four subject areas: Jewish themes, guest speakers, secular themes, and the arts.

Would you like to teach a class?

Ohavi Zedek Adult Education encourages community members and others to share their talents and expertise, welcoming both Jewish-related and secular programs. The OZAE Committee will make final decisions regarding accepting proposals to teach classes. If you are interested in teaching a program, please complete the following and return it to Ohavi Zedek’s Office or e-mail the Adult Ed Chair.

OZAE Proposal Form

OZ Adult Education Instructors: How did your course go?  Please complete this 5-minute survey soon after your course ends so the committee can learn how it went and support you.  Thank you! 

Ohavi Zedek Winter / Spring 2019 Class Information

Please register at least a week before class begins with OZ office: Tari Cote at  [email protected]


Engaging Israel: The Tribes of Israel with Rabbi Amy

Sundays, Jan. 6, 13, 20, 27; Feb. 3, 10, 17, 24; Mar. 17, 24, 31, 1:00–3:00 p.m.

The Tribes of Israel: What is the significance of the State of Israel as a Jewish public sphere? How does a people divided along religious, geographic, and ideological lines build a shared society? This Shalom Hartman Institute course, similar in format to the iEngage course, focuses on how various groups within Israel—orthodox, liberal, Arab-Palestinian, North American Jewish—wish to shape the state of Israel, and how those groups differ. Other themes include approaches to unity and diversity within the Jewish tradition, the “porous wall” of separation between church and state, sharing the public sphere and other aspects of living as a tribal family. Information about acquiring class materials will be provided to registered participants.

Torah Study in Beit Midrash Pairs with Rabbi Amy

Saturdays, Jan. 12, Feb. 09, Mar. 16, Apr. 13, from 12:30-2:00 p.m.

Ohavi Zedek Beit Midrash continues through April. Are you looking to deepen your spiritual conversation? Try out a time-honored practice of Torah learning in pairs, a process in which our voices are welcomed, and varying interpretations are part of the discussion. While our sages left us their own definitive conclusions, the practice they developed invites us in to the conversation first. That’s the beauty of a “Beit Midrash,” a “House of Learning,” where classical Jewish texts (Torah, Prophets, Writings – Tanakh, and Talmud, for example) are studied along with rabbinic commentaries, including contemporary voices, followed by a teacher’s presentation of their interpretation. Enjoy the pleasures of a delicious Shabbat Kiddush and satisfying study together. Feel free to drop in or come to them all!

Learning and Singing Hebrew Prayers

Join Cantorial Intern Kochava Munro in learning about the prayers we recite during Friday evening services. We will sing melodies, practice Hebrew reading, and study texts. At the end of March, this class will lead a special Friday evening Shabbat service demonstrating what they have learned. The class is open to anyone free of charge! Hebrew reading is not required, but highly encouraged.- We will be meeting on the following dates at 7:15 pm: 2/5, 2/11, 2/19, 2/26, 3/5, 3/12, 3/18, 3/26, 4/2, 4/9, 4/15, 4/23, and 4/30.

Update/Share your Haggadah!

Want to update your haggadah? Create your own for the first time? Or just share your favorite material with others? Bring your ideas and your haggadot to this workshop where we will share our resources—e.g. poetry by Adrienne Rich, different versions of the Four Children, language for the Well of Miriam or the orange on the Seder plate, funny new words to well-known melodies, remembrance of the Warsaw ghetto, and more. You will leave this hands-on workshop with additional tools to enliven or deepen your Seder experience. MINIMUM 3 participants for the class to run. Taught by Joy Livingston
PLEASE pre-register ahead with Tari in the office: [email protected]

Class is Wed., March 27 from 5-6:00 in the OZ library


Book Discussion: Legacies from the Six-Day War with Lila Shapero

Sunday, Mar. 10, 3:00-5:00 p.m.

