Adult Education

At Temple Shir Tikva, we understand that each of us is on a personal Jewish journey that is deepened through engagement with each other in relevant and authentic learning experiences.  We strive to integrate formal and informal approaches to learning, including adult classes focused on Jewish themes, sacred texts, and contemporary application. We welcome all levels of experience and background and are delighted to work with you to determine which of our classes and offerings will be a good fit for you, no matter your life stage or current level of knowledge .

Our educational courses throughout the year include weekly Shabbat Morning Torah Study and a Wednesday Morning Text Study series, taught by our clergy, as well as the TST Book and Film Group, and other offerings by our clergy and outside speakers.

Shabbat Morning Torah Study

Every Shabbat morning, we gather to delve deeply into the weekly Torah portion, led by a member of our clergy.  The conversation is lively, as learners bring their life experience and prior knowledge (of Torah or anything else!) to our table.  Sometimes, we focus on only a few words of the week’s text, while other times we look broadly at themes the text generates. Those new to Torah learning may choose to read the Torah portion ahead of time to come to the table ready to engage in conversation (see’s Torah Study page for links to the text).   The group meets every Saturday morning, year-round, at 9:30 am. Drop in once or come every week.

Wednesday Morning Text Study

In our Wednesday Morning Text Study series, we focus on a new theme each year.  Backgrounds of participants range widely, and newcomers are always invited to join this warm and special community within the Temple.  The group meets on Wednesday mornings from 10:00-11:30 am, October to June.  Come once or every week!

Class Series

Our clergy offer a variety of class series throughout the year each year. Recent clergy offerings have included:

  • Singing as a Spiritual Practice, led by Cantor Hollis Schachner and choir conductor Susan DeSelms;
  • The Book of Psalms, led by Rabbi Danny Burkeman and Cantor Hollis Schachner, with guest student rabbis from Hebrew College.
  • Classic 20th Century Jewish Stories, taught by  Rabbi Emeritus Herman Blumberg;
  • Flourishing Group:  Positive Psychology and Judaism, co-taught by Rabbi Danny Burkeman and Mary Beth Rettger.

TST Book and Film Group

Throughout the year, our Adult Education Committee leads discussions of books and films on Jewish themes.  Recent selections have included: Atomic Anna by Rachel Barenbaum, Shalom Taiwan, Apeirogon by Colum McCann, and People Love Dead Jews by Dara Horn.

Guest Speakers and Scholars

Throughout the year, we offer a range of programs and classes intended for a wide swath of interests across our adult community. This includes our Scholar-in-Residence program each year, when we bring a noted scholar to lead us in learning opportunities over the course of a full weekend, as well as classes taught by outside scholars and experts in a variety of fields.

Some of our past outside speakers have included:

  • Lisa Danetz, a lawyer and member of the Advisory Committee of the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action, on voting rights, democracy, and election participation;
  • Jeremy Pivor, child of the community and Senior Program Coordinator for the Planetary Health Alliance, on the role of spiritual communities in saving the planet;
  • Dr. Jeremi Carswell and Dr. Kerry MacGregor, from the Gender Multispeciality Service (GeMS), on supporting the medical, emotional, and social needs of gender-diverse children;
  • Sarah Hurwitz, former speech-writer for Michele Obama and author of Here All Along, about her journey in Jewish adulthood;
  • Pulitzer Prize winner Eric Lichtblau, about his recent book detailing the journey of a Jewish-German refugee who returned to Germany as an American spy;
  • Dr. Roberto Olivardia, about children and adults living with ADHD and other neurodivergencies.
  • Scholar-in-Residence Rabbi Dr. Reuven Firesone, who led our community through a weekend of learning about the deep and nuanced relationship between Judaism and Islam

Our offerings vary each year, and old favorite are sometimes brought back for an encore. Keep an eye on our calendar and weekly emails for offerings. We can’t wait to learn with you.