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.
2019-2020 Schedule of Events
Visit our calendar for confirmed times and locations. These events will take place at Beth El Synagogue, 1004 Watts Street, unless otherwise noted.
Hebrew I with Donna Goldstein: Sundays, 10:00-11:00 am, September 8-December 8 (no class on September 29 or November 24) — Register Here!
Hebrew Prayer Book Reading Class with Donna Goldstein: Mondays, 7:00-8:00 pm, September 16-December 9 — Register Here!
Walking with the Jewish Calendar with Rabbi Greyber — Register Here!
Saturday, May 30: Siyum / Shavuot / Adult B’nei Mitzvah*
September 12, 2019, 7:00 pm, Elisha Waldman, “This Narrow Space: A Pediatric Oncologist, His Jewish, Muslim, and Christian Patients, and a Hospital in Jerusalem.”
A memoir both bittersweet and inspiring by an American pediatric oncologist who spent seven years in Jerusalem treating children—Israeli Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and Palestinian Arabs from the West Bank and Gaza—who had all been diagnosed with cancer.
In 2007, Elisha Waldman, a New York–based doctor in his mid-thirties, was offered his dream job: attending physician at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center. He had gone to medical school in Israel and spent time there as a teenager; now he was going to give something back to the land he loved. But in the wake of a financial crisis at the hospital, Waldman, with considerable regret, left Hadassah in 2014 and returned to the United States. This Narrow Space is his poignant memoir of seven years that were filled with a deep sense of accomplishment but also with frustration when regional politics got in the way of his patients’ care, and with tension over the fine line he had to walk when the religious traditions of some of his patients’ families made it difficult for him to give those children the care he felt they deserved. Navigating the baffling Israeli bureaucracy, the ever-present threat of full-scale war, and the cultural clashes that sometimes spilled into his clinic, Waldman learned to be content with small victories: a young patient whose disease went into remission, brokenhearted parents whose final hours with their child were made meaningful and comforting.
Waldman also struggled with his own questions of identity and belief, and with the intractable conflict between Israelis and Palestinians that had become a fact of his daily life. What he learned about himself, about the complex country that he was now a part of, and about the brave and endearing children he cared for—whether they were from Rehavia, Me’ah She’arim, Ramallah, or Gaza City—will move and challenge readers everywhere.
More coming soon!
October 5: Sonari Glinton
“Forgiveness and Memory: What the Bible Tells Us About Reconciliation in Modern Life, Public and Private”
Regular Study Groups
- At 8:45 am on Saturday mornings, a group gathers at Beth El to study Mishnah before Shabbat services (will resume in the Fall). 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 Chapel Hill Library). The topics vary each month, so please check out the calendar for upcoming sessions.