Adult Education


HaTov–How Good! by Rabbi Micah Peltz

We are thrilled to once again present you with numerous opportunities to learn, connect and be inspired at TBS this year! We are able to offer such plentiful and diverse experiences because of the vision and hard work of our Board, Committee Chairs, and Professional and Support Staff, as well as the generosity and commitment of our donors and everyone in the TBS Family. It is truly a blessing to be a part of such a vibrant and active community.

Actually, there is a blessing from our tradition to help us recognize the good in our lives:

Barukh Ata Adonai Eloheinu
Melekh HaOlam HaTov v’HaMeitiv.

“Praised are You God,
sovereign of time and space,
who is good and who bestows goodness.”

I was reminded of this blessing as I have been studying Siddur Lev Shalem, the new prayer book of the Conservative Movement that we welcome into our community this year. Included in one of its many innovations, it suggests the use of this ancient blessing while celebrating joyous occasions during our Torah service. This is one example of many wonderful insights within Lev Shalem that adds to our understanding of prayer. We are excited to offer many opportunities to get to know Lev Shalem, and by doing so increase our knowledge, understanding, and comfort with prayer. Coming together for prayer, at our daily minyanim and on Shabbat and holidays, to celebrate s’mahot and to give each other support during difficult moments, is at the core of what binds us together as a kehillah kedoshah, a sacred community.

In addition to the many classes and learning opportunities you will find inside these pages to explore Lev Shalem, we have a number of services, events and initiatives to help all of us, regardless of background, connect to prayer in new ways.

Lev Shalem Dedication Shabbat
First, you are invited to Shabbat morning services on September 29 at 9:30am for a special Shabbat service to celebrate the blessings of our new siddur. We will officially welcome Siddur Lev Shalem to our sanctuary with song, words of Torah, and celebration. Following services, join us for a festive Kiddush luncheon in the Sukkah.

TBS Scholar-in-Residence Rabbi Jan Uhrbach
On February 22-24, we will welcome Rabbi Jan Uhrbach, the Director of the Block/Kolker Center for Spiritual Arts at the Jewish Theological Seminary and the Associate Editor of Siddur Lev Shalem. We hope that you will find the class, speaker or experience that will best help you connect to prayer in a meaningful way.

Prayer 101
On October 6, we will begin offering a monthly “Prayer 101” course on Shabbat mornings to help beginners better understand what Jewish prayer is all about. Held on October 6, January 12 and March 2.

Shir HaLev
Led by Cantor Cohen and a group of beautiful daveners, this service provides an opportunity to connect to prayer through soulful singing.

On December 7-9, we are excited to welcome Josh Warshawsky to our community. Josh is an incredible musician and teacher, and his visit will kick-off the beginning of a new prayer experience at TBS called “Shir HaLev.”

May the diverse opportunities presented here provide you with just the right point of connection, so that you can learn, grow, and be inspired to say Barukh HaTov V’HaMeitiv – Thank You, God, for all of the goodness that surrounds us, and for our capacity to bring more goodness into the world.


The Right to Try: The Ethics of Experimental Drugs
Steven Joffe, MD, MPH
Steven Joffe, MD, MPH, is the Emanuel and Robert Hart Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. He serves as Chief of the Division of Medical Ethics, and directs the division’s fellowship training programs. He is also Professor of Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where he takes care of children undergoing bone marrow transplant for cancer and other diseases. Dr. Joffe’s research addresses the ethical challenges that arise in the conduct of biomedical science, with a focus on clinical trials, cancer, and genomics.

At this program we will also rededicate the initiative as the Dr. Jeffrey Kramer TBS Bioethics Initiative in memory of Jeff, who was so instrumental in the creation and planning of these programs.

Save the Date for a program on the The Ethics of End of Life Care in the Winter/Spring.


Goodblatt Academy Introduction to Judaism & Conversion Course
The Philadelphia Rabbinical Assembly’s Goodblatt Academy is again being offered in South Jersey! This course is designed to teach about Judaism and Jewish living for those considering conversion to Judaism as well as Jews who would like to learn more. This course will involve classroom learning as well as Shabbat and holiday celebrations, which will connect you to other Goodblatt students from around the Philadelphia region. If you are taking this class for conversion to Judaism, you will need to have one of our rabbis be your sponsor.

