Enriching lives through community, lifelong Jewish learning, & spiritual growth!


Derekh will be a center for pluralistic, engaging learning, and transformational Jewish experiences.


Through targeted programming, Derekh encourages participation in new ways, growing and expanding Jewish experiences within the five portals.

What this means for you:

Throughout this year we will be experimenting with new programs and activities, striving to meet your unique needs. We encourage you to reach out and tell us what you need, try something new, challenge yourself, and be a partner for this new project of Beth Shalom.

To see the breakdown of each portal, check out the Derekh info sheet here.

Upcoming Derekh Events

  • Choosing Judaism: A Conversion Panel | Thursday, December 14th, 2017, 7:30PM

Join Moishe House, Derekh, and Beth Shalom for a panel discussion about Jewish conversion. Come to hear first-hand accounts of why our panel participants decided to convert, and how their conversion impacted their lives and the lives of their families and friends, as well as the challenges faced by jews of choice in our community. Wine and light snacks will be served.
While not required, we ask people to RSVP here, in order to get enough food!

  • Yiddishist Dr. Justin Cammy | Sunday, January 21st, 2018, 10AM

Join Dor Hadash and Congregation Beth Shalom for this wonderful lecture from famed Yiddishist Dr. Justin Cammy. Stay tuned for more details!

Regular Derekh Events


  • Shabbat Morning Warmup | Every Shabbat morning (without a Benei/Benot Mitzvah)
    at 9 – 9:30 AM in the Weinberg Pavillion

    • First Shabbat of the Month: Mussar Literature (Jewish self-improvement)
    • Second Shabbat of the Month: Niggun Circle (traditional wordless melodies)
    • Third Shabbat of the Month: Modern Jewish Text (exploring modern writing)
    • Fourth Shabbat of the Month: Introductory Meditation (sitting and discussion)
  • Coffee with the Cantor | Every Wednesday morning at 11AM – 12 PM in the Lehman Center
    Lively discussions around current articles. This year, “Perceptions of Modern Judaism.”


  • Derekh Open Beit Midrash | Second Wednesday of the month
    at 7:30PM in the Zweig Library

    The Miracle | Explore the rabbinic ruminations on the holiday of Hanukkah
    Come and 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!

Ongoing Derekh Programs

  • Introduction to Judaism: Part 1

Introduction to Judaism: Part 2 is coming! If you’re interested, please send Rabbi Jeremy Markiz and email ( with the subject “Intro to Judaism.”


The Open Community Beit Midrash at Beth Shalom

As Congregation Beth Shalom enters its second century, we aim to build a new center
for Jewish life and learning that will reach into and beyond the membership of the
congregation. The goal is to provide a new range of programming that will benefit the
Squirrel Hill community and transform Jewish life in Pittsburgh by providing new and
accessible portals to Jewish engagement and lifelong Jewish learning.
The foundation of Judaism is a commitment to the compelling, ever recurring question:
“How do I become the best person I can be?” Derekh is Beth Shalom’s acknowledgment
of and commitment to creating accessible portals to Jewish learning and experience for
anyone who seeks answers to captivating, essential questions. Derekh will be the
address in Squirrel Hill for those for whom Jewish identity is faithful, ethical, cultural, or
for anybody who simply wants to broaden their perspective and heighten their daily
experience. The hub of this new initiative will be the Open Community Beit Midrash, a
dedicated, contemporary space at Beth Shalom, which will feature programming,
speakers, films, mindfulness activities, music, and so forth, all intended to make new
connections and transform our community’s relationship with Jewish tradition.