Adult Education at WES

West End Synagogue is committed to universal adult study of Jewish sources, history and cultural expression in its many forms. Through our Adult Education Project, we pursue our vision of a congregation as literate and well-educated in Jewish terms as it is in secular terms.


Plan to join us for stimulating and thought provoking events!

DOWNLOAD our Fall-Winter 2018 Adult Education Brochure.

Please check daily calendar in case of scheduling changes!

LECTURES

JEWISH INTELLECTUALS AND U.S. FOREIGN POLICY FROM WEIMAR TO WASHINGTON
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018
Professor Daniel Bessner
Co-Sponsored With the WES Social Action Committee

APHRODITE AND THE RABBIS
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018
Rabbi Burton Visotzky

JUSTICE, THE LAW AND THE IMMIGRATION SYSTEM
7:00 TO 8:30 PM
Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018
Matt Katz and Jeffrey Heller
Co-Sponsored With the WES Social Action Committee

THE TRIAL OF SPINOZA: A STAGED READING
(Based on a play by David Ives)
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Thursday, April 11, 2019

WES COURSES

We are excited to bring back our ground-breaking Na'aleh adult bar/bat mitzvah program, which was featured on the Innovating Congregations blog of the Jewish Education Project.  Dates and registration for the fall of 2018 will be available soon. Please contact the wesoffice [at] westendsynagogue.org (subject: I'm%20interested%20in%20the%20Adult%20Bar%2FBat%20Mitzvah%20Program, body: Please%20let%20me%20know%20when%20dates%20and%20registration%20become%20available.) (WES office) if you are interested in this exciting program.

SPIRITUAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY
3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Every other Monday beg. Sept. 17, 2018
Led by Judith Friedman
Participants will write and share short pieces on childhood memories, spiritual awakenings, personal understandings of the Torah stories and more. WES mem-bers only.

TORAH ON TUESDAYS
7 pm to 9 pm
2nd & 4th Tuesdays of each month
Led by Susan Schorr
All are welcome to join this ongoing study of the Torah in English. Drop in and join the conversation, currently read-ing the Isaac chapters in Genesis.

WISE AGING: LIVING WITH JOY, RESILIENCE AND SPIRIT
4:00 pm to 5:30 pm
8 Wednesdays, beginning Oct. 10, 2018
Led by Sandy Warshaw
Six-week course to explore the power to prepare, to become stronger, more resili-ent and navigate the challenges of aging. Limited to 10-12 participants aged 60+. WES members only.

SIX SHORT STORIES BY ISRAELI WRITERS (IN TRANSLATION)
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Mondays, Oct. 15, 22, 29; Nov. 5, 12, 19, 2018
Led by Carole Kessner
Inspired by the present tense relationship between many American Jews and Israel, we will choose six stories to read in translation by Israeli writers, beginning with Nobel Laureate S.Y. Agnon (1888-1970) who was the veritable founding novelist of Israeli fiction. Then we might consider the German-born Aharon Appel-feld (1932-2018), as well as sabra writers such as Amos Oz, A.B. Yehoshua and David Grossman. We will also read some contemporary writers.

FAMOUS JEWISH TRIALS IN MODERN HISTORY
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Thursday, Dec. 13; Wednesdays, Dec. 19, 26, 2018; Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019
Led by Irwin Wall
We will focus on the most famous and historical-ly significant trials in modern Jewish history for their insight on the dilemmas of Jewish moderni-zation and acculturation: The Dreyfus Affair, The Mendel Beilis ritual murder case, The Leo Frank trial and lynching, The Rosenberg case, The Holocaust on trial: David Irving versus Deborah Lipstadt on Holocaust Denial.

LEONARD COHEN: SPORTSMAN, SHEPHERD AND LAZY BASTARD (IN HIS OWN WORDS)
7:00 pm to 9:00pm
5 Wednesdays, Jan. 16, 30; Feb. 6, 20; Mar. 6, 2019
Led by Susan Schorr
Study the values and messages in Leonard Cohen’s poetry and songs that often used everyday experiences to transmit universal and intensely personal sacred truths.

