Adult Education Classes/Programs

Adult B’nai Mitzvah

This course meets weekly on Sunday mornings from 10:00 – 11:30.

This 18-week workshop enables participants to deepen their connection to Jewish spirituality and practice. It is designed to create comfort and gain mastery over Jewish spirituality and prayer, especially Shabbat morning services. At the end of the course, participants will be celebrate their B’nai Mitzvah on March 17, 2018.

The course is facilitated by Michael Schulman and requires our Basic Hebrew course. For more information, contact Arnie at 374-8173, or

Biblical Hebrew and Rituals

Are you interested in learning more about the Hebrew language, prayers, and rich Jewish history? If you are, then consider joining the Adult Hebrew and Ritual class held at Gates on Sunday mornings from September 10, 2017 to May 21, 2018. The class will meet for 26 sessions from 10:00 a.m. to noon, with Lee Brice as the course organizer and instructor, and guest appearances from Rabbi Matt Cutler, Rabbi Eleanor Pearlman, Arnie Rotenberg, Director of Congregational Jewish Living, and our new Student Cantor, Stefano Iacono. Whether you are an experienced Judaic scholar or someone beginning to delve into Jewish studies, you are welcome to join this class filled with enriching information and lively discussion. For more information or to sign up for the class, contact Lee Brice at or 518-727-6968.

Tuition: $75. Scholarships are available.
Book Fees: Students are responsible for getting their own books.

Aleph Isn’t Enough: by Rabbi Linda Motzkin, published by URJ Press, and sold by Behrman House, $18.95 new. As we are working on translations, Buying a used book is not recommended as it will probably be already written in.  

Heritage: Civilization and the Jews with Abba Eban, book and DVD: We will be watching and discussing episodes from the DVD series during the year. While the DVD set is quite expensive, around $200, the paperback book, on which the series is based, is available used on Amazon with free shipping for under $6.00. We’ll be discussing the first three chapters this year and possibly taking three chapters a year for the next two years. It’s a great resource! The DVD series is in our library and available for borrowing to view at home.

My People’s Prayer Book, volumes one and two (this will be our prayer resource guide): published by Jewish Lights. Available used in good condition for about $12.00 including shipping. The introductory essays are excellent, providing a historical background for the development in general of our present-day liturgy and are worth reading. We will be reading commentary and discussing selected prayers in these two volumes throughout the year.

Learners Minyan

With Rabbi Eleanor Pearlman
Wednesday mornings from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (unless noted on calendar).
Weekly attendance would be lovely, but not necessary.
No fee. No knowledge of Hebrew necessary.

To register, please contact Kathy at or call 374-8173, so that adequate materials will be available.

First Thursdays* Adult Ed Talks

Join us the first Thursday of each month for a variety of speakers and topics. The program, facilitated by Rabbi Matt and Arnie Rotenberg, runs from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Reservations are not necessary, but helpful when planning refreshments and materials. Please RSVP to or call 374-8173. Each talk is free-standing, so please join us for one or all! Save these dates: 10/19/17*, 11/2/17, 12/7/17, 1/4/18, 2/1/18, 3/1/18, 4/12/18*, 5/3/18

*some dates are not the first Thursday due to holidays


10/19/17: Speaker Rabbi Dr. Ron Kronish. Topic: He will discuss his book The Other Peace Process: Interreligious Dialogue, A View From Jerusalem.

11/2/17: Speaker Joselin Linder.Topic: She will discuss her book The Family Gene; a mission to turn my deadly inheritance into a hopeful future.

12/7/17: Speaker Rev Victoria J. Brooks, Director of Religious and Spiritual Life, Union College. Topic: Women and Mothers in Scriptures.

For more information about these programs , please contact Arnie at

The State of Israel

The Israel Committee of Congregation Gates of Heaven is sponsoring a three part lecture series in honor of Israel’s 70th Anniversary on Sundays, October 15, 22, and 29 at 7:00 p.m. Three respected local academics who have lived and worked in Israel will present their views of trends and challenges in Israeli society in four areas: education, security, politics, and culture. More information.

 Ongoing Adult Ed

Words We Live By with Lee Brice. Thursdays at 11am (unless noted on the calendar). Meets in the Randall Adult Library. No fee, materials provided.

Lunch and Learn with Rabbi Matt: Thursdays at noon (unless noted on calendar). Meets in the Sisterhood/David Hatkoff Room. No fee, lunch and materials provided.

Torah Study with Rabbi Matt: Saturdays at 9am in the Sisterhood/David Hatkoff Room. No fee, materials provided.

Hebrew: Connection to our Prayers with Rabbi Eleanor Pearlman: Tuesday at 11:30 am. except on Sisterhood AM book group days.some knowledge of Hebrew letters would be helpful, but is not a prerequisite. Fee is $18 for Alef Isn’t Tough. Light lunch provided.