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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:



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

2018/19 Course Schedule

Please email [email protected] to sign up for the classes below.

Jewish Liturgy and Tradition

Ohavi Zedek Beit Midrash, with Rabbi Amy Saturdays 12:30 – 2:00 pm Oct 13, Nov 10, Dec 08, Jan 12, Feb 09, Mar 16, Apr 13

Announcing the Ohavi Zedek Beit Midrash: the second Shabbat of each month, at lunch. 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.

Hebrew Reading for Beginners, with Kochava Munro Tuesdays 7:30 – 9:00 pm Oct 23, 30; Nov 6, 13, 27; Dec 4, 11

If you have never had the opportunity to learn to read Hebrew, now is your chance. Join Cantorial Intern Kochava Munro as we learn the Hebrew alphabet, vowels and basic vocabulary. Materials will be provided and all are welcome.

Book Reading: Longing: Jewish Meditations on a Hidden God, with Rabbi Justin David Sunday 12:00 – 1:00 pm Dec 16

Rabbi David’s book explores the themes of loss, healing, and relationships through reflections on personal experiences and Jewish teachings. Justin will focus on the legacy of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, and how his passion for spiritual exploration and social justice can inspire our own spiritual journeys. Justin is the Rabbi of Congregation B’nai Israel in Northampton, MA. He received the 2018 Human Rights Hero award from T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call to Human Rights.

iEngage: The Tribes of Israel, with Rabbi Amy: Sundays 1:00 – 3:00 pm Jan 6, 13, 20, 27; Feb 3, 10, 17, 24; Mar 3, 17, 24, 31

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? Join Rabbi Amy in this Shalom Hartman Institute course, focusing on how various groups within Israel: Orthodox, liberal, Arab-Palestinian, North American Jewish, and others wish to shape the State of Israel, and how those groups differ. We’ll examine unity and diversity within the Jewish tradition, the “porous wall” of separation between church and state, and other aspects of living as a tribal family. To purchase text contact [email protected].

Jewish Culture

The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai, with Huck Gutman Saturday 12:30 – 1:30 pm Sept 29

Following a nourishing kiddush, join scholar Huck Gutman in the Sukkah for a satisfying exploration of the poetry of Yehuda Amichai, the best-known poet (and likely the best poet) in Israel’s modern history. Amichai’s poems are characterized by colloquial language with easy access for all readers. His subject matter includes love, how it feels to live in the world, parent-child relations, and what it means to be ethical in a complex world immersed in war and strife. Indoors if poor weather.

Book Discussion: Wise Aging: Living With Joy, Resilience and Spirit, with Pat Doherty. Fridays 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. Oct 5, 12, 19, 26. Aging as a spiritual practice is a call to authenticity. This workshop, based on the book, Wise Aging, by Rabbi Rachel Cowen and Dr. Linda Thal, invites older participants to deeply explore the concept of aging through a Jewish lens and as a spiritual practice. Purchase book on your own.

Beyond the Latke: What to Cook the Other 7 Nights of Chanukah, with Richard Witting Monday 6:00 – 8:00 pm Nov 26

Join Ohavi Zedek’s chef in exploring some lesser known but traditional Chanukah dishes from around the world, as well as a few new and inventive ideas. Materials fee: sliding scale $10 – $20, paid at registration.

Home and Abroad American Slavery, with Bob Mayer Mondays 5:45 – 6:45 pm Nov 5, 12, 19, 26; Dec 3, 10, 17

Slavery and liberation, fundamental themes in Jewish tradition, also occupy a powerful place in American history. This course looks at the very specific and historically unique type of slavery practiced in what was or became the United States of America. Radically different from classical concepts of slavery, American slavery created a system of bondage that was as much spiritual as it was physical, and which enslaved not only those of African descent but their white masters as well. Over seven weeks, this lecture and discussion course will examine the origins, effect, significance, and history of slavery in North America, and will examine the lasting importance of this period of history for us as Americans and Jews.

Film: The Resurrection of Victor Jara, with Juan Carlos Vallejo Sunday 1:00 – 3:00 pm Nov. 18

This feature-length film documents the extraordinary life and legacy of iconic Chilean singer-songwriter, Victor Jara, executed in 1973 following a right-wing military coup. The film explores, through friends and family, Victor’s music, life and the social context in which he emerges as a leader of a vanguard cultural movement for social change in Chile during the coup and post-coup periods. It also captures Victor’s profound impact on activists, artists and musicians of all ages inside and outside Chile.

Book Discussion: Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal, with Suzi Wizowaty Sunday 7:15 – 8:45 pm Nov 18

Aviva Chomsky’s book provides both history and insightful analysis that will deepen our understanding of this complex issue. Purchase the book on your own.


Book Discussion: The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, with Lila Shapero Sunday 2:00 – 4:00 pm Dec 2

An epic, beautifully written account by Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson, following the lives of three individuals with very different experiences to discuss the migration of almost six million African Americans from the South to the North from 1950 – 1970. Purchase or find book on your own.


Beginners Tai Chi for Health and Balance, with Melly Bock Mondays 5:00- 6:30 pm Oct 08, 15, 22, 29; Nov 5, 12

Each session will begin with stretching and warm-ups for about 1/2 hr, 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. $30/series, paid at pre-registration.