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188 North Prospect Street
Burlington, Vermont 05401
(802) 864-0218

Adult Education

The Adult Education committee welcomes new members as well as suggestions for classes. Contact Nancy.

View the Adult Ed Calender Here

About OZ Adult Ed

About Adult Education at Ohavi Zedek

The Adult Education Committee invites you to come and learn!  OZ Adult Education (OZAE) seeks to engage congregation members and the broader community both by drawing on members’ experience and skills and 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.

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. OZAE Proposal Form or e-mail the Adult Education Chair, Nancy

View our recent discussion with Daniel Sokatch, CEO of the New Israel Fund and author of “Can We Talk About Israel?: A Guide for the Curious, Confused, and Conflicted


Learn MAH JONGG!  Are you interested in learning how to play this Chinese game of tiles imported to the US 100 years ago and loved by Jewish women for decades? This 5 part series teaches you all you need to know.   Email Lynda Siegel at [email protected] to add your name to the next  class series. Limit to 8 people per session.  LOOK FOR regular Mah Jongg sessions in the future.


Elders Heart to Heart Conversations

This one hour conversation continues monthly on zoom.  We are a gathering of elders.  We share and reflect on what is most important to us about aging,  grandparenting, parenting and whatever stands out at the time.  We are comforted by each other’s listening. If you would like to join, please contact Judy.

  • 1:30-2:30, the 3rd Wednesday each month by zoom.


Jewish Ethics:  iEngage Study Series, from the Hartman Institute in Israel (led by Rabbi Amy)

This ongoing course follows the curriculum from the Shalom Hartman Institute, “Foundations for a Thoughtful Judaism- Ethics Course”. Sessions allow all  to have access to deep Jewish thought, and to grapple with philosophical questions at the heart of Jewish tradition.

  • Sunday afternoons 2:00 to 4:00 PM; contact Rabbi Amy if you are interested
  • Open to new members

OZ Monthly Book Club

The OZ Monthly Book Club welcomes adult readers. Book selections are determined by the group, with topics that are related to Jewish themes and concepts.  Join these casual discussions about the book. To learn more contact Kathryn8-9:00 pm; the 2nd Wednesday each month on Zoom.

January 11, 2023 A Conspiracy of Paper by David Liss

“Benjamin Weaver, a Jew and an ex-boxer, is an outsider in eighteenth-century London, tracking down debtors and felons for aristocratic clients. The son of a wealthy stock trader, he lives estranged from his family—until he is asked to investigate his father’s sudden death. Thus Weaver descends into the deceptive world of the English stock jobbers, gliding between coffee houses and gaming houses, drawing rooms and bordellos. The more Weaver uncovers, the darker the truth becomes, until he realizes that he is following too closely in his father’s footsteps—and they just might lead him to his own grave. An enthralling historical thriller, A Conspiracy of Paper will leave readers wondering just how much has changed in the stock market in the last three hundred years. . . .”

February 8, 2023 People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present by Dara Horn

“Renowned and beloved as a prizewinning novelist, Dara Horn has also been publishing penetrating essays since she was a teenager. Often asked by major publications to write on subjects related to Jewish culture―and increasingly in response to a recent wave of deadly antisemitic attacks―Horn was troubled to realize what all of these assignments had in common: she was being asked to write about dead Jews, never about living ones. In these essays, Horn reflects on subjects as far-flung as the international veneration of Anne Frank, the mythology that Jewish family names were changed at Ellis Island, the blockbuster traveling exhibition Auschwitz, the marketing of the Jewish history of Harbin, China, and the little-known life of the “righteous Gentile” Varian Fry. Throughout, she challenges us to confront the reasons why there might be so much fascination with Jewish deaths, and so little respect for Jewish lives unfolding in the present.”

March 8, 2023 Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanland

“Atlantic City, 1934. Every summer, Esther and Joseph Adler rent their house out to vacationers escaping to “America’s Playground” and move into the small apartment above their bakery. Despite the cramped quarters, this is the apartment where they raised their two daughters, Fannie and Florence, and it always feels like home.

Now Florence has returned from college, determined to spend the summer training to swim the English Channel, and Fannie, pregnant again after recently losing a baby, is on bedrest for the duration of her pregnancy. After Joseph insists they take in a mysterious young woman whom he recently helped emigrate from Nazi Germany, the apartment is bursting at the seams…

Based on a true story and told in the vein of J. Courtney Sullivan’s Saints for All Occasions and Anita Diamant’s The Boston Girl, Beanland’s family saga is a breathtaking portrait of just how far we will go to in order to protect our loved ones and an uplifting portrayal of how the human spirit can endure—and even thrive—after tragedy.”

