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Adult Learning




B'nai Jacob offers a rich array
of classes and guest lectures
every season. 

Join us! 






Speaker Series Winter/Spring 2019

Sunday, February 3, 10:00am
Cormac Levenson
Exec. Director and Lead Meditation Instructor,  Elm Village, New Haven
The S’hma and Mindfulness: How the practice of meditation can deepen our relationship with God”
Mr. Levenson, graduate of Harvard Divinity School, former Griffin Hospital Chaplain, student of eastern religions, and respected teacher of meditation, will lead this BJ program about Judaism, mindfulness, and relating to G-d. This is so important for our troubling times.



Saturday, February 23, after kiddush (12:30pm)
Christine Hayes, PhD
Weis Professor of Religious Studies, Yale; 2015 winner of the National Jewish Book Award in Scholarship.
“’We’re No Angels’: Perfectionism in Rabbinic Judaism”
What is the nature of the perfection to which humans should aspire? Beginning with the Talmudic phrase “The Torah was not given to Ministering Angels,” this lecture explores radically diverse ancient Jewish conceptions of the nature of human perfection and whether or not humans can be, or should aspire to be, like angels.



New Book Group

All B’nai Jacob Members Welcome

First meeting Wednesday, February 20 in B’nai Jacob Library at 7:30pm

Join in a discussion of “If All the Seas Were Ink,” by Ilana Kurshan.
This memoir about a young woman’s study of Talmud ties in nicely with the Rabbi’s class, Reading the Talmud. “In this deeply personal and often hilarious story, Kurshan shows us how the Talmud’s thousands of strange and demanding pages…become a conversation about how best to live one’s life.” Dara Horn

Future books and dates will be decided by the group.
RSVP to 203-389-2111 or


Rabbi Shapiro's Classes

Mondays evenings 7:30pm  •   Feb 25,  Mar 4, 11, 18, 25, Apr 1, 8, 15
Reading the Talmud
The Babylonian Talmud, in many ways more so than the Bible, is the core text of the Jewish people and yet it is unknown to many of us. We will explore some of its breadth and depth, looking at both stories (aggadah) and law (halacha) as we work to gain insight into the rabbinic project and its meaning for us. No knowledge of Hebrew or Aramaic is required.

Saturdays 1:00pm •  Jan 26, Mar 2, Apr 13
The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai
Amichai is Israel’s poet laureate. He, more than any other poet, captures the paradoxes of faith and love and “Israeliness” in familiar language and bold simile. We will take two Shabbat afternoons to explore a poem or two each time. Poems will be sent out to participants ahead of time, so registration is necessary.



Bread & Torah

EVERY Shabbat Morning Before Services, 9:00 - 9:45am

Rabbi Shapiro explores the weekly Torah portion and how its story relates to our own. Lively discussion over bagels and coffee. No experience necessary

Tue, February 19 2019 14 Adar I 5779