Cost $550 for an individual; $650 for a student and his/her Jewish partner. Cost includes all study materials. Scholarships are available. Class meets for 18 sessions on Wednesday nights from 7:30-9pm at Congregation Beth El beginning on October 17

A Time to Mourn, a Time to Comfort
Taught by Rabbi Peltz, Rabbi Wexler and Rabbi Lindemann
When someone dies, there are so many questions―from what to do in the moment of grief, to dealing with the practical details of the funeral, to spiritual concerns about the meaning of life and death. Here we will explore these questions, as well as the Jewish practices and beliefs around death, mourning, comfort and the afterlife.
Sundays, 9-11am January 27, February 3, February 10

Learning with Our Clergy

Lunch & Learn: The Shabbat Liturgy of Siddur Lev Shalem
Led by Rabbi Micah Peltz, Rabbi Bryan Wexler, and Rabbi Steven Lindemann
Using our new siddur, Siddur Lev Shalem, and the many wonderful insights and commentaries that fill its pages, our Lunch & Learn Class will provide a journey through the Shabbat liturgy. We will begin with Kabbalat Shabbat and over the course of a few years, make our way through all of the Shabbat services. We will be using Siddur Lev Shalem as our primary text, and our learning will be focused on the theology, history, structure, meaning, and context of the various prayers. You bring the lunch, we’ll bring the learn!
Tuesdays 12:30-1:30 pm: October 9 and 23, November 6 & 20; December 18; January 8 & 22; February 5 & 19; March 5 & 19; April 2 & 16; May 14

Judaism Today & Tomorrow: Conversations on Contemporary Issues
Led by Rabbi Micah Peltz
Join business professionals for lunch and discussion about topics and issues facing the Jewish world today. Topics will include Intermarriage, Religious Pluralism in Israel, Anti-Semitism, the future of the Conservative movement, and other contemporary concerns that will no doubt come up during the year. Lunch will be available for purchase for $10/session. Sessions will be hosted in the Rabbi Lindemann Lifelong Learning Center and will be available by videoconference for those who can’t make it to TBS. Please email Rabbi Peltz for more information as to how to log in! Wednesdays 12-1:15 pm October 10, November 14, December 5, January 16, February 13, March 13, April 10, May 8

Tuesday Night Talmud: Masekhet Sota II
Led by Rabbi Steven Lindemann
More Sota! Who thought this could be interesting enough to warrant a second year of study! However, while the laws of the “Bitter Waters” used to determine if a woman had committed adultery comprise much of this volume, Masekeht Sota contains much more interest. There are discussions of other ancient rituals, like the Egla Arufa (expiation for a death which cannot be solved) and Birkat Kohanim (the Priestly Blessings). Other topics addressed include: exemption from military service, legends about the childhood of Moses and the heroism of Samson, historical references to civil war among the descendants of the Maccabees, and theological statements about love of God versus duty to Divine will. Law and legend are both featured this in this fascinating Tractate. Tuesdays at 8:15 pm: October 9, 23; November 6, 20; January 8, 29; February 12,26; March 19; April 9,30; May 7

We have an extraordinary opportunity to learn with Dr. Josh Kulp, the Director of the Conservative Yeshivah in Israel. He will be teaching a Tuesday Night Talmud Session, along with Rabbi Lindemann, on January 29, at 8:15 pm. No previous study of Talmud is required for this session which will focus on:

Praying In Hebrew: Does God Care? Do You?

What makes prayer meaningful to you? Is it the traditional language? Is it understanding the words? Is it knowing that this was recited by our ancestors? Is it being together in a congregation?

Dr. Kulp is co-founder of the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem where he has taught Talmud and halakhah for the last 20 years. He is the author of the recently published book "Reconstructing the Talmud." Beginning in 2001 and continuing through 2013, Dr. Kulp authored a commentary in English on the entire Mishnah, which served as the basis for the Mishnah Yomit project. In 2013 Dr. Kulp began the Daf Shevui program, the study of one daf of Talmud per week. Dr. Kulp was raised in Margate, New Jersey, where his family was active in the Conservative Movemen, and he spent many summers at Camp Ramah in the Poconos. (He is the brother of our Congregant, Naomi Mirowitz, which means he is part of the extended TBS family.)

This is not the first time that Josh has taught at TBS. Any who have attended his previous presentations know that he is an extraordinary teacher.

We hope you will join us for what promises to be a wonderful evening of learning.

Soul Sisters
Led by Cantor Jen Cohen
Join us as we explore our new Siddur Lev Shalem, delving into tefilot around Rosh Hodesh, traditionally considered a special day for women. In the second semester we’ll also study the women of the Tanakh in the parasha of the week.
Wednesdays 1 - 2 pm: October 10, 24; November 14 (at Katz JCC), 28; December 12; January 9, 23; February 13, 27; March 13, 27; April 10; May 1, 15

Yad Squad
Led by Cantor Jen Cohen
Cantor Cohen invites post-b’nai mitzvah students of all ages to form a new Torah-reading team for TBS! Improve your skills, have fun, learn a lot, and work toward earning a TBS yad. Interested teens and adults will meet with the cantor as a group on several Sunday mornings, then work on their own to prepare readings for Shabbat mornings during the year.

