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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 Louise Sherby or Rabbi Sebert privately to make arrangements that are affordable for you.  We look forward to seeing you soon.

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


Louise Sherby
Chair, Adult Education Committee



CLASSES 5784 / 2023-24




September 21, 2023

The Nazarene

Sholem Asch

October 19


Yishai Sarid

November 16

The Liar’s Gospel

Naomi Alderman

December 14

The Only Daughter

A.B. Yehoshua

January 11, 2024


Amos Oz

February 15

Inside Information

Eshkol Nevo 

March 14

The Gospel According to Lazarus

Richard Zimler

April 18

How to Love Your Daughter

Hila Blum

May 16



June 20

The Wolf Hunt

Ayelet Gundar-Goshen

FEE: $250, FREE FOR T&V MEMBERS.      Register

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 to those who have previously participated in this group.

Stefanie Halpern is the 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



75 Years of American Jewish History with Rabbi Larry Sebert (Teacher and Guide)

Monday Evenings 7:00-8:30 PM.  (In Person with a remote option)
  • October 16, 23, 30
  • November 6, 13, 20
  • December 4, 11, 18

During the lifetime of T&V, the American Jewish community has undergone a sea change in every aspect of its existence. Following World War II, Jews flocked to the suburbs and the State of Israel was established. Civil Rights and Feminism lifted up whole swaths of American citizens to new levels of participation and influence. American Jews, joined by political allies, succeeded in bringing about freedom for Soviet Jews and a Jew was nominated to become Vice President of the United States.

Join Rabbi Sebert for a look at these and many other aspects of the last 75 (or so) years of American Jewish life. We will explore these issues through the lens of contemporary writings to better understand our past, helping us to more successfully move into the future.

RECOMMENDED (We will use these materials for our discussions)
American Jewish History: A Primary Source Reader Chapters 8-10 Edited by Phillip Zola & Marc Dollinger

Suggested Community Members Donation:  $180 to Adult Education

Registration is required.  Please send an email to for information and to register.  Please indicate if you will attend in person or on Zoom.




Tkhines: The Rich World of Yiddish Women's Prayers

Wednesdays, 7-8:30 pm.  In-person and or Zoom

  • November 15, 29
  • December 6

Join us for an exploration of one of the most creative and popular Jewish liturgical genres. Tkhines, women's prayers, originally written in Yiddish, weave together heightened, poetic, and liturgical language with a familiar, vernacular, and deeply personal way of speaking with the Divine. We will get to read tkhines for holidays,  quotidian tasks, and historical events (e.g. special prayers for war or for the souls lost on the Titanic) in order to understand how these prayers offered religious connection, education, and structure for women of Eastern Europe. As we consider the prayers' biblical and midrashic allusions and emotional scope of the prayer, we will reflect on our own practices and perceptions of prayer in light of this genre. Texts will be studied in English alongside the original Yiddish.

Gabe Miner is in his final year of rabbinical school at HUC-JIR. Gabe holds an MA in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and has taught learners of all ages in synagogues, camps, day schools, universities, youth organizations, and travel programs both local and abroad. Gabe taught Yiddish at the Boston Workers Circle as a participant in the Yiddish Book Center's Pedagogy Fellowship. Gabe is also an award-winning playwright and a former axe-throwing coach who has written digital media for Shalom Sesame and The Dodo Kids. Gabe is the creator of, a collection of more than 75 short videos from educators, scholars, and clergy from around the world and across denominations. Prior to starting HUC, Gabe served as Youth Director at Town and Village for seven years.

Free for members; $18 for nonmembers.   Register

Send your questions to


Radical Torah Salon: A Space for the Study of Radical, Queer, Feminist, and Challenging Torah

“The whole Torah depends on justice” –Rabbi Moshe ben Naḥman (the Ramban)

The Torah need not – and should not – support the status quo. Indeed, it may be understood as a deeply radical text, demanding a strong welfare society, the negation of personal property, and a constant striving for a better future. At the Town & Village Radical Torah Salon, we study texts – both ancient and modern – that can inspire radical transformation in ourselves and our world.

