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Adult Education Academy

Temple Emanu-El's Adult Education Academy provides relevant, vibrant and meaningful Jewish learning experiences to meet the diverse needs of all our congregants. In addition to formal educational opportunities, there are a variety of informal educational experiences such as Torah and Talmud study. Classes are open to the entire Jewish community. The scope of class offerings is extraordinary. The class schedule includes semester long and multi-year courses, as well as occasional short-term courses.

Click on a class title for more information or to register for classes.

Spring 5778/2018: Arab-Israeli Conflict II: 1948 to Present

Dr. Gil Ribak

Though it hardly equals the size of New Jersey and includes an infinitesimal fraction of the world’s population, the state of Israel has been consistently at the center of world attention.This class will focus on the Israeli-Arab conflict from Independence in 1948 until today. We will examine not only the ways Jews and Arabs clashed, cooperated, and interacted with each other, but also internal developments within Israel and various Arab countries. Arab-Israeli Conflict I is not a prerequisite for this course.

Registration Fee: $55 for members and $70 for non-members

Wednesdays, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm, January 17, 24, 31; February 7

Fall 5778/2017: Hebrew Marathon

Cantorial Soloist Marjorie Hochberg

Learn to read Hebrew in two fun sessions - just seven hours - guaranteed! This year, read along with the prayers at services, and make Hebrew a language you know!

Registration Fees: $45 for members; $60 for non-members

Sunday, August 27, 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm and Monday, August 28, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm 

Sunday, October 15, 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm and Monday, October 16, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm 

Sunday, January 28, 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm and Monday, January 29, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Fall 5778/2017: Basic Judaism

Rabbi Batsheva Appel

This year-long class presents a thematic introduction to Jewish ideas, texts, theology, history, and culture taught in an interactive and participatory discussion style. Learn all the basics, exploring the most important texts of Jewish tradition: Torah, Prophets, Writings, Mishna, Gemara, Midrash, Codes, Philosophy, and Liturgy. This class is a prerequisite for the Adult B’nai Mitzvah Program, Adult Confirmation, and for all conversion students. Course fees include textbooks.

Registration Fees: $125 for members, $165 for non-members

Thursdays, 7:00 pm - 8:10 pm
October 19, 26; November 2, 9, 16, 30; December 7, 14, 21;January 18, 25; February 1, 8, 15; March 8, 15, 22, 29; April 5, 12, 19, 26; May 3, 10

Sunday Salons 5778

Curated by Dr. Richard Brodesky

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.

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

July 30 -- Tony Hatch, retired Jewish journalist

August 27 -- Project Elul: Preparing for the High Holy Days through Contemplation

September 17 -- Mishkan HaNefesh: Changes and Innovations - New Prayer Book for the Holy Days

October 22 -- Poetry-Go-Round: Bring a favorite poem by a Jewish author, about Jewish culture, or your own composition to share and discuss

November 19 -- Oshrat Bar-El, Weintraub Israel Center: Israel, the World Leader in Medical Marijuana Research*

Sunday Salons continue January 28; February 25; March 25; April 29; May 27

*Temple Emanu-El has no opinion about marijuana use. For accurate medical information, please contact your healthcare provider. For personal or spiritual guidance, please contact our clergy at (520) 327-4501.

Drash Program

Coordinated by Renee Geffer

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 Renee Geffen at (310) 991-1802.
This program is for members only.

5778/2017: Two-Year Adult B'nai Mitzvah Program

Rabbi Batsheva Appel and Staff

A two-year program that prepares participants for a group Adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah service, this is a wonderful opportunity to deepen Jewish knowledge and commitment. The required courses in this first year include completion of a Hebrew Marathon and a follow-up Beginning Hebrew class, as well as completion of the Basic Judaism course. The second year course in 5778 leads to direct participation in a group Bar/Bat Mitzvah service in the spring of 2018.

Registration Fees: $300 for the full 5778 year, including all materials, for members only

Sundays, 10:00 am to 11:15 am

October 15, 22, 29; November 5, 12, 19; December 3, 10; January 14, 21, 28;February 4, 11, 18; March 11, 18, 25; April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

Saturday, May 5, 10:00 am, Adult B’nai Mitzvah Service

The Rabbi's Tish

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.

