Adult Education Programme, 5776

  • Regular Classes—Returning:
    • Mystic Mocha: weekly from Friday, Oct 9
    • Lunch & Learn: weekly from Tuesday, Oct 27
    • Morashah: dates TBA
    • Calling All Artists: One evening per month, from Tuesday Oct 27
  • Regular Classes—New: 
    • Beginner Hebrew: 10 classes from Wed October 7, 7pm
    • Ḥug Ivrit (Hebrew Circle): Conversational Hebrew from Nov. 3
    • Baby Yoga: Every Monday in November, 10:45 – 11:45 am
    • Aleph Through the Looking Glass: Wednesdays, Jan 20–Feb 24
    • Philosopher’s Cafe with Alan Rutkowski (dates TBA). 
  • Special Events—Autumn 2015: 

For more details, read on…

Mystic Mocha, 5776

Fridays, 12:30–1:30pm, from Oct 9th, at the Solstice Café on Pandora St.

Come explore the weekly Torah portion with Rabbi Harry. Together we will mine classical Kabbalistic and Ḥassidic commentaries to find personal insights and spiritual nourishment, as we search for deeper meaning and understanding. Grab a nosh and join Rabbi Harry for this weekly learning.

Participation by donation


Thursdays, 7pm, at the synagogue

This class is intended for people who
have taken the Intro to Judaism class or any members who would like to deepen
their knowledge of what it means to live a Jewish life. Contact the office or
Rabbi Harry for more information. 

Lunch & Learn, 5776

Tuesdays, 12:30–1:30pm from Oct 13th, at the synagogue

Bring your dairy brown bag lunch and join Rabbi Harry for some spiritual nourishment at lunchtime. We take a particular text, then work our way through it over the weeks, through a progressive Torahitic lens. You will gain personal insight into and more profound meaning of, the weekly Torah portion. If you have a burning Jewish question we can address that too.  

Participation by donation

Calling All Artists

Tuesdays, October 27 onwards

Returns for a ninth season! Artists of all media—writers, graphic artists, visual artists, fabric artists, mixed media, musicians, dancers—are invited to study with Rabbi Harry on a particular theme, exploring biblical, rabbinical, and traditional commentaries. This year the theme will be the Revelation on Mt. Sinai, and the concept of revelation itself: what is revealed, what is hidden, what is known at a soul level, what cannot be known.

After 5 sessions of study, one evening per month, continuing until the end of February, artists will interpret the theme and present their work at a Gala Evening in June, around the time of Shavuot.

Art as Midrash—what could be more exciting?

Cost is $50 for members, $75 for non-members, with possible additional costs to create a chapbook of the artists’ work.  Watch this space for details of registration.

Beginner Hebrew

10 classes of 2 hours each, from Wed October 7, 7pm

Your Adult Ed team is delighted to welcome Betsy Boeno, who will teach our new beginner Hebrew class.  She will use the classic Hebrew alphabet, but the main focus of the course will be conversation and giving you the confidence to start speaking very quickly.

Betsy has extensive experience teaching Hebrew. She attended high school in Israel and helped new olim with their Hebrew.  For a number of years she was a tourist guide for visiting Israelis in Turkey, where she also taught Hebrew at a number of synagogues.  She taught a class here over the summer, and some of the comments from her students include:

“Betsy makes learning Hebrew such fun and you learn so much.”  

“She is so enthusiastic.”

“I go into her class feeling tired and lethargic and I come out completely re-energized.”

$100 for members, $140 for non-members.

Download the Registration Form

Ḥug Ivrit: Conversational Hebrew club

Tuesdays, November 3 onwards, 10:45–11:45 am

Conversational Hebrew with native speaker Dahlia Beck

Is your Hebrew well beyond the beginner level, but you know you require more practice speaking in order to improve your listening, comprehension and vocabulary skills? Our new Ḥug Ivrit may be just what you are looking for.  We’ll meet in informal settings, such as coffee shops and private homes, to immerse ourselves in Hebrew conversation and culture, under Dahlia’s careful guidance.

Just think, after only a few sessions you may find yourself discussing the news coming out of Israel, in HEBREW – how cool is that?  

Participation – by donation.

Details on places and times to be announced. How often Ḥug Ivrit meets will be decided at the first session.

Baby Yoga

Every Monday in November 10:45–11:45 am, at the synagogue.

Please come and join Yoga Therapist  Michelle Rubin & baby Hudson for this fun and therapeutic class. Michelle draws from 30 years of personal Yoga practice and has over a decade of local and international teaching experience.

Michelle & baby Hudson will lead you through simple but effective poses to help you reclaim your hips & shoulders while preparing your back for your ever growing bundle of joy.

  • Who is it for: Caregiver(s) & baby. Older siblings are welcome to join in and thankfully new resident bubbie (grandma) Barb Pelman will be on hand to help entertain them with storytelling and activities.
  • Cost: Donation to synagogue of $10 pre-register for all 5 classes OR $5 drop-in fee.  Please bring cash or cheque to first class.
  • What to bring : Yoga mat(s) & a comfy blanket or rug for baby.

