Adult Education Update
September 3, 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:

"Maupopo he Hawai'i au - Now I Understand that I am a Hawaiian": A Native Hawaiian Living in the California Diaspora
Jason Lindo
Saturday, September 9, 7:00 - 8:30 pm, in the Social Hall (note location change)

This event, the third in a series on Embracing Sacramento's Diversity, features our own Jason Lindo. His topic will be "Maupopo he Hawai'i au - Now I Understand that I am a Hawaiian": A Native Hawaiian Living in the California Diaspora.

Jason Keli'inohokula Lindo was born and raised in Honolulu, O'ahu, in 1959, the year Hawai'i became the 50th state in the Union. Many in our congregation are familiar with Jason's Crypto-Jewish and Portuguese heritage. Fewer people know that Jason is also part Native Hawaiian and traces his ancestry back to the mother of King Kamehameha I, or that his great grandmother was both a lady-in-waiting and dressmaker to the last monarch of the Kingdom of Hawai'i, Queen Lili'uokalani. Jason grew up in an extended Hawaiian family where genealogy, family history, language, and cultural practices were both cherished and also hidden from outsiders.

Jason's life in Hawai'i was a constant struggle between the desire to immerse himself in Hawaiian culture and the push to assimilate into modern American life that viewed being Hawaiian as a liability rather than an asset. It was only on moving to California to attend university, and then making a home in Sacramento, that Jason discovered the deep roots of the Hawaiian people in Northern California that extend back to the very founding of the city, with the construction of Sutter's Fort by Native Hawaiian laborers. Gradually, in setting down roots in the old and large Hawaiian community in Sacramento and Northern California, Jason was able to achieve lōkahi, balance, in living as a Native Hawaiian in 21st century America. It is that journey that Jason will be discussing in his talk.

This talk is co-sponsored by the Racial Justice and Adult Education Committees. A reception will follow the presentation. Please RSVP at, or contact the CBI office at 916-446-4861.

Preparing Your Heart for the High Holy Days
Deni Marshall
Tuesdays, September 5 and 12, 7:00 - 8:30 pm, in the Chapel

Make your High Holy Days experience more meaningful. Join us for two evenings in September to begin the journey of rejoicing and t'shuvah (returning). On Tuesday, September 5, the "Preparing Your Heart" class will focus on Rosh Hashanah, and on Tuesday, September 12, the class will focus on Yom Kippur.

The process of examining one's life in order to forgive oneself and others, and to be forgiven, does not begin on Kol Nidre. Our Jewish tradition has built in a beautiful and meaningful process that begins on Tisha b'Av, the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av, which precedes S'lichot by approximately six weeks. During this time, Jews generally begin a chesbon hanefesh, or accounting of the soul, in preparation for the intense work of t'shuvah that we do on the High Holy Days. From Tisha b'Av to S'lichot to Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and Simchat Torah, we take a journey of self-examination and transformation in order to return in joy to nishimat tahora, the pure soul we were born with.

The "Preparing Your Heart" class will be led by Deni Deutsch Marshall, a Jewish Spiritual Director trained through the Moreh Derekh Jewish Spiritual Direction Program. The curriculum of the class will touch on the process, reasons, and methods for preparation, and will include contemplative prayer, guided imagery, journaling, and discussion.

There is no fee for this class, and everyone is welcome. For more information and to RSVP for the class, contact the CBI office at 916-446-4861 or
Aleph-Bet Class
Lisa Brodkey and Jennifer Kaufman
Sundays, September 17 and 24, October 1 and 8, 10:15 am to noon, in the Conference Room

This class is an introduction to reading Hebrew for beginners, designed for anyone who wants to "crack the code" of the Hebrew alphabet. This year it serves as a prerequisite for the Adult B'nai Mitzvah class that will begin on October 17. It is also for anyone who wants to have a brief experience in Hebrew learning before committing to a more lengthy Hebrew language program. This is a popular class, taught by talented and engaging congregants.

