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Welcome to the website of Temple B'rith Kodesh

Kollel Course Listing - Spring 2023


Course Listing - Fall-Winter 2023-24

Registration begins September 26

Registration begins September 26.  Please register two weeks or more prior to the first date of the class (late registrations are accepted).  There is a minimum requirement of six students for each class to run.  All registrants will receive a confirmation email with class, dates, times, and locations once that requirement has been met.  Cancelations will be determined and communicated one week prior to the first class.  No refunds will be issued once classes have begun.

Temple B'rith Kodesh Kollel
2131 Elmwood Avenue
Rochester, NY 14618

Fundamentals of Judaism

Rabbi Peter Stein

This class is suitable for new students and students who have previously taken an Introduction to Judaism class.  This class will explore two primary topics: medieval and modern Jewish theology and ritual practices of both Reform and Orthodox Judaism.  A new Adult B'nai Mitzvah class will start in February 2024 with a service and celebration in May 2025.

Thursdays: 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm 

October 12, 19, 26, November 9, 16, 30, January 4, 11, 18, 25
Classes will be held on Zoom

Fee: $40

Great Jewish Thinkers of the 20th and 21st Century
Rabbi Peter Stein

This class will explore some of the important contributions to Jewish thought over the last 120 years.  This will include European writers from both before and after the Holocaust, American scholars, and Israeli thinkers.  In addition to reading and discussion, students will be encouraged to articulate their own personal theology through class exercises and personal reflection.  This class is suitable for all students, whether they have any background in theology and philosophy. 

Wednesdays: 10:00am-11:00am 
October 11, 18, 25, November 1, 8, 15, 29, December 6, 13, 20
To be held via Zoom
Fee: $50 

Fine-Tuning Our Middot

Rabbi Rochelle Tulik

This discussion-based course will explore the Torah through a lens of Mussar (a virtues-based approach to Jewish ethics and character development).  Weekly sessions will center around a a weekly Torah portion and a Jewish value (middah).  The text for the course is The Mussar Torah Commentary, edited by Rabbi Barry Block.

Wednesdays: 12:00pm-1:00pm 

October, 18, 25, November 1, 8, 15, 29, December 6, 13

Fee: $50  

Music and Movies

Herb Skerker

While visuals are a huge part of what ultimately defines movies, it is the combination of imagery and sound that completes the full cinematic experience.  Even before the advent of talking pictures in the late 1920's, musical scores accompanied films in one way or another, whether it was though live accompaniment from a performer or a synchronized gramophone record system. We will review the winning musical songs and their Jewish composers.

Tuesdays:  10:00am-11:30am

January 9, 16, 23, 30

Fee: $40 

 Religious Ideas and Western Culture

Dr. Joseph Kelly

As our society moves toward greater secularism and individuality, people who observe a religious tradition are often confronted with difficult quesitons: What is the role of religon in modern society? In facing signifcant ethical problems, how do we determine what is "the good"? Do religious people have a particular world view? Can insights from such a religious world view be helpful in clarifying these questions?  What is the best way to enter into dialogue with those who hold the diverse ways of thinking that characterize modern culture?  Join us for what could be an exciting contemporary discussion.

Mondays: 10:00am-11:30am 

October 30, November 6, 13, 20

Fee: $40 

Mah Jongg for Beginners 

Juleen Squires

Jewish women kept this 19th century Chinese parlor game alive, and it has become a favorite pastime. Learn to play! No experience necessary. Men and women are welcome.

Thursdays: 1:00pm-2:30pm 

October 19, 26, November 2, 9, 16

Fee $50 

Jewish Holidays: Traditions and Practice (Part 1)

Rabbi Drorah Setel

In this class, we will be learning about Jewish holidays through a progressive, earth-based lens.  The focus of our discussions will be on developing our own personal and communal practice.  This series will examine the fall holidays.  The text for ths class is Rabbi Arthur Wasklow's book, Seasons of Joy.  If possible, please read the Preface and Chapter One before the first class.
All welcome - no prior knowledge expected. 

