Today is May 25, 2024 ()

Adult Education

At B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation we believe that Jewish learning is a lifetime project.

Please join us at any one of our course offerings this year.  Membership is not required, and many of the classes have a nominal charge, suggested donation, or are free!

Contact us to sign up or with any questions!

Adult Education Programs

Torah Study (Via Zoom) – Saturdays, Open to all

Join our study group at 10 am Saturdays for a continuation of our 20-year tradition of sacred text study. We closely examine the weekly Parashat with the first Shabbat of the month devoted to the Prophets and the Writings.  On Saturdays where there is a Shabbat Service at B’nai Sholom, we meet at 9:30 am.

All are welcome to participate and learn, reading sections aloud (if you desire) and discussing the context of the history of the Bible, including the sociology, archaeology, and politics of the land. No prior registration or experience is necessary! Sessions generally last 90 minutes with the Prophets and Writings often taking 2 hours.

These sessions are open to all on a drop-in, occasional, or regular basis.  BYOB – Bring your own Bible (Having a variety of translations/interpretations increase the scope of our discussions.)  Contact the office to receive the ZOOM link.


Rabbi Weisbrot will be leading a discussion of Pirkei Avot, or Ethics of our Fathers, one of the best known and most cited of Jewish texts. The next session will be on Thursday May 16 7:30 PM via ZOOM.

Steven Stark-Riemer Picture

Who Wrote the Hebrew Bible?
Thursdays, May 9 through June 27
10-11:45 AM (via Zoom Only)

Cost: $54 non-member; $36 member

If the Hebrew Bible is the word of God, why are there inconsistencies and repetitions?  This course will provide many of the answers examining what traditional interpreters have said and what critical scholars and archaeologists have discovered.  Using the so-called “Documentary Hypothesis,” which considers the Hebrew Bible to be the product of a deft weaving of multiple and identifiable sources, we will discuss when and why certain books were written and edited in the ways they were and the relevant contexts.The course will also cover the motivations, identities, and sources of the various redactors and, finally, whether the Hebrew Bible may be more than the sum of its parts.

Registration and payment

Synagogue Scholar

A series of talks by scholars from the congregation and beyond, presented following Friday night worship services. 

  • February 25, 2024 (Sunday morning)–Mary Warrener will deliver a talk entitled Cut Off: Shylock, Anti-Semitism, Value and Irony in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.”
  • May 10, 2024 (Friday night)–Phil Teumim will discuss his father’s role as part of a clandestine network that smuggled arms and arms-producing equipment in the lead up to and during the Israeli war for independence, despite the embargo on such activities.

Details on all the above found below and to follow.

Sunday morning, June 23, 10:30 a.m.

Preceded by bagels and coffee/tea 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

“Jews, Dodgers and Brooklyn: Before the Diaspora”

On June 23 we host Professor Willian Simons for a presentation that will examine the special relationship existing between Brooklyn’s large Jewish community and baseball’s Dodgers before they departed to Los Angeles. It is a story about an extraordinary time and place in American Jewish history and one leavened with humor and verve. The Dodgers drilled deep into the borough’s social fabric creating a unique bond with its Jewish residents and a shared sensibility between them. These bonds only got stronger when Jackie Robinson broke the color line in 1947. Simons will explore this unique connection in what should be a fascinating discussion. 

William Simons is professor emeritus at SUNY Oneonta and former chair of its history department. He is also co-director of the Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, an annual academic conference sponsored by the Hall of Fame and SUNY Oneonta.

Non-members are invited to register at

Watch also for a Zoom link in the weekly e-mail.


Jessamym Hope

Date to be announced

B’nai Sholom will be virtually hosting author Jessamym Hope as she discusses her novel Safekeeping. This debut work is largely set in a secluded kibbutz in 1994, with a disparate cast of characters. Hope’s novel, written from multiple perspectives, makes the reader feel a part of the tightknit and at times stifling community. In skillfully executed dramatic irony, Hope leaves the readers in a position of understanding far more about the residents than they do about each other. The Boston Globe called it “luminous , irreverent and ambitious” while The Toronto Globe and Mail characterized it as “a page turner that satisfies all the cravings of escapist reading while meeting the real world head on.”

Hope’s short stories have been widely published and have received two Pushcart Prize honorable mentions, , and have been anthologized in Best Canadian Essays, and The New Spice Box: Contemporary Jewish Writing. She grew up in Montreal, has long lived in New York City, and is spending the year in Tel Aviv.

More information will follow but multiple copies of her books are available in both the Synagogue library and that of the local library system.

Contact Us

420 Whitehall Road, Albany, NY 12208
518-482-5283|Email Us

Office Hours

Tuesday through Friday 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Closed Mondays

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