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Adult Learning

Temple Beth Am is honored to have some of the best Jewish educators and rabbis in Seattle take part in our lifelong learning opportunities this year. 

Every Wednesday evening at 7 PM beginning on October 21, we will explore our Beit K’hilah, Beit Midrash, and Beit T’filah. All talks and programs are open and free for all members and friends of Beth Am to participate, although we do require registration in advance for our Beit K’hillah art classes to ensure we have enough materials.  Join our adult learning classes every Wednesday in the Beth Am Zoom room. Meeting ID: 806 508 5228, passcode: BethAm

Beit Midrash with Professor Bea Lawrence

First Wednesday of the month, November 4, 2020–June 2, 2021

Zoom room
Meeting ID: 806 508 5228, passcode: BethAm

Professor Lawrence is a member of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Seattle University. She teaches courses in Hebrew Bible and Jewish Studies and her research interests include rabbinic literature, gender as a hermeneutical lens, and the history of interpretation. Bea’s classes will explore our Beit Midrash, House of Study.

"It's no secret that life is difficult right now.  Political turmoil, violence against marginalized communities, climate change, and of course the pandemic with its fear, loss, social isolation, and uncertainty all mean many people are struggling to make sense of the world.  In this course, we'll explore what Judaism has to offer in terms of theodicy—the exploration of God's role (or lack thereof) in pain, suffering, and horrific events.  We'll read and discuss texts from the Bible, rabbinic literature, and contemporary writings, and we'll share our own perspectives as we honor the Jewish tradition of bringing all of our thoughts and concerns to our community for support, engagement, and new ideas." — Professor Bea Lawrence

Beit K'hilah Art with Cathy Shiovitz

Second Wednesday of the month, November 11, 2020–June 9, 2021

Zoom room
Meeting ID: 806 508 5228, passcode: BethAm

Cathy Shiovitz earned a BFA and BA in art history from The University of Michigan. A long-time member of Beth Am and a working artist in Seattle, she focuses on calligraphy and multi-media artworks, creating personalized wedding contracts and new ritual objects celebrating the joys of life. She teaches art classes to a wide spectrum of ages, from elementary to college students.  Cathy’s classes will explore our Beit K’hilah, House of Community.

Registration for each class is required at least two weeks in advance so we can get supplies. REGISTER HERE. Registration for the December 9 class will close on November 25, 2020.  

Here is what to expect from Cathy's next two classes:

December 9: We will continue our mandala studies and create a journal for thoughts, meditations, poetry, gratitude, etc, using the supplies from the November 11 class along with some others that will be provided. It is not necessary to have attended the November 11 class to join and enjoy this one! 

January 13: Using the prayer for the blessing of the home as your focus you will create a personal collage centered around family photos and mementos.  Each participant will provide copies of their family photos (not the originals!) to cut up. The rest of the supplies will be provided.

Beit T'filah with Debbie Massarano

Third Wednesday of the month, October 21, 2020–June 16, 2021

Zoom room
Meeting ID: 806 508 5228, passcode: BethAm

Debbie Massarano has been a Jewish educator since she was in her teens and has worked as a regional educator for the Union for Reform Judaism. In addition to teaching Adult Hebrew at Beth Am, Debbie teaches at Seattle Jewish Community School. Debbie’s classes will explore our Beit T’filah, House of Prayer. 

For the next gathering, on November 18, we will reflect on the assertion by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, z"l, that prayer is to the soul what walking 10,000 steps is to the body.  We will also focus on Modeh Ani ("I am grateful"), a practice for beginning each day. The Kabbalists' approach to prayer will also inform our small group conversations. Join us as we dig a little deeper into the art of prayer.

Beit Am with Rabbi Ruth, Rabbi Jason, and Rabbi Dana

Fourth and fifth Wednesday of the month, October 28, 2020-June 23, 2021

Zoom room
Meeting ID: 806 508 5228, passcode: BethAm

Light One Candle: Exploring the Musical History of Hannukah. For our next session on Wednesday, November 25, join Rabbi Dana for a deep dive into the musical traditions of Hanukkah. Not only will we explore the challenging history around beloved songs like Mi Yimalel and Ma'oz Tzur, but we will also sing and listen to Hanukkah songs you didn't know existed. From S'vivon and Ocho Kandelikas to Hanukkah songs by Sharon Jones and the Barenaked Ladies, this gathering will definitely help you get your Hanukkah playlist ready!

Adult Hebrew 2020-2021

Sundays, October 2020-May 2021

Please see our website calendar for specific dates

Our approach to Hebrew at Temple Beth Am is for people to learn the alef-bet and prayer book Hebrew, focusing on the blessings that we use most often during Shabbat services. Jewish educator and Hebrew instructor Debbie Massarano will be teaching our Adult Hebrew classes for 2020-2021. If you have any questions about the classes, please email her

Advanced Hebrew


Sundays, 10:30 AM- 11:30 AM

Zoom room link provided by Debbie 

For students who can read Hebrew fluently, this class aims to increase your vocabulary through the study of Torah, as well as hone your reading skills and comprehension. 

Tue, November 24 2020 8 Kislev 5781