Sign In Forgot Password

Jewish Culture & Spirituality



Krav Maga: Israeli Self-Defense

With Bruce Montoya 
Wednesdays, 3:05 pm - 4:15 pm
Learn self-defense and get fit—the Israeli way! Krav Maga is the personal protection system developed by Israel Defense Forces. Refined for civilians of all ages and capabilities, Krav Maga is now used by women and men around the world. Students will learn basic defense moves, along with topics such as risk reduction, safety awareness, and violence prevention—all in a safe and fun environment. This six-week course is open to students of all fitness levels. Krav Maga is your way to personal empowerment and to the strengthening of your mind, body and spirit.
Bruce Montoya is a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and is Chief Instructor at Combat F.I.T. Krav Maga.
Registration Fees: $40 for members; $50 for non-members
October 16, 23, 30; November 6, 13, 20
Register HERE

Drash Program

Coordinated by Fran Haggerty
An exciting and profound way to involve yourself in Jewish learning and teaching with our entire Temple! Read, study, and write about the Torah portion of the week, and explain what it means to you personally. The drash is delivered at Friday evening services at Temple Emanu-El. This is a rare opportunity to engage in the most sacred of Jewish acts: the learning and teaching of Torah.
Free of charge. To sign up for the Drash Program, contact Fran Haggerty.
This program is for Temple Emanu-El members only. For more information on membership at Temple Emanu-El, contact Executive Director Donna Beyer.


The Rabbi's Tish

Led by Rabbi Batsheva Appel, Staff, and You!
This is a wonderful opportunity to probe the text of the weekly Torah portion in depth, as well as to discuss and argue with your fellow students at an extended, interactive Torah study and potluck lunch.  Join us for the best casual lunch and finest Jewish conversation in Tucson!
Free and open to all.  No registration is necessary.  Bring a dairy/vegetarian dish to share.
Select Saturdays from 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
August 24; September 28; October 12; November 16; December 7; January 18; February 1; March 28; April 18


Sunday Salons

Curated by JLL Chairman Bob Schwartz
Judaism is dynamic, varied, and all-encompassing. The Sunday Salon Series is a vehicle to touch on many diverse aspects of our religion. These free programs are created to support our congregants’ interests, current developments in the Jewish world, and the Jewish liturgical cycle. They are open to members and non-members alike. As this series is continually evolving, please consult the Temple weekly email, the Temple Times, flyers, or our office for particulars each month. 
Sundays, 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
All Sunday Salons are free & open to the public! Please register below or call (520) 327-4501 so that we know that you will be joining us.

September 8, 2019
The Real Lives of Women in Biblical Times, with Beth Alpert Nikhai
The Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) is filled with stories about women, but no single story provides a complete picture of women’s lives – nor is any biblical woman meant to be typical of all Israelite women.  Archaeology offers an alternate resource, one that allows us to go beyond the Bible in order to examine everyday life in Iron Age Israel.  It brings us into villages and homes, and shows us dishes and tools, shrines and figurines, workplaces and tombs.  This discussion uses archaeological resources to explore the lives of Israelite women, helping us place the biblical narratives into their ancient real-life setting.
Beth Alpert Nakhai is Associate Professor in the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies and is affiliated with the University of Arizona School of Anthropology and School of Middle East and North African Studies. Her research focuses on the lives of women in antiquity, on Canaanite and Israelite religion and culture, and on Israelite village life.  Her books as author or editor include Archaeology and the Religions of Canaan and Israel and The World of Women in the Ancient and Classical Near East
Register HERE

October 6, 2019
A Bissel Yiddish (A Little Bit of Yiddish), with Bob Schwartz
“Older than the English we speak, Yiddish is the Robin Hood of languages. It steals from the linguistically rich to give to the fledgling poor,” writes Leo Rosten in The Joys of Yiddish. It is the language that Eastern European Jews brought to America, where the English language gratefully accepted the gift of its unique vocabulary and syntax. This overview (including a few jokes) features the language that is as fascinating and resilient as the people who created it.
Bob Schwartz is chair of the Temple Emanu-El Jewish Lifelong Learning committee.
Register HERE

November 10 & 17, 2019 
Anti-Semitism Yesterday and Today: The Long History and the Major Trends (Part I and Part II), with David Graizbord
University of Arizona historian David Graizbord explores the long history of and major trends in anti-Jewish sentiment—from the earliest arguments between Christianizing Jews and Judaizing Christians to the current assaults on Jewish legitimacy and security. He examines various definitions of anti-Semitism, looks at the differences among various types, and offers essential perspective for Jews encountering anti-Judaism today.
David Graizbord is Associate Professor of Judaic Studies at the University of Arizona, on the faculty of the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies. A historian of early modern and modern Jews, his research most recently includes Jewish ethnic identity and Zionism among American Jews. His forthcoming book is The New Zionists: Young American Jews, Jewish National Identity, and Israel. He serves as Program Leader for the University of Arizona Summer Study Abroad Program, Arizona in Israel.
Register HERE for Part I and HERE for Part II

