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Free Classes and Programs


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.

Jewish Novels Group

Linda Levine, Ed.D.
Thursdays, 1:15 - 2:30 pm
Join us for a monthly discussion of beloved Jewish novels.
August 15, September 19, October 17, November 21, December 19, January 16, February 20, March 19, April 16, May 21
Books for 2019 -2020
August 15: The Last Flight of Poxl West, by Daniel Torday 
September 19: The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem, by Sarit Yeshai-Levi  
October 17: Gateway to the Moon, by Mary Morris  
November 21: Between Friends, by Amos Oz 
December 19: The Dream Stitcher, by Deborah Gaal   
January 16: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, by Michael Chabon
February 20: The Two-Family House, by Lynda Cohen Loigman
March 19: Not Our Kind, by Kitty Zeldis 
April 16: A Replacement Life, by Boris Fishman
May 21: Ways to Disappear, by Idra Novey  
This class is free other than the cost of the books, and no registration is necessary! Click here for the class flyer. 

Mah Jongg Group

Mondays, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
An easy-going, friendly Mah Jongg group, everyone is welcome to drop in!
This ongoing group is free aside from the cost of the yearly Mah Jongg Rule Book, and all are welcome! No registration is necessary. Click here for the class flyer. 

The Rabbi's Tish

Rabbi Batsheva Appel
Select Saturdays, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
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!
August 24; September 28; October 12; November 16; December 7; January 18 (Bilgray Tish with Rabbi Mary L. Zemore); February 1; March 28 Zoom only; April 18 Zoom only

Free and open to all.  No registration is necessary.  Please bring a dairy/vegetarian dish to share.

Text for March 28 - Leviticus 1:1-3, Rashi on Leviticus 1:1-3

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 Dr. Beth Alpert Nakhai
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.
Dr. 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 13, 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 Dr. 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.
Dr. 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

Wednesdays, 10:00 am to 11:30 am
We are a self-led group that has met for many years. This year, we will continue to study 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.
Resumes September 4, 2019

A Taste of Judaism

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.
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
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.

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 Wandering Jews

The Wandering Jews bring a Torah and worship to the beautiful outdoors. The hikes range from easy to moderately difficult, the experience superb.
Saturday, August 17, 2019; 8:00 am
Hike and Shabbat Morning Service at Mt. Lemmon, Box Springs
Monday, September 30, 2019; 5:00 pm
with Babies & Bagels, Tashlich Picnic at Reid Park
Saturday, November 2, 2019; 8:00 am
Shabbat of Mindfulness Hike and Morning Service at Yetman Trail
Saturday, December 21, 2019; 8:00 am
Hike and Shabbat Morning Service at Seven Falls
Saturday, January 11, 2020; 8:00 am
Hike and Shabbat Morning Service at Bridal Wreath Falls
Saturday, February 15, 2020; 8:00 am
Hike and Shabbat Morning Service at Wasson Peak
Saturday, March 14, 2020; 8:00 am
Hike and Shabbat Morning Service at Madera Canyon
Sunday, April 12, 2020; 8:00 am
Kurn Religious School & Wandering Jews Passover Experience in the Desert
Saturday, May 9, 2020; 5:00 pm
with Babies & Bagels, Lag B’Omer Picnic and Bonfire at the Youngerman Ranch
Saturday, May 23, 2020; 5:00 pm
with Babies & Bagels, Havdalah Hike and Service at Saguaro National Park East
Saturday, June 27, 2020; 5:00 pm
with Babies & Bagels, Havdalah Service at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Free and open to all. No registration is necessary. 
Thu, April 9 2020 15 Nisan 5780