Lifelong Learning at Touro Synagogue
BEIT MIDRASH: A HOME FOR STUDY
It is a sacred obligation of our synagogue to be a Beit Midrash, a home for study. Through the courses described below, we will stimulate one another’s minds and hearts through lifelong Jewish learning. Our clergy team is joyfully anticipating sharing this time with the congregation, as well as welcoming many guest teachers to share their wisdom with the congregation throughout the year.
Some of these lifelong learning offerings are presented as multi-week series of classes that build off each other, while others are offered quarterly, semi-annually, or even just one-off. No matter what you are drawn toward or intrigued by, or how frequently you choose to participate, we sincerely hope that you will consider joining us this year for your own personal enjoyment, growth, and enrichment.
Lifelong Learning opportunities at Touro Synagogue are designed to address the broadest possible spectrum of Jewish interests; each offering falls into one of three categories:
- Foundations offer entry points to a wide range of Judaic topics for new and/or returning learners
- Elevations provide opportunities to strengthen one’s Jewish knowledge base with continued in-depth examinations of topics and ideas
- Explorations allow for on-going dialogue among learners who are drawn to similar Jewish topics through their shared personal interests and/or professional connections
Additionally, some of our offerings are “goal-oriented”, in that they culminate when learners are prepared for major milestones in their Jewish lives: Conversion, Adult B’nei Mitzvah, and recognition as a Touro Chai Scholar.
Whether you are curious about a particular offering, interested in registering for something already, or simply seeking guidance on how to begin your own personal journey of Jewish lifelong learning, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Rabbi Bauman, Cantor Margolius, or Rabbi Silverman anytime.
TOURO’S ANTI RACISM INITIATIVE
Our tradition reminds us of our sacred obligation to turn inward and reflect on our own behavior, to break harmful practices, and to make amends in action. We understand that we must answer the pain and injustice around us with a shofar’s response, ready to learn, listen and act. The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) statement on systemic racism in the U.S. states that “Racial healing can only begin to be achieved when systemic oppression is recognized and accounted for.” In their words, the Reform movement must “take active steps to redress the destructive effects of historic and ongoing systemic racism, including through education and conversations within our congregations and communities.” Antiracism starts with education and knowledge. To that end, Touro will embark as a congregation on a journey of intentional antiracism education. This work will be both a communal endeavor and a personal journey. Our Antiracism Steering Committee of co-learners will be disseminating readings, videos, and book options, and will convene discussion groups to reflect on our learning, to situate it in Jewish values, and to provide support for sometimes difficult concepts and conversations.
More details below!
Modern Jewish Practice with Rabbi Bauman
Wednesdays at 7pm on Zoom
May 5, 12, 19
Modern Jewish practice is the result of a constant tension between the preservation of tradition and the embrace of modernity. During these sessions, we’ll explore how each of the three major Jewish streams – Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform – continue to grapple with that tension and what learnings each of them can bring to our own practice.
Understanding Siddur Hebrew with Cantor Margolius
Siddur Hebrew*: Wednesdays at 7pm – February 24, March 3, 10, 17, 24, & 31
While learning a foreign language can take a lot of time, a little knowledge can go a long way in making sense of the Hebrew of our Siddur — our prayer book. We’ll learn some of the most essential words, phrases, and grammar to help bring out the meaning of our Hebrew liturgy. *The ability to sound out Hebrew words is required.
Jewish Medical Ethics
Select Dates at 7pm on Zoom
Next Session: April 15
Our ongoing series exploring some of the most pressing scientific, social, and health related concerns of our time, through a Jewish lens. Previous topics have included explorations of pain management and the opioid epidemic; political agendas that affect policy in medical care; palliative and supportive care in religious traditions, and the nature of suffering. *This series is designed for but not limited to medical professionals.
News and the Jews
The most pressing news stories of our day challenge us as human beings and as Jews. Each session will focus on a story from the recent news cycle, viewed through a Jewish historical, cultural, and ethical lens. Additionally, on a bimonthly basis, through News and the Jews Presents, we will hear from an acclaimed Jewish journalist and engage with a story of their choosing that is representative of how their Jewish identity informs what they do to bring important issues to the public.
This program is part of our larger Touro Synagogue Antiracism Initiative.
News and the Jews with Rabbi Katie Bauman
Thursdays at 12pm
Next Session: March 25
News and the Jews Presents:
Investigative Reporter with WWL-TV
Lay Led Torah Study
Saturdays on Zoom from 9:00am-10:30am
Community members gather on Zoom to study the weekly Parashah (Torah Portion). The discussions are led by congregants who extend an open invitation regardless of experience with Hebrew or the Torah. Please reach out to the Touro office to join.