Lifelong Learning Opportunities

It’s never too late to learn! Whether we’re new to Judaism or have been learning all of our lives, we all need to be inspired and to evolve in our beliefs and practices. Neveh Shalom offers opportunities to deepen our connections to each other, to our language, our texts, and our traditions.

Contact Us to Learn More

Mel Berwin
Director of Congregational Learning
503-293-7306 | email

JoAnn Bezodis
Education Administrator
503-293-7309 | email


USCJ Member

Conservative Judaism Explained

Tuesday, Sept 8, 7pm with Mel Berwin

Whether you’re a new member or simply seeking greater clarity, you’re invited to attend this engaging opportunity to learn about our movement’s name, values, and distinguishing features. Free and open to all.

Click here to register.

Q&A for: Beginning Hebrew & Machon Ivrit

Tuesday, Oct 13, 7:00pm with Teachers

Orientation to our Hebrew classes and levels. Meet the teachers, explore the syllabus, and get help with registration.

Click here to register.


Mel Berwin

Women’s Torah Study

Saturdays at 12:00pm on Zoom
Jan 2, 16; Feb. 6, 20; Mar 6, 20; Apr 3, 17; May 1, 15

An uplifting hour of study on Shabbat! Delve into biblical and midrashic text with a diverse, supportive group to find meaning from our traditions that relate to our lives. This year, the theme of our study is “Justice.” All levels of experience welcome, texts are in Hebrew and English.  Women’s Torah Study welcomes all who identify as women as well as those who identify as transgender, genderqueer, non-conforming, or non-binary.  Taught by Mel Berwin. Free.

Contact Mel for Zoom link.

New Session!
Wise Aging Series

Mondays, 1:30-3:00pm over Zoom
  • Feb 1, 8, 15, 22

There are no set instructions for getting older–for the shifts in our social and support networks, the mixed signals of entering retirement or the surprising turns in our relationships with ourselves, our parents, our partners, friends and colleagues. Wise Aging offers a guided path, designed to help participants discover new resources to enhance their later years with learning, growth, spirit, resilience and wisdom. February’s program will include sessions on self-forgiveness, living with loss and developing the middot (character traits) of equanimity and patience.

Facilitated by Deb Freedberg and Barb Schwartz. Students are asked to purchase a copy of Wise Aging, by Rabbi Rachel Cowan and Dr. Linda Thal. There will be a maximum of 6 students. Suggested donation for the series is $75-$100.

For further information and registration details, please contact Deb Freedberg or Barb Schwartz. Please use “Wise Aging Inquiry” for the subject line.

Cancelled —

Roots & Branches: Digging into Jewish Ideas & Practice

CANCELLED Monday evenings for 24 weeks beginning October 19
Cost: $400 / $360 members, Financial aid available.

This new weekly class is for anyone who would like to understand the roots of our traditions and explore the many branches of evolving practice of holidays, prayers, and big Jewish ideas. Three engaging educators bring their expertise to demystify both the “why” and the “how” of Jewish life, bringing texts that lay the foundations of our traditions as well as exploring the many ways these traditions exist in contemporary, diverse Jewish life today.

Taught by: Rabbi Eve Posen (holidays and lifecycle), Deb Freedberg (prayer and ritual) and Mel Berwin (theology and big Jewish ideas)

Jewish Women Standing Up through History

Thursdays 6:15-7:15pm Oct 22-Dec 3 (not Thanksgiving), Free
Cantor Linda Shivers
From the 5 the sisters in the Torah (Tirza, Machla, Noa, Hogla and Milka) to Keturah and on through modern Jewish women like Nobel prize winner Rosalyn Yarrow and Israeli rights advocate Anat Hoffman, there are many Jewish women who have stood up for their ideas and concerns. We have much to be proud of. We will look at many notable Jewish women in depth and learn where to look for heroines and role models. Register Online.
Co-sponsored by CNS Sisterhood and CNS Lifelong Learning.


Beginning Hebrew

NEW, Spring Start, Jan 21-May 13, Thursdays, 7- 8:30pm

This course (or its equivalent level of mastery) is a pre-requisite for all other Hebrew and synagogue skill classes, and acts as the first year of Machon Ivrit. 

Ease into Hebrew beginning with Alef-Bet letter recognition, vowels, and decoding skills, and move on to build a basic vocabulary.  Register online. For calendar and costs, click here.

Machon Ivrit – Modern Hebrew

Interested in learning Modern Hebrew?  Machon Ivrit offers three years of Hebrew study.  This once-a-week program brings learners to higher levels of speaking, reading, and understanding.

  • Level One: Ready to Read & Speak
  • Level Two: Advanced Hebrew
  • Level Three: Conversational

For more information or to register, click here.

