Adult Education

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Weekly Torah Study with Rabbi Aft

Mondays 7:30pm - 8:45pm

Sha'are Shalom's weekly Torah study meets every week with the exception of Jewish holidays.


In Judaism, Torah study is actually a mitzvah. We have a life-long obligation to consider how our sacred texts relate to our lives, our relationships. our obligations, our families, our civic duties, and nearly every other essential aspect of our existence. One of the most important ways we can do this is to spend some time with the text that will be read in communal worship that week. A reason the Torah has continued to be significant for us is that it offers unlimited opportunities for interpretation and discussion. 


Our weekly study session will begin with a review of the parshah (section of the first five books that will be read on Shabbat) with general discussion encouraged, but limited. Following this, the leader will guide a focused consideration of a part of the parshah of particular interest. Participants will be encouraged (but in no way requied) to actively contribute to the discussion. No background of any kind is needed, and the leader will have the responsibility to explain topics, words, and concepts as necessary. No question will be too basic.


The selection of the parshah will follow the Conservative movements triennial pattern. It will be helpful if participants have access to a good English translation of the Torah for this to work. Online resources are perfectly acceptable. The leader will use the Jewish Publication Society's translation from the Etz Hayim Chumash. (A Chumash includes the Hebrew text of the Torah separated into its 54 constituent weekly Torah portions, together with the haftarah for each portion, and often, translation notes.)


Crash Course in Jewish History

with Steve Kerbel

Wednesdays April 21 - May 26



We will survey Jewish History over 6 weeks, from its patriarchal origins in the ancient Near East, through the rise of the Jewish Monarchy, its fall and exile under the Roman, the 2000-year Diaspora and the history of modern Israel.


Steve Kerbel is an independent education consultant in the Greater Washington DC area, and has been involved in Jewish education, formal and informal, youth group, camp, day school and congregational school for the last 30 years. Steve serves as a consultant for the Center for Israel Education in Atlanta, and teaches for the Haberman Institute of Jewish Studies as well as serving as the DC area director for the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning. 

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