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Adult Education

Temple Emeth’s Adult Education program provides an abundance of opportunities to give our hearts to learning.

There is no charge for Temple Emeth members to participate in any of our programs (except those that provide meals, or are trips). Some courses may require books and/or other materials, for which there may be a charge. There is a fee for non-members of Temple Emeth, based on the specific program, plus book or material costs.

For more information, contact or the Temple office at 201-833-1322.

Ongoing Programs

Lunch and Learn with Rabbi Sirbu
Wednesdays from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm, beginning Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Lunch and Learn is a weekly conversation on ideas that challenge us to think deeply. This year, we will study the Biblical prophets and their message of justice, and modern texts that continue the legacy of the prophets. Our textbook will be, Prophetic Voices: Renewing and Reimagining Haftarah. This book, published by CCAR Press not only explores the meaning of the Haftarah portions, but the context of the Haftarah itself. Copies of the book are available for purchase in the Temple office; it is also available as an e-book. Every six weeks or so, we set our books aside and discuss a topic from current events. You bring your lunch, and we provide the learning…and the coffee.

Lunch and Learn is held in the Library, as well as on Zoom for those who wish to participate virtually. To participate via Zoom, see the weekly email for a link, or contact the Temple office for the meeting ID and password.


Special Lunch and Learn Program: Exploring the Poems in Mishkan HaNefesh
Wednesdays, September 13 and 20, 2023, noon to 1:00 p.m.

Poetry finds the words that are deep inside of us, as does prayer. The poems in Mishkan HaNefesh, our High Holy Day machzor(prayer book) connect the inner life of prayer with our spiritual journey as Jews. Temple Emeth member Sara Halman, an experienced poetry discussion leader, will lead a two-part Special Lunch and Learn presentation of poetry appearing in Mishkan HaNefesh. She will share why these poems were chosen and for which complimentary prayers. This course will familiarize the poems that are presented, including those by W.S. Merwin, Dereck Walcott, Mary Oliver, Wendell Berry, Edna St Vincet Millay, and Stanley Kunitz. In the words of Derek Walcott: "Sit, feast on your life."

Shabbat Morning Torah Study
Saturday mornings from 9:00 am to 10:15 am in the Library and on Zoom

On Shabbat mornings, join Rabbi Sirbu in an informal and lively study of Torah. Study begins at 9:00 am in the Youth Lounge and on Zoom and concludes in time for our Shabbat morning service at 10:30 am. Learn more.
Mini-University 2023-24

Stories from a Jewish Perspective
Tuesdays, March 26, April 2, 9, from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m.
This popular course is taught by participants on a rotating basis, giving us an array of authors and genres and a variety of teaching styles. Yet each class has something in common—a group of people who love the written word and Jewish ideas. Come join the conversation. Teach a class is not a requirement of attendance. The class will be offered in person and online.


Our New Reality After October 7
A class led by Rabbi Steven Sirbu

Tuesdays, January 9, 16, 23, February 6, from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m.
The October 7 attack on Israel and the war that followed has upended many of our assumptions about Israel, antisemitism, and American Jewish identity. This class, to be held in the Youth Lounge and on Zoom, will combine history and current events to help understand how we got to this point. We will also discuss the safety of Jews in the current political climate, and how pro-Israel activism has changed. Bring your questions and your opinions, but remember, each class lasts only 60 minutes.

The Jews of Salonica
Tuesdays, February 27 and March 5, 2024, at 8:00 p.m.

On two consecutive Tuesdays—February 27 and March 5—Temple Emeth will hold a special Zoom program about the Jews of Salonica, as part of our One Book, One Synagogue programming on Sadness is a White Bird. The book has two key scenes that take place in Salonica, Greece. One is a flashback to when Jonathan’s grandfather, Saba Yehuda, was a boy. The other is when Jonathan makes his own pilgrimage to the city after graduating from high school.
Tuesday, February 27The Jews of Salonica with Dr. Devin E. Naar, Professor of Sephardic Studies at the University of Washington.
Tuesday, March 5—The Jewish Music of Salonica with Simone Salmon, Graduate Student in Ethnomusicology at the UCLA School of Music.

Movies That Mattered

Tuesday, October 3, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.
Last year, we were introduced to Eugene Morris Jerome and his close-knit Brooklyn Jewish family when we screened Brighton Beach Memoirs. We will be screening the second part of Neil Simon's semi-autobiographical trilogy, Biloxi Blues, which follows Eugene as he is sent to army training camp in Biloxi, Mississippi.



Tuesday, November 28, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.
In Nazi-occupied France during Word War II, a plan to assassinate Nazi leaders by a group of Jewish U.S. soldiers coincides with theater owner Shosanna Dryfus's plan to avenge the Nazis's execution of her family. Inglorious Basterds stars Brad Pitt and was directed by James Tarrantino.



Tuesday, December 19, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.
Marathon Man is an American thriller that was directed by John Schlesinger and stars Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Roy Scheider, and William Devane. Hoffman plays a Columbia grad student and marathon runner who is oblivious to the fact that his older brother Doc is a government agent chasing down a Nazi war criminal, that is, until Doc is murdered.



Tuesday, February 20, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.
Music Box (1989) written by Joe Eszterhas and directed by Costa-Gavras, tells the story of a Hungarian-American immigrant who is accused of having been a war criminal. The plot revolves around his daughter (Jessica Lange), an attorney who defends him, and her struggle to uncover the truth. It is loosely based on the real life case of John Demjanjuk.



Tuesday, March 19, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.
The Boy with the Green Hair
 (1948) takes place in a typical small town, where a young boy named Peter, while studying about war orphans in school, discovers that his own parents were killed in World War II. The next morning his hair turns green out of shock. Although ridiculed by his classmates for the change, Peter realizes that he can use his difference to speak up for all the children of the world orphaned by war and speak out against fighting any more wars. The film stars Dean Stockwell and Pat O’Brien.


Tuesday, April 30, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.
The Sunshine Boys (1975) is a comedy based on the 1972 Neil Simon play about two legendary and cranky comics brought together for a reunion and a revival of their famous act. The problem is that they now hate each other. The film features George Burns, Walter Matthau, and Richard Benjamin.



Tuesday, June 18, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.
Julia (1977) is a World War II drama based on a chapter from Lillian Hellman's 1973 book Pentimento about the author's relationship with her lifelong friend Julia, who took on the battle against Nazism. When Lillian is invited to a writers' conference in the USSR, Julia enlists Lillian en route to help her smuggle currency into war-torn Germany to assist the anti-Nazi cause. It is a dangerous mission, especially for a Jewish intellectual on her way to Russia. The film stars Jane Fond, Venessa Redgrave, Jason Robards, Hal Holbrook, Maximillian Schill, and Meryl Streep in her film debut.


Thu, June 13 2024 7 Sivan 5784