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Adult Learning at Temple Emanu-El

We offer a wide range of courses for adults throughout the year, thanks to the generosity of the Koffler and Bornstein families.

Click on any of the offerings listed below for more information, or scroll down to see information on all of our offerings

Lets Talk Hebrew


Temple EmanuEl and the Rhode Island Jewish Alliance are happy to offer a 4 week summer session of Hebrew Conversation. 

What: Two levels. One for beginners and one for those who feel comfortable carrying on a basic conversation in Hebrew. 

Where: The courtyard behind the Alliance building weather permitting. (Indoors if needed) 

When: Tuesday evenings from 6:30 - 7:30 

July: 12,19,26, August 2

Cost:  $50  for all 4 sessions (scholarships are available) 

Registration: Click here to register for Hebrew. 

Israeli Dance! 

Instructor: Rina Wagman 
Time: Tuesdays 7:00-8:00 PM. In person at Temple Emanu-El 
Dates: August 30, September 6, 13, 20 (more to come after the Fall Holydays)
Cost: $40 (includes 4 sessions)

Israeli Dance is a cross of Middle Eastern dance steps with music and styles from all over the world. Learn traditional and modern moves and work out your body and soul while having FUN, relieving stress and connecting with Jewish communities. No experience necessary and all levels welcome. Light refreshments will follow.

We are thrilled to welcome Rina Wagman! 
Rina's parents met Israeli dancing, and she has been dancing for as long as she can remember.  In college, she taught an Israeli dance PE class.  In Boston, Rina has taught Israeli dance to people of all ages and abilities.  She co-runs the two biggest Israeli dance sessions in the area and an annual Israeli dance camp.

Registration coming soon

Fall 2022 Delve Deeper

Delve Deeper is an adult education initiative that brings dynamic teachers to present in-depth, university level Judaic courses to a diverse group of adult learners. Delve Deeper programs are presented in cooperation with the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island and area synagogues including: Congregation Beth Sholom, Temple Beth-El, Temple Emanu-El, Temple Habonim, Temple Sinai, and Temple Torat Yisrael. All are welcome to join!

This Fall we have two Delve Deeper offerings:

Moses Maimonides: Rabbi, Philosopher, and Community Leader

Instructor: Alan Verskin, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History, University of Rhode Island

In this course, we will read Maimonides’ works closely to get a sense of his mindset, life and
cultural world. We will explore and discuss his concepts of God, his understanding of the
purpose of the commandments, his ideas about the distinctions between Jews and non-Jews, and
his theory of scriptural interpretation. We will read from his enigmatic philosophical work, The
Guide of the Perplexed, and explore why it was simultaneously so influential and so
controversial. We’ll read from his summation of Jewish law, the Mishneh Torah, a book that
Maimonides hoped would make legal study widely accessible. Finally, we will also look at
Maimonides’ responses to letters written to him from across the Jewish world that ask for his
help in solving a variety of personal and communal problems, many of which still resonate
today. This class will have twelve meetings instead of the usual ten for Delve Deeper courses.

Thursdays from 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
September 8, 15, 22
October 13, 20, 27
November 3, 10, 17
December 1, 8, 15

All classes will be held on Zoom. The Zoom Link will be sent to those who register.

Cost: $250 for the semester
(Note that partial and full scholarships are available! Please do not let cost be a barrier!)

Click here to register for Delve Deeper Maimonides

You may also enroll by calling the Temple Emanu-El Office: 401-331-1616

For more information:
Contact: Morty Miller:

Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews: From 1492 to the 20th Century

Instructor: Yaron Ayalon, Ph.D., Director of the Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program and Associate Professor of Jewish and Middle Eastern Studies, College of Charleston (South Carolina)

This class will explore the history of Arab/Middle Eastern and Sephardic Jews (the Jews from
Iberia) from the expulsions from Spain in the late 15 th  century to their lives in Israel today. We
will start with Jewish life in Spain/Portugal before the expulsion and the persecution of Jews
there, as well as in the Arab world (present day Syria, Iraq, Israel, and Egypt). We will continue
with the dispersal of Sephardi communities and the establishment of Sephardi centers in Western
Europe and, mostly, the Ottoman Empire from the sixteenth century on. In the latter, Jewish life
thrived in the 16 th -18 th  centuries. Then, due to social and political changes in the 19 th  century, the
Jewish experience in Greece, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt transformed considerably. We will
explore those changes and why Zionism appealed less to Sephardic Jews in the Middle East than
to their eastern European counterparts. Finally, we will discuss the second Sephardic/Mizrahi
crisis, the mass migration of Sephardi-Mizrahi Jews from Arab countries in the 1940s and 50s,
the destruction of many Diaspora communities, and those Jews’ experience in Israel and
elsewhere in the second half of the 20 th  century.

Mondays from 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
September 19
October 3, 24, 31
November 7, 14, 21, 28
December 5, 12

All classes will be held on Zoom. The Zoom Link will be sent to those who register.

Cost: $250 for the semester
(Note that partial and full scholarships are available! Please do not let cost be a barrier!)

Click here to register for Delve Deeper Sephardi & Mizrahi Jews

You may also enroll by calling the Temple Emanu-El Office: 401-331-1616

For more information:
Contact: Morty Miller:

Re/introduction to Judaism 

Instructor: Rabbi Michael Fel and Cantor Brian Mayer
Time: Tuesdays 7:30-9:15 PM. In person at Temple Emanu-El 

  • Do you want to know more about Jewish ideas, practices and traditions?
  • Are you interested in learning more about Judaism?

    Are you exploring conversion to Judaism?
    Join Rabbi Fel, Cantor Mayer, and guest teachers to learn more about Judaism. This course is designed to be an introduction to Judaism so that those who were born Jewish or are interested in Judaism can learn more!  This class is part of the Miller Introduction to Judaism Program.
    $60 as part of adult Education - Includes Coursebook and materials; $360 as part of Conversion Program - Includes Coursebook, materials, individual meetings with clergy, Additional Books, Mikvah, and more.

929 Tanakh B'yahad (Hebrew Bible Together) 

Instructor: Rabbi Fel, Cantor Mayer and Cantor Silverberg

Time: Tuesdays 6:30-7:30 PM. In person at Temple Emanu-El.
Cost: $36 suggested donation to support educational scholarships.
(Those not in a position to donate are more than welcome to attend.)

Have you ever wanted to read the Hebrew Bible in its entirety?  Now in its third cycle, join people all over the world reading just one chapter a day during the week (you get weekends off!).  Using classic and modern biblical commentaries, we will look at the book of Genesis with a fresh set of eyes.  This class will look at sources in Hebrew with English translation.  All are invited, whether you are participating in 929 or not.  Learn more about 929 at
Click here to sign up 

Hug Ivri

Instructor: Rabbi Alvan Kaunfer

Time: Thursdays 9:00-10:00am (ongoing)

Rabbi Kaunfer leads this group, conducted entirely in Hebrew. It will continue its study and discussion of midrashim on biblical stories from Bialik’s Sefer Aggadah often moving into a variety of fascinating topics. If you are an advanced Hebrew speaker, join us!

For more information, please email Rabbi Kaunfer at

Parashat HaShavua

Instructor: Rabbi Alvan Kaunfer

Time: Fridays after minyan/zman kodesh 8:30-9:15am (ongoing)

Join Rabbi Alan Kaunfer for a weekly study session to discuss highlights from the Torah portion of the week. This weekly discussion takes place on Friday mornings after Z’man Kodesh.

All are welcome!

For more information, please email Rabbi Kaunfer at

CLICK HERE to join on Zoom

Sat, July 2 2022 3 Tammuz 5782