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Class Schedule for 2017-2018

Email our Adult Education coordinator for more information! Please note that all Kesher Education events are open to men and women and geared toward students of all backgrounds and levels. 

Chassidut and the Parsha
Sundays at 8:45 am beginning October 29, 2017
Social Hall
Our Sunday morning class series is back! Please join Rabbi Shafner for a discussion on chassidut and the parsha on Sunday mornings at 8:45 a.m.  A bagel breakfast will be served!
Beginning Monday, January 8, 2018 and Wednesday, January 10, 2018, join Rabbi Shafner for a series of classes on various topics in Judaism.  Classes will take place January-March and conclude before Pesach.
Doing Judaism: An In-Depth Overview of Jewish Law and Practice (Mondays from 7:30-8:30 pm):  This class will examine fundamental concepts of Judaism, with plenty of time for questions and discussion. In this class we will look at the laws of berachot, Shabbat, and various holidays with an eye to understanding the practical application of the halakha. Open to all levels of observance and knowledge. Click here for exact class dates.
Jewish Meditation (Wednesdays from 7:30-8:00 pm in January and February; Tuesdays from 7:30-8:00 pm in March):  This class will explore the idea of meditation within Judaism.  Click here for exact class dates.
Stories From the Talmud and Their Modern Philosophical Ideas (Wednesdays from 8:00-9:00 pm in January and February; Tuesdays from 8:00-9:00 pm in March):  This class will look at stories from the Talmud and their deeper meaning.  Click here for exact class dates.

Past Classes:
Kashrut: Its Philosophy, Laws, and Practical Application
Wednesdays at 8 pm beginning October 18, 2017; see  here for full schedule
Social Hall

In this eight-week class, Rabbi Shafner will present an in-depth analysis of the history of halakha on topics such as:

--What's the deal with cheese?

--Ins and outs of eating in a non-kosher restaurant for business meals

--How long to wait between meat and milk

--Can we eat Oreos after brisket?

--Fish and meat -- superstition or halakha?

Classes will include lots of time for discussion and questions.

Class recordings can be found here on YU Torah.

Changing the Past: Teshuvah and the High Holidays
Tuesdays, August 22, August 29, September 5, and September 12
8:00 pm in the Social Hall
Introducing our first adult education classes with our new rabbi, Rabbi Hyim Shafner! Join us for this four-part series that will explore the concept of teshuvah (repentance) in the weeks leading up to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Study with Alan Gersch:  "From the Talmud to Today: A Topical Introduction to Jewish Literacy, Halacha and History"
Class schedule available here
Social Hall
Join Kesher Israel Congregation for a new learning opportunity in March with Alan Gersch, "From the Talmud to Today: A Topical Introduction to Jewish Literacy, Halacha and History."  The first topic studied will be prayer:  Where, why, and how do our prayer services come from? What did they and do they mean?  We will study sources that follow this topic from the Torah and mishnah through modern halacha and thought.  Along the way we will cover an introduction to basic Jewish literacy through the ages, and learn some practical halacha for our own lives.  This is an introductory level class. Prior knowledge of Hebrew or Jewish texts is not necessary.  Fun snacks will be served!  

Sunday Mornings (Beginning September 11, 2016) at 8:45 a.m.
Introduction to Talmud: Masechet Ta'anit with Rabbi Milevsky
Have you ever wanted to study Talmud? Do you what to understand the legislative and historical process behind Talmudic thought? Are you looking to appreciate how the written law and oral law interconnect to produce traditional Judaism? Now's your chance to get in right at the start of an exciting new opportunity to find out what all this "Talmud stuff" is all about!

Join Rabbi Avidan Milevsky, Ph.D., for a weekly text-based class for beginners as he unravels the legislative and historical importance of the Talmud. This is your opportunity to study Talmud as it has been learned in study halls for the past 1500 years.

The class will meet at Kesher and will connect with Rabbi Milevsky over Skype.

Religion, Gender, and the IDF: A Special Class with Dr. Shayna Weiss
August 7, 2017 at 6:45 p.m. in the Social Hall
Please join Kesher Israel for a special class with Dr. Shayna Weiss, Distinguished Visiting Scholar of Israeli Studies at the United States Naval Academy, on the topic of "Religion, Gender, and the IDF."  The class will explore contemporary religious issues faced by men and women serving in the Israeli military.  Mincha and maariv will follow at 7:50 p.m.  The class is free of charge. Donuts will be served!

Rabbi Milevsky:  "Does Religion Enhance or Hinder Well-Being?"

February 21, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. in the Social Hall

Rabbi Milevsky will be teaching a class on Tuesday, February 21 at 7:30 pm.  The topic is "Does Religion Enhance or Hinder Well-Being?"  Soupergirl food will be served, so come hungry for sustenance of the spiritual and nutritional varieties!