Fee: $20 for members, $25 for nonmembers. The registration deadline is September 8 (so class materials can be ordered). For more information or to register, contact the CBI office at 916-446-4861 or
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. This class will meet on Sunday mornings, September 17, September 24, October 1, and October 8, from 10:15 a.m. until 12:00 noon (see listing above). 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

Special Programs
Israeli Politics and Their Impact on Democracy and Religious Freedom: Can Israel Be Both Jewish and Democratic?
Drash by Rabbi Uri Regev (President and CEO, Hiddush)
Friday, September 15, 7:30 pm, in the Sanctuary (Shabbat Service)

Rabbi Uri Regev, an internationally renowned leader and advocate of religious liberty and the liberal movements of Judaism in his native Israel and around the world, will give the drash at the Shabbat evening service on Friday, September 15. His topic will be Israeli Politics and Their Impact on Democracy and Religious Freedom: Can Israel Be Both Jewish and Democratic?

Rabbi Regev is past president of the World Union for Progressive Judaism and currently serves as the President and CEO of a new educational and advocacy Israel-Diaspora partnership, "Freedom Of Religion for Israel" and of its Israeli counterpart, "Hiddush - For Freedom of Religion and Equality." There will be an opportunity for discussion with Rabbi Regev after the service. The Israel Committee is co-sponsoring this appearance, and will provide the Oneg.

Recurring Programs
Israeli Dancing
Tuesdays, September 5, 12, 19, and 26, 7:00 - 9:00 pm, in the Social Hall

This fun-filled evening begins with instruction for beginners from 7:00 - 7:45 pm. Beginning at 7:45 pm we take requests and learn intermediate to advanced dances. We enjoy circle and line dances, from the classics to some of the newest dances coming out of Israel. This is a welcoming group of mostly adults, but teens and children are invited too. Please wear tennis or soft-soled shoes.

Fee: $5 donation. For more information, please contact Jeanette Salkin, 916-799-7213.
Religious Ethics in the 21st Century
Rabbi Mona Alfi
Tuesday, September 12, 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. (Note: no Religious Ethics on September 26.)

In the Community 
Jewish Genealogical Society of Sacramento
Getting Started in Genealogy: Basics of Family History Research
Sunday, September 17, 9:00 am - 12:00 noon, at the Einstein Residence Center, 1935 Wright Street, Sacramento

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Sacramento is hosting the second of two workshops for those who want to explore their family history but perhaps don't know how to start. Even those who have already begun their research should pick up some pointers.

The September 17 sessions will focus on "Immigration and Naturalization" and "Resources for Jewish Research," including passenger lists, border crossing lists, citizenship records, JewishGen, Yad Vashem, and more.

The September workshop will be held at the Einstein Residence Center, 1935 Wright Street (north of Wyda Way) in Sacramento. As seating is limited, advance reservations are requested. Cost is $10 for JGSS members, $15 for nonmembers. (A fee paid in August will cover both the August and September workshops.) Checks should be made out to JGSS and mailed to 1935 Wright Street, Box 240, Sacramento, CA 95825.

Coming Attractions - Save the Date
Details to Follow
Scholar-in-Residence: "What Kind of Jewish World Might Our Children Inherit?"
Professor Aaron J. Hahn Tapper (University of San Francisco)
Sunday, October 15, 10:45 am - 12:00 noon and 1:00 - 2:15 pm, Chapel
On Sunday, October 15, Professor Aaron Hahn Tapper, Associate Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of San Francisco, will discuss issues of Jewish identity and continuity. There will be two compelling lectures:
  • Contemporary Jewish Identities: We define our 21st century Jewish communities and identities through the stories we tell about our past. When talking about Jews and the various forms of Judaism, which voices are included and which ones are left out? Do we reinforce dominant perspectives? Do we make sure to include those on the margins? (10:45 am to 12:00 noon)
  • Jewish Futures: 21st century Jewish communities have been incredibly anxious about what the future has in store for our people. What are some of the major trends in the Jewish world today and what do they tell us about what lies ahead? What kind of Jewish world might we leave for our children? (1:00 - 2:15 pm)
Lunch is planned between the two sessions but is optional. Please save the date! More details to follow.

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