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.

September Classes:

Conservative Judaism Explained
Wednesday, Sept 11, 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.

 Q&A for: Beginning Hebrew & Machon Ivrit
Tuesday, Sept 24, 7:00pm with Teachers
Orientation to our Hebrew classes and levels. Meet the teachers, explore the syllabus, and get help with registration.

Shabbat Services 101
Wednesday, Sept 25, 6:30 pm with Deb Freedberg
Not comfortable with Hebrew and wanting to understand more about the Shabbat service prayers? Join Deb Freedberg for a stroll through the siddur to gain greater familiarity.

Contact Us to Learn More

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

JoAnn Bezodis
Education Administrator
503-293-7309 | email


Mel Berwin

Women’s Torah Study

Saturdays, following Shabbat services
Dates for 2019-20: Aug 10, Sept 14, Oct 26, Dec 14, Jan 11, Feb 22, Mar 14 & 28, Apr 11 & 25, May 9 & 23
Meets in
Room 111

An uplifting hour of study on Shabbat! Delve into biblical and midrashic text, (Hebrew and English text available) with a group of other women to find meaning from our traditions that relate to our lives. All levels of experience welcome. Taught by Mel Berwin. Free.

Wise Aging Series

September Series:
Thursday, September 5, 12, 19, & 26

10am-12pm with Deb Freedberg & Barb Schwartz

January Series:
Monday, January 13, 27; February 3, 10

10:15am-12:15pm with Deb Freedberg,
Barb Schwartz, & Rosana Berdichevsky

There are no set instructions for getting older. Our 4-week course was developed by the Institute of Jewish Spirituality and designed for people ages 55+ who want to enhance this stage of life with learning, growth, spirit, resilience and wisdom. Wise Aging is being offered twice this year, in September and January.

Students should purchase or borrow the book Wise Aging by Rabbi Rachel Cowan and Dr. Linda Thal. Limited space. $125 for the series. Limited scholarships are available.

To register, contact Deb Freedberg or Barb Schwartz.


Beginning Hebrew

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.


Siddur Basics

Wednesdays, 6:30-7:25pm, Room 116
1st Semester begins Oct 23
2nd Semester begins Jan 29 CANCELED

Overcome the barrier to your Shabbat service participation. Join a small group and attentive teacher to focus on the “how” and “why” of the major prayers of the Shabbat morning service, prayer concepts and choreography, and practicing words and tunes until you are more comfortable joining in. Course fee $50 per semester. Register online.

Learn to Leyn: Chanting Torah for Beginners and Beyond

Wednesdays, 7:35-8:30pm, Room 116
1st Semester begins Oct 23
2nd Semester begins Jan 29 CANCELED (drop-in leyning assistance on Wednesdays, 6-7pm in Room 116)

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 per semester.  Register online

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.


Sex, Beauty, War and Despair: Adult Themes in the Five Megillot with Rabbi Kosak

Sundays, 9:45-11:15am; Feb 2, 16; Apr 5, 12, 19; May 3, 17, 31; June 7, 14.

The five megillot are some of the enduring classics of world literature. Jews read these scrolls publicly on holidays throughout the year, but without the regularity with which we read the Torah. As a consequence, these important sections of the Bible are less familiar to the average synagogue goer. In this course, we will have an opportunity to examine the megillot, their deeply human themes, and the light they can shed on our own lives. Cost: $36 ($72 for non-members).

RSVP to Tori or register online.

“A la Carte” learning with Rabbi Posen

Have a topic you’ve always wanted to study in Judaism?  Wonder what the Jewish approach to … is? Reach out to Rabbi Posen and she’ll set up learning that works for you. You choose the location, and time, she brings the learning material. Contact: Rabbi Eve.

Rabbi Isaak: One People, Two Worlds

Begins Thursday, Oct 17, 9:45-10:45am

Does God exist?  Did Moses actually lead the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage to the Promised Land? Does it matter whether I keep Kosher or not? I belong to a Conservative synagogue, but am I a Conservative Jew (religiously speaking)? Explore these and a myriad other issues as we read and discuss the book One People, Two Worlds, a fascinating confrontation between a Reform and Orthodox rabbi. What divides them?  Where do they agree? Where do you stand? Cost is $36 and includes the book.

Rabbi Stampfer (z”l)
Talmud Study

Tuesdays, 5:00pm
Year-round, Room 111

Weekly learning and discussion on a portion of the Talmud with Rabbi Emeritus, Daniel Isaak. Free. Drop-ins welcome. No need to register.

Rabbi Isaak’s Bible Study

Thursdays, 3:30-4:15pm
Year-round, Room 111

Weekly learning and discussion on a book in the Tanakh with Rabbi Emeritus, Daniel Isaak. Free. Drop-ins welcome. No need to register.

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