Lifelong Learning

Lifelong Learning

Beth Am believes in and supports lifelong learning. 

Free, independent inquiry is a hallmark of Beth Am – from our founding in 1974 to today.  We offer a robust range of learning opportunities for adults. Discover new ways to grow with us, whether through studying Hebrew, attending a panel discussion or a lecture, or in an ongoing study group tackling the ethics of Jewish personhood – there is something for everyone!

The pandemic made us pivot, but we were still able to assemble, and we continue to offer hybrid and online learning in addition to in-person classes. We continue to strive to create the right environment that meets your needs and also feels like an extension of the community of the kiddush room.

Torah Study

Every Saturday morning, we gather in person and virtually, to study the week’s Torah portion in an informal session. From 8:30 am-9:15 am, we read (in English), discuss, debate, and learn together in a warm and welcoming environment. All you need is an open mind and a desire to understand Torah in light of our modern lives!

Evening Lectures and Scholar-in-Residence programs

These popular programs focus on an in-depth analysis of issues of Jewish interest. Evening programs are offered throughout the year with guest lecturers. 

Trope Classes

Would you like to read from the Torah or prepare Haftarah during a special celebration or milestone? Haftarah and Torah trope classes introduce the melodies used in chanting Haftarah and Torah readings. Classes are scheduled based upon demand. Contact Rabbi Tyler Dratch for more information.

We’d love to have you on Beth Am’s adult education committee! Contact Melissa Gerr for more information.

Upcoming Classes and Programs

Spring Class 5784: Jewish Wisdom for Life’s Great Questions with Rav Daniel | Beginning Thursday, February 22nd

Scholar-in-Residence Spring 5784: Dr. Tal Becker | Friday, may 31st – Saturday June 1st

Recurring Programs

Lox and Learn 5784 | Every other Thursday | 8 AM | Beit Midrash

Join us every other Thursday morning beginning January 4th for bagels, lox, and a chance to learn together! We have invited a range of fascinating scholars and experts to share their knowledge with us. View the schedule here! 

Weekly Mishnah Class with Rav Daniel | Every Tuesday | 12 PM | Zoom 

Grab your lunch and study Mishna every week with Rav Daniel and fellow Beth Am-ers! Utilizing the newly released Oxford Annotated translation and other resources, we’ll explore the legends and laws of early Rabbinic Judaism through this seminal 2nd-century text. Join the Zoom here!

Previous Programs

Rabbits and Lettuce: The History of the Haggadah in Text and Art

Dr. Joshua Kulp leads a unique visual presentation about how the Haggadah’s texts and the seder’s customs developed over centuries. In addition, Dr. Kulp teaches how the Jews shaped their traditions in response to the places they have lived in throughout the world.

View the PowerPoint slides here. Watch the full program here.

Lecture with Samuel Sokol – How Russian “Denazification” Decimated Ukrainian Jewry 

Haaretz journalist Sam Sokol gave a lecture about how Putin weaponized antisemitism and caused the displacement of tens of thousands of Jews from Ukraine, all in the name of fighting against fascism and racism. During the Q&A, Sam will also address Israel’s constitutional crisis, mass protests, and recent escalating violence — against the backdrop of Israel’s 75th anniversary.

With a background in reporting on Israel and the Jewish Diaspora, Sam Sokol is a reporter for Haaretz, Israel’s paper of record. He was previously a correspondent at the Jerusalem Post and has reported for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the Israel Broadcasting Authority and the Times of Israel. His reporting covers various topics relating to the Jewish experience, including religious, political, military, and social issues. He is the author of Putin’s Hybrid War and the Jews.

Watch the lecture here.

“Awakening From the Dream”: A Conversation with Jonathan Eig 

Rabbi Burg welcomed Bishop Donté Hickman Sr. of Southern Baptist Church to Beth Am’s historic sanctuary for a conversation with bestselling author Jonathan Eig about his biography on Martin Luther King Jr., King: A Life.

Vividly written and exhaustively researched, Jonathan Eig’s King: A Life is the first major biography in decades of the civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr.—and the first to include recently declassified FBI files. In this revelatory new portrait of the preacher and activist who shook the world, the bestselling biographer gives us an intimate view of the courageous and often emotionally troubled human being who demanded peaceful protest for his movement but was rarely at peace with himself.

Please watch the conversation here.

Scholar-in-Residence Autumn 5784: Professor Noam Pianko | Whither Peoplehood? Reimagining “Am” in Time of Political and Social Polarization