We will base our discussion on Catch 67: The Left, the Right and the Legacy of the Six-Day War by Micah Goodman, and Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor by Yossi Klein Halevi. Choices made over the past 50 years lead to what appears to be mutually exclusive views and narratives leading to lack of dialogue. Goodman looks at the views of Israeli Jews and the paradox that their differing views each have validity. Klein Halevi addresses his Palestinian neighbors to bridge a gap he believes is caused by their not understanding who we are and why we are in Israel. Access the books on your own.

Once the dominant framework for global politics, the Cold War today is largely a fading memory for most Americans. Yet that half-century of quasi-conflict still reverberates through American policy, consciousness, and assumptions. This course looks at the legacies of the Cold War as they affect us some thirty years after the fall of the Berlin wall.

Tai Chi – a six-part series with Melly Bock

Mondays, Jan. 07, 14, 28; Feb. 04, 11, 18 from 5:00-6:30 p.m.

Each session will begin with stretching and warm-ups for about 30 minutes followed by yang style short-form Tai Chi, a gentle and beautiful series of flowing movements. Each session ends with 15 minutes of breathing and meditation. Absolute beginners must attend the first class. Please pre-register at the OZ office and inform the instructor. Any updates will be posted in the weekly Ohavi Zedek newsletter and in the online calendar. Fee: $30

Book Discussion: Outwitting History with Beth Mintz

“Outwitting History” is Aaron Lansky’s memoir about rescuing Yiddish books from dumpsters, basements, attics and other forgotten places and creating the National Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Mass. The book has been described as a “marvelous yarn,” (NY Post), “incredible, inspiring, important” (Library Journal), and “as stirring as it is geshmak (delectable)” (Cynthia Ozick). Beth Mintz will lead discussion of this terrific book on Tues., April 30, 7:30-9 p.m. in the library (which has 2 copies for borrowing, or find your own). Sponsored by the library committee, and especially recommended as an introduction to a potential book discussion series of Yiddish fiction (in translation) this summer and as preparation for Henny Lewin’s visit on May 5. (A former OZ member and respected teacher of Hebrew and Yiddish at UVM, Henny became the first Goldfarb Chair and Yiddish scholar at the Yiddish Book Center.)

Racism in America

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church is hosting “Racism in America,” a monthly discussion series in conjunction with many congregations in the Chittenden County area. The series is held at GSLC, 273 VT Route 15, Jericho VT, on Tuesdays from 6:30-8:30 p.m., each session beginning with a potluck at 6:30 followed by a guided discussion. 2019 Sessions

January 15 Us and Them: to What Extent Do We Identify with the Norm or the Abnormal?

February 12 Power, Privilege and Prejudice: The Present-day Infrastructure or Racism and Oppression

April 9   What did an African American President Reveal about American Racism?
April 30  (CHANGED from March 12 and 19 ) Is Race a Social Construct and Why does it Matter?
May 7 The Browning of America: Reconciliation or Retribution

“Crime and Consequence”

“Crime and Consequence” is a 6-week course on Weds. eves, 6-7:30, exploring the current state of criminal justice from a Jewish perspective—convictions, sentencing, rehabilitation, crime prevention. Sponsored by Rohr Jewish Learning Institute; CLE-approved, endorsed by a range of thinkers and activists. Held at Chabad of Vt., 57 So. Williams St., Burlington. $65 ($85 for couples), free for college students. Starts March 27; first class free. For info call 658-5770.

(If roomRJLI’s mission is to make Jewish learning accessible and personally meaningful to every Jew, regardless of background or affiliation. JLI’s insightful curricula utilizes cutting-edge pedagogic techniques, embracing the multiple intelligence model and utilizing multimedia and an array of approaches to engage, educate, and inspire all kinds of minds in a dynamic Jewish learning experience.

Tikkun Leil Shavuot: a Feast of Learning

A series of short classes with various instructors.

Saturday, June 08, 7:30-10:00 p.m.

Start your Shavuot experience with a sumptuous set of choices for Torah study in its broadest scope, including possibilities in poetry and song, social issues, sacred text and more, served up with delicious cheesecake of course! The evening is divided into two study sessions, minyan, and time for eating and socializing.