Yom Shishi, 9 Tammuz 5778
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Upcoming Adult Education Programs


06.23.2018 9:00 am - 10:00 am


06.24.2018 10:00 am - 11:15 am


06.30.2018 9:00 am - 10:00 am


07.07.2018 9:00 am - 10:00 am


07.08.2018 10:00 am - 11:15 am

We believe that learning is a central part of life for both adults and children, and our adult learning community is an integral component of many members lives in their lifelong pursuit of Jewish literacy and personal growth. Our programs are driven by the diverse interests of our members' and we provide bountiful learning opportunities that are accessible to learners at all levels of understanding. Scroll down to see detailed listings of all our current Adult Education offerings, or click the links below.

Conversational Hebrew

Financial Peace

Foundations of Jewish Family Living (Melton)

Intro to Judaism/Conversion Class

Introduction to Hebrew


The Star and the Crescent: Judaism and Islam (Melton)

Torah Study

Wisdom on Wednesdays

Want to be added to the Adult Ed newsletter? Have ideas for a class you'd like to lead? Contact Jayme Dale, Education Coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Conversation Bubbles

Join other Hebrew students as you practice your conversational Hebrew, stay up to date on current events in Israel, and broaden your vocabulary. Class will spend time chatting exclusively in Hebrew, facilitated by a native speaker for assistance and correction when needed. If you are an intermediate to advanced Hebrew speaker who would like an opportunity to practice and build fluency skills, vocabulary and confidence, come strengthen your skills. The cost of the course is $50. The class meets at Temple Beth Shalom on Sunday afternoons, and is in partnership with Shalom Austin. For more information, contact Shelly Prant at 512-735-8004 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To register or learn more, check out Shalom Austin's website.

This class has been rescheduled to Spring 2018, so keep an eye out for news about it starting up again!

Did you know that Judaism has a tremendous amount to teach us about financial management? This 9-session course, led by Anne Corn, is designed for couples and individuals interested in learning the basics of money management. In addition to videos and materials prepared by Ramsey Solutions and small group discussions, Rabbi Alan Freedman and Rabbi Amy Cohen will present Jewish perspectives on earning and using money. Between classes participants are given “homework” to put figures to paper and to apply the information for their families or for themselves.

Couples are encouraged to take the Financial Peace University course together and individuals are encouraged to select a financial accountability partner. Child care may be available upon request.

The course costs $100 (for Ramsey Solutions Materials) and will happen from 6:30-8:30pm at Temple Beth Shalom on Nov. 8, 15, 29; Dec. 6, 13, 20; and Jan. 3, 10, 17. 

To register or get more information, contact Marissa Wright at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (512) 735-8900.

financial peace logo



What are the Jewish values you want your children to know? Foundations of Jewish Family Living is a learning opportunity for parents that provides a thought-provoking encounter with the core values and ideas of Judaism. At a time in a family’s life when a child is experiencing his or her own Jewish education, this rich learning experience provides you with the learning, the language, and the confidence to be a teacher to your own children and support Jewish learning at home.You'll also get meaningful connections to PJ Library books and the Shalom Sesame video series. Taught by Rabbi Amy Cohen.

This eight-week class will be held once a month Sundays, October 22nd through May 6th from 9:30am-10:45am in room 204 at Temple Beth Shalom. The class dates are: 10/22, 11/12, 12/10, 1/7, 2/25, 3/25, 4/22, & 5/6.

The course is $60 for JCC/Temple Beth Shalom Members/Melton Graduates and $80 all others. This is part 2 of the series, so returning students will use same textbook as Part 1. New students will get a Student Reader for an addtion $33 dollars. Scholarships are available. For more information please contact Shelly Prant at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 512-735-8086.



Intro to Judaism/Conversion Class is a great course for folks interested in converting to Judaism, non-Jewish family members wanting to learn more to support their Jewish loved ones, or for folks just interested in learning (or relearning!) the basics.

We are thrilled when folks to decide to explore Judaism within our Reform community and we know you will find our members eager to welcome you at Shabbat services and holiday celebrations throughout the year. Choosing a Jewish life is a huge step and we believe you will find deep meaning and a sense of purpose within Jewish rituals, traditions and our shared history.

Our conversion process is unique and we welcome students who are interested in learning more about Judaism, but who may not be ready to declare their intention for conversion. That is why we also call this class our Introduction to Judaism series. We strive to create a cohesive and supportive community of learners, and therefore we offer various points of entry throughout the year while encouraging all of our students to remain in each series for the duration of that topic.

