Lectures & Courses

At Central Synagogue

Adult Engagement Programming


Click here to view a complete list of Spring 2019 Adult Engagement Events and Courses.

Interested in presenting at Central Synagogue? Please contact Lauren Dickel, Adult Engagement Program Manager, at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Upcoming Lectures and Courses:


BRCA The Next Frontier: Testing, Prevention, Ethics, And Law

Tuesday, April 30, 6:30 pm | Lindenbaum Pavilion
Join the Basser Center for BRCA at the University of Pennsylvania and Central Synagogue for a dynamic panel discussion about BRCA mutations and hereditary cancers.Topics will include recent research updates, insurance and discrimination issues, genetic testing, fertility, and more. Q&A will follow. Light snacks will be served.

Panelists: Dr. Susan Domchek, Basser Center Executive Director and Medical Oncologist; Dr. Kenneth Offit, Memorial Sloan Kettering Medical Oncologist; Dr. Nicole Schreiber-Agus, Community Genetics Educator; Erika Stallings, Attorney, BRCA carrier and Patient Advocate; Moderated by journalist Jill Werman Harris

This event is free to the public with registration.

Register »


Torah Matters: Reproductive Health and the Jewish Tradition

Thursday, May 2; 6:00 pm | Lindenbaum Pavilion
Taught by Central Clergy

Central’s clergy reflect upon contemporary issues through the lens of Jewish text and tradition. Each evening will begin with dinner, followed by an hour of learning and discussion. Come with your CORE Group or on your own, these discussions are a wonderful way to continue to get to know both the clergy and your fellow members.

Join Rabbi Lori Koffman for our next session where we will explore reproductive health and the Jewish tradition. With many states introducing “heartbeat bills,” and New York state passing the landmark Reproductive Health Act, there has been a good deal of controversy in the news lately regarding abortion and family planning. Come hear what Jewish tradition has to say about these issues, and how the national debate raises some serious concerns around the First Amendment’s separation of Church and State. Dinner will be served.

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Walking Tour with Rabbi David Kalb: Jewish Gangsters of the Lower East Side

Sunday, May 5, 10:45 am | Meeting location announced upon registration

Walk the streets of the Lower East Side – the base of operations to Prohibition-era gangsters Meir Lansky, Bugsy Siegel, and Arnold Rothstein – as we visualize where these Jewish criminals engaged in their nefarious activities, and discuss the issues of power, ethics, and acculturation that ensued.

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Dinner and Learning with Rachel Korazim: “The Other as a Mirror”

Wednesday, May 15, 6:00 pm | Lindenbaum Pavilion

Join us as we welcome extraordinary Israeli educator Rachel Korazim as she leads a discussion entitled “The Other as a Mirror.” Together we will read literary works of both Jews and Arabs, exploring images of Arabs in Jewish literature which will be juxtaposed with Arab Israeli literary works depicting a society in which they often feel disenfranchised. Through this lens we will begin to better understand the distance between these two peoples who share one land. Dinner will be at 6:00 pm and the discussion will begin at 6:30 pm.

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Israel Story Live

Tuesday, May 21, 7:00 pm | 92nd Street Y (1395 Lexington Ave. between 91 and 92nd Street on Lexington)

Join us as we experience an evening of magical live radio with the creators of the award-winning radio show and podcast, “Israel Story” — known as “the Israeli ‘This American Life.’” With its engaging blend of live storytelling, music and dynamic multimedia, “Israel Story Live” provides a unique entry into the lives of Israelis that is sophisticated, nuanced, funny, and moving. We will gather after the show at a reception with the cast. This program is a part of Central’s celebration of Israel’s 71st year of independence. Tickets are $18. We expect this event to sell out, so be sure to purchase tickets now.

