Aug 30, 2012

Fall Adult Education Opportunities at Netivot Shalom! @cnsberkeley #torahrocks

New Adult Programs & Classes at Netivot Shalom!

Wednesday Torah Study 

(Wednesday's at 1 pm in the Library)

Study the weekly Torah portion with insights from ancient midrashim and contemporary thinkers. The discussion will be facilitated by either Rabbi Bochner or Rabbi Creditor. 


Intermediate Talmud Class 

with Rabbi Shalom Bochner, Thursdays at 5:40 in the Library

Come and learn the origins of the Sidur through our weekly journey through the first volume of the Talmud, Masechet Berachot. Comfort with reading Hebrew is preferred.  Learn the teachings and humor of our sages. It's got everything - including the kitchen sink!  And we generally debate with each other in the spirit of the sages! 


Shabbat Torah Study 

(9:00 am, Shabbat Mornings in the Library)

Read, discuss, and debate the week's Parasha.  We use Etz Chayim as our text.  We often have professional teachers lead the discussion, but just as often skilled volunteers from our congregation are our leaders. See you next Shabbat at Torah Study!


After Kiddush Classes and Discussions 


after Kiddush each Shabbat)

Each Shabbat, after Kiddush (at approximately 1:15 pm) a speaker presents a topic for discussion.  Often this venue is the place to hear visiting scholars, book reviews, developments in a field of inquiry like Biblical Archeology, or listen to poetry. Here is the September schedule:

  • SEPTEMBER 1: Zvi Bellin on Teshuvah Bein Adam L'Atzmo: Forgiveness of Self. Learn and practice the most basic form of forgiveness that is often overlooked.

  • SEPTEMBER 8:  Brenda Goldstein leads us in the melodies of the holidays.

  • SEPTEMBER 15: Zvi Bellin on Teshuvah Bein Adam L'Chaveiro: Forgiveness of Community. How do you reconnect with the Jewish community that might marginalize you at times? Learn to appreciate the blessing in your uniqueness.

  • SEPTEMBER 22:  Casey Yurow,  Education and Community Outreach from Urban Adamaon Urban Adama's First Two Years 

  • SEPTEMBER 29:  Zvi Bellin discusses "Teshuvah Bein Adam L'Makom: Forgiveness of God" Now that you have been forgiven, can you allow God closer to you? We will explore what this closeness means.




Sunday Morning, Nov 11

"Religion and the state in a Jewish State" with Barak Medina, Law Professor at Hebrew University, Jerusalem and Boalt Law School.

Israel Book Group:

(Second Tuesday of every other month: 7:30-9:00 PM at CNS)

  • Tuesday, September 11: Suddenly, a Knock on the Door by Edgar Keret, one of the newer generation of Israeli writers, this is his latest book.  [Publication Date: March 2012]

  • Tuesday, November 13:  A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz, a memoir by one of Israel's "classic" authors.

Upcoming Classes - October



Four Tuesdays: 7:30 PM-9:00 PM: October 16, 23, 30, November 6.

$10 per session donation to Adult Ed requested (no one turned away for lack of funds.)

A Note from Rabbi Omer-Man: I have always felt that a good poem is unsurpassed in its ability to explore the yearnings of the human heart, and this is especially the case when it comes to the life of the spirit. In this series we will look at some fine religious verse written in a variety of languages, and from disparate, mostly mystical traditions.


Four Wednesdays: 7:30-9:00 PM: October 24, 31, November 14, 21.  

Tuition: $50. (no one turned away for lack of funds.)

Join an engaging and entertaining Jewish conversation about liberation, paradox, tradition, and power! Creditor and Kornbluth's first public class "My Big Fat Jewish Learning" traced Josh's Bar Mitzvah Journey, culminating with a celebration on a magic water tower in Southern Israel. This new class will help navigate and inform Kornbluth's next performance piece which combines his passion for oboe and Torah!



One hour class 7:30-8:30 PM: Six Thursdays: October 25, November 1, 8, 29, December 6, 13. Tuition: $100 (no one turned away for lack of funds.)

