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The Schwarz-Kurz-Zeller Adult Education Institute

Helene Geiger & Arleen Barisa

Adult Education
Committee Chairs

For more information contact:

Learning has no age limit. Something for Everyone! Check out our weekly, monthly and special classes/programs below.

We’re starting the new year with a range of educational programs to fit your interests and schedule.  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 2023-2024 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?

Weekly Classes

The fours of the pesach seder



The Fours of the Pesach Seder
Wednesday Mornings, 10:00 – 11:30 AM
April 10 & April 17
Instructor:  Rabbi Cantor


Over the course of the Pesah Seder, rituals and
storytelling are grouped into sets of four. Each of these quartets presents a different window into the story of Yetzi’at Mitzrayim (Exodus from Egypt)
and its significance for us.

To prepare ourselves spiritually for the Seders, we will dig deep into some of the sets of four: the four cups, the four questions, the four children, and the four mothers.

For our class text, we will use the course materials
prepared by R. Elie Lehmann for Hadar’s Project Zug.

Please let us know if you are planning to attend, so we will know how many copies of the materials to produce.

Click HERE for April 17, 2024 class.




Teshuvah & Criminal Justice
Wednesday Mornings, 10:00 – 11:30 AM
Starting May 1
Instructor:  Rabbi Cantor

What do Jewish sources say about starting anew after breaking the law, and how can that inform our understanding of modern-day criminal justice? 

In this course, we’ll do a deep dive into teshuvah (repentance) and the rehabilitation process after one has committed various types of offenses. We will ask whether it is ever too late to turn over a new leaf, and what the consequences should be for a communal leader who speaks or acts inappropriately.

Rooting ourselves in Jewish texts, we will explore complex real-life cases together. In doing so, we will see firsthand how approaching these moral questions through a lens of Jewish tradition can offer unique insights

Click HERE for recordings.

Jews & Politics in Europe, the Us, and Israel


Jews & Politics in Europe, the US, and Israel
Wednesday Mornings, 10:00 – 11:00 AM
Instructor:  Harriet Freidenreich

Trace the Jewish involvement in politics in teh 19th and 20th centuries.

Discuss Jews as Liberals, Socialists, Communists, Conservatives in Germany, Poland, and Russia/Soviet Union, as well as Jewish political parties, including
Orthodox, Bundist, Jewish Nationalists, General Zionist, and Labor Zionist parties in interwar Poland and elsewhere.

Jewish Political Traditions


Jewish Political Traditions
Wednesday Mornings, 10:00 – 11:30 AM
Now through December 20 (in person  & virtual Beth El)
Instructor: Rabbi Cantor

Using key historical events from Jewish history as a backdrop, we will examine some of the key political questions that Jews have struggled with over the millennia, such as: Who should rule the community – religious or secular authority? How should an individual interact with the greater society? Program includes readings and group discussion.

Click HERE for class recordings.

Monthly Classes

Book club


Beth El Book Club
Sundays, 10:30am or 7:45pm
Check calendar for dates.

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. 

Click here for more information

Culture & Cream cheese

Culture & Cream Cheese (Formerly known as Book Nosh)
Sundays, 10:30am - 12:00noon
Check calendar for dates.
Session Leader: Alex Geiger

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.

Click here for dates.      



Jewish Lifecycle Series
Wednesday evenings, 7:00 – 8:30PM
Starting in November
Learning Leader for Series: Rabbi Cantor

Funeral and Mourning Practices
Nov. 1, 2023   7:00-8:30 PM

The Jewish Wedding
Dec. 20, 2023  7:00-8:30 PM

Jewish Child-Rearing Practices
Jan. 24, 2024   7:00-8:30 PM

Jewish Approach to End-of-Life
Feb. 28, 2024   7:00-8:30 PM
Click HERE for recording.

This Wednesday evening series includes
15-minute evening minyan.

Special Classes, Events & Programs 

Jewish Discussions & Watch Party on The Good Place
Discussion Leader: Rabbi Cantor

"The Good Place" is a very funny show based on serious theology. Come and laugh through each episode together, then join rabbi Cantor as we discuss the Jewish themes behind the humor. 

Click here for upcoming session topics.

Eric Fishbein

Choosing the best Medicare Plan
Eric Fishbein

Thursday, October 19

Register here. The Zoom link will be emailed to you.

Eric Fishbein is the Assistant VP of Managed Care at Virtua Health, one of New Jersey’s largest not for profithealth systems.  Eric has two decades of experience in managed care consulting and contracting, working with various insurance companies and healthcare organizations.  He holds a B.S. and M.S. in Economics from Lehigh University, a Master of Health Administration from Cornell University, and he is a Fellow of the Healthcare Financial Management Association.

Click HERE for recording.

Author Lynn Levin

Book & Author Event with Lynn Levin, author of House Parties
Sunday, October 22 from 1:00pm – 3:00pm
In person at Beth El

Join us for a discussion and book-signing with local author Lynn Levin, whose debut collection of short stories was published this spring.

Click HERE for information.


Theater Field Trip

Raisin in the Sun, Bristol Riverside Theater
February 18, 2024 – Sunday Matinee

$$, RSVP Required. More information to follow.



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).

Thu, May 30 2024 22 Iyyar 5784