Adult Education Programs 5778

The following programs are planned for this year. For more information, please call the synagogue office at (412) 421-2288.

Shabbat Shi’urim

Shabbat afternoons monthly throughout the year.
Join us after kiddush on Shabbat afternoon as Beth Shalom presents a monthly Shabbat shi’ur. We will invite speakers to address a variety of Jewish topics in about an hour. This fall we are pleased to welcome Rabbi Danny Schiff, who will grill our own Rabbi Adelson on October 7th; Barbara Burstin, author of Steel City Jews: A History of Pittsburgh and its Jewish Community 1840-1915, on November 11th; and Lynda Schuster, author of Dirty Wars and Polished Silver, on December 2nd.

Rabbi’s Tisch: Davening 101

with Rambam: Maimonides’ Hilkhot Tefillah
Every Shabbat Afternoon, From October 29th to April 8th
Every Shabbat afternoon, beginning after Simhat Torah and continuing until Pesah, we dine together as a community for se’udah shelishit (the third Shabbat meal), and spend some time discussing an item of Jewish text with Rabbi Adelson. This year, building off last year’s exploration of Siddur Lev Shalem, we are studying the customs and history of tefillah/prayer according to Maimonides, the greatest single figure of the Jewish bookshelf. Come and learn how to make tefillah work for you. Free; all are welcome. Meets in the Eisner Commons – starts 1.5 hours before havdalah time (check website for schedule).

Jewish learning is for everyone, and these classes prove it. None of these courses requires any knowledge of Hebrew or Jewish ritual, only a desire to learn. This is the perfect place to start studying at Beth Shalom.

Lunch and Learn 5778: Modern Jewish Philosophers

Weekdays monthly, November to March
Rabbi Adelson will be facilitating a series of engaging lunchtime discussions about 20th & 21st century Jewish philosophers. The same program will meet twice during the month on Tuesdays, once in a downtown office and once at Beth Shalom.

  • November: Martin Buber
  • December: Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan
  • January: Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
  • February Rabbi David Hartman
  • March: Rabbi Neil Gillman

Open to all who want to learn. Requires RSVP and advance payment if lunch is desired.

High-Speed Holidays

Get in gear for the holidays by engaging in a lively exchange of ideas and music for each hag. The liturgy and themes of each holiday will be discussed by Hazzan Rob Menes to get us into the spirit of prayer and community.

Community Pesah Seder

March 31st: 2nd night of Pesah
Please join a community second seder at Congregation Beth Shalom, with a festive Passover dinner for a freed people led by Rabbi Adelson, when we will share family traditions and ask even more questions.

Derekh Preschool Parent Introduction to Judaism Course

Dates: 10/22, 11/5, 11/12, 11/19, 12/3, 12/10 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
We invite you to the first part of this new non-denominational class directed to preschool parents! This six week course will cover an overview of the Torah, Holidays, and Shabbat and is taught in partnership with the Miller Introduction to Judaism Program at American Jewish University.

Beth Shalom Members: $50 (includes course book)
Non-Members: $80 (includes course book)
Babysitting upon request: $60 for 12 hours of babysitting

Sign up can be found online and through Facebook. For any questions, comments, or to sign up please reach out to Rabbi Jeremy Markiz at

Judaism 101

In a joint project between Congregation Beth Shalom and Beth El Congregation, Rabbi Alex Greenbaum and Rabbi Seth Adelson are teaching a Judaism 101 course held Thursday evenings at 7:30, which began in the Spring and continues until January. The fee is $180 per student (there is no charge for spouses/partners, who are expected to join the classes). There is, of course, additional expenses for books, Shabbat dinner, the miqveh, and other incidentals. There is also a Hebrew learning requirement, and the classes are taught in second sessions after their regular classes. Additionally, there is an expectation of synagogue attendance, both to meet the congregation and to learn the procedures and liturgy.

Introduction to Hebrew

Winter 2017

Have you always wanted to learn Hebrew? Did you try to learn once but it didn’t take? Learn with your community at Beth Shalom this year! Interested students should contact Chris Hall at to coordinate a meeting schedule. A deep commitment to Torah study can prove incredibly rewarding, and it does not require knowledge of Hebrew or an encyclopedic understanding of Jewish texts. If you are ready to take your learning to the next level these programs will help you do it.

Three Steps Forward

Winter 2018

You already know the prayers, but are you ready to lead your fellow congregants? It’s easier than you think! We will learn how to lead the weekday ma’ariv davening: the prayers themselves, the motions and choreography, and how to be aware of the needs of other congregants. If you are interested in taking the plunge contact Chris Hall at to register.

Derekh Open Beit Midrash

The second Wednesday of the month at 7:30 P.M. starting in November

Throughout history, the Beit Midrash has been a special place in the life of a Jewish community. It is a place to explore the dynamic exchange of ideas throughout the generations. The Derekh Open Beit Midrash will be a monthly experience for you to explore the Jewish Tradition in many different ways. Whether you want to join the monthly session, study with a partner, or start your own study group, we welcome you to help create this communal space. Students of all skill levels are welcome and knowledge of Hebrew is NOT required!

Perceptions of Modern Judaism

Every Wednesday at 11 AM throughout the Year

How do Jewish customs and rituals interact with the Christian and secular world of North America? Throughout the year we will investigate various practices and discuss both the internal (Jewish) reactions to them and the external (non-Jewish) reactions. Each weekly session will be a lively discussion led by Hazzan Rob Menes (the Beth Shalom Executive Director) and include texts prepared by Hazzan Menes gleaned from books, periodicals, and the Internet.

Did you know that congregants of Beth Shalom include a paleontologist, a game designer, and a war correspondent? Come and meet them while helping build our community at these programs which focus on the diverse community at our shul.

Lox and Learning

10:00 a.m. on Sundays monthly throughout the year

Come to Beth Shalom on Sunday mornings to learn from fellow congregation members. We have a broad community with a wide variety of interests and accomplishments: game designers, paleontologists, criminologists, authors, artists and more. Over a light brunch we will learn what makes their chosen field so interesting. Lox and Learning begins in the Fall by welcoming Dr. Marlene Behrmann-Cohen, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience to talk about her work.

Dinners for Circles East Liberty

Monthly throughout the year

Join a group of spirited fellow Beth Shalom members as we provide monthly dinners for a program that helps people move out of poverty. You can choose to make a main meal or just drop off cookies, fruit or a salad. You can also come to the site to learn more about the Circles program, and meet the participants and the facilitators. Either way, you will contribute immeasurably to addressing the root causes of poverty in our city, together with other Beth Shalom members.

For more information contact Nancy Bernstein at 412-805-5069 or visit

Kosher Wine Tasting

Sunday, March 18, 2018 | at Cafe Eighteen, 2028 Murray Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15217

Join your fellow congregants as we explore the ever widening world of kosher wine. We will have a selection of kosher wines available, as well as a presentation to guide us through a tasting. All are welcome, but an RSVP will be required. Email our receptionist to RSVP

Beth Shalom Health Initiative’s
Walk to Shul

May 12th, 2018

Beth Shalom’s Walk to Shul program will encourage families to enjoy a beautiful spring day with a walk to Shabbat morning services. We will plan routes through Squirrel Hill so that the community can come together and enjoy the walk.

Pride Shabbat

June 9th, 2018

LGBTQ Jews have been a part of Judaism since its inception, and sources from the Torah on speak about the LBGTQ experience. Today we celebrate that experience at Beth Shalom’s Pride Shabbat, held in June to coincide with Pride Month. LGBTQ Jews and their allies are welcome at a shi’ur held after kiddush as they celebrate Pride 2018.