Saturdays at noon - 2 pm
August 26; September 9; October 14; November 18; December 2; January 27; February 10; March 10; April 28; May 12

Spring 5778 AEA Brochure

Dynamite Desserts for Passover

Palmer Shim'on

Are you tired of store-bought macaroons and stiff fruit gels? Join Master Chef Palmer Shim'on for this workshop. Whether hosting a Seder at home or participating as a guest elsewhere, in this fun interactive scratch-cooking workshop, we'll create four or five delicious desserts so everyone can share and taste the different options they might wish to recreate for Passover.

Registration Fees; $25 for member; $30 for non-members; Additional $18 per person for supplies (instructor will provide all supplies)

Sunday, 1:00 - 4:00 pm

March 18

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 at

Wednesdays, 10:00 am to 11:30 am

January 3, 10, 17, 24 | February 7, 14, 21, 28 | March 7, 14, 21, 28 | April 4, 11, 18, 25 | May 2

Rabbi Albert T. Bilgray Memorial Lectureship

Ambassador Rabbi David SapersteinRabbi David Saperstein
February 8-10, 2018 at Temple Emanu-El

Thursday, February 8, 7:00 pm, Lecture: The State of Religious Freedom in the United States and across the Globe, at Temple Emanu-El

Friday, February 9, 5:45 pm, Bilgray Scholar Dinner at Temple Emanu-El - to RSVP for Dinner, sorry registration closed.

Friday, February 9, 7:30 pm, Sermon at Shabbat services: Israel's Three Most Vital Challenges: Peace, Equality, and the Battle for Religious Freedom and Tolerance in Israel, Temple Emanu-El

Saturday, February 10, 12:00 pm, Rabbi's Tish: Economic Justice: Testing the Morality of Our Nation - dairy/vegetarian potluck lunch

Rabbi David Saperstein was selected by Newsweek magazine in 2009 as the most influential rabbi in the country. He represented the Reform Jewish Movement to Congress, the Executive Branch, and to a series of U.S. Presidents as the Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC) for forty years. From December 2014 when Rabbi Saperstein was confirmed by the U.S. Senate until January 2017, he was at the U.S. State Department as U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom.

During his four-decade tenure at the helm of the Religious Action Center, Rabbi Saperstein headed several national organizations including the NAACP, People For the American Way, National Religious Partnership on the Environment, and the World Bank's "World Faith Development Dialogue".

In 1999, Rabbi Saperstein was elected as the first Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, created by a unanimous vote of Congress, and in 2009, he was appointed by President Obama as a member of the first White House Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. In 2004 and 2006, the Wall Street Journal and the Religion News Service respectively described him as among the country's most influential shapers of religious issues in natiomnal elections.

An attorney, Ambassador Rabbi Saperstein teaches seminars in First Amendment Church-State Law and in Jewish Law at Georgetown University Law School.

Fall 5778/2017: The Zohar: Soul-Text of Kabbalah

Rabbi Sandy Seltzer

The Zohar is the great medieval compendium of mysticism, myth, and esoteric teaching. One of the most important bodies of religious texts of all times and places, it is also a lush literary celebration of love, expressed in sensuous religious language. The Zohar’s secret universe serves as the basis of Kabbalistic faith and is, at heart, a work of sacred fantasy.This remarkable work is explored using the new translation by Danny Matt, which enables even novice students of the Kabbalah to approach and understand the pivotal text. In a guided exploration of this seminal work of mysticism, Rabbi Seltzer helps open the “locked garden” of the Zohar in an interactive discussion class using both intellectual and meditation techniques.

Registration Fees Per Session: $55 for members; $70 for non-members, 5 sessions per year, $200 for the full year for members; $250 for the full year for non-members

Thursdays, 11:45 am to 1:00 pm

Session I: August 24, 31; September 7, 14, 28; October 19, 26

Session II: November 2, 9, 16, 30; December 7, 14

Session III: January 18, 25; February 1, 8, 15; March 8, 15

Session IV: March 22, 29; April 5, 12, 19, 26; May 3, 10


Introductory Class: Welcome to the Zohar - Thursdays, 11:45 am to 1:00 pm; August 10, 17

Registration Fees: $25 for members; $35 for non-members

Wed, September 19 2018 10 Tishrei 5779