After last year’s huge success we are bringing back our congregational wide Shabbat initiative in January, 2020. Our goal is to have numerous dinners across the congregation, and around New York City, spanning members of all ages. We need hosts and participants! If you are interested in hosting a dinner, or attending one, save the date. More information to come in the late fall.
Mark your calendars for a one time only special screening and discussion with Dr. Ruth Westheimer and Rabbi Angela Buchdahl. We will view portions of the recently released film “Ask Dr. Ruth” and have opportunities to ask Dr. Ruth questions in person. Cost: Free.
Explore the text of Samuel I and II. Together we will look at and compare the translations of the Jewish Publication Society and the more recent translation by UC Berkeley professor Robert Alter, and learn why Alter believes that the character of David is the finest portrayal of a human life from antiquity. Our discussions will work to understand the agendas of the original authors and their subsequent editors.
This class explores the weekly Torah portion from ancient and modern perspectives.
The second year of the Melton core program explores moments in Jewish history as they relate to our collective identity and delves into modern issues in Jewish ethics. Members: $600; Non-Members: $750
Taught by Rina Bergman
This course follows the development of the emerging Jewish nation from their awe-inspiring encounter at Mount Sinai through the building of the tabernacle in the wilderness. Together we will learn about some of the laws and regulations that have become central foundations of Jewish life and discuss how they apply to our lives today. Members: $125; Non-Members: $175
Taught by Lisa Lisser
This course provides students with the opportunity to consider the challenges of Jewish acculturation to American life, and the sacrifices, as well as the contributions, that have been made over the past 200 years. We will explore education, the Three Generation Hypothesis, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, Zionism and the State of Israel, the Civil Rights Movement, and other issues that address American and Jewish culture and identity.Members: $125; Non-Members: $175
Join us as we continue our journey through the Torah, reading a chapter a week. We will pick up where we left off with the Book of Kings, but participation is encouraged at any time.
On the anniversary of one of the most fateful days in modern history, join Rabbi Buchdahl for a conversation with Bari Weiss, New York Times op-ed staff editor and author of the brand-new book, How to Fight Anti-Semitism. They will address the rise of anti-Semitism and the danger in allowing hatred and intolerance to grow unchecked.
This event is presented by Central Synagogue and UJA-Federation.
Taught by Jewish Educator Joe Septimus
Together we will plumb the intellectual and spiritual depths of living in Jewish time. Using ancient, medieval and modern texts we will explore the transformative power of Shabbat and the Jewish holidays. Members: $125; Non-members: $175
Explore one of the most radical rabbinic texts in all of Judaism, the Talmud. This year, we will be examining what it means to be a responsible person in a larger society.
Led by Emmy Award-Winning Producer Roger Sherman
Come view and discuss more than a dozen scenes that were not included in the acclaimed documentary In Search of Israeli Cuisine: A Portrait of the Israeli People Told Through Food – Conflict and All. The film’s producer will discuss chefs, home cooks, markets, and traditions from a wide range of cultures including Yemenite, Ashkenazi, Sephardic, Palestinian, Arab, Druze, and many more. Members: $15; Non-members: $18
In celebration of our 180th anniversary, join is for a journey through time and place, to our Synagogue’s lower-east-side roots. This tour will start with an introduction to Central as an evolving Jewish community, visiting sites associated with the congregation’s earliest history when the Lower East Side was Kleindeutschland (“small-Germany”). During the tour we will visit some of the tenements, settlement houses, playgrounds, and public schools where Central members (mostly women) tried to help new immigrants make their way in new and often difficult circumstances. 30 tickets available for each tour date. Members: $35
Taught by Central’s Rabbinic Intern Sarah Berman
Jews have always shaped and been shaped by the places we have lived. Jews in New York City are no different, particularly in the 19th and 20th centuries. Over this five-week course, we will explore the modern Jewish history of New York City through the stories of key individuals and the places that defined them. Our first meeting will convene at Central Synagogue; each subsequent week will take place elsewhere in Manhattan. Together, we will explore museums, synagogues, and other historic buildings. Members: $125; Non-Members: $175
Taught by Award-Winning Poet Jessica Greenbaum
This class will take a closer look at some singular Biblical characters, including the daughters of Zelophehad (unique in Torah for fighting for their inheritance), the artisan Betzalel, and the better-known Ruth, Jonah, and the nameless wife of Lot. These characters’ complexities offer depths of renewed recognition when read in the context of our own study, scholarly comments, and contemporary poems. The last half hour of class will be set aside as an optional time for reading poems written by participants in response to our discussions. No prior poetry or Judaic knowledge required.