April 12, 2023 Life and Other Shortcomings by Corie Adjmi

“Life and Other Shortcomings is a collection of linked short stories that takes the reader from New Orleans to New York City to Madrid, and from 1970 to the present day. The women in these twelve stories make a number of different choices: some work, others don’t; some stay married, some get divorced; others never marry at all. Through each character’s intimate journey, specific truths are revealed about what it means to be a woman―in a relationship with another person, in a particular culture and era―and how these conditions ultimately affect her relationship with herself. The stories as a whole depict patriarchy, showing what still might be, (and certainly what was) for some women in this country before the #MeToo movement. Both a cautionary tale and a captivating window into women’s lives, Life and Other Shortcomings is required reading for anyone interested in an honest, incisive, and compelling portrayal of the female experience.”

May 10, 2023 The Book of Daniel by E.L. Doctorow

“The central figure of this novel is a young man whose parents were executed for conspiring to steal atomic secrets for Russia.

His name is Daniel Isaacson, and as the story opens, his parents have been dead for many years. He has had a long time to adjust to their deaths. He has not adjusted.

Out of the shambles of his childhood, he has constructed a new life—marriage to an adoring girl who gives him a son of his own, and a career in scholarship. It is a life that enrages him…”

June 14, 2023 A Boy in Winter by Rachel Seiffert

“Early on a gray November morning in 1941, a small Ukrainian town is overrun by the SS. Penned in with his fellow Jews, a father anxiously awaits word of his two sons, while a young woman, come to fetch her sweetheart away from the invaders, must confront new and harsh truths about those closest to her. At the same time, a German engineer, here to avoid a war he considers criminal, is faced with an even greater crime unfolding behind the lines and no one but himself to turn to. And in the midst of it all, a boy determined to survive must throw in his lot with strangers. As their stories weave together, each of these characters comes to know the compromises demanded by survival, the oppressive power of fear, and the possibility of courage in the face of terror.”

July 12, 2023 The Art of Leaving by Ayelet Tsabari

“In The Art of Leaving, Tsabari tells her story, from her early love of writing and words, to her rebellion during her mandatory service in the Israeli army. She travels from Israel to New York, Canada, Thailand, and India, falling in and out of love with countries, men and women, drugs and alcohol, running away from responsibilities and refusing to settle in one place. She recounts her first marriage, her struggle to define herself as a writer in a new language, her decision to become a mother, and finally her rediscovery and embrace of her family history—a history marked by generations of headstrong women who struggled to choose between their hearts and their homes. Eventually, she realizes that she must reconcile the memories of her father and the sadness of her past if she is ever going to come to terms with herself.”

August 9, 2023 Binoc­u­lar Vision by Edith Pearlman

“In this sumptuous offering, one of our premier storytellers provides a feast for fiction aficionados. Spanning four decades and three prize-winning collections, these twenty-one classic selected stories and thirteen scintillating new ones take us around the world, from Jerusalem to Central America, from tsarist Russia to London during the Blitz, from central Europe to Manhattan, and from the Maine coast to Godolphin, Massachusetts, a fictional suburb of Boston. These charged locales, and the lives of the endlessly varied characters within them, are evoked with a tenderness and incisiveness found in only our most observant seers.”

September 13, 2023 Who By Fire: Leonard Cohen in the Sinai

“In October 1973, the poet and singer Leonard Cohen—thirty-nine years old, famous, unhappy, and at a creative dead end—traveled from his home on the Greek island of Hydra to the chaos and bloodshed of the Sinai desert when Egypt attacked Israel on the Jewish high holiday of Yom Kippur. Moving around the front with a guitar and a group of local musicians, Cohen met hundreds of young soldiers, men and women at the worst moment of their lives. Those who survived never forgot the experience. And the war transformed Cohen. He had announced that he was abandoning his music career, but he instead returned to Hydra and to his family, had a second child, and released one of the best albums of his career. In Who by Fire, journalist Matti Friedman gives us a riveting account of those weeks in the Sinai, drawing on Cohen’s previously unpublished writing and original reporting to create a kaleidoscopic depiction of a harrowing, formative moment for both a young country at war and a singer at a crossroads.”

