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BEIT Midrash Jewish Adult Learning

Thursday, January 23, 2020 26 Tevet 5780

6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

All are welcome to join us for our BEIT Midrash on Thursday evenings. On each Beth El is Thursday evening you’ll choose from a variety of experiences and courses. Come for dinner at our BEIT Café, create your own schedule, do as much or as little as you like.

Welcome to BEIT – Beth El Is Thursday!

6:00-7:00 p.m. BEIT Café open for Dinner
    Register for Dinner here.
   $8 per person, in advance. $10 per person, at the door.
Choose one from this list of many experiences and sessions. Participate in one, two, or all three parts of the evening. BEIT Café offers coffee and nosh all evening.
6:30 p.m.  BEIT Experience I
                  Rebellion, Rupture, Renewal: A Journey Through Modern Jewish Literature
                  Rabbi Philip Graubart

What is the essence of Jewish identity? What are the challenges to living a fully realized Jewish life? How should modern Jews respond to intermarriage, assimilation, Israel, the Holocaust, alienation, anti-Semitism? We often look to sacred Jewish texts for responses to these existential questions, or to political writings, or even sometimes to rabbis. But in Modern Jewish Literature – a hidden and essential source of wisdom - brilliant Jews have been producing a body of work for over two centuries responding to our deepest dilemmas. In this course, we’ll study some of the most interesting and valuable works of Modern Jewish Literature, from Sholem Aleichem to Peretz to Philip Roth to Cynthia Ozick, Ayelet Tsabari and more. We’ll study this exciting genre for its own sake, but also to develop a richer understanding of the challenges of modern Jewish life.

Rabbi Philip Graubart served as our Senior Rabbi at Congregation Beth El for fifteen years. Most recently, he was a vice president at the Shalom Hartman Institute, and director of Jewish life and learning at the San Diego Jewish Academy.

Together and Apart: The Future of Jewish Peoplehood
Dr. Ray Fink
Using the latest iEngage curriculum from the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, we’ll explore a new narrative regarding the significance of Israel for Jewish life. This narrative serves as a foundation for a new covenant between Israel and world Jewry, elevating the existing discourse from a crisis-based focus to one rooted in Jewish values and ideas.
Dr. Ray Fink is a Past President of Congregation Beth El, a respected physician in our community, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Shalom Hartman Institute.   
   Freud, Adler, and Frankl: Thinking About Existence
Dr. Oded Shezifi
Come explore the insights of three great 20th Century psychologists, Sigmund Freud, Albert Adler, and Viktor Frankl, who influenced the way we understand human existence.
Dr. Oded Shezifi is a clinical psychologist who also teaches at UCSD-Extension. He is a play therapist supervisor and a certified Jewish mindfulness teacher. Oded has served as a medic and aviation physiology instructor at the IAF and has worked as a clinician at Jewish Family Service where he supervised and taught clinical interns the History of Psychotherapy.
Creating An Art Piece with Sustainable Objects In Honor of Tu B’Shevat
Shana Lew & Helen Segal
The holiday of Tu B’Shevat (Jewish Arbor Day) is the impetus for this art class . This holiday reminds us of our connection to the earth as well as our responsibility to the environment as caretakers. In this three part class, participants will have the fun and challenging opportunity to create a piece of art from used, found, and sustainable objects. The instructors will provide materials but participants are encouraged to bring in small pebbles, sea glass, or small found objects to include in their piece.
Shana Lew has a BA in Jewish Studies from UCLA and a MAED from the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. She is on the board of the Woman’s Philanthropy (UJF) as well as the Board of the Wheelchair Dancers Organization. Shana also spends time creating sustainable art for Jewish and Medical causes. Shana and her husband Bill are members of Congregation Beth El and they have two grown sons.
Helen Segal graduated summa cum laude in Fine Arts. She has been inspired by the vibrant colors and patterns used by artisans around the world especially by how beautiful objects can be made from the most mundane of materials. She works in all media and her artistry extends from creating large architectural installations and murals to smaller idiosyncratic and imaginative pieces.
Creative Writing Workshop
Dr. Sandra Block
A writer is someone who writes. In this 4 week workshop we will explore our creative writing skills with the use of Jewish poetry, stories from the Torah and inspiring verbal and visual prompts in timed writing sessions. Participants may choose to share their writing with others or not. All workshop feedback is respectful and, most importantly, non-critical. The workshop is modeled on the Amherst Writers And Artists model pioneered by Pat Schneider. For more information on the philosophy of this writing method please see
Sandra Block, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, a university instructor and a certified AWA workshop facilitator. She has led creative writing workshops nationally for medical and mental health professionals, creative writing workshop leaders, women’s groups in work and social service settings and for senior citizen groups. Her fiction and nonfiction writing has been published in the San Diego Union Tribune, The Writers’ Ink Anthology and local and national newsletters.
Synagogue Skills & Song
David Lipsitz
Learn the melodies and meanings of the weekly Friday evening Shabbat service, Kabbalat Shabbat. Grow in your ability to participate with us and enjoy synagogue prayer and community.
Beginning Hebrew Reading - Prayer Book Hebrew Reading
Robin Shulman
Learn basic Hebrew reading for synagogue services. Discover or rediscover your ability to read Hebrew and participate in synagogue prayer and community.
Intermediate Hebrew Reading & Conversation
Orli Moses
Strengthen your Hebrew reading and conversation skills.
Torah Reading
Dr. Ran Anbar
Begins January 9 and continues each week BEIT meets
Learn to read Torah or grow your Torah reading skills. If you wish, read Torah on occasional Shabbat mornings as member of our Torah reading squad. We meet on a regular basis to teach Torah trope to beginners, review trope with more experienced readers, and practice upcoming Torah readings.
7:30 p.m.  BEIT Tefillah: Ma’ariv Minyan
We gather in the BEIT Midrash for Ma’ariv, an evening prayer Minyan. Join us for a brief spiritual break between sessions followed by coffee, conversation, and nosh during our BEIT Break.
7:30 p.m.   BEIT Break
          Coffee, conversation, and nosh…
7:45 p.m.   BEIT Experience II
What’s Trending?
Rabbi Ron Shulman
Jewish Identity
#Post-Denominational Judaism
#Our Jewish Identity SWOT Analysis
Explore current concerns within the Jewish community. Each week we’ll take a look at a #timely topic and study Jewish sources to guide our discussion. Our goal is to learn about Judaism, Jews in the larger world, and our personal connections to all of it.
BEIT is sponsored in loving memory of Paula & Jerry Mandell, devoted to Congregation Beth El and dedicated to Jewish scholarship.


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