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The Schwarz-Kurz-Zeller Adult Education Institute

Helene Geiger 

Adult Education
Committee Chair

For more information contact:

Learning has no age limit. Something for Everyone! 

We’re starting the new year with a range of educational programs to fit your interests and schedule. All programs will be held on Virtual Beth El, using the icon link to Zoom found on the website (unless otherwise noted). There’s something for everyone! Check out the listings below and join us!

The Adult Education Committee welcomes your feedback and help as we continue to plan our 2021 - 2022 season. All volunteers warmly welcomed! 

  • Is there a topic you’d like to learn about or teach
  • Are you good with social media?
  • Do you have art, photography or writing skills?
  • Do you enjoy planning events?


Did you know that recordings of many Adult Education classes and programs are available on the Congregation Beth El website? Click here to access our archives or visit the menu bar at the top of the page; click Learn or click on the Archives tab (at the end of the menu bar).

Weekly Classes

Current Events
Discussion group

Current Events Discussion Group
Wednesdays, 11:00am - 11:50am (beginning October 20)
Facilitator: Rotating                  

Come and discuss the latest news with a Jewish slant in our weekly virtual discussion group. What will we talk about?  Any topic that makes it to the front page of the Wednesday morning edition of The Jewish Telegraphic Agency ( Jewish Telegraphic Agency news site can be found at It is free, no subscription or sign-in required. The rules: Keep it interesting. Keep it civil. And end every session with a joke.

Jews and Food Series

Jews and Food Series
Wednesdays, 10:00am - 10:50am (starting October 20)
Facilitator: Rabbi Weiss

From Biblical times to today, Jews have had a complicated relationship with food. So many rules – and yet so many ways to use food in our traditions and celebrations.  Join Rabbi Weiss as we explore the Jewish menu from a historical and cultural perspective. (Check weekly email for room location.)

Monthly Classes

Book club

Beth El Book Club
Thursdays, 7:45pm
Nov. 11, Dec. 2, Feb. 24, Mar. 31, May 26

Calling all readers!  Beth El’s new book club is open to all adults.  Whether it’s fiction, current events or memoirs, you’ll find something of interest to read and discuss. The book club meets on Thursdays from 7:45pm to 8:45pm through Virtual Beth El.  

Nov. 11: 
The Premonition: A Pandemic Story  by Michael Lewis
Click here for more information.

Dec. 2:   
How to Make a Life: A Novel  by Florence Reiss Kraut

Feb. 24:
Nomadland: Surviving America in the 21st Century  by Jessica Bruder

Mar. 31:
Eternal: A Novel  by  Lisa Scottoline

May 26
The Cellist  by Daniel Silva

Book nosh



Book Nosh
10:30am - 12:00noon
Sundays, January 23 & April 24

Join us in person to discuss all the interesting books, movies, TV shows, art exhibitions, Broadway shows, operas, and any other cultural happenings that have a Jewish theme, a Jewish author, or Jewish characters that you have run across since our last meeting.


Cafe Conversations
Thursday, November 4 1:30pm -- Walk & Talk at Tyler State Park
Facilitator: Rabbi Raysh Weiss

Join us for this new program. Great topics and conversation. We will meet at local places in the area. Locations to be determined at a later date.

Dive into davening 

Dive into Davening
Monday 12:30pm - 1:00pm
Nov. 8,  Dec. 6,  Jan. 3, Feb. 7,  Mar. 7,  Apr. 4,  May 2
Facilitator: Rabbi Weiss

Wondering about the meaning and significance of the prayers we chant? Curious as to why these particular words were chosen to be included in the service? Join Rabbi Weiss virtually, for a fast-paced, one-prayer-per-session dive into the story behind our davening. In English, all levels warmly welcomed!

Film club

Film Club
uesdays 7:45pm
Dec. 21, Jan. 25, Mar. 15,  May 3

Click here for more information - "Three Identical Strangers"

First Meeting: October 12, 2021 on Virtual Beth El.

This will be an organizing meeting to choose the films. Join your fellow movie mavens to
discuss films: first-run, classics, in theaters or streaming. We’ll have a few weeks to view the film, then meet to discuss it.

Jewish calligraphy

Jewish Calligraphy: Craft Project
Tuesday, February 8, 2022 at 8:00pm

Click here to register and order a kit.

Finally, an art project!! Artist Rachael Jackson will lead us in this hands-on workshop. You will learn how to use Hebrew calligraphy tools, and put them to use in the workshop  to create a Hebrew calligraphy piece to hang in your home. NOTE: Requires advance purchase of a Hebrew Calligraphy Kit*, to be available through the Beth El office. Look for details and sign-up instructions in Fall 2021.  

The foodie experience

The Foodie Experience

Calling all foodies… and anyone who enjoys food! Experience the varied cuisines available in our area, all with a Kosher spin.

Tuesday, October 26 at 7:45pm:
The Kosher Middle Eastern Foodie Scene

Sunday, March 27 at 2:00pm:
Crowd-Sourcing Pesach

Tuesday, May 17 at 7:45pm:
Deli versus Delhi

We can’t predict whether these events will be live or virtual, but we can say they’ll be fun-filled and food-filled. Look for further details in Beth El’s weekly emails and Facebook.

Midrash writing: Back stories of the torah

Midrash Writing: Back Stories of the Torah
Tuesday, January 4, 2022, 7:45pm – 9:15pm
Virtual Beth El.

Unleash your inner creativity in this hands-on workshop. We’ll pick a minor Biblical character, dig into their story as it is written in the Torah text, then “read between the lines” to imagine what the Torah left out. You’ll write a short Midrash (creative interpretation) during the workshop. No worries – we will walk you through the process. No Torah or writing expertise required.

Share Your
Passion Workshop 

Share Your Passion Series: 
Tuesdays, monthly

Evening Program

Join us on Virtual Beth El while we learn about our members hidden talents, passions and hobbies. All are welcome to attend.

Special Events & Programs


Great Jewish Debates Lecture Series
Sunday, November 21, 2:00pm
Thursday, May 12 7:45pm

Join Rabbi Weiss to discuss significant debates – philosophical, spiritual, ethical, and cultural – that have shaped our history as well as our modern Jewish life. Program will feature videos and other source material, as well as lecture and discussion with Rabbi Weiss. 


Secret History of Beth El - Kulanu Connection

Exploring the work of former congregant Jack Zeller, working toward a more inclusive Jewish world. Coming in February; evening program.


Wandering Jews Series: Uganda, Africa
Sunday, January 30 10:00am

We will continue our global travels, this time visiting a Jewish congregation in Uganda. Come learn about Contemporary Jewish issues and compare notes on "doing Jewish" in Uganda, Africa.

The Wandering Jews series connects us to the contemporary Jewish experience around the world. We are opening conversations with far-flung Jewish congregations, to learn about one another in the context of common issues we face as Jews. Miss a session. No worries. Check out our Archives on the menu bar on our website.


Wellness Day
Sunday, February 27 10:00am

Join congregants from Congregation Beth El and Congregation Brothers of Israel for topics and activities relating to health and wellness. Save the date now, watch for more information in upcoming emails.

More information will follow.

Mon, October 25 2021 19 Cheshvan 5782