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Adult Ed: Midrash

04/19/2021 04:16:20 PM


This week we will be looking at some of these most famous Midrash stories and discussing how they are functioning.

Midrash Aggadah about Abraham and Sarah

Sefaria Source Sheet of Midrashim

Some brief examples and explanations of Midrash Halakha


Adult Ed: Midrash

04/14/2021 04:47:39 PM


Adult Ed Returns with a unit on Midrash! Join us on Zoom April 18th, April 25th, May 2nd, and May 9th at 1 pm for four classes about Midrash. Don't worry if you can't join all four, just jump in where you can.

For this week, we will be discussing the building blocks of Midrash:

What is Midrash?

Methods of Midrash

Basic Outline of the Encyclopedia Judaica article on Midrash

It's Tanakh FanFiction


Book Club: April

04/12/2021 05:40:52 PM


We will discuss our next book on April 28, 2021 through Zoom at 10:30 a.m. The book is Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. 

One of Sir Walter Scott’s most popular and influential works, “Ivanhoe” is the story of one of the last remaining Saxon noble families. At the beginning of the novel we find its titular character, Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe, who has been disinherited by his father for his allegiance to the Norman king, Richard...Read more...

Book Club: March

03/01/2021 01:10:12 PM


We will meet to discuss our next book, The Way Back by Gavriel Savit on March 31st at 10:30 a.m. on Zoom. The description of the book follows: NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • A SYDNEY TAYLOR NOTABLE BOOK Perfect for readers of Neil Gaiman and Philip Pullman, a sweeping historical fantasy that follows two teens on a journey through the Far Country, a Jewish land of spirits and demons. For the Jews of Eastern Europe,...Read more...

Choosing Judaism: 36 Stories

02/24/2021 12:46:46 PM


This Sunday, our adult ed time will be devoted to hearing from Bradley Caro Cook and Cameron Vanore about the book Choosing Judaism: 36 Stories. We also hope to incorporate opportunity for Ner Shalom members who are Jews by Choice to share their stories about journeying into and through Judaism.

A bit about our presenters:

Bradley Caro Cook, Ed.D. was born in Atlanta Georgia, where he lived until moving to Israel in 2012....Read more...

Adult Ed: PaRDeS

02/10/2021 11:20:45 AM


The next two Sundays (2/14 and 2/21) at 1 pm we will employ the PaRDeS sacred reading technique to engage with a Biblical verse picked at random.

PaRDeS stands for:

Peshat - the contextual, surface level, or literal meaning of the verse

Remez - the hints in the text at deeper meaning, the sparks of understanding that flicker at you from the text

Drash - your own interpretation or explanation

Sod - the...

Adult Ed: Esther

02/03/2021 12:35:22 PM


The Book of Esther

BimBam's "Go Esther"

HaYehudim Baim's "K'mo Zona"

Esther vs. Vashti

Confronting Megillat Esther's Violent Ending

The Book of Esther is meant to be a Farce

Persian Jews

Source Sheet on Esther and her comparisons with Joseph and Daniel


Adult Ed: Ecclesiastes

01/27/2021 12:49:33 PM


The Book of Ecclesiastes/Kohelet

Kohelet Summary

About Kohelet

Kohelet: Torah for the 21st Century

Bimbam's Kohelet Song

The Jews are Coming! (make sure you turn on your English subtitles with cc option on your own YouTube settings)


Book Club: February

01/27/2021 12:46:25 PM


We will meet on February 24 at 10:30 a.m. on Zoom to discuss our next book, which is Bee Season by Myla Goldberg. The description of the book is:   Eliza Naumann, a seemingly unremarkable nine-year-old, expects never to fit into her gifted family: her autodidact father, Saul, absorbed in his study of Jewish mysticism; her brother, Aaron, the vessel of his father's spiritual ambitions; and her brilliant but distant...Read more...

Adult Ed: Lamentations

01/20/2021 12:06:33 PM


The Book of Lamentations

Summary of Lamentations

About Lamentations

Lamentations on Tisha B'Av

Other Jewish Poems of Lament

Link to a PDF about Lamentations and Gender

Tevye asking, "Eicha?"



