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Adult Study and Learning

It is taught that “the study of Torah equals in value all the other commandments” (Peah 1:1). Maimonides teaches that one is “required to study Torah, whether poor or rich…young or old…” and that one “must set aside definite times to study by day and by night…”

We at Town & Village we are dedicated to providing a variety of learning opportunities, at all levels of knowledge and at many times of day. We hope that you will find something here that you wish to study with us. If there is something you would like to see us offer in the future, please let us know.

Town & Village Synagogue is dedicated to making adult Jewish learning accessible to all of its members and to the community at large. If you are interested in a class we offer and the cost is a concern, we invite you to contact Carol Green or Rabbi Sebert privately to make arrangements that are affordable for you.  We look forward to  seeing you soon.

The coming year promises to be very exciting as we continue some programs and begin some new ones. Please check out our offerings listed below.


Sharon Keller and Carol J. Green
Co-chairs, Adult Education Committee

Town & Village Synagogue


10 Thursdays, 10:30AM  – Noon
FEE: $250,  Free for T&V members
Date Title Author
September 12, 2019 The Rise of David Levinsky Abraham Cahan
October 17 Liar Ayelet Gundar-Goshen
November 14 The Promised Land Mary Antin
December 12 Muck Dror Burstein
January 9, 2020  Pain Zeruya Shalev
February 13 And the Bride Closed the Door Ronit Matalon
March 12 By the Waters of Manhattan Charles Reznikoff
April 17, Friday The Teacher Michal Ben-Naftali
May 14 Call It Sleep Henry Roth
June 11 Summer in Williamsburg Daniel Fuchs

LIMITED TO 15 PARTICIPANTS. This group is intended for readers who are committed to reading the entire book before the discussion and are prepared to come to the discussions with open minds and respect for the opinions of others. Priority will be given those who have previously participated in this group.

Stefanie Halpern is the Acting Director of the YIVO Archives at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York. She received her PhD from the department of Jewish Literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2017. Her dissertation, Crossing Over from the Yiddish Rialto to the American Stage, explores the ways the Yiddish theater intersected with and ultimately became part and parcel of the mainstream American theatrical institution. Stefanie was the curatorial associate for the current “New York’s Yiddish Theater: from the Bowery to Broadway” exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York.

If you have any questions, or to enroll, email



7 Wednesday evenings, 7-8:30PM

October 23 and 30, November 6, 13 and 20 and December 4 and 11

Fee, $275, free for T & V members

In this course we will explore “sages-stories,” the stories of the lives and deeds of the sages that are found throughout the Talmud and rabbinic literature. The scholarly understanding of these stories has shifted from a historical-biographical approach that sought to write history and biography (e.g. “The Life of Rabbi Akiva”) on the basis of rabbinic stories to a literary approach that sees stories as didactic fictions. We will analyze the stories with tools of literary criticism, attempting to appreciate their narrative art and the meanings the storytellers tried to convey, as well as to understand their relationship to Talmudic law and functions within the Talmudic context.

Jeffrey L. Rubenstein is the Skirball Professor of Talmud and Rabbinic Literature in the Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies of New York University. He received his B.A. in Religion from Oberlin College, his M.A. in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he also received rabbinic ordination, and his Ph.D. from the Department of Religion of Columbia University. His scholarship focuses on Talmudic stories, Jewish ethics and the history of rabbinic law. His books include, The History of Sukkot in the Second Temple and Rabbinic Periods (1995); Talmudic Stories: Narrative Art, Composition and Culture (1999), The Culture of the Babylonian Talmud (2003), Stories of the Babylonian Talmud (2010), and The Land of Truth: Talmud Tales, Timeless Teachings (2018).

Syllabus available upon request.

*Counts as one (1) class towards our Adult Bar or Bat Mitzvah requirements

To enroll, email



MONDAY EVENINGS,  coming in 2020

Fee, $275, free for T & V members

Debates—philosophical, spiritual, ethical, and cultural—are at the heart of Judaism and Jewish life. Are religion and reason compatible? Can Jewish law change based on context? How do we teach and talk about the Holocaust and the State of Israel? Should we prioritize Jewish causes or universal causes in our giving? Is Jewish tradition intrinsically patriarchal and ableist? Is our relationship with God defined by human obligation or divine compassion?


Fri, January 17 2020 20 Tevet 5780