Adult Education Update
November 12, 2017

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

Special Programs
The Israel Committee Presents:
Musical Diversity in 21st Century Israel

Francesco Spagnolo (Curator, Magnes Collection)
Victoria Hanna (Israeli Performance Artist)
Sunday, November 19, 2:30 - 4:00 pm, in the Sanctuary

Francesco Spagnolo will discuss the music of contemporary Israel and its evolution into the diverse cultural landscape it lives in today, spanning multiple countries of origin and a wide range of genres. Using a variety of audiovisual examples, he will illustrate its movement from traditional Orthodox prayer to secular hip-hop. Jerusalem-based artist Victoria Hanna will comple ment the lecture with performance pieces encompassing the roots of mizrachi music and the blending of Jewish and Arabic musical cultures, skillfully engaging the audience with mesmerizing melodic and vocal samplings originating from the earliest mystical manuscripts.
Francesco Spagnolo teaches "Music in Israel" at UC Berkeley, and is a multidisciplinary scholar focusing on Jewish studies, music, and digital media. In addition to his role as Curator of the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life in Berkeley, he is an Associate Adjunct Professor in the Department of Music at UCBerkeley, and a host for the cultural programs of Italian National Radio (RAI) in Rome, Italy. Israeli vocalist Victoria Hanna w
as born and raised in Jerusalem by a Persian mother and Egyptian father in an Orthodox Jewish home. She  describes her work as highly spiritual, holy, and experimental, reflecting her upbringing in a religious community where language and the elocution of prayer were valued above all other arts, and reflecting Jerusalem itself, where the overlap of past and present is its very essence.

Join the presenters after the program for wine and light refreshments. Suggested donation: $10 in advance, $15 at the door. RSVP requested to help with planning: This program is cosponsored by the Adult Education Committee and Women of B'nai Israel.
The Focus on Racial Justice Committee presents:
"Embracing Sacramento's Diversity" Series
An Evening with Durriya Syed
Saturday, December 9, 7:00 - 9:00 pm, in the Social Hall

Please join us for the next presentation in the "Embracing Sacramento's Diversity" series. Our speaker, Durriya Syed, is the recipient of numerous local awards for her exceptional interfaith and community services work. Her presentation will provide insights into her work within the interfaith and Muslim communities. Durriya's efforts are varied, from working within the Muslim American Society Social Services Foundation to serving in leadership roles with the Interfaith Service Bureau. RSVP to to attend this event.

Recurring Programs
Religious Ethics in the 21st Century
Rabbi Mona Alfi
Tuesday, November 14, noon - 1:00 pm, in the Library

Rabbi Alfi tackles some of the toughest issues of Jewish ethics as applied to modern life. We discuss politics, economics, Israel, Jewish communal relations, and many other issues. To request or suggest a topic, please e-mail Rabbi Alfi with ideas. Regular attendance is not required; drop-ins and newcomers are welcome! Bring a brown bag lunch. There is no fee.

From the Brotherhood 
Achim: A Discussion Group for Men
"My Partner Just Doesn't Understand Me, and I'm Not Sure I Understand My Partner"
Dr. Glenn Hammel and the Brotherhood
Sunday, November 12, 7:00 - 8:30 pm, in the Chapel

This Achim gathering will illuminate a variety of issues that men can struggle with in a romantic relationship. We will examine questions such as: What are the areas where you want your partner to be more open and honest with you? What kind of emotional support do you want from your partner? How can your partner appreciate and admire you more? What is loving behavior? What should you do when your partner gets upset or emotional? Do you feel confident asserting your needs in the relationship?

You will likely find out that many men have been having similar issues and relationship problems. Opening up to the other participants, without fear of judgments, can make available the rich store of experiences and wisdom that others have. Conversely, you may well have the insights that others need to gain from you.

Come to B'nai Israel's Achim: A Discussion Group for Men. Achim is the Hebrew word for "brothers," and this group is a monthly forum of education, facilitated discussion, contemplation, and camaraderie, led by Glenn Hammel, Ph.D. and Rebbitzen.

In the Community 
Jewish Genealogical Society of Sacramento
Ron Arons: Finding Living People on the Internet
Sunday, November 19, 10:00 am, at the Einstein Residence Center, 1935 Wright Street, Sacramento

Ron Arons will share information and websites that can assist you in locating living people. The majority of the examples are about women, as they are more difficult to track down than men. Ron will focus on people finders and directories, professions, social networking, international websites, court and other government records, newspapers, and political contributions. He will also talk about "negative research," proving someone is dead, not alive.

Ron is the author of The Jews of Sing Sing and appeared on the PBS television series The Jewish Americans, speaking about Jewish criminals of New York's Lower East Side. In the process of researching his criminal ancestor's past, Ron has traced his roots to England, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania.

All are welcome to attend the November 19 meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Sacramento at 10 a.m. at the Einstein Residence Center, 1935 Wright Street, Sacramento. For more information, contact JGSS president Mort Rumberg at

Coming Attractions - Save the Date
Details to Follow
Bible Stories That Make Us Think Twice About What We Believe
Rabbi Michael Oblath
Thursday, January 4, 7:00 - 9:00 pm, in the Chapel

Growing up, we are taught Bible/ Tanach from the perspective of the rabbis of 1500 years ago. But what about the perspective of the texts' original authors and editors? Sometimes, reading these stories in their more original context can be stimulating, surprising, and extremely challenging. We'll look more closely at three such stories: Elijah and the Prophets of Ba'al (1 st Kings); the Akedah (Genesis); and Moses, Water from the Rock, and God's Anger (Exodus and Numbers).

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