Friedman Kollel:  "Chanukah: Of Miracles and Men"
Mondays December 5, 12, and 19, 2016
7:15 pm in the Social Hall
Rabbi Elyakim Milikowsky of the Friedman Kollel returns for a three-part class on Monday evenings in December.  "Chanukah: Of Miracles and Men" is a text-based discussion that will bring a new perspective on Chanukah.  The class will take place on the evenings of December 5, 12, and 19 and will begin at 7:15 pm in the Social Hall.  Pizza is sponsored by Judah Rose and Lisa Schreier.

Rabbi Moshe Walter Lecture:  "The Rabbi and the Questioner: Dialogue in the Halakhic Process"
December 18, 2016 at 9:30 a.m. in the Social Hall
Rabbi Moshe Walter, rabbi of Woodside Synagogue Ahavas Torah in Silver Spring, MD and executive director of the Vaad HaRabbanim of Greater Washington, will be speaking at Kesher Israel on Sunday, December 18 at 9:30 a.m. on the topic of "The Rabbi and the Questioner: Dialogue in the Halakhic Process."  A bagel breakfast sponsored by Yosef and Naomi Oliker in memory of their grandparents Sonia Oliker and Yechezkel Golfeiz will be served. 
There is no fee to attend this event, but please RSVP here.  Copies of Rabbi Walter's book, The Making of a Halachic Decision, will be available for purchase.


Pre-Yom Kippur Class with Rabbi Milevsky (October 9, 2016 at 9:30 a.m.)

Join Rabbi Milevsky for a pre-Yom Kippur class entitled "We Were Like Dreamers: Life in the Land of Israel."  The class will meet in the Social Hall.

Wednesday Night Chaburah Learning (Beginning September 7, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.)

Kesher is proud to announce a new opportunity for Wednesday evening chaburah (group) learning in Elul.  During September, gather together with friends at Kesher for a weekly class prepared and taught by a different volunteer each week!  The first class will be on September 7 at 7:30 p.m. and will continue throughout the month at that time.  Here is the full lineup:

September 7 @ 7:30 pm:  Alan Gersch, "The 13 Midot in Midrash: Magical Mystery Mercy Machine?"
September 14 @ 7:30 pm:  Jackie Salzbank, "Cosmology and Conflicts: Life Lessons from Science and Torah"
September 21 @ 7:30 pm:  Uri Carl, "Jewish Law's Perspective on Caring for Parents With Mental Illness"
September 28 @ 7:30 pm:  Leora Falk, "Date Trees, Songs, and Tent Stakes: The Threat of Devorah"


Friedman Kollel: "The Holidays Inside Out"

Monday, September 12, 2016 at 7:30 pm in the Social Hall
Monday, September 19, 2016 at 7:15 pm in the Social Hall
Monday, September 26, 2016 at 7:00 pm in the Social Hall

In time for Elul, Rabbi Elyakim Milikowsky of the Friedman Kollel returns for a three-part class on Monday evenings in the Social Hall.  "The Holidays Inside Out" is a text-based discussion that will bring a new perspective on the upcoming high holidays.  The class will take place on the evenings of September 12, 19, and 26 and will begin half an hour after mincha and maariv.  


Friedman Kollel: "The Gift of Shabbat"

Mondays June 27, July 11, and July 18, 2016
7:15 PM - 8:15 PM: Social Hall

Rabbi Elyakim Milikowsky of the Friedman Kollel will return to teach Talmud at Kesher Israel for "The Gift of Shabbat" before mincha in the Kesher Israel Social Hall at 7:15 p.m. Mondays: June 29, July 11, and July 18. Pizza is sponsored by Alisa Schreier and Judah Rose.

Rabbi Daniel Epstein:  "Game of Thrones: The Book of Kings in an Election Year"
Wednesdays August 3, 10, 17 2016
7:00 PM - Mincha: Social Hall

This discussion series analyzes the political careers of three kings through the lens of the classical and modern Jewish commentaries in conjunction with the thoughts of the great political philosophers. Each conversation can stand alone and requires no previous background knowledge or text skills.  Individual class topics are below:

  • August 3:  Shlomo - It's Good to Be the King: The role of the public servant in the political sphere.
  • August 10:  Yehu - Last Action Hero: Do the ends ever justify the means?
  • August 17:  Chizkiyahu - History's Greatest "What If"?: The role of the counterfactual in understanding history

Yishai Schwartz: "Women and Kiriat HaTorah: the Texts beneath the Controversy"
Wednesdays July 13, 20, 27, 2016
7:15 PM - 8:15 PM: Social Hall

In the last few decades, a handful of otherwise traditional minyanim began allowing women to chant Torah and receive aliyyot. The vast majority of rabbinic decisors and established Orthodox congregations, however, remain firmly opposed to the innovation. In this three-part series, we will study some of the key texts underlying the controversy, from the Mishna to contemporary responsa. The goal will be familiarity and understanding of the sources and values that animate either side of the issue. No halachic bottom-line will be drawn or implied.

Presented by the Dr. H. Harold Gelfand Memorial Institute of Adult Education.

Sun, April 22 2018 7 Iyyar 5778