Learn more by looking through our Intro to Judaism/Conversion pamphlet. To register for class or learn more, please contact Jayme Dale, Education Coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Alef Bet


Introduction to Hebrew

 For adult beginners or those who want to brush up on their skills

This class is now full! There are no more spots remaining. To be put on the waiting list in the event that a student drops the course, please contact Jayme Dale Mallindine at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Do you want to be able to follow Jewish religious services more easily? Help your child with Hebrew homework? Register today and join us for our new Introduction to Hebrew class!

Dates (Sundays for 10 weeks):
Feb 4, 11, 25
March 4, 25
April 8, 15, 22, 29
May 6
Time: 9:00-10:00 a.m.
Location: Temple Beth Shalom, 7300 Hart Lane, Room 201
Cost: $36

Focusing on introducing Hebrew letters, vowels, and basic reading skills, the class will also touch on the history of Hebrew, the structure of the prayer book, basic prayer vocabulary and verb “roots,” and the melodies and meanings of Friday night prayers.

The format of the class will be fun and interactive, with plenty opportunity for practice. The class is designed for beginners but open to those seeking a review of rusty Hebrew skills as well. Although the focus is on prayerbook Hebrew, the reading skills will transfer to conversational or Israeli Hebrew.

Students will need to purchase the textbook Aleph Isn't Tough, but Temple Beth Shalom will provide supplementary materials and manipulatives.

Instructor Rivkah Shieber has been teaching Hebrew of all types and levels to all ages in Austin for more than 20 years, the past several at Temple Beth Shalom.

To register and pay for the course, please fill out this short online registration form. To learn more, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Education Coordinator.

mussar logoUpdated October 10, 2017

The study of Mussar, an integrative experience of studying values through texts, meditation, and personal practice began last fall and is continuing this year with two new groups forming immediately after the Holidays.

Mussar offers a Jewish pathway and a set of teachings that will help you find your way toward becoming your best self, and our community to reach its higher potential. Mussar might best be described as “Jewish spiritual ethics” and has been practiced for centuries by people who sought to cultivate and strengthen the qualities of the inner mensch.

Mussar has been undergoing a revival in the Jewish world, and we are fortunate to be able to offer this curriculum created by The Mussar Institute, the leaders in the field. This program is endorsed by the Union for Reform Judaism and is suitable for all, regardless of level of Jewish knowledge. There are no pre-requisites nor is Hebrew required.

Come join in small group study—one course option led by Rosa Schnyer, the other option led by Allison Kramer and Rabbi Cohen—as we explore together in a safe and caring environment what the Jewish tradition has to teach us about the traits of humility, gratitude, equanimity, patience, order and honor, among others—and discover how you can improve these qualities in your own life. 

There are two options to take Mussar this year:

The first option is in-person on Mondays, starting Oct. 30, from 7:00-8:15 p.m. at Temple Beth Shalom with Rosa Schnyer. In addition to individualized guidance and group interaction through a moderated forum, Rosa’s Monday night group will emphasize the development of a contemplative, Jewish meditation practice to fully integrate and embody Mussar into our daily life. The registration deadline is Oct. 16 for this Mussar option.

The second option is a remote course through Zoom (an online video classroom) starting Nov. 1 on Wednesdays from 8:00 p.m.-9:15 p.m. with Allison Kramer and Rabbi Cohen. We will all see each other and learn together as a class from the comforts of our own homes. NO paying a babysitter or driving in the dark, this class is perfect for anyone looking for other ways to connect with Judaism. To participate, you'll just need 1) an internet connection and a computer with a video camera attachment or installed, 2) earphones with a microphone (regular Apple earbuds work), and 3) a quiet spot in your house without interruptions. The registration deadline is Oct. 18 for this Mussar option.

Class dates:

In-person class  Remote class
 Oct. 30  Nov. 1
 Nov. 13  Nov. 15
 Dec. 4  Nov. 29
 Dec. 18  Dec. 13
 Jan. 8  Jan. 10
 Jan. 22  Jan.  24
 Feb. 5  Feb. 7
 Feb. 19  Feb. 21
 March 5  March 7
 March 21


The course, including the textbook, costs $90. If you already own the book or don't want to purchase it through Temple Beth Shalom, the course costs $75. You will receive a copy of the course textbook "Everyday Holiness: The Jewish Spiritual Path of Mussar" by Alan Morinis, and through group meetings as well as personal study and practice, we will explore these soul traits together. 



