Adult Education Update
May 28, 2017

This information is provided by
the Adult Education Committee to
highlight the exciting
adult learning opportunities at CBI and beyond.
Mark your calendar and RSVP as indicated.
Click on the links below for this week's updates:

Special Programs
Tikkun Leil Shavuot - "Your People Shall Be My People": The Voice of the Immigrant from Ruth to Today
Rabbi Mona Alfi and Cantor Julie Steinberg
Tuesday, May 30, 7:00 - 10:00 pm, in the Social Hall

On Erev Shavuot, we study The Book of Ruth. This year we will focus on the story of Ruth and Naomi as the story of immigrants, including the problems, concerns, and blessings facing them.

  • 7:00 - 8:00 pm - Text study, led by Rabbi Alfi, focusing on Ruth and Naomi as immigrants.
  • 8:00 to 9:00 pm - Guest speakers Gloria Casillas and Fatemeh Rezapour will share their immigration stories, followed by Q&A moderated by Rabbi Alfi.
  • 9:00 - 10:00 pm - The 20th century Jewish immigrant experience as expressed through music, led by Cantor Steinberg.
The evening will also include refreshments! Please RSVP by noon on Tuesday, May 30, by contacting the CBI office ( or 916-446-4861) or online at
Anti-Semitism & Hate Crimes in California & Beyond
A Dialogue with Nancy Appel, Associate Director,
Anti-Defamation League, Central Pacific Region

Sponsored by TICVA (The Israel Civil Voice Alliance)
Sunday, June 25, 1:00 - 3:00 pm, in the Sanctuary

The past year has seen a spike in divisive discourse and hateful activities throughout the country, including California. Some of these have been aimed at Jews, other minorities, and specific immigrant groups, and have emboldened white supremacy groups to rise up and speak out. Unfortunately, this spike coincided with the 2016 presidential election. Several national organizations, most notably the ADL and the Southern Law Poverty Center, have documented the recent trends in anti-Semitism and other hateful crime activities.

ADL's presentation will address key questions, including: What has been the trend in anti-Semitism during and since the 2016 presidential election? Is the current administration harboring advisers with anti-Semitic pasts and attitudes? Is the Alt Right fomenting hatred of Jews, non-whites, and immigrants? Have hate crimes increased in California, the U.S., and the world? What can we, as Jews and American citizens, do to counteract recent trends and promote racial and religious harmony in America?

To help plan for this event, RSVP to A donation of $5 or more to TICVA will be greatly appreciated.

TICVA is grateful for the generous support of cosponsor Congregation B'nai Israel, and for support from Sacramento-Davis area congregations, the Leonard M. Friedman Bar Association, City Councilmember Jay Schenirer, the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) Sacramento Section, and many individuals like you.

Recurring Programs
Religious Ethics in the 21st Century
Rabbi Mona Alfi
Tuesday, June 13, noon - 1:00 pm, in the Library
Rabbi Alfi tackles some of the toughest issues of Jewish ethics as applied to modern life. Each session of Religious Ethics will focus on an essay from Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel's Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity. Rabbi Heschel (1907-1972), PhD, was one of the most important theologians of the 20 th century. He was internationally known as a scholar, author, activist, and theologian. Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity is a collection of his essays that helps the reader understand the deep roots that social justice has in the Jewish faith and tradition. Heschel helps us understand how Judaism demands that we live by our values.

Handouts will be available at each session; purchase of the book is not required. Drop-ins and newcomers are welcome! Bring a brown bag lunch. There is no fee.

Adult B'nai Mitzvah Class
Cantor Julie Steinberg
Tuesdays, October 17, 2017, through May 7, 2019, 6:30 - 8:00 pm, in the Library

Have you thought about becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah? In this 18-month class, taught by Cantor Julie Steinberg, you will study beginning Hebrew, explore the richness of Torah, and learn to chant Torah and Haftarah. You will also study the liturgy of the Siddur (prayerbook) and be able to lead the Shabbat service. This course will deepen your knowledge of and connection to Judaism, and will culminate in a group B'nai Mitzvah service on Saturday, May 11, 2019 (parshat Kedoshim)!

Prerequisite: Introductory Hebrew instruction via the Aleph-Bet class. Tentative dates for this class are Sunday mornings, September 17 and 24, October 1 and 8, 2017 (exact times TBA). If these dates don't work for you, or if you have any questions about your level of Hebrew knowledge, please contact Cantor Julie Steinberg at

This class is limited to B'nai Israel members. Fee: $300 (does not include a separate $20 fee for the Aleph-Bet class). Scholarships are available. To register, please contact the CBI office at

In the Community 
Jewish Genealogical Society of Sacramento
Maryellen Burns: Oral Histories, Memoirs, and More
Personal narratives - autobiographies, oral histories, life history interviews, and memoirs - are an important research tool for understanding the relationship between people and their cultural roots. The stories we choose to tell and the stories we try to hide reveal us equally. Cultural historian Maryellen Burns will share simple techniques for gathering stories from our immediate and distant families, friends, and neighbors, plus uncovering diaries, journals, newspaper articles, photographs, objects, and other items that reveal not only connection to our ancestors but insight into their personal struggles and celebrations.

She'll provide potential interview questions, information on how to read photographs, and keys to understanding the importance of preserving objects cherished through the generations, and will share ways to bring the stories we discover to life, by careful editing and storytelling techniques.

Maryellen Burns is the author of Lost Restaurants of Sacramento and Their Recipes and two other books on food. She has received grants from Cal Humanities, the James Irvine Foundation, The National Trust for Historic Preservation, and The Storytelling Network for projects to uncover neighborhood and community history. She is currently working on the story of Rosa Sonneschein, a great aunt and publisher of The American Jewess, the first independent English-language magazine published by and for Jewish women in the United States.

All are welcome to attend the June 11 meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Sacramento (JGSS) at the Einstein Center, 1935 Wright Street, Sacramento. For more information about the JGSS, contact Mort Rumberg at

Getting Connected 

The URJ (Union for Reform Judaism) is the parent organization of our movement.  Click below for links to educational materials provided by the URJ:

Special Interest:

To see the current week's bulletin or a two-month schedule at any time go to:

Contact Info
Adult Education Committee,
Congregation B'nai Israel