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Please note: all classes will take place on Zoom.
Students may connect through landline, smart phone, tablet, or computer.


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

Daily Jewish Values Project

Starts January 10
Click here to learn more
Click here to register!

Join us on a congregational-wide journey to connect with each other, explore our Jewish tradition, cultivate our values, and transform and elevate our lives - one day at a time!

The Book of Jewish Values: A Day-by-Day Guide to Ethical Living by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin will guide us through a different value each day throughout the entire year. We will meet in small groups every other week to connect and discuss the previous weeks’ values, and have additional opportunities to connect and discuss as an entire congregation. 


Let's Talk Hebrew!
Conversational Hebrew classes are being co-sponsored by the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Islan and Temple Emanu-El. Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced levels are offered on Monday evenings. The classes began mid-December, but if you are interested, please contact Toby Liebowitz at to see if there is still space to join!

Winter Classes

All courses are offered via Zoom and are accessible via landline, smartphone, tablet, or computer. Links and phone numbers will be given to those who register

Suggested donation for each course: $36 / $25 for students and seniors

To register for any of the following courses, click here

Iyyun Tefillah - Deep Dive Prayer Study
Wednesdays after Z'man Kodesh, 6:05-7:00pm Starting January 20
Click here to register

Join Cantor Mayer each Wednesday evening for in depth looks at our liturgy.  Cantor Mayer covers topics based on the requests and interests of the participants.  Requests are welcomed!  Whatever the topic is, the prayer is studied through these lenses: spiritual content; contemporary & traditional interpretations, poetic structure; historical background; Hebraic features; Halakhic importance.  No Hebrew knowledge required. 

Mishnah Beit Midrash - The 2,000 Year Old Seder
Massekhet Pesahim Chapter 10
Wednesdays, January 20 - March 17 
(note: no class Feb. 3 or March 3)

Class/Shiur: 7:45-9:00pm
Optional Preparation/Hevruta Time: 7:00-7:45pm
Students may also choose to prepare material on their own schedule

Instructors: Xava DeCordova and Rabbi Rachel Zerin

Click here to register

- Have you ever wondered what the Passover Seder was like 2,000 years ago?
- Have you ever wanted to study traditional Jewish texts in the original Hebrew, but weren't sure how?
- Do you want to experience traditional Beit Midrash-style learning with a hevruta (study partner)?
- Are you interested in taking your Daf Yomi studies to the next level?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, this class is for you! This course, offered in partnership between Temple Emanu-El and Shel Maala, an internet-based grassroots beit midrash, will guide you through learning the 10th chapter of Mishnah Pesahim (the tractate currently being studied in the Daf Yomi cycle). We will conclude just in time for Passover, thus deepening your understanding of the origins and practices of the seder!

This class is for anyone who can read Hebrew– all you need to know is your aleph-bet! Students will be asked to spend approximately 45 minutes a week preparing materials for class, either on Wednesdays from 7-7:45pm (when the teachers will be available to offer support), or on your own schedule.

Hug Ivri
Thursdays, 9:00-10:00am
Instructor: Rabbi Alvan Kaunfer

Rabbi Kaunfer leads this group, conducted entirely in Hebrew. It will continue its study and discussion of the Book of Jeremiah, 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
Fridays, 8:30-9:15am
(note: no class Jan. 1 of Feb. 26; class on Feb. 12 begins @ 8:45am)

Instructor: Rabbi Alvan Kaunfer


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

Merciful Conversations on Race
Tuesdays, February 2 - March 2, 7:30pm
To register, click here

Temple Emanu-El, in cooperation with the Rhode Island State Council of Churches, will hold a series of conersations on the dynamics of race in our culture. Merciful Conversations on Race explores how race functions in society and in religious communities, and the ways that it negatively impacts people of color.

The course seeks to create a positive and trusting space to explore why race conversations can be a struggle, provide help for overcoming this challenge, and opportunities to further racial reconciliatioon on both personal and systemic levels. These conversations will be based on a curriculum developed by the United Church of Christ, with materials adapted for conversations in a Jewish context. This program is open to teens and adults.

Delve Deeper: The Jews of Spain
Click here to register!

Delve Deeper: A Program of Intensive Jewish Study is an exciting adult education initiative that brings dynamic teachers who are experts in their fields to teach in-depth, university-level courses to adult learners in Rhode Island. We strive to bring together a diverse group of learners for semester-long courses that will be interesting and accessible to beginner and advanced students alike. Through background readings, engaging lectures, and invigorating class discussions, students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the course topic, strengthen and deepen their Jewish identity, and cultivate relationships with their community of fellow students.

Delve Deeper is a project of Temple Emanu-El's Koffler Bornstein Families Institute of Jewish Studies, in partnership with other area synagogues.

Esther and the Jewish Women of Carpentras under the Pope's Rule
with Katharina Galor

Click here to register

From 1274 and until the French Revolution in 1789, Jews lived under the protection of the Pope in a region of southern France (today’s Vaucluse). For some of this time, they were restricted to reside within the strict confines of only four ghettos (carrières), known as the “Four Communities” (arbah kehilot), in Avignon, Isle-sur-Sorgue, Cavaillon, and Carpentras. Some of their homes and two of the four major synagogues have survived. 

In addition to their unique architectural legacy, they left us the text of a play called The Tragedy of the Queen Esther. Originally written in the seventeenth century by Mardochée Astruc, it was performed every year for Purim until 1790. This play, along with a number of unique artifacts, shed light on the life and position of Jewish women, in Carpentras specifically but also within the context of Jewish communities more generally. 

We will discuss how women’s roles were defined by biblical traditions and Talmudic laws. How  they related to contemporary French and European fashions, styles, and norms. And how they shaped Jewish women’s place at home, within their communities, and at their synagogues.  


Katharina Galor is an art historian and archaeologist specializing in the visual and material culture of Israel-Palestine. She received her B.A., M.A. and Diplôme d’Études Approfondi in Art History and Archaeology from the Université d’Aix-Marseille in France and her Ph.D. in Old World Art and Archaeology from Brown University. In addition to teaching at Brown, she also taught at the Hebrew University and the Ecole biblique et archéologique française in Jerusalem, at Tufts University and at the Rhode Island School of Design in the US, and most recently at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany. She has been a fellow at Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, at the Berlin Antike-Kolleg, the Zentrum Jüdische Studien Berlin-Brandenburg, the Chronoi Center of the Berlin Einstein Foundation, and this semester she was the Marcus Bierich Distinguish Visitor at the American Academy in Berlin. She is currently the Visiting Hirschfeld Associate Professor at Brown University with a joint appointment in the Program of Judaic Studies and the Program of Urban Studies. Her publications include The Archaeology of Jerusalem: From the Origins to the Ottomans (co-authored with Hanswulf Bloedhorn; Yale University Press, 2013), Finding Jerusalem: Archaeology Between Science and Ideology (University of California Press, 2017), and, with Sa’ed Atshan, The Moral Triangle: Germans, Israelis, Palestinians (Duke University Press, 2020). She is currently writing Jewish Women: Portraits of Conformity and Agency, a project supported by a grant from the Leo Baeck Institute, Berlin. 


Wed, May 5 2021 23 Iyyar 5781