“Get yourself a teacher and find yourself a friend.”
Connect with other adult learners and exceptional teachers.
Join us for an innovative summer of learning.
Explore many touchpoints for Jewish connection: music, Israel, sacred texts, spirituality, embodied practice, creative arts, and more. Summer Institute is designed to inspire and create, give meaning and purpose, and bring us closer together as a community.
Session 1: June 7–24
Can We Talk About Israel?
with Rabbi Sisenwine and Daniel Sokatch
Daniel Sokatch’s new book dives into why so many people feel so strongly about Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without understanding it very well. Why does this issue alone turn some Jewish liberals into uber-conservatives? Why do compassionate intellectuals single Israel out for boycotts, sanctions, and a level of opprobrium they do not apply to the dozens of other state actors out there? Daniel Sokatch has served as the CEO of the New Israel Fund since 2009. During the past decade of extraordinary challenges, NIF has risen to new heights as the great defender of justice, democracy, and equality in Israel. Learn more
Dates: Tuesdays, June 7, 14, 21, 12:00 pm
In Conversation with Rabbi Sisenwine
Join Rabbi Sisenwine as he joins in conversation with some distinguished guests to talk about modern Jewish issues of our time. Join us for a meaningful evening of conversation and learning.
Dates: Tuesdays, June 7, 14, 21, 7:30 pm
Click on a guest speaker’s name to learn more & register for these online events.
Judaism and Abortion
with Rabbi Emily Langowitz
Over 80% of American Jews believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, more than any other religious group. In this timely course, we will explore the Jewish textual conversation around abortion. Beyond the typical halakhic sources, we will also look at contemporary voices that help us expand our understanding from the clinical and legal to the personal and sacred. Learn more
Dates: Wednesdays, June 8, 15, 22, 12:00 pm
The American Jewish Songbook
Songs that found their way from secular America to Jewish culture
with Cantor Marcie Jonas
From Yiddish theater and the coffee houses with folk music to your FM radio, MP3 player, or streaming service, we will learn about the songs that bridged American music with Jewish culture and tradition. Learn more
Dates: Wednesdays, June 8, 15, 22, 7:30 pm
Embodied Practice: Letting Text Move Us
Creative Arts: Poetry Beit Midrash
with Elyse Pincus
In this class we will explore and compare traditional Jewish liturgy and poems by the American poet, Mary Oliver, to discover what makes a prayer and/or poem spiritual. We will play with texts and create our own prayers and poems. No prior poetry knowledge is required! Learn more
Dates: Thursdays, June 9, 16, 23, 7:30 pm
Session 2: July 12–29
Embodied Practice: Harmonizing your Inner Self
Beyond the Poses of Yoga with Stephanie Javaheri
Do you know that there are eight limbs of yoga? Most people are familiar with only one…the limb of asana, or the poses of yoga. Yoga teacher Stephanie Javaheri will incorporate some basic yoga movements and then move beyond the limb of asana to explore and teach breathing, mindfulness exercises, and meditation. Doing this ‘inner work’ of yoga has numerous benefits such as stress reduction, better sleep, less reactivity and an overall feeling of well being. Learn more
Dates: Tuesdays, July 12, 19, 26, 9:30 am
In Conversation with TBE Clergy
TBE clergy delve into their favorite texts of from our sacred teachings that will help us connect to our minds and hearts. You’ll have an opportunity to learn with each of our clergy, and some very special guests! Learn more
Dates: Tuesdays, July 12, 19, 26, 7:30 pm
July 12: with Rabbi Rachel Saphire
July 19: with Rabbi Vanessa Harper
June 21: with Cantor Shanna Zell
Boys Cry, and Other Rabbinic Feelings
with Rabbi Shoshana Rosenbaum
How did our Sages relate to their own anger? Shame? Desire? Grief? Using Talmudic texts as our home base, we’ll explore how our ancestors related to (and sought to regulate) the ebbs and flows of their own emotional lives, and ask, what happens when we place their human experiences in conversation with our own? Learn more
Dates: Wednesdays, July 13, 20, 27, 12:00 pm
with Rabbinic Intern Ryan Leszner
In our weekly “prayer ground,” we will deepen our prayer practices by thinking intentionally about prayer, being present in the moment, and opening ourselves to what prayer can be. Each week we will spend part of class reflecting on prayer, and the other part diving into a specific prayer practice. Learn more