Adult Ed: Ruth

01/13/2021 04:13:28 PM


The Book of Ruth

Summary of the Book of Ruth (but it's only four chapters!)

The Power of Names in the Book of Ruth

Brief analysis of the Book of Ruth


Adult Ed: Song of Songs

01/06/2021 03:29:01 PM


The Book of Song of Songs

Summary of Song of Songs (Disclaimer: I think Shmoop is a cute and fun site for easy summaries, but their Biblical summaries all take an "Old Testament" view rather than a "Hebrew Scripture" view. In general, be a little wary of any source that refers to this book as the Song of Solomon.)

My Jewish Learning - Song of Songs

Sefaria Text Study on Song of Songs


Book Club: January

01/06/2021 12:35:14 PM


The Ner Shalom Book Club is reading Apeirogon by Colum McCann this month and trying to get back on track with our last Wednesday of the month meetings!

Join us at 10:30 am on January 27th via Zoom to discuss this book.

From Goodreads:

Colum McCann's most ambitious work to date, Apeirogon--named for a shape with a countably infinite number of sides--is a tour de force concerning friendship, love, loss, and...Read more...

Adult Ed: Jewish Mysticism

12/23/2020 11:50:35 AM


Bonus class with Rabbi Geoffrey Dennis! We will be looking at the texts themselves that we've been learning about.

In case you missed the class explaining what the Zohar is, check out this article.

If you're looking to get into mystical study of your own, this is the edition of Zohar you want.



Adult Ed: Jewish Mysticism

12/02/2020 12:31:51 PM


This month we will be having a guest teacher for Adult Ed!

Geoffrey Dennis is rabbi of Congregation Kol Ami in Flower Mound, TX. He is a popular professor in Rabbinics at the University of North Texas, where he teaches Kabbalah, Biblical Literature, and the History of Messianism. He received his M.HL and was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He also has degrees in Education and Nursing. Prior to his...Read more...

December/January Book Club

12/02/2020 12:04:24 PM


The Ner Shalom Book Club will be meeting January 6th at 10:30 am via Zoom to discuss The Garment Maker's Daughter by Hillary Adrienne Stern.

The Garment Maker's Daughter is a multigenerational saga of immigrant dreams and sweatshop realities, labor strikes and women's rights. It is the story of Lena Rothman, a shirtwaist-maker and active suffragette whose plans get derailed when she falls in love with her best friend's boyfriend, Jake...Read more...

Adult Ed: Job

11/25/2020 10:08:21 AM


The Book of Job (Full Text)

What is the Book of Job?

Introduction to Job through the Classical Rabbinic Lens

What is the Point of this Book?

Theodicy and Linguistic Structure of Job

What's the deal with Satan here?


Adult Ed: Proverbs

11/18/2020 10:25:53 AM


The Book of Proverbs

Claymation Interpretations of Selected Proverbs

What is Proverbs?

Google Drive of Some Academic Articles about Proverbs, Patriarchy, and Sexual Politics of Biblical Israel


Adult Ed: Psalms

11/11/2020 11:42:09 AM


Psalms is a collection of poetry. There's no narrative or decisive author, but we will look at the book of 150 poems as deeply as we can in one hour!

Since there isn't as much room for the sort of literary-historical look we often employ for understanding a whole book of TaNaKh in one hour, instead I suggest everyone bring a Psalm for us to discuss.

The Book of Psalms

What is Psalms?



November Book Club

10/28/2020 06:59:15 PM


Due to Thanksgiving and the length of our next book, there will not be a meeting for Book Club in November itself. We will meet December 2nd at 10:30 am over Zoom to discuss Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk. The description of the book is:

  Now hailed as a "proto-feminist classic" (Vulture), Pulitzer Prize winner Herman Wouk's powerful coming-of-age novel about an ambitious young woman pursuing her artistic dreams in...Read more...

Adult Ed: Chronicles

10/20/2020 03:08:14 PM


Join us on November 8th at 1 pm via Zoom for a discussion of Chronicles, and some comparing/contrasting between Chronicles and the tales they are are repeating from the other books of the Tanakh.

I Chronicles

II Chronicles

I Chronicles Summary

II Chronicles Summary

What is Chronicles?

