Adult Education

Learning with others in community allows us to live our Jewish value of Talmud Torah. Whether you can pop in for one class or make it for an entire series, we invite you to stimulate your lifelong love for Judaism and learning by participating in any/all of the following opportunities.

Previous class/session playlists on Youtube

Can We Talk?!: How To Build Relationships Through Disagreement
With Rabbi K’vod Wieder, Lisa Armony, and Temple Beth El Leadership
July 14, 28, August 11 – 7:00 – 9:00 pm

Our country is more polarized than ever before over social and political issues that are important to us. Many of us struggle with how to engage in important conversations with people in our families and community with whom we disagree without devolving into frustration and disrespect. At Temple Beth El SOC, we  strive to be a place where we experience the unity and fellowship of Klal Yisrael, the Jewish people, and yet we struggle with hearing and understanding each other’s diverse perspectives on what is happening in our country.

We invite you to join us for our three-part program on addressing one of our biggest challenges – building relationships through disagreement. In each session, we will explore:

  • Explore Jewish wisdom on constructive and sacred argument
  • Gain concrete communication skills for difficult discussions
  • Practice using these skills and teachings with each other by discussing controversial issues of the day.

While we will explore social and political topics in our practice conversations, the purpose of these sessions is NOT to convince others of our views or to advance a particular social or political agenda. Our purpose IS to better understand how we can  stay connected to each other with mutual respect when discussing issues on which we passionately disagree.

To participate in this program you MUST attend all three sessions as each session builds upon the previous one.  We will have the best chance at a successful outcome only if we all come to each session with a shared base of learning and experience.

Once you register, you will receive a Zoom link and password. We look forward to learning together and to exploring one of the most challenging issues facing our community, and to opening a shared pathway through which  to navigate these turbulent times. 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Lisa Armony is Senior Director of Community Relations and Director of the Rose Project of Jewish Federation of Orange County.  Her work focuses on developing Israel and Jewish educational programming for the Jewish and broader Orange County community and providing leadership development and Jewish engagement opportunities for diverse segments of the Jewish community.

Can We Talk?! Planning Committee

Debra McKee

Helen and Bruce Rasner

Robin Ijams

Ellen Prince

Barby Schwid

Evan Wohl


Meditation and Spiritual Practice
With Rabbi K’vod Wieder
Tuesdays at 9 am (beginning March 31st)

Meeting ID: 870 0355 4394

Password: 051078

This 45 minute to an hour session will be an opportunity to meditate together with gentle guidance and explore different dimensions of meditative practice.

Kvod Wieder is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.



Navigating Jewish Prayer: A Guide to Liturgy and Synagogue Practices
with Rabbi K’vod, Cantor Natalie Young and Cantor Sue Deutsch
Our prayer liturgy and synagogue practices have the opportunity to be meaningful technologies of the spirit. And for many of us we struggle with the language of the prayers—even in English—to express our deepest truths and yearnings. These three sessions will introduce us to the deep logic of our prayer services, and how they can support us in living our own personal and spiritual journeys more fully.

Spiritual Preparation for the High Holidays: Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
with Cantor Emerita and Interim Clergy Shula Kalir-Merton
August 4, 18
Many of us come to synagogue with much expectation for the High Holy Days and are not sure what is expected of us spiritually. What is the inner reflection we are asked to engage in? How does the High Holy Day liturgy help us connect deeper with our truths and aspirations? This session will be an exploration of the major spiritual concepts of the High Holy Days and an understanding of the prayers so that our experience in synagogue has the potential to be transformational.

Future Topics Include:
September 22, 29 Sukkot and Simchat Torah: Accessing Wellsprings of Joy
October 13 Lifecycles: Birth and B’nai Mitzvah
October 27 Lifecycles: Marriage and Death
November 10 The Denominations: Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, and Reconstructionist
November 24 The World of Jewish Sacred Text: An Exploration of How Scripture Creates Tradition
December 8 Two Faces of Chanukah: Jewish Identity and Spirituality

Shabbat Morning Torah Study Group
Saturdays at 9am
Explore the weekly portion in a warm and welcoming atmosphere where each participant has the opportunity to learn, listen and share. The Torah Study Group provides its members and guests an opportunity to deepen their understanding of Torah in a safe and welcoming community which values respect for different perspectives and civility toward all. We value diverse opinions on the parashah being studied, including those not emanating from Judaism. Please join us in study any Saturday morning; a brief lay-led service follows the study. Contact Luke Wood at for more information.

SAVE THE DATE: Torah Study in the Sukkah
Saturday, October 3 from 9am–12pm
We will have a pot luck dairy brunch following this study session.


Adult B’nai Mitzvah
Weekly on Tuesday evenings, January 2020–April 2021
This 16-month learning program includes opportunities to build community with other dedicated learners through a curriculum rich
in introducing the vast array of Jewish history, ritual, tradition, and prayer. Making the commitment to this course of study includes
participating weekly in both the Prayer book Hebrew and World of Judaism classes on Tuesday nights. The program culminates with the graduating class leading a Shabbat morning service for the community on April 10, 2021: leading prayers, reading Torah, and sharing thoughts and interpretations of the weekly portion.

World of Judaism Course Topics include:
● What Makes Judaism Unique:Ethical and Ritual Paths to Holiness
● Jewishness in the Jewish State
● Jewish Visions of God: Exploring Varied Theologies Including the God I Don’t Believe In
● Cousins at the Table: Building Relationships through Comparative Discussions of Judaism and Islam –How Do We Understand God in the
21st Century (at Orange County Islamic Foundation)
● Jewish History 101
● Mystical Dimensions of Judaism through the Holiday of Purim
● Elijah the Prophet: The Man Who Never Died
● Raising the Sparks: Finding God in the Material World
● The Mystical Meaning of Torah
● God and the Big Bang: Discovering Harmony between Science and Spirituality
● The Zohar: Masterpiece of Kabbalah
● Passover: Teachings and Practices of the Festival of Freedom
● Shabbat: Traditional and Creative Observance
● Cousins at the Table: How Judaism and Islam Challenge Secular Definitions of Freedom and Happiness
● Navigating Jewish Prayer: A Guide to Liturgy and Synagogue Practices
● Spiritual Preparation for the High Holy Days: Rosh Hashanah
● Spiritual Preparation for the High Holy Days: Yom Kippur
● Sukkot and Simchat Torah: Accessing Wellsprings of Joy
● Lifecycles: Birth and B’nai Mitzvah
● Lifecycles: Marriage and Death
● The Dominations: Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, and Reconstructionist
● The World of Jewish Sacred Text: An Exploration of How Scripture Creates Tradition
● Two Faces of Chanukah: Jewish Identity and Spirituality