At each “salon,” we take up an essay, chapter, commentary, or source sheet that offers a new perspective on the Torah. On different weeks (or the same week!), we might study sources on wealth redistribution in the Talmud, read some feminist midrash, queer the weekly Torah portion, or delve into the responsa literature on labor organizing. Whether you’ve spent years in yeshivah or never went to Hebrew School, you are invited to contribute your unique voice to the conversation.

Thursdays 7:30 - 9:00 PM

  • October 12, 2023: Models of Restorative Justice in Rabbinic Judaism: Positing and Problematizing “Ostracism” and “Excommunication” as Alternatives to Policing and Incarceration

Advocates for criminal justice reform and for the defunding of the police have proposed models of “restorative justice,” which seek community reconciliation and the reparation of harm. A few days after Indigenous People’s Day (October 9), we will examine the Indigenous roots of restorative justice as a popular idea in the United States, and then we will turn to an arguably similar model systematized in Babylonian Talmud Tractate Mo‘ed Qatan and outlined in Maimonides’s Mishneh Torah. We will ask whether or not the concepts of “ostracism” and “excommunication” – as community-based responses to harm that depend on reconciliation, forgiveness, and popular enforcement rather than on state authority or violence – have anything to offer the American criminal justice debate today.

  • November 9, 2023: An Introduction to neurodivergent Torah

We will read and discuss the essays of Dr. Liz Shayne, Rebbetzin Leah Ahavah, and Rabbi Elli Fischer, who offer models of honoring neurodivergent interpretations of Jewish texts. Studying Torah through lenses informed by autism, ADHD, and neurodiversity ideology contribute new (or very old) and sometimes radical modes of understanding Jewish tradition.

  • December 14, 2023: The Witch, the Demon, and the “Qadesha”: Subaltern Studies as a Window to the Past (and Future?) of Jewish Popular Religion

​​​​​​​During Ḥanukkah, we celebrate a rural uprising against the imperial monarchy. In North Africa and elsewhere,  Ḥanukkah has also been a traditional time to celebrate the heroism of Judith and other Jewish women.

We will take Ḥanukkah as an opportunity to examine Ranajit Guha’s and James Scott’s work on modern South Asian peasant religion and resistance, alongside Silvia Federici’s Marxist feminist analysis of medieval European peasant revolts and early modern witchcraft. We will use these histories as lenses through which to understand biblical and rabbinic texts on religious rites in the outlying regions of Ancient Israel. With an eye to the pluralistic and feminist potentialities of “popular religion,” we will then turn to historically significant Jewish practices as possible models for localized ritual revivals: public fasts to protest climate change, defunct holidays recorded in Megillat Ta‘anit, and ‘Eid al-Banāt (celebrated during Ḥanukkah) as a celebration of women and girls.

  • TBD: The Ethics of Tzedaqah under Late Capitalism

​​​​​​​The root of the word “tzedaqah” – often used interchangeably with “charity” – is “ק-ד-צ”: “justice.” In a time of global inequality, when our every financial decision has implications for workers around the world and for the very earth on which we stand, what are our responsibilities? Are the halakhot of the Chofetz Chaim and other traditional Jewish authorities still useful? Does Taqqanat Usha, arguably capping tzedaqah at 20% of a person’s wealth, apply under present conditions? Does the (quite Jewish) effective altruist movement offer us solutions? What are our responsibilities as individuals and as a community to grapple with and address global-scale humanitarian crises? We will study selections from the Chofetz Chaim’s Ahavat Ḥesed, Peter Singer’s The Life You Can Save, and Rabbi Mary L. Zamore’s book The Sacred Exchange: Creating a Jewish Money Ethic (specifically essays by Dr. Alyssa Gray, Rabbi Neal Gold, and Rabbi Seth Limmer) as a starting point for grappling with these issues.

Admission is Free.  To enroll, email


Tue, September 26 2023 11 Tishrei 5784