FACING ETERNITY: GREAT AMERICAN POETS SEEK THE DIVINE
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
2 Wednesdays, March 27, April 3, 2019
Led by Art Spar
Do we believe in God, or is God dead? Can finite humans experience the eternal? This mini-class will look at what great American poets have said on the subject. Emily Dickin-son peers at the chasm between mortal life and eternity. Walt Whitman perceives the beauty of living within an endless cycle. Wal-lace Stevens reconstructs ancient beliefs into a worship of the divine world. Edna St. Vincent Millay defiantly stares death in the eye. Believ-ers and doubters are welcome.

SHABBAT-BASED LEARNING

TORAH STUDY
9:00 am to 10:00 am
Shabbat mornings
Led by Rabbi Georgette Kennebrae
Every week, Rabbi Kennebrae leads text study of the weekly Torah portion. As a learning community, we seek to draw on our texts, honor them for what they represented in their time of creation and explore how they can be applied in our time.

SHABBAT STUDY MINYAN
10:00 am to 11:15 am
Shabbat mornings
Led by Michael Graff
Close study of essential Jewish texts. Reading in advance of each session required.

HEALTH EFFECTS OF 9/11: THE COSTS OF RECOVERY AND WORK
Saturday, Sept. 22 after Kiddush
Presentation by Mayris Webber

ART AND THE BIBLE
Saturdays, Nov. 3, 10, 17, 1:30 to 3:00 pm
Led by Connie Goldfarb
Interactive seminars in which different artists’ interpretation of selected Torah stories will be examined.

HAMATMID/JEWISH ETHICS
1:30 pm to 3:00 pm
Shabbat afternoons
Led by Susan Schorr
Drop in any Shabbat and join the discussion. First and third Saturdays we study texts—either the haftarah of the day or selected passages from the prayerbook. On the second and fourth Saturdays, we discuss ethics drawing from our tradition and our life experiences.

CHUG IVRI
2:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Last Shabbat of each month
Held in members’ homes
Led by David Goldfarb
A chance to gain fluency in Hebrew by reading and discussing stories, poetry and articles on current affairs.

 

SCHOLAR-IN-RESIDENCE WEEKEND

 - TBA -
 

MIDDAH (MORAL TRAITS) STUDY

TIKKUN MIDDOT PROJECT
WES members continue to study middot using the Tikkun Middot Project materials from the Institute for Jewish Spirituality as well as other resources, designed to promote the development of a contemporary Jewish spirituality practice.

MIDDAH ON MONDAYS STUDY GROUP
7 pm to 9 pm
Third Monday of each month
All WES members are welcome to join this ongoing group which explores West End’s Middah of the Month using both traditional materials and a wealth of texts from modern authors, pop culture and more.


West End Synagogue is committed to universal adult study of Jewish sources, history and cultural expression in its many forms. Through our Yad Mordecai Adult Education Project, we pursue our vision of a congregation as literate and well-educated in Jewish terms as it is in secular terms.  

Adult Education programs and activities focus on the vital areas of education, community, and outreach:

  • Education - Working to deepen the congregation's Jewish knowledge at all levels through educational and cultural programs and events.
  • Community - Involving members, enhancing interaction among the various WES populations, enriching the communal life of the congregation, and complementing school programs for parents.
  • Outreach - Providing educational opportunities for the community at large that enhance Jewish living and promote Reconstructionism.

Activities sponsored by Adult Education include:

  • Single-session lectures and courses, as well as longer series on selected topics by our Rabbi, Cantor, and invited speakers.
  • A variety of musical, theatrical, and literary programs.
  • Scholar in Residence and Artist in Residence programs that bring prominent figures in Jewish thought and culture to West End Synagogue.

For more information contact the wesoffice [at] westendsynagogue.org (WES Office).

Contact

190 Amsterdam Avenue (at 69th Street)
New York, NY 10023
Phone: (212) 579-0777
Fax: (212) 579-2669
Email: admin [at] westendsynagogue.org
Affiliated with the Jewish Reconstructionist movement, Reconstructing Judaism
 

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