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Jewish Spirituality

For the Fall semester, JLL classes are FREE for all Temple Emanu-El members in good standing. If you are not sure if you are a member in good standing, please contact Executive Director Donna Beyer at
After registering and paying the fee for any of the classes below, you should receive login information and instructions for using Zoom approximately 24 hours before the first class. These instructions will come from


Temple Emanu-El Drash Program

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.


Talmud Study Group

Wednesdays, 10:00 am - 11:30 am
via Zoom until further notice
Talmud study has been going at Temple Emanu-El for many years, and we’d love you to you join us! No experience necessary—just an interest in learning more about this important fundamental text of rabbinic Judaism. There are no Talmudic experts in the group; even those of us who have attended for years are far from expert, but we have continued attending because it’s both interesting and fun.
We have been studying Sanhedrin—the tractate concerning jurisdiction, criminal law and punishments. We will soon be finishing the 6 chapters contained in Part 1 of the book we purchased and will then start Part 2 containing chapters 7-11, whose topics are outlined below. The volume we will use is the Koren Talmud Bavli, Noe Edition, Sanhedrin Part 2 by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, which is available from Amazon. A less expensive PDF that you can use on your computer or iPad is available at
We do not know exactly when we will complete Part 1 but we expect it probably to be in November. If you are possibly interested in joining us, contact Steve Shawl (, and we can let you know when we are ready to start Part 2.
Here are the chapters:
7. The 4 types of capital punishments, details of crimes which merit stoning (in fact stoning was only actually done if the convict survived being dropped off a 5-meter cliff first)
8. The rebellious son, and other crimes for which the offender is killed before committing the actual prohibition, and the commandments which Jews are to die before violating.
9. Details of crimes meriting capital punishment by burning (actually the pouring of hot lead down the throat, the Sadducee heretics instead used burning at the stake) or beheading; auxiliary punishments
10. Details of crimes meriting capital punishment by strangulation (i.e. hanging)
11. The World to Come and who does not receive it.


Torah Study Group

Various Facilitators
Saturdays, 8:30 am - 10:00 am
via Zoom until further notice

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. For more information, please contact Kilian Metcalf at


Wrestling with Ancient Claims

Tuesdays, beginning August 18, 2020
6:00 - 7:00 pm
with Rabbi Norm Roman
Via Zoom until further notice
This class has ended - thank you to everyone who participated!
Through a contemporary lens, we will explore some of the most famous (and infamous) stories in the Torah, trying our best to fill in the blanks with possible details that are missing, listening for the voices of those whose words have been omitted from the text, and adding our own insights to the eternal messages of our sacred heritage (e.g. was Abraham really intending to sacrifice his son, Isaac, on Mt. Moriah?)
Our discussion will include background into the classic processes of Midrash and Rabbinic interpretation.
Thu, November 26 2020 10 Kislev 5781