Lifelong Learning

Education is a continuing commitment for persons of all ages. We sponsor a variety of introductory, intermediate and advanced courses in Hebrew Language and Jewish Studies ranging from a single session to a year-long commitment. We join with other Reform congregations in sponsoring an Introduction to Judaism course. We also host book discussions, guest lectures, scholar-in-residence and family workshops, as well as special events throughout the year, open to the community. Finally, we offer links to the many other institutions of Jewish learning throughout New York City. Please contact or call 718-522-2070 x160 if you have any questions.



Thursdays, 6:30 – 7:45 PM

Begins October 26, 7 sessions

Instructor: Rabbi Serge Lippe

Nevi-im is the second main division of Hebrew Scripture (the TaNaKh), positioned between the Torah and Ketuvim  (The Writings). The Nevi-im are divided into two groups. The Early Prophets consists of the narrative books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings; while the Latter Prophets consist of writings of the “big three” – Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel followed by the Twelve minor prophets – Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi. Our course will focus on these fifteen prophets, their origins, biographies, historical settings, and selected verses of their prophecies.

Free for members / $36 for non-members



Thursdays, 8:00 – 9:15 PM

Begins October 26, 8 Sessions

Instructor: Rabbi Serge Lippe

Rabbi Lippe will be teaching eight sessions for those who want to know more. This is a survey-introduction to the history, personages, sacred texts, ideas, and rituals of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Course will include guest lecturers and supplemental visits to other houses of worship as schedulable.

Free for members / $36 for non-members


A History of Jewish Liturgy: A Four Part Series: Part 1

Tuesdays, 7 – 8:30 PM

November 14 & 21

Instructor: Cantor Bruce Ruben

We will examine the Biblical origins of Jewish prayer and its evolution as a form of spiritual expression during the time of the First and Second Temples. Then we will look at how the rabbis created the liturgical structure that still remains the form of our prayers today. In the Middle Ages poets wrote a vast variety of liturgical poetry. Ranging from joyous praise of God, to mystical prayers of ascent to the divine throne, to elegies that remember our martyrs, the basic liturgy expanded, incorporating the best of each period’s creativity.


A History of Jewish Liturgy: A Four Part Series: Part 2

Wednesdays, 7 – 8:30 PM

March 14 & 21

Instructor: Cantor Bruce Ruben

In the nineteenth century the Reform movement, in its desire to harmonize Jewish worship with contemporary worship esthetics, stripped the liturgy of many of its medieval additions, excised repetition, and edited out theologically-troubling material. However, of the making of prayer books, there is no end. We will look at some contemporary approaches that continue the evolution of Jewish liturgy into our own time.

Free for members / $36 for all 4 sessions for non-members


iEngage — Shalom Hartman Institute

Israel’s Milestones & Their Meanings: The Legacy of the Past And the Challenge of the Future

Instructors: Rabbi Serge Lippe and Rabbi Molly Kane

8 Sessions, Wednesdays 7 – 9 PM, Nov. 8, Nov. 29, Dec. 13, Dec. 20, Jan. 3, Jan. 31, Feb 14, March 14.

Memory is a central element in defining modern Jewish identity. As we look to Israel’s future, we need to engage anew with our past and explore its meanings and consequences. Through the consideration of major historic moments, this iEngage Project series grapples with the different ideas and values that shape the meaning of modern Israel, Zionism, and Jewish identity today. This innovative course explores the pivotal events of 1947 and 1967 – following the 1917 Balfour Declaration – as key moments when Zionism unleashed new thinking about the meaning of Jewishness for generations to come. The course engages Jews in an open and pluralistic discussion about issues of Jewish identity, peoplehood, ethics, and theology, as they relate to nationhood, land, sovereignty, Jerusalem, occupation, and moral red lines.

Each session in this eight-unit course includes a 20-35 minute video lecture and a 20-30 minute roundtable video discussion with seniorHartman faculty, as well as primary sources and background readings.

Unit 1: 1917 – The Balfour Declaration: The Idea of a Homeland for the Jewish People

Unit 2: 1947 – The United Nations Partition Plan: The Jews in the World

Unit 3: 1967 – The Six Day War: Power, Land and God

Unit 4: Judea and Samaria: Occupation or Liberation

Unit 5: One State, Two States: Moral Red Lines

Unit 6: Jerusalem of God, Prayer and Peoplehood

Unit 7: Jerusalem of Responsibility, Loss, and Hope

Unit 8: The Jubilee Year and Beyond: Milestones and their Meanings

Free for members / $36 for non-members


Erich Fromm And You Shall Be As Gods

Wednesdays, 7 – 8:15 PM

October 18, October 25, & November 1

Instructor: Rabbi Daniel Lehrman

Best known for his classic The Art of Loving,  Erich Fromm (1900-1980) was a psychoanalyst and sociologist whose specifically Jewish writings are less well-known to many. Fromm’s most formative influence, he said, was his Orthodox Jewish upbringing and background. He was born into a line of distinguished rabbis and Talmudists, studied with some of the Jewish luminaries of his day in Germany, and lived a traditional life until he moved away from Orthodoxy at age 26, after arriving in the United States as a refugee from Nazi Germany in 1934. His life encapsulates the 20th century transition from tradition to modernity. In his 60’s, shaken by turbulent decades and the nuclear threat about which he had written so incisively, Fromm returned to his roots and wrote You Shall Be As Gods. The book is a study of the Hebrew Bible and its vision of human liberation. Join us in exploring this gem of a book by one of the great Jewish humanists.

