The Lifelong Learning Committee brings Jewish educational programs to Beth El, and to the greater Triangle Jewish community. We offer classes, lectures, and discussion groups, on topics that range from prayerbook Hebrew to mindfulness meditation to psalms and megillot. Classes generally take place Sunday mornings at Beth El, or during the evenings at locations in Durham and Chapel Hill.
Lifelong Learning Author Series
These events are made possible by support from the Elaine Perilstein Endowment Fund.
Sunday, March 11, 11:00 am: Peter Hayes, Why?: Explaining the Holocaust
Peter Hayes (Ph.D., Yale, 1982) specializes in the histories of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust and, in particular, the conduct of the nation’s largest corporations during the Third Reich. Prof. Hayes currently serves as the chair of the Academic Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Why? dispels many misconceptions, and answers some of the most basic―yet vexing―questions that remain: why the Jews and not another ethnic group? Why the Germans? Why such a swift and sweeping extermination? Why didn’t more Jews fight back more often? Why didn’t they receive more help? While responding to the questions he has been most frequently asked by students over the decades, world-renowned Holocaust historian and professor Peter Hayes brings a wealth of scholarly research and experience to bear on conventional, popular views of the history, challenging some of the most prominent recent interpretations. He argues that there is no single theory that “explains” the Holocaust; the convergence of multiple forces at a particular moment in time led to catastrophe.
Tuesday, May 15, 7:30 pm: David Kramer, United Nation: The Humanitarian Story of Israel
In United Nation, David Kramer takes us on a journey of Israel’s humanitarian efforts that began close to 69 years ago and continues unabated throughout the world today. In his collection of over 40 stories, personal interviews and press releases, Mr. Kramer presents the benevolent and altruistic sides of the Israel nation that have been mostly hidden beneath years of censure and denunciation.
In addition to being the author of United Nation: The Humanitarian Story of Israel, David Kramer is founder and director of the NU Campaign. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and children.
Regular Study Groups
- At 8:45 am on Saturday mornings, a group gathers at Beth El (as of January 2018 the group gathers at Trinity Ave Presbyterian Church, 927 W Trinity Ave, Durham, NC 27701, during Beth El’s renovations) to study Mishnah before Shabbat services. There’s also a brief text study after the 8:00 am Wednesday morning minyan at the Freedman Center (1008 Watts Street). These study groups are open to everyone. No matter what your level of knowledge, and whether you can come once a week or once a year, you’re very welcome to attend.
- Wednesday morning weekday services starts at 8:00 am. Join us for services, coffee, nosh, and schmoozing, followed by a study led by Rabbi Greyber on the book of Exodus as read by the Medieval Jewish Commentators. Rosh Chodesh Wednesday services start at 7:45 am; check the weekly announcements to confirm start time.
- We offer an advanced weekly Midrash class led by Rabbi Emeritus Steve Sager. Please contact Rabbi Sager if you are interested in joining this group.
- Do you sometimes wish there was more time to discuss the Parasha/Torah Portion of the Week? Approximately once a month, we offer Torah discussions led by various congregants. Times vary from before (9:30 am) or concurrent with (10:30 am) the Torah reading in the main sanctuary, to an occasional session held after kiddush lunch. Check out our calendar for upcoming sessions.
- In order to meet some of our members where they are, Rabbi Greyber leads monthly Lunch and Learn sessions at the UNC Chapel Hill Hillel (as of January 2018 the group gathers at the Chapel Hill Library). The topics vary each month, so please check out the calendar for upcoming sessions.
Hebrew Courses for the 2017-2018 Academic Year: