Scroll Top

Adult Education

Book Discussion (Beit Midrash)

The Little Liar, by Mitch Albom
Saturday, July 13, 12:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Eleven-year-old Nico Krispis has never told a lie. Nico’s innocence and goodness is used against his tightly knit community when a German officer barters Nico’s reputation for honesty into a promise to save his loved ones. When Nico realizes the consequences of the betrayal, he can never tell the truth again. He will spend the rest of this life changing names, changing locations and identities, desperate to find a way to forgiveness—for himself and from the people he loves most. Narrated by the voice of Truth itself, The Little Liar is a timeless story about the power of love to ultimately redeem us, no matter how deeply we blame ourselves for our mistakes. The discussion will be led by Sheryl Rattner.

When President Truman and Chief Justice Warren Studied Talmud (Zoom)

Sunday, August 4, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
A little known fact of history: On September 14, 1957, The Chief Justice of the United States Earl Warren and a number of other prominent jurists and legal minds of the day were invited to the inaugural event of the Herbert H. Lehman Institute of Ethics at JTS in New York. As part of the weekend activities, participants studied with JTS professor Dr. Shalom Spiegel, passages from the biblical book of Amos. Amos was a Hebrew prophet well-known for his ideas of ethics and social justice. Among the participants studying ancient Jewish conceptions of justice that day included Justice Warren and other legal scholars and prominent politicians of the day, including Former U.S. President Harry Truman, a devoted reader of the Bible and avid follower of the prophet Amos. The weekend of study at JTS that day had a profound effect on many in attendance. (Justice Warren even drew upon lessons he learned from Talmud study with Professor Saul Lieberman that same weekend in his later Supreme Court decision in Miranda v. Arizona). There are no photographs or recordings from these lectures, because the events of this weekend took place on Shabbat. But Former President Truman was so intrigued and inspired by Spiegel’s lecture that a transcript was later constructed at Truman’s request and subsequently published. Dr. Shira Billet, current professor at JTS, has uncovered a treasury of archival material related to these forgotten 1957 events, and their relationship to important events in American history and American law. She will be sharing Spiegel’s teaching with us, and showing this study session’s far-reaching impact for 1950’s America and beyond.  Register for Zoom. Trouble registering? View our FAQ page

Jewish Book Discussion Group (Beit Midrash)

Kantika by Elizabeth Graver
Saturday, August 10, 12:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
A kaleidoscopic portrait of one family’s displacement across four countries, Kantika―“song” in Ladino―follows the joys and losses of Rebecca Cohen, feisty daughter of the Sephardic elite of early 20th-century Istanbul. When the Cohens lose their wealth and are forced to move to Barcelona and start anew, Rebecca fashions a life and self from what comes her way―a failed marriage, the need to earn a living, but also passion, pleasure and motherhood. Moving from Spain to Cuba to New York for an arranged second marriage, she faces her greatest challenge―her disabled stepdaughter, Luna, whose feistiness equals her own and whose challenges pit new family against old. Led by Harry Cornbleet

The Yiddish Theatre in Argentina + More (Beit Midrash)

Tuesday, August 20, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Zachary M. Baker, Reinhard Family Curator Emeritus of Judaica and Hebraic Collections, Stanford University Libraries, will speak on his research on cultural topics growing from his many trips to Argentina. He visited the AMIA Jewish community building in Buenos Aires following the bombing in 1994. Luckily its priceless archives, art objects, and library collection were salvaged.