In this text study course we will examine some of the most challenging laws in the biblical code such as slavery, sacrifices, Sotah, the rebellious son etc. Two main questions will be posed as we analyze those cases: what was the rational for such laws in biblical times and how are they read and interpreted in rabbinical as well as modern times. Text for the class- the Bible. 

Jewish Wisdom for Spiritual Parenting
with Rabbi Menachem Creditor
5 Thursday Mornings at 9:15 - 10:45
Oct 18, Nov 1, Nov 15, Nov 29, Dec 13
Cost: $72-$118 (sliding scale, no one turned away for lack of funds)

Every decision we make as parents touches psychological, ethical, and spiritual dimensions of our children's lives. Judaism's perspective on parenting can provide a wide-angle view to see beyond specific "issues" into the larger context of a child's life (and a parent's!). Jewish Wisdom for Spiritual Parenting, taught by Rabbi Menachem Creditor of Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley, will be an experience of text and context, conversation and sharing with fellow parents, touching on questions of Play, Speech, Love, Rest, Purpose, and Habit. Out of this learning, we will gain insight and clarity of purpose as parents and as people. For information or to sign up, please contact Serena Heaslip at or 510-290-8095.

Upcoming Classes - November


Torah of Reconciliation

with Rabbi Shelly Lewis

Sunday, November 4 -- 

minyan at 9:30am, light refreshments at 10:15am, presentation at 10:30

Rabbi Shelly Lewis will discuss his newly published book, Torah of Reconciliation, which has just been published in Jerusalem by Gefen. It is a work that has been germinating in him for 11 years, and which he states is the passion of his life. Join Rabbi Lewis as he presents his book.  There will be copies for sale.


Upcoming Classes - December



Two Tuesdays: 7:30 - 9:00 PM: December 12 and 19

Free of charge. Register with Rachel at

Previews of Coming Attractions 


Monday Evenings, once monthly

Presentations and discussion on aspects of Jewish Practice in Dying, Death, Burial and the Chevra Kadisha. Presenters will be from all areas concerned with practice.  Sponsored by the CNS Chevra Kadisha

Chug Ivrit

Sundays: 12:00-1:30 PM - October 14, 28, Nov. 11, Dec. 9, 23.

The goal of Chug Ivrit is to strengthen the ability of attendees to converse in Hebrew.   If you are able to read Hebrew somewhat fluently, have some exposure to Hebrew conversation, and want to become more fluent, this is THE place to be.  We are using as a study tool, the monthly publication "The Jerusalem Post Ivrit".  Their articles are categorized based on difficulty with one, two or three stars.  Attendees are encouraged to subscribe to this publication via the Jerusalem Post.  Copies of articles we will be studying will be available at the session, but that limits the ability of participants to study at home and get the full benefit of the publication.  Attendees will be split into two levels:  The "One Star" level is for people who can read Hebrew and who have had some conversational experience.  The "Two  Star" level will be for people who have a basic Hebrew vocabulary and are able to carry on a basic multi-sentence conversation.  If you are not already fluent in Hebrew conversation, this program will be too advanced for you; but you are welcome to participate if you wish.  There is no charge for Chug Ivrit.


Please Support Us

The Adult Education Fund

Netivot Shalom, from its founding in 1989, has had a policy of providing most of its Adult programming at no-charge.  Providing adult educational programming was a prime motivation for establishing our synagogue. Because some of our teachers are professionals and need to be paid for their services, we charge tuition.  However, people unable to pay the tuition are never turned away.  We make up the difference needed by accessing our Adult Education Fund.

In addition, we use the fund to help develop programs and pay honoraria to visiting scholars.


Please consider a tax deductible contribution to the Adult Ed Fund the next time to come to a no-charge event as an expression of thanks to the synagogue. Donation envelopes are available outside the office door, or you can make a donation at  Please indicate that your donation is for the "Adult Education Fund." Thank you!