Some Examples of Chronicles repeating or "fixing" stories from other parts of the Tanakh

Divine Justice...

Adult Ed: Fighting Against Antisemitism

10/14/2020 12:06:58 PM


Join us Sunday, October 18th on Zoom (reach out if you need the link) for a special presentation on antisemitism and what action we can take to promote safety for Jews and all minorities.

We recommend you bring paper and pen, or have a word processing app open during this presentation so that you can start your letters to your local papers or representatives with us during the call.

Resources to check out before or after the...

Book Club Updates

10/13/2020 05:12:13 PM


With the holidays taking away from almost every other programming, Book Club has continued on!

In September we read Deathless: the Complete, Uncensored, Heartbreaking, and Amazing Autobiography of Serach Bat Asher, the Oldest Woman in the World by Andrew Ramer.

Now we are reading The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz, to be discussed via Zoom at 10:30 on October 28th.


Adult Ed: Jewish Views on the Afterlife

08/02/2020 10:54:57 AM


Join us via Zoom as we delve into some Jewish views on the afterlife!

Classes will run the first three Sundays in August, taught by guest lecturer Professor John Rybicki!

Email if you need the zoom link.


August Book Club

07/29/2020 12:12:13 PM


The Ner Shalom Book Club will be meeting via Zoom at 10:30 am on August 26th to discuss The Third Daughter by Talia Carner.

From Goodreads about the book:

The turn of the 20th century finds fourteen-year-old Batya in the Russian countryside, fleeing with her family endless pogroms. Desperate, her father leaps at the opportunity to marry Batya to a worldly, wealthy stranger who can guarantee his daughter an easy...Read more...

Adult Ed: Final Session on Reform Jewish Values!

07/19/2020 02:19:44 PM


For the last several weeks, we have been studying Reform Jewish values, through the responsa, formal statements, and platforms of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and through the book, A Life of Meaning: Embracing Reform Judaism's Sacred Path. This Sunday (7/26) will be our final session on this topic. If you have been reading the book along with us, the following essays are recommended as starting points for our discussion on...Read more...

Adult Ed: Embracing Reform Judaism's Sacred Path

07/15/2020 10:40:47 AM


For our "community" section of A Life of Meaning, I recommend reading the following essays: Tradition! Transition! by Rabbi Lisa Edwards Millennials: Building the Future of Reform Judaism by Evan Traylor Sacred Aging by Rabbi Richard F. Address, DMin As always, if you can read the whole section, or want to go back and read essays you missed in previous sections, please do! We can at least still all start with these three common ground...Read more...

Adult Ed: Embracing Reform Judaism's Sacred Path

07/08/2020 06:29:00 PM


This week's topic is "Living the Texts". You do not have to have done the reading to join us, but if you do have the book A Life Of Meaning, we are strongly encouraging reading the following essays:

Our Tree of Life by Rabbi Amy Scheinerman Why Reform Jews Should Study Talmud by Rabbi Dvora Weisberg, PhD Reform Liturgy: Then and Now by Rabbi Dalia Marx, PhD

If you are so inclined, you should also feel empowered to read the whole...Read more...

Adult Ed: Embracing Judaism's Sacred Path

07/01/2020 02:54:05 PM


After a week off, we are continuing again this Sunday with our study of Reform Jewish values.

This week's topic is "Connecting to the Divine" and we will be discussing where traditional ritual fits into Reform Jewish life. Those who purchased the book, A Life of Meaning, were encouraged to read at least the following chapters:

The Power and Pitfalls of Personal Religious Autonomy The Jewish Path Ceremony vs. Ritual

For...

July Book Club

06/24/2020 02:45:29 PM


Our next meeting will be July 29 at 10:30 a.m. to discuss the book Flower Toward the Sun by Marcia Rudin. The description of the book follows.   In 1905, Rebecca leaves her Jewish shtetl in the Ukraine to join her fiancé, Samuel, in Milwaukee. Ingrid leaves her orphanage in Norway to become the Picture Bride of Lars, a widowed Norwegian farmer in North Dakota. But as Rebecca and Ingrid are processed together at Ellis Island,...Read more...
Sat, May 28 2022 27 Iyyar 5782