IsraelStoryLive

Show Description:

The Wall: A Look at the Barriers That Separate Us and Those That Bring Us Together

Everywhere we turn these days, it seems “the wall” is staring back at us. It protects and alienates; keeps people in and out; and can—as we all have seen—bring mighty governments to a standstill. With unusually splendid storytelling, live music, and stunning visuals, the “Israel Story” team will redefine the ubiquitous “W word.”

Following the event, join Rabbis Peter Rubinstein, Nicole Auerbach, Lori Koffman and Mo Salth for a free reception complete with Israeli wine and light snacks at the 92Y! All are welcome.

Buy tickets here.


If you’ve never listened to an “Israel Story” podcast, we recommend you click and listen to one or all three below. Each episode explores Israeli society through surprising and intimate stories:
1. A Better Place?

2. Oath of Blood

3. 1978


This show is presented in partnership with 92Y, Central Synagogue, the Jewish Agency for Israel, the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, Park Avenue Synagogue, Sutton Place Synagogue and UJA Federation.  Israel Story LIVE is a creative initiative of the Marlene Meyerson JCC.

Additional Shows: Sunday, May 19, 5:00 pm and Monday, May 20, 7:00 pm, at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan.Visit jccmanhattan.org for more information.


Enduring Disagreements: A Speaker Series on Anti-Semitism

Thursday, May 23, 6:00 pm | Lindenbaum Pavilion

Join us as we are led in conversation by Ilana Kaufman, who will discuss the intersection of U.S. Jewish identity and race, as animated by modern movements for social justice.  Kaufman is Director of the Jews of Color Field Building Initiative, and a nationally regarded thought leader on issues of race and racism in the Jewish community.  Informed by community pain-points such as Jewish communal reactions to the Women’s March and Movement for Black Lives Platform, Kaufman will explore notions of anti-Semitism, community and movement-building, as well as how to effectively partner with groups with whom we disagree—or who disagree with us.

Register »


Soulful Thursdays at Central

Thursdays, January 24 - June 27, 12:00 pm | Community House

Beginning in January, we will be offering a weekly series of drop-in programs on mindfulness, healing, and rejuvenation to help you restore, replenish, and reconnect. These programs are open to all.

Healing Service
First Thursday of the Month: Feb. 7, Mar. 7, Apr. 4, May 2, Jun. 26
Led by Rabbi Lori Koffman and Rory Michelle Sullivan
A sacred space to process our fears and struggles. Through prayer, meditation, sharing, and singing, we will find healing, strength, and hope in one another.

Mindful Movement and Meditation
Second Thursday of the Month: Feb. 14, Mar. 14, Apr. 11, May 9, Jun. 13
Led by Cantor Julia Cadrain
A rare time-out. A place to exhale, stretch, and meditate before we rejoin the fray and frenzy of our typical routines. No special clothing, background, or equipment is required.

Caregiver Café
Third Thursday of the Month: Feb. 21, Mar. 21, Apr. 18, May 16
Led by Rabbi Lori Koffman and Social Worker Jackie Pykon
Caring for a sick loved one can be fraught, confusing, exhausting, and difficult. Offering support both practically and emotionally, the first half-hour will feature a visiting expert, followed by a facilitated sharing session.

Joy is Central
Fourth Thursday of the Month: Jan. 24, Feb. 28, Mar. 28, Apr. 25, May 23
Led by Rabbi Lori Koffman
Inspired by Rabbi Buchdahl’s Yom Kippur sermon reflecting on the Torah’s commandment to be joyful, this class will focus on a different practice each month—gratitude, mindfulness, relationships, and more.


Walking Tour with Rabbi David Kalb: Exploring Borough Park

Sunday, June 23, 10:45 am | Meeting location announced upon registration

Brooklyn’s Borough Park is home to many different Chasidic Jews, as well as other types of Ultra-Orthodox Jews, and the area remains a continuously transitional part of New York. Join us as we explore the area and learn more about the past, present, and potential future of this dynamic neighborhood.

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Ongoing Classes

No registration required.