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Lifelong Learning

Voted "Best Adult Education" program in Seattle by the readers of the magazine Jewish in Seattle in 2016, Temple Beth Am promotes lifelong learning and is committed to being a center of Jewish life for people of all ages. Our classes, discussions, and lectures offer many opportunities for our adult community to learn at a variety of levels. The program listings below are updated frequently with a wide variety of offerings.

For our additional selection of Torah Study classes, including Introduction to Judaism and Adult B'nai Mitzvah, visit our Torah Study page.

Please contact our Director of Community Engagement, Alexis Kort, or call 206-525-0915 x 210 with any questions.


Upcoming Events:

Creativity with Paper Cuts with Artist Cathy Shiovitz and Sisters of Beth Am
Sunday, January 6, 1:00 - 3:00 PM
Beth Am Social Hall
Cost: $10

A hands-on workshop with Jewish artist and Beth Am member Cathy Shiovitz. Learn the history of Jewish paper cut art, see a demonstration of the art form, practice skills, and create one of your own. No previous artistic experience necessary. All supplies provided. Space is limited, so please RSVP by Thursday, December 20 to Beth Am Director of Community Engagement Alexis Kort if you want to attend. 

Beth Am Book Clubs

From October through May, Temple Beth Am holds monthly book clubs on different topics - like the Jewish Feminist Book Club and Immigrant/Refugee Stories Book Club - every year. All discussions are moderated by members of Beth Am. If you are interested in leading a book discussion or have suggestions for a topic/books for next year, please be in touch with Temple Beth Am Director of Community Engagement Alexis Kort.

New Jewish Writing from Around the World

Tuesdays, October 16 - May 14, 6:30 - 8:00 PM
Beth Am K'hilah Rm. 226

Following our Israeli Author’s Book Club from 2015-2016, Jewish Feminist Book Club from 2016-2017, and Immigrant/Refugee Book Club from 2017-2018, we are continuing this year with an evening Temple Beth Am book club format to discuss modern Jewish literature. All discussions are moderated by members of Beth Am. If you are interested in leading a book discussion or have suggestions for a topic/books for next year, please be in touch with Beth Am Director of Community Engagement Alexis Kort.

January 22: The Best Place On Earth by Ayelet Tsabari (Yemenite-Israeli)
February 12: Hope: a Tragedy: A Novel by Shalom Auslander (American)
April 16: The Patriots by Sana Krasikov (Russian) 
May 14: The Ministry of Special Cases by Nathan Englander (American set in Argentina)

RAC Reads: Social Justice Book Group

Quarterly on Sundays, November 4 - May 5, 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Beth Am K'hilah Rm. 226

The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC) has selected best-selling books that address relevant social justice topics and created reading guides that provide questions to guide discussions, tips on getting started, and resources to help us take action. Reform Jews across North America have been coming together in their own communities to read, explore, and discuss social justice-themed books. Click here for more information.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Sunday, January 6, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM 
Beth Am K’hilah Rm. 226 

Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (The New York Observer). In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men —bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

March 3: Waking Up White by Debby Irving
May 5: Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder

Union for Reform Judaism: Introduction to Judaism

Sundays, October 7, 2018 - April 28, 2019, 9:00 - 10:45 AM 
Beth Am K'hilah Rm. 226

$200 for synagogue members; $280 for non-members
The tuition fee allows for either one or two people to attend; couples are encouraged to attend together and singles may invite an interested friend.

Temple Beth Am is excited to offer again the revamped and upgraded Introduction to Judaism class in partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). Taught by Rabbi Jason R. Levine, this course is used across North America and is recognized universally by Reform synagogues, using URJ curriculum and resources for adults interested in exploring Judaism, including a Shabbaton designed specifically for this class. Topics include Jewish rituals, Jewish theology, history, prayer, life cycle, holidays, and comparative Judaism.

Registration for URJ: Introduction to Judaism is through the Union of Reform Judaism. Go to their website to sign-up or contact Rabbi Sabine Meyer.

Intro to Judaism Class Shabbaton: To be announced

Cost for 18 classes: $200 Temple Beth Am members / $280 non-members / $50 - $100 additional for textbooks

The tuition fee allows for either one or two people to attend, couples are encouraged to attend together, and singles may invite an interested friend. Reading list can be found here. Used copies and e-readers are encouraged. 

To register for this course, please visit the Union for Reform Judaism website. Please contact Rabbi Jason R. Levine (206-525-0915 ext. 215) to inquire about the scholarships offered by Temple Beth Am.

Scholar-in-Residence and University Lecture Series

Temple Beth Am is committed to bringing the Seattle community important and informative topics that impact the Jewish people both historically and in modern times. Our Scholar-in-Residence and University Lecture Series presents engaging presenters and scholars who speak on their areas of expertise.

For our annual learning theme of Ma'asei V'reisheet/Acts of Creation, we will feature an Artist/Scholar-in-Residence for our program on January 25 - 27, 2019Danny Maseng is a renowned Jewish musician and composer and serves as hazzan and spiritual leader of Makom LA, a new, dynamic, post-denominational Jewish Community
in Los Angeles. Go to our Artist/Scholar-in-Residence 2019 page for a schedule and description of events. Registration will be open on Friday, November 30.

Past presenters and scholars include URJ Vice President of Audacious Hospitality April Baskin; Prof. Hamza Zafer on "The Judeo-Islamic Experience," Former U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Freedom Rabbi David Saperstein; Rabbi Deborah Waxman; Noam Pianko on "Justifying Judaism in the Modern World"; Devin Naar on "The Sephardic Jewish Experience"; and 2017's University Lecture Series' scholar, Kathie Friedman, on "Immigrants and Refugees: We Were Once Strangers, Too."

Become a University Lectures Patron Sponsor for $100

Help ensure this annual learning series continues, while keeping ticket costs low for everyone. Patron sponsorship includes tickets to all lectures, attendance at an intimate private reception with our speaker prior to the final lecture, and acknowledgement of your sponsorship in the lecture program.

Mon, December 10 2018 2 Tevet 5779