Adult Education

Lifelong learning is a cherished value and tradition here at Congregation B’nai Israel. Our adult education program engages our learners in a wide variety of formats and compelling topics, including Hebrew language, Jewish texts, tradition, values, music, ritual, Israel and contemporary topics. Check out the current line up here.

We strive to offer single and multi-session courses that appeal to all ages and stages, at varied times during the week to enable everyone to participate. If there is a topic that interests you … or something you want to learn … please let us know!

Recurring Classes – Weekly

Monday Morning Modules

Monday Mornings from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Zoom

A series of multi-week courses that cover a wide range of topics:

May 2, 9, 16, & 23: The Story of the State of Israel Through Its Music with Len Hausman

In our next module we will be focusing on the tumultuous and often heartbreaking period (1939-1948) that led to the declaration of the State of Israel. Just when the need for immigration to Palestine was greatest, the gates slammed shut. WW II threatened the State-to-be in every way. Afterwards as the British prepared to leave, the fight for survival began in earnest. We will learn about this last pre-State generation through the music that tells their story.

To register for  these mini-sessions, please email Rabbi Julie HERE.

The Upright Path: How Pirkei Avot (Ethics of Our Ancestors) Can Transform Our Lives

Thursday Mornings from 9:30-10:30 a.m. on Zoom

Join us weekly on Thursday mornings as we study the commentaries of Rabbis Tamar Elad Applebaum and Gordon Tucker on Pirkei Avot and aspire to instill the lessons of this timeless text into our lives.
This course will be taught by Rabbi Ari Isenberg from January 6th through June 2nd.

To register, please email Rabbi Julie HERE.

Click here for class materials!

Talmud Class

Monday Evenings from 7:30-9:00 p.m. on Zoom

Study the Origins of Jewish Worship and the Origins of Jewish Theology as they are discussed through the Talmud with Rabbi Akiba Lubow.

To register, please email Rabbi Julie HERE.

Pirkei Avot Summer Backyard Series

Thursdays 10:00-11:30 a.m.

June 16, June 23, July 7, July 14, August dates TBD

The class will be held simultaneously on Zoom and in Rabbi Isenberg’s
backyard. Refreshments will be served

To register, email Joi at jnoel@cbi-nj.org or by calling the synagogue office 973.379.3811 ext. 120.
Please let Joi know if you expect to attend via Zoom, in person, or perhaps a combination. Zoom ID & the Rabbi’s address will be emailed closer to our first session.

To register, please email Joi HERE.

Recurring Classes – Monthly

Journeyers’ Minyan

Sunday Mornings from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. on Zoom

Monthly Dates

Len Hausman will continue his special series on Chanukah music at 10:00am on Sunday, November 28, with “Beyond ‘Ocho Kandelikas:’ A Sephardic Chanukah in Song.”

The Shabbat Journeyers’ Minyan is an alternative Shabbat morning experience … an opportunity for congregants to get together to discuss and explore topics of interest, such as

  • Characters in the Bible
  • Weekly Torah Portion
  • Holiday Traditions (Passover, Shavuot, Chanukah, etc.)
  • The Meanings of Prayers and Psalms
  • Liturgical Songs and Music
  • Contemporary Issues
  • Israel

Participants are encouraged to suggest topics and prepare a brief presentation for discussion. This is the platform to explore anything that interests you. The presenter’s purpose is to then facilitate meaningful discussion amongst the group. You do not have to be a regular attendee to lead a session.

Chanting Circle with Len Hausman

Sunday Afternoons from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Zoom

2021-2022 Dates:

September 12, October 17, November 21, December 12, January 9, February 6, March 6, April 10, May 15

The CBI Chanting Circle, led by Lean Hausman, is now in its 11th year! What is it? It is not prayer, yet it is prayerful. It is not text study, yet it encounters liturgy and Biblical text very closely. It is not a singing group, yet all its words are sung.(And no singing ability is required!) No knowledge of Hebrew or ability to read it is needed, yet our chants are in Hebrew. If you are a person curious about exploring the spiritual dimensions of your Judaism, the chanting circle is for you. If you want your Judaism to be experientially compelling in a way that a usual prayer service may not always be, the chanting circle is for you. If you enjoy traditional texts being set to new and beautiful melodies, the chanting circle is for you. Each month is a different theme, usually based around holidays.

To register, please email Rabbi Julie HERE.

Special Programs

Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court

Wednesday, May 18, 6:45 pm via Zoom

Rabbi and historian Dr. David Dalin, a Senior Research Fellow at Brandeis University, is the author, co-author or editor of twelve books, including The Presidents of the United States and the Jews. His most recent book, Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court, the subject of this talk, was a finalist for the 2017 National Jewish Book Award.

Ongoing Opportunities

Hebrew‌ ‌Reading‌ ‌~‌ ‌At‌ ‌Any‌ ‌Level‌ ‌

Whether‌ ‌you‌ ‌want‌ ‌to‌ ‌learn‌ ‌the‌ ‌aleph-bet,‌ ‌become‌ ‌proficient‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ ‌particular‌ ‌prayer‌ ‌or‌ ‌a‌  few‌ ‌prayers,‌ ‌improve‌ ‌your‌ ‌Torah‌ ‌reading,‌ ‌or‌ ‌lead‌ ‌a‌ ‌service,‌ ‌Rabbi‌ ‌Julie‌ ‌will‌ ‌meet‌ ‌with‌ ‌you‌ ‌for‌ ‌individual‌ ‌30-minute‌ ‌sessions‌ ‌at‌ ‌a‌ mutually‌ ‌convenient‌ ‌time‌ ‌to‌ ‌study‌ ‌on‌ ‌your‌ ‌own‌ ‌terms.‌ ‌

Introduction‌ ‌to‌ ‌Torah/Haftarah‌ ‌Chanting‌ ‌ ‌

Reach‌ ‌out‌ ‌to‌ ‌Cantor‌ ‌Lorna‌ ‌Wallach‌ ‌to‌ ‌arrange‌ ‌a‌ ‌time‌ ‌for‌ ‌private‌ ‌lessons‌ ‌learning‌ ‌Torah‌ or‌ ‌Haftarah‌ ‌trope.‌ She‌ ‌will‌ ‌work‌ ‌with‌ ‌you‌ ‌until‌ ‌you‌ ‌are‌ ‌ready‌ ‌to‌ ‌confidently‌ ‌chant‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌Torah‌ ‌for‌ ‌Shabbat‌ ‌or‌ ‌a‌ ‌simcha‌.‌ ‌

Please contact Rabbi Julie to discuss your interests!