Explore the historical evolution of the relationship between Judaism and Islam, between Jews and Muslims. Co-existing at times peacefully and at times contentiously for more than a millennium, Jews often fared better in Muslim countries than Christendom. This course will broaden our understanding and challenge our assumptions, a necessary exercise to make in our tention-filled era, whether in the Middle East and Europe, around the world or at home.

This Melton course is organized by Shalom Austin and taught by our very own Rabbi Freedman. The course meets on Tuesdays from January 30th through April 3rd from 7:30 p.m. - 8:45 p.m at Temple Beth Shalom in Room 202/203. The course is $150 for JCC Members & Melton Grads and $175 for all others. The textbook for the course costs $50. Registration is online through Shalom Austin

For questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. over at Shalom Austin.

When: Shabbat Morning (Saturday) at 9am. 

Where: Room 202/203 at Temple Beth Shalom.torahblessing

What: The study of Torah, one of the 613 mitzvot, is of paramount importance in Judaism. Yet who knew the performance of this mitzvah could be such fun? Under the guidance of Rabbi Freedman, students learn Torah in a relaxed, highly interactive environment. Throw on your jeans and drop in any time to join in this meaningful Saturday morning experience.

Visit us on Wednesday evenings for lay-led offerings featuring different scholars and topics to explore throughout the year.

Classes are held on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. in rooms 202/203 unless otherwise indicated. Check our temple's Calendar for the most updated information and schedule. 

Next class:

A Look into Jewish Justice
with Rabbi Freedman, Stephanie Glass, and Bob Batlan

March 7, 21, 28, and April 4

Join us for a thought-provoking four-part series in which we examine Jewish values and history related to community, personal responsibility, and justice in conjunction with examining issues affecting our city.

On April 4, join us for the last part of series in exploring Reform-based Jewish Values. For our final session, we will be discussing current issues around immigration. We will hear voices from both sides of the issue, including speakers from the Worker's Defense Project.



Previous Wisdom on Wednesday classes have included:

Process Theology with Thomas Grimshaw
October 18 and 25

Process theology emphasizes the concept of God and reality as expressions of continuous, dynamic relational change. Its roots are in process philosophy, which was developed by Alfred North Whitehead in the early part of the 20th century. Charles Hartshorne carried the process philosophy concepts into the realm of theology by introducing God into the philosophic picture. Several Jewish thinkers, such as Sandra Lubarsky, have sought to connect process theology with Judaism. Rabbi Bradley Artson has made an excellent contribution to understanding process thought in a Jewish context with his book, "God of Becoming and Relationship."

The Ketubah, the Talmud, and You with Bernie Mayoff
November 8
The ketubah is the original pre-nuptial contract. Do you know what it actually says, and what the Talmud says about your marital obligations — on cooking, on clothing, on sex? We’ll look at what the texts say, we’ll discuss some modern cases studies (do you praise an ugly bride?), and we’ll laugh a lot.  If you have a ketubah, bring it. Bernie Mayoff was fascinated by this topic when Noam Zion of Jerusalem's Hartman Institute presented it in Dallas. Bernie has presented the session for classes and havurot in Dallas and now that he's part of our Austin congregation he'll lead this discussion here.

Life Eternal in the Hebrew Bible with Rabbi Monty
January 10

Does the Hebrew Bible refer to the "World to Come"? Rabbi Monty Eliasov will present a list of verses which show clear references to the Eternal Life in the sacred texts of Ancient Israel. There is no requirement to bring a copy of the Tanach.

Learn the History of Klezmer Music and Enjoy Listening to the Band! with Mark Kapner
January 24
Our course on the history of klezmer music will trace the origins of the genre in Eastern Europe, explain and demonstrate the various dance forms, talk about some of the current klezmer bands in the United States, and play lots of klezmer melodies. The band, KlezAustin, consists of clarinet, accordion, guitar and string bass.

Shalom is Way More Than Hello, Goodbye, and Peace, with Rabbi Monty
February 7
Shalom is also a Divine Name, and pursuing the goals of Shalom is a major way to be serving G-D.  Just like we are always moving towards health or illness, or towards good or evil, so also, we are always moving towards peace or conflict.