For additional yoga information please email Michelle.

This is a great opportunity to meet and hang out with other parents of young children.

Forum on marijuana

Tuesday, November 24, 7pm at the Sanctuary

A very important forum on marijuana, led by experts in the field of medical research, the negative effects on society as a whole caused by the criminalization of its use, and how it can be safely decriminalized.  We will also hear from an experienced and respected grower of the plant.  Our own Rabbi Harry will moderate and discuss the halakhic implications of its use.

Watch for further details shortly.

Aleph Through the Looking Glass: The course

Wednesdays, Jan 20–Feb 24, 2016, at 7:00 pm, at the synagogue

After his acclaimed talks earlier this year, Jonathan Orr-Stav returns with a full five-lesson course to help you master Hebrew script quickly—ideal for any beginner to Hebrew.

This course is a revolutionary and highly effective way of learning the Hebrew aleph-bet. Basing it on his book of the same title, Orr-Stav shows how any literate English speaker can master the essentials of writing in Hebrew within five lessons, separately from the language itself, thanks to a historical kinship between the two alphabets, fundamental manual tendencies known as “chirodynamics”, and a little-known fact that most HFL (Hebrew as a Foreign Language) books would rather you didn’t know. The sessions are projected to be an hour each. Workbooks will be provided.

Cost: $50 to members, $70 to non-members. Orr-Stav’s book, Learn to Write the Hebrew Script: Aleph Through the Looking Glass will also be available at a discounted rate of $25 for anyone interested.  

Philosopher’s Café

Beginning in January and led by Alan Rutkowski.  We’ll meet informally in private homes to discuss Jewish philosophers based on readings, which Alan will provide prior to the meeting, so you’ll have a chance to consider them beforehand.

Possible philosophers will include Abraham Joshua Heschel, David Hartman, Joseph Soloveitchik, Martin Buber and Yeshayahu Leibowitz.  

Participation: by donation.  Watch this space for start dates and times

Adult Education Calendar: updates

“Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know.”

Daniel J. Boorstin

Here are the latest updates for Adult Education. We have added another Folkshul event for December 10 and two exciting classes in modern Hebrew for Winter 2015!

Regular Classes

  • Mystic Mocha– Talk Talmud and Ḥassidic teachings with Rabbi Harry at the Solstice Café on Pandora St. – Fridays, 12:30–1:30 pm
  • Lunch & Learn – Learn about the week’s parashah and other Torah wisdom –  Tuesdays, 12:30–1:30pm, at the synagogue
  • Introduction to JudaismFor those interested in learning more about Judaism, whether they are already Jewish or considering choosing Judaism – Thursdays, 7:30 pm pm at the synagogue
  • MorashahFor people who have taken the Introduction to Judaism class, or any members who would like to deepen their knowledge of what is means to live a Jewish life – Thursdays, 7:00 pm, at the synagogue.

New Hebrew Classes: 

  • Aleph Through the Looking Glass: A five-session course (and book) showing how any literate English speaker can master the essentials of writing in Hebrew in three lessons, separately from the language itself, thanks to historical kinship between the two alphabets (see separate item for details)
  • Bet – You Can Read & Speak HebrewUsing a learner’s Hebrew newspaper and other materials, Dahlia Beck, a native Hebrew speaker with years of experience as an ESL teacher, will lead reading and conversation on a wide variety of topics as well as help you work on Hebrew grammar and vocabulary (see separate item for full details)

LimmudVan – February 9, 2014

A Festival of Jewish Learning & Culture


LimmudVan is the latest in a worldwide movement of non-denominational Jewish learning/culture events.  Originating over 30 years ago in London,  England, Limmud has spread to Paris, New York, Buenos Aires, Jerusalem, Boston, Winnipeg and over 50 other locations.  Each Limmud is independently organized and invites both outside speakers and local – sometimes unknown teachers and leaders from the host community.  Our motto is Every learner is a teacher; every teacher is a learner.

LimmudVan will take place on Sunday, February 9, 2014.  The Sunday of the BC Family Day long weekend – we hope to encourage out- of- towners to take the weekend and come to Vancouver and experience a Jewish learning experience unavailable to them in their home communities and we can arrange home hospitality if needed. The event will be held at King David High School in Vancouver.

The day consists of six blocks, each an hour long, plus an hour for lunch (a kosher lunch is included in the price of your registration).  Within each hour you have a choice of seven different sessions – typically covering Torah text or philosophy, Jewish history, social issues, Jewish identity or living, music or art, and a kids/family program.

That makes 42 different sessions to choose from over the course of the day.  View the full schedule,  where you can click on each colour-coded block and get a full description of the session and the bio of the presenter. If you are a teacher at your synagogue or after school or Sunday program, check out the sessions highlighted as being of special interest to educators.