October 11, 2023 The Unfinished Corner by Dani Colman

“Jewish mythology has it that when God created the universe, one corner of it was left unfinished. Opinion is divided on why, but everyone agrees that the Unfinished Corner is a dangerous place full of monsters. Twelve-year-old Miriam neither knows nor cares about the Unfinished Corner. She’s too busy preparing for her Bat Mitzvah, wrestling with whether she even wants to be Jewish–until a peculiar angel appears, whisking her, her two best friends, and her worst frenemy off to this monstrous land with one mission: finish the Unfinished Corner.”

November 8, 2023 The Interpreter by A.J. Sidran­sky

“In the heat of wartime Manila, 23-year-old American GI Kurt Berlin is recruited by the OSS to return to Europe to aid in the interrogation of captured Nazis. A refugee from the Nazis himself, Berlin discovers the Nazi he’s interpreting is responsible for much of the torment and misery he endured during his escape. And that very same Nazi may hold the key to finding the girl he left behind.”

December 13, 2023 The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer

“Chron­i­cal­ly-ill Rachel Ruben­stein-Gold­blatt is a “nice Jew­ish girl‚” with a secret: she loves Christ­mas. As the best-sell­ing author of over twen­ty Christ­mas romance nov­els, and four made-for-TV movie spin-offs, she’s kept her stel­lar career secret from her obser­vant Jew­ish fam­i­ly for over a decade. But when Rachel’s pub­lish­ing house tells her they won’t renew her con­tract unless she writes them a Hanukkah romance, she’s des­per­ate for inspi­ra­tion. She finds it in the form of the Matzah Ball, a high-end Jew­ish music cel­e­bra­tion sched­uled for the last night of Hanukkah. There is only one prob­lem: tick­ets are sold out and the only way to get one is direct from the bal­l’s cre­ator, who just hap­pens to be Jacob Green­berg, her sum­mer camp arch enemy.”


More Classes are coming! 

  • Writing and Arts inspired classes
  • Non-fiction book discussions on current topics

Adult Ed Resources

Have a class you want to take? Or teach?  Contact  Nancy

Criteria for a suggested donation for Ohavi Zedek Classes organized by the Life Long Learning/ Adult Education committee:

  1. There will be a suggested donation for selected classes
  2. Instructors will determine if there is a charge (based on for example, how much time it takes to prepare, their role, cost for similar classes etc.) Instructors can talk with Adult Education committee for guidance.
  3. If there is a suggested donation, there will be a range provided – higher for non-members.
  4. No participant will be turned away for lack of payment.
  5. The suggested donation for each class will get final approval from the committee chair.

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. OZAE Proposal Form or e-mail the Adult Education Chair,  Nancy


  • Here is a list of selected books on racism for you to explore, some of which we read in 2020-2021018 Ohavi Zedek Synagogue

OZ Adult Education Instructors:


Jewish Play Reading Series (Spring 2022)

Do you like plays?  Come together on zoom to explore play scripts with Jewish themes. We’ll learn about the plays, do short readings aloud on zoom, and discuss them. No experience necessary. Come to be a reader or just to listen.  We will meet evenings, the fourth Monday each month: .  Come to as many sessions as you can. Scripts will be shared by share screen or email at each session.

Make Your Own Tallit (Spring 2022)

Have you ever thought about sewing a tallit for yourself or for your child’s bar/bat mitzvah? (Or would your child or a grandparent want to?) Would you like to embellish a tallit you already own? Learn a bit about the requirements and history of tallit, how to decide what size of tallit you like, how to choose fabric, and how to get started with designing your tallit. This 2 session class will emphasize making the tallit meaningful by incorporating fabrics with personal meaning such as a father’s ties, a grandmother’s crochet doilies, or a favorite t-shirt.  You may choose to work on your tallit over the time of the course, or not.

OZ Storytelling Gathering (2022)

This monthly gathering is a chance to tell and listen to our own stories.  What do a tiger, a romantic swim in a storm, and a fragrant corridor in Brooklyn have in common? All held a group of listeners rapt at the OZ storytelling gathering on Zoom. Join us and be surprised at the wonderful ways we get to know one other through story. No experience necessary. Some prompts to get you thinking in advance are: holiday mishaps, surprising encounters with animals, and early friendships. Use one of those or create your own.

Page Reader Press Enter to Read Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Pause or Restart Reading Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Stop Reading Page Content Out Loud Screen Reader Support