Dates: Wednesdays, July 13, 20, 27, 7:30 pm
Mifgashim: An Israeli-American Beit Midrash
with Rabbi Na’ama Dafni-Kellen
A joint class with Congregation Or Hadash, our sister congregation in Haifa, studying texts about meeting and how we meet and connect with one another. Learn more
Dates: Thursdays, July 14, 21, 28, 12:00 pm
Creative Arts: Mixed Media Midrash
with Abi Oshins
Gather to explore the weekly Torah portion through text study, creative interpretation, and community. Abi Oshins, TBE member and teacher and rabbinic student at Hebrew College, leads this class. Learn more
Dates: Thursdays, July 14, 21, 28, 7:30 pm
Meet our Faculty
Daniel Sokatch has served as the CEO of the New Israel Fund (NIF) since 2009. Before joining NIF, Daniel served as the Executive Director of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties. Prior to his tenure at the Federation, he was founding Executive Director of the Progressive Jewish Alliance (now Bend the Arc). In recognition of his leadership, Daniel has been named four times to the Forward newspaper’s “Forward 50,” an annual list of the fifty leading Jewish decision-makers and opinion-shapers. He has contributed articles to leading newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, the Forward and Haaretz, and is the author of Can We Talk About Israel: A Guide for the Curious, Confused, and Conflicted (Bloomsbury, Fall 2021).
Congresswoman Katherine Clark
Congresswoman Katherine Clark proudly serves the Fifth District of Massachusetts. She was first elected in a special election in December of 2013.
Katherine’s career in public service is driven by her commitment to helping children and families succeed. She is a vocal advocate for ending wage discrimination, protecting women’s health care, access to affordable, high-quality child care, paid family leave, safer schools, and other reforms to address the challenges women and families face. She believes that Congress must work to end the glaring disconnect between the needs of families at home and priorities in Washington. Learn more
Jonathan Greenblatt is CEO of ADL (the Anti-Defamation League), the world’s leading anti-hate organization with a distinguished record of fighting antisemitism and advocating for just and fair treatment to all. Jonathan joined ADL in 2015 after serving in the White House as special assistant to President Obama and director of the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation. He joined the government after a distinguished career in business as a successful social entrepreneur and corporate executive: he cofounded Ethos Brands, the company that launched Ethos Water (acquired by Starbucks, 2005), founded All for Good (acquired by Points of Light, 2011), and served as a senior executive at realtor.com (acquired by News Corp, 2014).
Rabbi Marc Baker
Rabbi Marc Baker, CJP’s President and CEO, has spent most of his life in Greater Boston’s Jewish community. An organizational leader and educator, Marc served as Head of School at Gann Academy, Greater Boston’s pluralistic Jewish high school, for 11 years prior to joining CJP. A native of Lynnfield, Marc was active in the JCC and at Camp Bauercrest throughout his childhood. He lived in Jerusalem for four years, studying at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and The Hebrew University. Marc regularly speaks, writes, and teaches about Judaism, the Jewish community, and leadership. For the past several years he served as scholar-in-residence for CJP’s Cynthia and Leon Shulman Acharai Leadership Program. Marc attended Phillips Academy Andover and received his bachelor’s degree in religious studies from Yale University. He lives in Brookline with his wife, Jill, and their four children.
Leah Carnow is a fourth year rabbinical student at Hebrew College. After studying theater and creative writing at Brandeis University, Leah worked as an actor and director in fringe and regional theater in the greater Boston area for five years. She is a registered yoga teacher and has taught vinyasa and restorative yoga to children and adults of all ages, in both English and Hebrew. Leah spends a lot of time sitting to learn Torah so she is always excited when she gets the opportunity to teach (and learn!) in embodied ways.
Rabbi Na’ama Dafni-Kellen
Rabbi Dafni-Kellen is a gifted teacher and rabbi. She serves as a rabbi at Or Hadash, TBE’s sister congregation in Haifa. Na’ama was pivotal to establishing the Or Hadash/TBE partnership, and she continues to create programs that build and deepen the connection between our communities.
