Adult Education

Testimonials from Israeli Soldiers: A Panel with Breaking the Silence

Hear from Rebecca Strober, the daughter of one of our past presidents, and new congregant, Nathan Hersh. Both Becca and Nathan are IDF (Israeli Defence Force) veterans and part of a group called Breaking the Silence, which records testimonies from the perspectives of the soldiers about the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories.

Yom Kippur Meditation Study

The session will be led by Ben-Zion Friedman, who will discuss the science behind the benefits of meditation. Ellen Poster will show how Jonah’s ordeal in the belly of the beast may be interpreted as a meditation on personal transformation, and Mel ‘Moshe’ Seligsohn will lead a guided practice. The curious and the experienced are welcome.


Sunday Seminar: What Do We Believe? with Rabbi Emeritus Alan Fuchs

Over the four sessions of this course, we will trace and discuss the development of God-belief in Israelite/Jewish history. It will begin with tracing the Biblical origins of the religion of ancient Israel. It then will discuss the development of different Jewish theologies of the last two thousand years. The underlying question of the course will be: Is it necessary to believe in God in order to identify as a Jew? Some reading will be suggested. RSVP to Candice Nemoff.

Sunday Seminar: "A Lifetime of Genesis' with Rabbi Henry Zoob

Rabbi Henry A. Zoob, 1955 Confirmand at Rodeph Shalom, Returns to Speak about his New Book A Lifetime of Genesis.

Rabbi Zoob, Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Beth David in Westwood, Mass., will speak about his new book, A Lifetime of Genesis. The book features two major themes. One theme is devoted to the idea that the Covenant of Abraham provides the fundamental structure of the Book of Genesis; the second theme is that the lives of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in Genesis are our lives.  

RSVP to Candice Nemoff.

A Taste of Judaism: Designed for the Curious, Unaffiliated Beginner

This three-session experience (no cost), open to individuals and couples from all faith backgrounds, is designed for those interested in learning about Judaism. Synagogue members are not eligible to enroll. Reach out to your extended family members, future in-laws, neighbors, and friends, and offer them a 'taste' of what makes Judaism so special right here. For questions and to enroll, contact Alicia Broudy ([email protected]) or 267-930-7286.

A Taste of Judaism is an initiative of the Union for Reform Judaism.

Day of Learning

Day of Learning is an opportunity twice each year for congregants to teach and learn from each other. The program is designed for those at least 50 years old, but all ages are welcome.

We hope that studying together– Jewish topics or secular topics through a Jewish lens– will deepen profound connections to self, others, our synagogue, Judaism, and God.

Click here to register.

Questions? Contact Gail ‘Malka’ Meister or Ellen Poster

New Beginnings

This session is at the Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El Mikveh at 6pm.

Join us to discuss issues around identity, family, and community when converting to Judaism. By participating in this group, there is no assumption that everyone will convert. Anyone in the 2019 Introduction to Judaism class or has previously taken the course, RS members, and prospective members are welcome to join us. There is no cost for RS members. Cost for non-RS members is $25. 

Register here.

New Beginnings

Discuss issues around identity, family, and community when converting to Judaism. By participating, there is no assumption that everyone will convert. Anyone in the 2019 Introduction to Judaism class or has previously taken Intro, RS members, and prospective members are welcome to join us. There is no cost for RS members. Cost for non-RS members is $25. 

Register here.

Questions? Contact Alicia Broudy.

The Final Tally: Israel's Election Results with Michal Sella from the New Israel Fund

As Israelis make sense of election results this April, Michal Sella, Director of the Shatil Center for Policy Change, The New Israel Fund’s action arm in Israel, will discuss the implications of the election and look at the path ahead for Israeli democracy. Light refreshments provided.

The New Israel Fund is the leading organization advancing and defending democracy in Israel and doesn't support or oppose any candidate or political party for election; we look at the big picture and share the most important stories about issues that affect Israelis from all walks of life.

The Book of Samuel with Dan Slipakoff, Rabbinic Student, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Join Dan Slipakoff for a three part exploration on one of the greatest pieces of Biblical literature; politics, power, romance, intrigue— against a backdrop of the tribes of Israel becoming a nation. Two tragically flawed kings struggle to balance ruling the monarch and upholding God's covenant. All levels of learners are welcome!