Wednesdays: 7:00pm-8:30pm 

November 1, 8, 15, 29, December 6, 13

To be held via Zoom. 

Fee: $60

Haftarah Trope

Athene Goldstein

We shall learn the basic Hatarah trope signs and how to chant them.  Then we shll work on several portions.

Wednesdays: 1:15 pm - 2:45 pm

October 11, 18, 25, November 1, 8, 15

Fee: $60

The Climate Covenant - Jews Connecting, Learning, and Deciding to Take Action to Combat Climate Change

Amy Kahn/Jackie Ebner

L'Chayim! To Life!  Fighting for climate justice is a Jewish value.  Climate change has been described by many as the defining challenge of our time. In this course we will explore Jewish values and teaching alongside scientific information in a shared experience to inform and inspire our individual and collective path forward.  Each class will have a spiritual, theory, and action component.  We will be setting our personal goals toward taking action, and hopefullly decide to take action together.  The power of the individual to affect change by working together with others is our chance to pass this world on to future generations.

Thursdays: 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Session 1 - October 19, 26, November 2, 9, 16, 30

Fee: $60

Session 2 - January 11, 18, 25, February 1, 8, 15

Fee: $60

Israeli Democracy Unresolved

Naomi Schlagman and Sharon Shafrir

Over five class sessions, this course will explore the current struggle over Democracy in Israel, as well as the history of this struggle.  Are Jewish and Democratic vales reconcilable?  What is the nature of the conflict and is it inherant to religion and politics?  What does the conflict mean for American Jews' relationsips with Israel?  Each class will focus on a different aspect of the topic with various guest speakers.  Bring your questions, your struggles and your challenges to the class.

Wednesays: 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

October 18, November 8, 29, December 20, January/February 2024 TBK

No fee, but please register

Prayer and Torah Reading and Comprehension

Gene Spiro

This course is for students who have a competent level of Hebrew reading.  Attention will be given to learning Hebrew root words and vocabulary to facilitate prayer and Torah comprehension.  We will study prayers from both the Friday night and Saturday morning serivces and also include some Torah readings.  We will use the Mishkan T'filah prayer book

Thursdays: 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

October 19, 26, November 2, 9, 16, December 7, 14, 21, January 4, 11, 18, 25

Fee: $60

Beginning Hebrew Reading

Gene Spiro

This course is designed for the beginner or the student who needs a refresher course.  The student will progress from learning the Hebrew alphabet and vowel system to reading words and phrases and also learning useful vocabulary on the way.  It is geared towards prayer reading.  Please purchase the book Shalom Uvracha, The New Heberew Primer (blue cover) by Behrman House.  It can be purchased either through the publisher or Amazon.

Mondays: 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

October 16, 23, 30, November 6, 13, 20, 27, December 4, 11, 18, January 8, 22, 29, February 5, 12

Fee: $60

Thursday Thoughts: Justice, Justice Shall You Pursue

David Orange

Thursday Thoughts will offer a ten-session course covering various current issues facing our global population.  The sessions will deal with topics such as: technology/education gap, compensation/wealth disparity, religious extremism, immigration policy, water wars, Israeli/Palestinian issues, etc.

Thursdays: 9:45am to 10:45am 

October 19, 26, November 2, 9, 16, 30, December 7, 14, 21, 28

Location: St. John’s Meadows Chestnut Court, in the Parks Room

Classes are free to all.  Walk In/Sign In. 

Jewish Living
A Jewish Family Service (JFS) Program

Sharon Shafrir

This course and inclusion program is designed for adults with special learning needs. Participants will be actively engaged in learning about Jewish holidays, prayers, songs, rituals, Torah lessons, and Israel. Class sessions also include crafts, baking projects and guest presenters. Participation in relevant Jewish community events is scheduled throughout the year.

Wednesdays: 6:00pm-7:30pm 

Check class schedule for session dates and times.

For fee information and information about joining, please contact Sharon Shafrir, Accessibility & Inclusion Director, Jewish Family Service or 585-506-3062


Tue, September 26 2023 11 Tishrei 5784