Free for members / $36 for non-members



Thursdays or Sundays, 7:30 – 9:30 PM

Begins October 26th

Instructor: Rabbi Sue Oren

Join this 20-session introduction to Jewish life, thought, and practice. The curriculum is designed to give you access to concepts, vocabulary, and observances that are central to Judaism. Explore the holy and the historical, inherited texts and contemporary issues, rhythms of the calendar and of our lives in this seminar-style course. Thursdays meet at Temple Beth Emeth v’Ohr Progressive Shaarei Zedek and Sundays meet at Park Slope Jewish Center. Thursday, October 26th is the first session for everyone.

$400 course tuition and $25 materials fee

For registration, questions, and payment contact Rabbi Sue Oren at

917-539-1334 or


BEYOND BEGINNINGS: JEWISH FEMINISM An Exploration Of Women’s Changing Role in Contemporary Judaism

1 Monday Per Month Sept-June, 7:30 – 9:30 PM

& 1 Shabbat Gathering, Date TBA

Begins September 25th

Instructor: Rabbi Sue Oren

This course is designed as advanced study for Introduction to Judaism alumni. Each month we will study an aspect of feminist engagement, activism, and leadership in contemporary Jewish life and thought. Our primary text will be New Jewish Feminism: Probing the Past, Forging the Future, a wide-ranging collection edited by Rabbi Elyse Goldstein. Each month we will focus on a different aspect of Jewish feminism from personal, communal, and international perspectives.

$275 course tuition (includes supplementary materials)

For registration, questions, and payment contact Rabbi Sue Oren at

917-539-1334 or



Biblical Tales from the Book of Genesis

Wednesdays, 12:30 – 1:45 PM

October 11 – December 27

Instructor: Rabbi Molly Kane

Join Rabbi Molly Kane for a deep dive into some of our classic biblical tales from the Book of Genesis. This class will use Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg’s book, The Beginning of Desire: Reflections on Genesis, as a study guide for analyzing and drawing life lessons from selections from our weekly Torah portions from Genesis. From Adam and Eve to the Joseph narratives, this class will provide you with a rich understanding of our first book of the Bible and some of the most famous biblical characters. This class is being taught in person as well as online, so you can take a lunch break AND learn some Torah! Please register no later than Monday, October 2nd. You must pick up a copy of Zornberg’s book prior to the class beginning. You must register for this class whether you’re taking it in person or online. Once registering, you’ll receive instructions on how to access it online.

Free for members / $36 for non-members


The Reign of Solomon: The Last King of The United Monarchy

Everett Fox’s Translation of the Book of Kings

Thursdays 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Begins October 19 (runs through January)

Instructor: Rabbi Serge Lippe

Everett Fox’s translation of the Torah has been widely reclaimed as a scholarly, religious, and a literary masterpiece. Praising its unique and authoritative approach, the New York Times Book Review said, “It makes it possible for us to take up the Scripture as if we had never seen it before.” In his translation, The Early Prophets, Fox expands beyond his translation of Samuel to include the Book of Kings (I Kings chapters 1-11 along with II Chronicles chapters 1-9). We will learn about Solomon’s rise and consolidation of power, his building of the Temple in Jerusalem, the establishment of garrison cities in Megiddo, Hazor, Gezer, and beth-Horon, his establishment of administrative oversight and taxation throughout the kingdom, his political ties to King Hiram of Tyre, his many matrimonial alliances with foreign royal families, the famous visit of the Queen of Sheba, his reputation of extraordinary wisdom, insight, and judgment as reflect in the story of the infant with two women claiming to be its mother. Finally, we will study the internal political tensions and revolts in the East as his kingdom began to decline.

Free for members / $36 for non-members


Beginning Hebrew

Wednesdays, 7 – 8 PM

Begins October 18, Runs Oct-Dec, Feb-April

Instructor: Student Rabbi Evan Sheinhait

If you’ve always wanted to learn Hebrew, now’s your chance! Study with BHS’s Student Rabbi to decode the Hebrew alphabet and learn pronunciation, vocabulary, and more!

Free for members / $108 for non-members


Intermediate Prayer/Biblical Hebrew

Tuesdays, 8:00 – 9:15 PM

Begins October 17, Runs Through the Spring

Instructor: Rabbi Serge Lippe

Text: Prayerbook Hebrew the Easy Way (3rd Edition) EKS Publishing Presumes mastery of Hebrew decoding skills. Picks up where our Beginners course ended. We start with a review of basic vocabulary and grammar.

Free for members / $75 for non-members


Advanced Prayer/Biblical Hebrew

Wednesdays, 8:00 – 9:00 AM

Begins October 18, Runs Through the Spring

Instructor: Rabbi Serge Lippe

Text: The First Hebrew Primer (3rd Edition) EKS Publishing Presumes mastery of Hebrew decoding skills. Picks up where our Intermediate course ended. Assumes knowledge of basic vocabulary, verb participles, and past tense verbs. We will start with a review of the future tense and begin reading limited sections of the biblical Book of Ruth.

Free for members / $75 for non-members


Intermediate Conversational Hebrew

Thursdays, 9:45 – 11 AM

Begins Sept 28, Runs until End of November

Instructor: Sy Colen

Boost your Hebrew skills at BHS with a committed and trusted instructor, our very own Sy Colen. This course is designed for intermediate level students and will focus on a dual thrust curriculum: students will expand their knowledge of Hebrew in conversation and reading. Interested participants must be evaluated by the instructor prior to registration.

Free for members / $36 for non-members