Stephanie Javaheri is a 500 hour certified yoga teacher. She has taught yoga in her home, on the beach, in corporations, religious institutions, in studios and beyond for nearly a decade. The call to yoga began with the physical practice, however, Stephanie’s current classes focus more on the inside such as breathwork and mindfulness techniques to help calm the body and mind. Moving toward stillness is her goal in order to slow down and appreciate being fully alive and finding gratitude in all of life’s offerings. When not on her mat, Stephanie can be found keeping active with her hilarious husband and three teenage boys.
Cantor Marcie Jonas
Cantor Marcie Jonas has been connected to Jewish music for more than 45 years. She has earned her B.A. in Speech Communication from Ithaca College, Ithaca NY, her M.A. in Jewish Education from JTS in New York City, and her Cantorial Ordination from Hebrew College, in Newton, MA. It was at Hebrew College where Cantor Jonas was the 2010 recipient of the Cantor Rick Boyer (z”l) prize for Excellence in Hazzanut. As a musical visionary in the Greater Boston area, Cantor Jonas welcomes opportunities to create experiences in Jewish music that respect traditional nusach and embrace contemporary melodies, thus creating deep musical connections with her community.
Rabbi Emily Langowitz
Before becoming a clergyperson, Rabbi Emily Langowitz was a child of TBE, a role she proudly maintains to this day! She was ordained from the New York campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2017. Her rabbinic thesis articulated a progressive theology of reproductive freedom. Upon ordination, she served for three years as the assistant rabbi at Temple Solel in Paradise Valley, Arizona. She now serves the Union for Reform Judaism as Jewish Learning and Engagement Manager, helping thousands of new adult Jewish learners find their pathways into Judaism. She currently lives in Phoenix with her wife, Meaghan, but will forever be a Red Sox fan.
Ryan is our Rabbinic Intern at TBE and a rabbinical student at Hebrew College. Previously, Ryan served as the Life-Long Learning Intern at Temple Ohabei Shalom, and as the Educator for the Riverway Project. One of his passions is providing educational musical experiences that help connect to Jewish concepts and traditions.
Abi Oshins is a rabbinical student at Hebrew College. Abi has taught teens and young adults at TBE and Temple Beth Shalom in Needham, developing curricula that draw on community and relationship building, Jewish text and values, and hands-on creative modalities. Abi is thrilled to be teaching and learning at her spiritual home, Temple Beth Elohim.
Elyse is a Shanah Dalet at Hebrew College. Elyse grew up in sunny Tucson, Arizona, and attended the University of Arizona. For the last three years, Elyse has focused on pastoral care through Clinical Pastoral Education at Hebrew Senior Life and an internship at 2Life Communities. In her spare time, Elyse currently lives in Natick with her husband and dog, Angel, and enjoys exploring the suburbs, playing Dungeons & Dragons, and drinking craft beer and ciders.
Rabbi Shoshana Rosenbaum
R’ Shani Rosenbaum serves on the faculty of the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College, where she teaches rabbinic and halakhic literature. Shani holds a BA in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University and received rabbinic ordination from her teachers at Hebrew College. Shani has previously served on the programming teams of several organizations pursuing justice through a Jewish lens, including Jerusalem-based non-profits Encounter and OLAM, and T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. She lives in Cambridge, MA.
Our clergy look forward to leading our Parashat HaShavuah weekly classes! You’ll have opportunities to learn with Rabbi Joel Sisenwine, Rabbi Rachel Saphire, Rabbi-Educator Vanessa Harper, and Cantor Shanna Zell over the course of the summer.
More with TBE this summer
Talmud Study | Fridays, 9:30 am
Read and discuss a page of Talmud in our Daf Yomi practice with Rabbi Carol Mitchell.
Shabbat Evening Services | Fridays, 6:00 pm
Welcome Shabbat in song and prayer, with inspiring liturgy, and a short teaching.
Minyan & Torah Study | Saturdays, 10:00 am
Join us in the sanctuary for minyan, followed by Torah study when we will explore the weekly Torah portion together with a member of our clergy.
We are deeply grateful to the family of Burton D. “Bud” Rose, M.D., who has underwritten the Summer Learning Institute in loving memory of Bud, who was a lifelong teacher and student. This generous gift enables TBE to offer our summer program free of charge.