Taught by Marion Lev Cohen
With political, religious, and cultural tensions in Israel at an all-time high, we will examine the ideas of nationalism, ultra-nationalism, racism, and religious fanaticism, and how they are currently threatening Israel as a Jewish and Democratic state. The class will also explore how these developments impact American Jews at a time of rising anti-Semitism, identity politics, and anti-Israel sentiment. Members: $125 Non-Members: $175
Taught by Central’s Rabbi Nicole Auerbach
Combining study of Jewish sources, history and action, this course will give participants a deeper understanding of the Jewish foundations of social justice, and a framework for navigating their moral choices. Members: $125; Non-Members: $175
Led by acclaimed Israeli Cellist and Educator, and Artistic Director of MusicTalks Elad Kabilio
This special Lunch and Learn will take a deep dive into Israeli music. Kabilio will offer an intimate look at the history of Israeli song and its most inspiring cultural figures through multimedia and video presentations. This session will focus on artists ranging from Naomi Shemer, through the era of the popular army bands, to the rise of “Mizrahi” music with icons such as Zohar Argov; all the way to Eurovision and current trends of world music. Members: $15; Non-members: $18
Taught by Jewish Educator Michal Nachmany
Have you ever dreamt of ordering Israeli food in Hebrew or negotiating prices in the shuk? In this class, we will learn practical words and phrases that will help you have a basic conversation on the streets of Tel Aviv or markets of Jerusalem. Members: $125; Non-Members: $175
Taught by Jewish Educator Michal Nachmany
Would you like to better read and understand Hebrew used during Shabbat or the High Holy Days? In this class, we will go over basic prayers and develop an understanding of key words in liturgy. Morning and evening classes offered. Members: $125; Non-Members: $175
Based on last year’s tremendous success, “Women Cook” returns to Central. Join us as a group of lively Israeli women representing the Moroccan, Bukharin, Ethiopian, and Yemenite culinary traditions host a dinner experience in which we will cook and sample new foods, accompanied by storytelling, singing, and dancing. Families with children welcome.
Members: $25; Member Child: (18 years and under): $18; Non-members: $35; Non-member Child: 18 years and under: $25
Taught by Central’s Rabbi Emeritus Rabbi Peter Rubinstein
Join Rabbi Emeritus Peter Rubinstein for the next installment of this popular series: Current (and Political) Issues Through a Jewish Textual Lens. Session #1 - Fake News and Name-calling; Session #2 - Economic Inequality. Members: Free; Non-Members: $15
Led by Historian Martin Schneit
Channel your inner Mrs. Maisel as we look back at a remarkable time, place and people; one that now exists only in memory. Martin Schneit will detail the history of the Borscht Belt, focusing on such sites as Bungalow Colonies hotels like Grossingers, Concord and Kutcher’s, and comedians including Red Buttons, George Burns, Sid Caesar and Henny Youngman, among many others. Members: $15; Non-members: $18
Roberta Kaplan is leading the legal fight against the hate groups behind the violent alt-right confrontations in Charlottesville. Eric Ward is a national expert in the relationship between anti-Semitism and white supremacy. Together they will join in conversation about their work and the challenges they face in their fight against bigotry. Cost: Free
Join us for one of the most important conversations you have been trying not to have. Together with our community and within our sacred space, Rabbi Lori Koffman and former Central President Howard Sharfstein invite you gather for conversations that will transform the topic of death into a subject that invites introspection and life-affirming dialogue. Through the frame of Jewish tradition and wisdom and with the warmth and sense of connection that comes with sharing a meal, we hope you will find the evening not only empowering, but even uplifting.
Sponsored in part by the Jill and Howard Sharfstein Fund to Support Life’s Journeys. Members: $18; Non-members: $18
Led by Renowned Conductor Cesare Civetta
Join Civetta for a journey through the tumultuous life of cellist, conductor and composer Pablo Casals, a phenomenally courageous and generous peace activist, who gave up his career to protest Franco’s fascism and Hitler’s Nazism, and who moved from Catalonia to Puerto Rico at 80. Enjoy rare recordings, photos, interviews and footage of the great musician and humanitarian, who during his third visit to Israel played for prime ministers just one month before his death at age 97. Members: $15; Non-members: $18
This joyous celebration will be hosted by Elad Kabilio, acclaimed Israeli cellist and educator, and artistic director of MusicTalks. The concert will include Yiddish Theatre Star Daniella Rabbani, Israeli Opera Singer Inbar Goldmann, and Israeli chamber group “12th Night Klezmer.” Revel in international songs and stories inspired by the Festival of Lights; from Klezmer and Ladino, to classical opera and jazz. Families welcome. Members: $18; Non-members: $25.
No registration required and free of charge. Classes take place in our Community House..