Hebrew for Prayer

Tuesdays Oct 20-May 26
Cost: $125/ $100 CNS members
Reading and understanding Hebrew is the key to experiencing the richness of Jewish prayer. In this class, we will learn the basic vocabulary and grammar that will enhance our understanding of our most recited blessings and prayers, as well as devoting time each week to practicing the reading/reciting of the prayers.
Text: Prayerbook Hebrew the Easy Way, Third Edition
Students must be able to read Hebrew.

Synagogue Skills Private Tutorial

Work on meeting your goals and get one-on-one coaching with Deb Freedberg. Set up a few sessions or a full semester working towards a special event. Contact Deb for pricing.

Adult Bnai Mitzvah

Celebrate a new achievement and milestone! Contact Deb Freedberg for more information.

Learn to Leyn: Chanting Torah for Beginners and Beyond

Sundays, 6-7pm by Zoom, beginning Nov. 8-Dec 6, cost: $50

Learn to chant Torah—you can do it! We cover the names and tunes of the cantillation symbols and then work on a short Torah reading for a future service of your choice. Taught by Deb Freedberg. Course fee $50.


The 5 Books of Moses and You: weekly discussion of Torah portion with Rabbi Eve Posen

Mondays, beginning Oct 12

Come learn and discuss central themes of each parshah and how they relate to our lives today. Then, take the week and capture the themes in your own way be it photography, song, written word, tiktok, art, or any other way you can imagine it. We’ll start each session sharing what we’ve created and moving to the next part of the narrative. Perhaps we’ll even create a collection of Torah as told by our different perspectives. Open to all ages and stages and creativity levels. No previous text study required.

To register, please contact Lisa-Marie at:, 503-246-8831.


“The Bible With and Without Jesus: How Jews and Christians Read the Same Bible Differently” with Rabbi Daniel Isaak

Thursdays, 10:30-11:30am, 12 sessions from January 21-April 8

While Christians see original sin in the story of Adam and Eve, Jews do not. That is possible because we both read our Scripture in light of our long traditions: the New Testament versus Talmud and commentary. Employing a recently published scholarly book, we will explore how sister religions derive contradictory affirmations from identical passages. Cost: $25. Register with Lisa Marie at: or 503-246-8831. Order the book: “The Bible With and Without Jesus” by Levine & Brettler (Amazon has it for hardcover $29.99, Kindle$16.99 – order with Amazon Smile and give a percentage to Neveh Shalom).

Through a Lens of Fire: Hasidic Insights on Torah
with Rabbi David Kosak

class resumes November 4th, ongoing

The Hasidic approach to Torah utilizes a sophisticated psychological approach that was ahead of its time and that remains quite modern in its outlook. At essence, these authors are asking us how we want to experience our life

All classes will be held via Zoom, unless conditions change. RSVP to Lisa-Marie.

Songs from the Heart: Sacred and Secular Jewish Poetry
with Rabbi David Kosak

Sundays December 6th, 13, 20; January 10, 17th, 24th
10 am-11:15 am

Cost: $36/Household suggested donation.

From the Song of the Sea in the Torah, to the entire Book of Psalms; from the Medieval Wine-Song Salons to the poets of Israel today, poetry has always been an important part of Jewish culture. While poetry has fallen out of favor in contemporary America, it has historically been the preferred medium to remember, to protest and to give expression to human yearnings.

We will examine some well-known and lesser known poets and discuss their hopes and values.

Concluding Poetry-Wine Salon
January 31, 7 pm

Like our medieval ancestors, we will combine an evening of poetry, wine and music to relive the Salons of Iberia which brought together Jew, Muslim and Christian.

All classes will be held via Zoom, unless conditions change. RSVP to Lisa-Marie.

Rabbi Kosak Lecture–Torah of Today

Sunday March 7 & 23, 4:00pm

This is a time of tremendous change. Rabbi Kosak will reflect on what Judaism has to say about contemporary issues, utilizing a variety of sources. Please stay tuned for more details as the date approaches.

All classes will be held via Zoom, unless conditions change. RSVP to Lisa-Marie.

STORIES, QUIPS, and ZINGERS from the TALMUD – Rabbi Isaak Adult Ed Emeritus Class by Zoom

NEW TIME/DATE: Thursdays 10:30-11:30am, Sept 24 – Dec 3

Cost $35  

The Talmud is a compendium of lore as well as law. It contains numerous stories about the Rabbis and exposes their attitudes about everything from cuisine and sex, to what they think of each other. These episodes, often quite humorous, underscore Jewish thought about life to this day. Each class we will discuss another excerpt. In English. No background required. This class is dedicated to the memories of Rabbis Stampfer and Steinsaltz. 

To register, please contact Lisa-Marie at:, 503-246-8831.

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