This coming year we will be unveiling a completely new dimension to our Sunday and Religious school. Exciting changes to our program and schedule will offer greater flexibility and accommodate the vastly improved educational offerings for our students here in the Santa Clarita Valley. New and returning Family Education programs will also feature prominently in the coming months and we are thrilled to build on a solid foundation while also reaching in new directions.
For Adult learning, our Text Study class that meets Tuesday mornings at 9 AM continues to grow, in the last months have been studying the Christian Scriptures from a Jewish perspective.
Our Adult Education class meets Wednesday evenings at 7 PM and is coming up on 14 years of continuous weekly study. Whether it’s reading ancient sacred texts or studying contemporary issues, this class has continued to expand our minds and helped us explore the vast sea of Jewish knowledge. Over the past months we have engaged in an in-depth study of the history of modern Israel. We continue to challenge ourselves with new offerings and possibilities each week.
Learning opportunities continue outside the classroom and with special guests coming to our community. To help us learn more about LA Jewish Life, we will be taking a Tour of Wilshire Boulevard Temple on May 6th, from 11am-12pm. We will be carpooling from Beth Ami, or you can meet us there, but you must reserve your space by calling the TBA office.
At TBA we look forward to expanding the educational offerings for people of all ages and backgrounds. As our congregation continues to grow, so will the opportunities to expand the mind, heart and heart. We believe that we will truly be a stronger community when we are all devoted to lifelong learning–a Jewish tradition from Sinai.
Shavuot, our next major festival, celebrates Standing at Sinai. In ancient times, the Jewish people made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem three times a year to mark pivotal moments in the agricultural cycle: the early spring grain harvest at Passover, the later grain and fruit harvests at Shavuot, and the final autumn ingathering of produce at Sukkot.
In rabbinic times, Shavuot became identified with the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. It has long been a custom to inaugurate a Jewish child's education at Shavuot. In many contemporary American Jewish communities, confirmations and graduations take place at this time. There is also the recent practice of celebrating adult B'nai Mitzvah on this day. TBA has celebrated with nearly 50 adults as they have gone through the study and preparation required to read and comment on the Torah. We are putting together an Interest List for Adult B’nai Mitzvah, so please contact the TBA office if you are interested.
For fourteen years our community has revitalized an ancient tradition by celebrating Shavuot with the study of our sacred texts. Temple Beth Ami and Congregation Beth Shalom have taken turns hosting an evening of dessert and study on Erev Shavuot.
This year we will be hosting the Shavuot Study Session at Temple Beth Ami, on Tuesday evening, June 3rd, beginning at 7:00 PM. We look forward to your participation in this program, a celebration of Jewish learning and community connection.
Have a great month filled with great learning,
Rabbi Mark Blazer