Adult Education

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Rabbi Richard Hirsh teaching "Ancient Israel and Contemporary Parallels for Modern Jewish Life"

In this course we looked at three significant transitional moments in the life of ancient Israel and contemporary parallels.  We looked at these moments through three key personalities:

Moses (c. 1100 BCE), Jeremiah (c. 600 BCE), and Ezra (c. 450 BCE)

Through the life of Moses we looked at how the religion of ancient Israel differentiated itself from the dominant surrounding culture.  Through the life of Jeremiah we looked at how the Israelite people navigated reconstructing their collective identity during a period of turmoil, trauma and upheaval.  Through the life of Ezra we looked at how the Jewish people reorganized its collective life around sacred text and also struggled with communal boundaries in what today we would call an "open society."

Rabbi Richard Hirsh is the Executive Director of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association and teaches at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.  

Here is are links to audio recordings of Rabbi Richard Hirsh teaching "Ancient Israel and Contemporary Parallels for Modern Jewish Life" at Beth Israel in May, 2014.

Teaching First Week 

Teaching Second Week, Part 1
Teaching Second Week, Part 2

Teaching Third Week


Mekom Torah

Mekom Torah is a community based Jewish learning project offering adults opportunities to learn in an atmosphere of honest questioning. It is the project of Rabbi Helen Plotkin in partnership with Beth Israel, Ohev Shalom, and Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Rabbi Plotkin, a graduate of RRC, serves as Director of the Swarthmore College Center for the Study of Classical Jewish Texts and is a member of BI.

In the Rabbi's Study


Mussar is a Jewish spiritual practice that is approachable and practical set of teachings for cultivating personal growth and spiritual realization in daily living.  The ultimate goal is to help us achieve greater wholeness and goodness.

Prerequisite:  Participation in a previous mussar group or permission of the instructor; please contact Rabbi Linda or Rabbi Nathan for more information

Tuesdays 4:15 - 5:45.  Please see the calendar for details.

Lunch & Learn

Join us as we share Torah, lunch and one another’s company once a month.  We will explore various Jewish practices, texts. Curriculum will be guided by the interests of the participants. RSVP at least 2 days in advance to the Beth Israel office at (610) 566-4645

Thursdays 12:00 – 1:30.  Please see the calendar for details.

Torah and Literature

Exploring Judaism and Life Through the Contemporary Short Story.  Details TBA