Contact Candice Nemoff for more information and to RSVP.

What is Reform Judaism? A Discussion of the History of Reform Judaism —and its Evolution with Rabbi Emeritus Alan Fuchs

Read and discuss documents created by the founders of our movement and subsequent leaders, as well as the environment in which they were written. Attendees will have the opportunity to reflect on personal beliefs, especially as they relate to the continuing development of Reform Judaism.

Contact Candice Nemoff for more information and to RSVP.

Sunday Seminar: Aligning your Life with your Values- Using your Time, Talent, Treasure and Ties with Amy Holdsman and Rabbi Freedman

Amy Holdsman, RS member and President and CEO of Essential Leadership  (Coaching for Purposeful Engagement and Social Impact) and Rabbi Freedman will take us through a process of looking at our lives, identifying what is most meaningful, and exploring ways to align our time and resources to support what we value most.

RSVP to Candice Nemoff

Sunday Seminar: Your Ethical Legacy with Rabbi David Levin

The Jewish tradition has always focused on our Ethical Legacy and our connections between the generations.  One extraordinary way to connect is through the Ethical Will–a document we share with our loved ones passing on our values and blessings.

In this series, Rabbi David Levin will share the wisdom of our tradition, as well as new and unique approaches to creating your own Ethical Will. 

RSVP to Candice Nemoff. Questions? Contact Charles Kline

Discover Israel Through a Filmmaker’s Lens

The Beit Berl College Film Department students, one Arab and one Jewish, shine a light on the little-seen issues in Israel. A discussion with the filmmakers will follow the films.

Join together for a light dinner. A donation of $10 is suggested. RSVP here

This program is funded in part by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Israeli Cultural Fund.

Sponsored by Richard Berkman & Toni Seidl.

The International School of Peace Presentation and Discussion

Learn about The International School of Peace— a low cost, high impact school for children between the ages of 5 -16 in the refugee camp on the Island of Lesbos, a Greek Island near Turkey. This school, the brainchild of Israeli and  Arab educators, provides children with an environment that promotes collaboration, celebration of differences and similarities, safety, security, and peaceful coexistence among people who have been historically at odds with each other. Contact Stacy Wyn Sarno for information.

Sunday Seminar: God's Monsters with Dr. Esther J. Hamori, Professor of Hebrew Bible at Union Theological Seminary

God's Monsters with Dr. Esther J. Hamori, Professor of Hebrew Bible at Union Theological Seminary

In the biblical imagination, the heavens are teeming with life—and it isn’t all angels singing. God is surrounded by hybrid creatures, vengeful spirits, divine hitmen, and other bizarre figures who commit remarkably violent acts, all in God’s employ. Who are the monsters skulking through the Bible and what are they telling us about their God? Find out the answers in this Sunday Seminar.

Louis Magaziner and Julian Francis Abele: The Story of an Unusual Philadelphia Friendship with Amy Cohen

Julian Abele and Louis Magaziner, the first African American and first Jew to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania's School of Architecture, forged a bond as students that endured for the rest of their lives. In this presentation, Magaziner's
great-grandniece explores this unusual friendship between two prominent Philadelphia architects. Members of the extended Magaziner family have been part of the Rodeph Shalom community for generations.

City of Sisterly Activism: Philadelphia Jewish Women's Historical Legacy of Social Advocacy with Melissa Klapper

During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, American Jewish women were consistently and publicly engaged in all the major issues of their day, including suffrage, birth control, Zionism, and the labor and peace movements.  Philadelphia was home to numerous American Jewish women whose activism was grounded in their gender, religious, cultural, and ethnic identities.  This talk will explore some of their stories and their impact on both American Jewish history and American women's history.

Count to a Thousand with author Caroline Igra

Caroline Goldberg Igra, an art historian, author, and triathlete, born, bred and educated in the United States, and one of the very first to celebrate her Bat Mitzvah at Rodeph Shalom, has spent the last thirty years living in Israel. Her novel, "Count to a Thousand," tells the story of an American expatriate who constructs a purposefully insular life in Israel similar to the one she'd expected to live back in the United States until it's time to send her eldest child to the army.


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