Morning Minyan
Siddur Insights Part 2

Led by Rabbi Bryan Wexler, Tuesdays at 7 am
Prayer is simultaneously a means to approach God and an experience of profound introspection. History and theology, poetry and prose, music and meditation, the words of the page and the words of our hearts all come together to comprise Jewish prayer. We pour our hearts and minds into our prayers, discovering new meaning in ancient words by learning from the sages of the Talmud and modern scholars. A continuation of our learning from last year, we will use classical commentaries and contemporary interpretations as we continue our journey together through the weekday Shaharit (morning) service. As we do so, we will also share our own thoughts and feelings about the prayers and how they can add meaning to our lives.

Worship and Ethics
Led by Rabbi Steven Lindemann, Wednesdays at 7 am
That is the title of a book by Professor Max Kadushin, who taught ethics and rabbinic thought at the Jewish Theological Seminary. It suggests that important ethical concepts are conveyed by the prayers we recite regularly. In Hebrew the verb “to pray” is L’Hitpaleyl, from root word Pileyl, which can also mean “to judge.” Since L’Hitpaleyl is in the reflexive tense, it implies that prayer is, in part, an exercise in evaluating our personal conduct. We are called upon to measure ourselves according to the values implicit in the words we pray. Following morning Minyan, we will take a few moments to reflect upon worship and ethics.

Sefer HaHinukh on the Weekly Parasha
Led by Rabbi Micah Peltz, Fridays at 7 am
Sefer HaHikukh, or the “Book of Education,” was anonymously written in 13th century Spain. It identifies and explains the rationale behind each of the 613 mitzvot according to its appearance in the weekly Torah portion. This will give us a good preview of the weekly Torah reading and a better understanding of the mitzvot, as well as provide us with thoughtful lessons that we can use to impress our friends and families around our Shabbat tables.

Community Beit Midrash
What is Zionism? How did it develop? What does it mean to be a Zionist today. Rabbi Peltz, Rabbi Wexler and Rabbi Lindemann, along with other community Conservative rabbis, will consider these questions and many others based on the collections of essays and writings on Zionism over the last 150 years. Registration is $25.
Monday nights, 7:30-9 pm at Kellman Brown Academy: January 28, February 4, 11, 25; March 4, 11, 18, 25; April 1, 8, 15

Adult Education

Beginning Hebrew Reading
Led by Morah Sarah Salmansohn
Want a Hebrew reading refresher? Never had a chance to learn? This is a wonderful opportunity to work on learning the aleph-bet and improve your Hebrew reading skills. $150 enrollment fee for class and materials. RSVP to Ruth Brodnick.
Mondays, 6:30-7:30 pm Session 1 begins on October 8 through Memorial Day

Hebrew Ulpan
Led by Morah Hedva Levin
Join Hebrew teacher Hedva Levin for a weekly interactive Hebrew Ulpan. Students focus on speaking Hebrew as well as grammar and Hebrew reading.
$250 enrollment fee for class and materials. RSVP to Ruth Brodnick.
Thursdays, 12:45-2:15 pm

Have you Ever?
Led by Alex Weinberg
“Have you ever” are fun and engaging hands-on classes to introduce you to different rituals from our tradition. Each beginner class will focus on the meaning of the rituals through interactive experiences.

Explore the Torah, November 28, 7:30pm,
Explore Tallit and Tefillin, January 30, 7:30pm

Let’s Make a Meal
Led by Morah Harriet Baker
Let’s Make a Meal is a Solomon Schechter award-winning, hands-on kosher cooking series designed for adults who are interested in enjoying a social night out while learning how to incorporate delicious, homemade kosher cuisine for busy routines. Participants will learn about kashrut and Shabbat/holiday traditions while preparing meals ready to be put in the oven the next night for Shabbat dinner. Recipes and resources are included with each session so that participants can apply their knowledge at home!
Thursdays, 7-9 pm, November 15, December 13, February 21

The How To’s of Prayer
Led by Dr. Alvin Stern
Bimah Protocol: Parent preparation for upcoming
Bar and Bat Mitzvah families Open to All - Wednesdays 7 – 9 pm: September 5, November 7, January 2, March 6, May 1
Upcoming Bar and Bat Mitzvah family Meetings - Wednesdays 7 pm: September 12

Workshops offered after Evening Minyan at 8 pm:
Hagbah Workshop Monday, October 29
Leading Ma’ariv Service Wednesday, November 14
Workshops are open to all congregants and a great way to learn and explore new rituals.