Lectures & Courses

At Central Synagogue

Adult Engagement Programming


Click here to view a complete list of Spring 2018 Adult Engagement Events.

Interested in presenting at Central Synagogue? Contact Lauren Dickel


Upcoming Lectures and Courses:


Bereshit I

Tuesdays, January 23 - April 24, 9:30 am | Announced upon registration
Taught by Rabbi Rebecca Rosenthal

Come dive deep into the stories from Adam to Abraham. The stories take us from the universal tales of the creation of the world, the flood, and the Tower of Babel to the foundational tales of Abraham and Sarah, and the beginnings of the Jewish people. The themes of family and faith, honor and dishonor, passion and power provide a rich exploration of our people and ourselves. No prerequisite. Open to members and non-members.

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Pirke Avot, Eighteen Centuries Later: Engaging Rabbinic Wisdom through Poetry and Discussion

Wednesdays, February 21 - March 21, 10:30 am | Announced upon registration
Taught by Jessica Greenbaum

Join award-winning poet Jessica Greenbaum for a unique approach to studying Wisdom of the Sages; A Modern Reading of Pirke Avot. This edition by Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro offers renewed, vitalized translations of iconic teachings on justice, integrity, and virtue, by sixty-five rabbis. No prior poetry or Judaic knowledge required. This class is free and open to members and non-members.

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Carry Your Voices in Joyous Song

February 21, March 21, April 11, May 16, 6:30 pm | Announced upon registration
Taught by Shani Ben Or

If your Jewish holiday soundtrack needs an update, then this class is for you. Together we will discover the wonder of S’fardic Piyutim (religious poems) preserved by Mizrachi Jews and dedicated to some of the most significant dates on the Jewish calendar. We will focus on the sacred texts as well as the inspiring melodies.Through this musical journey, we will explore fascinating narratives, traditions, and other aspects of the holidays. No prerequisite, come to as many or as few as you would like. This class is free and open to members and non-members.

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Teachings of Wonder, Wisdom, and Values

Thursdays, February 8 - April 12, 7:15 pm | Community House
Taught by Joe Septimus

We will explore selected teachings from Torah, Talmud, Midrash, medieval, modern and contemporary sources. Our texts and discussions will enhance and deepen our appreciation of life’s wisdom and Jewish values. All texts will be in English. No prior text study experience required.

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Lunch and Learn Series: Jews on the Chocolate Trail

Monday, March 5, 2018 at 12:30pm | Pavilion
With Rabbi Debbie Prinz

Rabbi Deborah Prinz draws from her world travels on the trail of chocolate to enchant chocoholics everywhere as she unwraps the role of Jews in the trade, retail, and manufacture of chocolate since it was first introduced to Europeans. Activate your inner “choco-dar,” your radar for chocolate experiences, on this delectable journey through the Jewish history of chocolate—a real treat! Explore the surprising Jewish connections to chocolate in this gastronomic adventure. The next time you pick up a piece of chocolate, consider that you are partaking in an expedition into the Jewish and religious past.

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An Evening of Art and Wine: Glass Making with Sasha Kopp

Thursday, March 8, 6:30 pm | Atrium

Come enjoy an evening of art and wine with Central’s very own glass artist, Sasha Kopp. Sasha will guide you through the process of designing and creating your own fused-glass Mezuzah. Come alone, or with a friend – the evening will be fun for all! No prior art experience required. This class is open to members and non-members, there is a fee of $26 per art project.

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New Paradigms for American Jewish Engagement in Israel

April 9 at 6:30 pm | Pavilion

Led by Israeli Reform Rabbi Naamah Kelman, this session will address how American Jews, particularly Reform Jews, can best engage with Israel. We will discuss Women of the Wall, the peace process, and the fight for religious pluralism. Rabbi Kelman will reflect on what is gained and lost from activism, public statements, and twinning projects. There is no fee, but registration is required.

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Walking Tour - Jewish Harlem

Sunday, April 22, 10:45 am | Northeast corner of 125th street and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd.
Led by Rabbi David Kalb

Harlem’s history as a Jewish community dates back to the 1870s. By World War I, it was the second largest Jewish community in the U.S. and the third largest in the world. On this tour, we will walk through this neighborhood and learn about the past, present, and future of this fascinating New York Jewish community. The tour departs from the Northeast corner of 125th street and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. Open to members and non-members.

Registration Coming Soon


Lunch and Learn Series: Movement and Meditation

Monday, April 23, 2018 at 12:30pm | Pavilion

We will explore the ancient Jewish practices of movement and meditation as tools for accessing clarity and shalom—wholeness. After a brief discussion, we will spend most of our time diving into these practices together. The instruction will be accessible and inclusive. If you have never meditated or explored yoga before, you will have the opportunity to experience them for the first time in a welcoming, non-judgmental environment. All levels of physical abilities and all experience levels from brand new beginner to seasoned practitioner are welcome.

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From the British Conquest to Trump’s Declaration: 100 Turbulent Years in Jerusalem

April 26 at 6:30 pm | Pavilion

Join Dr. Elan Ezrachi, the author of Awakened Dream - 50 Years of Complex Unification of Jerusalem, when he discusses key benchmarks and trends that shaped the country’s current political situation. We will also reflect on the place that Jerusalem holds in the hearts and minds of American Jews.

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Challah Baking with Rabbi Rosenthal

Wednesday, May 2, 2018 at 6:30pm | Atrium

Come learn how to bake the best Challah with Rabbi Rebecca Rosenthal! In this two hour session, you will learn how to make Challah dough and have a chance to try it yourself. $15 per person.

Registration Coming Soon


Ongoing Classes

Registration required.