November 24, 2019
How to Make a Golem, with Bob Schwartz
The golem is one of the most enduring and mysterious myths in Jewish history. The ability to bring a man of clay to life, by means of holy letters and names, has fascinated and sometimes tempted mystical scholars for centuries. This is an overview of the history and mystique of the golem, including how it has found its way into popular culture—most famously in the novel Frankenstein. Clips from the celebrated 1920 German film Der Golem by Paul Wegener will be shown, but no golems will be made or brought to life—at least not here.
Bob Schwartz is chair of the Temple Emanu-El Jewish Lifelong Learning committee.
Register HERE


Talmud Study Group

We are a self-led group that has met for many years. This year we are studying Tractate Sanhedrin, which deals with the questions of jurisdiction, criminal law, and punishments. The volume we use is the new Koren Talmud Bavli Noe Edition of Tractate Sanhedrin. There is no charge for the class beyond purchasing the text. Everyone is invited to join us, no matter their background or prior knowledge. For questions, please email Steve Shawl.
Every Wednesday, 10:00 am to 11:30 am
Resumes September 4, 2019


A Taste of Judaism

Taught by Rabbi Batsheva Appel

Everything you ever wanted to know about Judaism but were afraid to ask! A three-class introduction to the basics of Jewish spirituality, values, and community taught in an open discussion style. A fun, vibrant, “taste” of the best Judaism has to offer, including tasty foods. Free and open to the entire community, but pre-registration is required. This class is provided by the Ruth F. and Samuel H. Cohen Outreach Program of Temple Emanu-El.
Registration Fee: FREE, but you must register via the Union for Reform Judaism website, or by calling Abby Limmer at the Temple office, (520) 327-4501.
Session I: Sierra Vista
Thursdays, 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
August 22, 29; September 5
at Temple Kol Hamidbar, 228 N Canyon Dr, Sierra Vista, AZ 85635; (520) 458-8637 ​​

Session II: JCC
Sundays, 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm
September 8, 15, 22
at the Jewish Community Center, 3800 E. River Road, Tucson, AZ 85718; (520) 299-3000

Session III: Temple Emanu-El
Thursdays, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
September 12, 19, 26
Session IV: Location TBD
Wednesdays, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm 
January 8, 15, 22

Torah Study Group

Various Facilitators
Saturdays, 8:30 am to 10:00 am (except Saturdays with a Rabbi’s Tish)

An open, interactive exploration of the Torah portion of the week.

Free and open to all ─ come and study with us! No registration is necessary.


The Zohar, Soul-Text of Kabbalah

Taught by Rabbi Sandy Seltzer
Have you always been intrigued by Jewish mysticism? Do you want to know more about the Kabbalah, about the daring and controversial religious ideas that shocked and fascinated medieval Jews and Christians—and that are now part of modern Jewish customs and ceremonies? This is your opportunity to learn. Please join me to discuss and ponder the most significant of all Kabbalistic texts—the Zohar, The Book of Splendor. Even though Jewish tradition suggests that one must be at least 40 years of age before engaging in this study, I promise that I will not be checking your birth certificate.
Welcome to the Zohar: An Introductory Class
Thursday, August 15, 2019, 11:45 am - 1:00 pm
If you are interested in The Zohar but haven’t taken any of Rabbi Seltzer’s other sessions, this introductory class is the perfect time to get a sense of what studying The Zohar is all about. After the class, you can decide if you’re ready to jump right in with the rest of the class in Session I on August 29.
Registration Fee: $18 for members; $25 for non-members
Register HERE
The Zohar, Soul-Text of Kabbalah
Thursdays, 11:45 am to 1:00 pm
Registration Fees: $55/session, $200/year for members; $70/session, $250/year for non-members
Session I: August 29; September 5, 12, 19, 26; & October 3
Session II: October 10, 17, 24, 31; November 21; & December 5
Session III: December 12, 19; January 9, 16, 23, & 30 
Session IV: February 6, 13, 27; March 5, 12, & 19
Session V: March 26; April 2, 16, 23, 30; & May 7
Register for Session I or a full year HERE
Tue, July 23 2019 20 Tammuz 5779