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Adult Learning
Welcome to Adult Learning Programs

We invite you to expand your horizons! No prior reservations for these programs are required unless noted. These programs are open to non-members, unless noted. There is no charge for these programs, unless noted. Donations to support these programs are welcomed, link here. If you have any questions, please contact Rabbi Keller. See you soon!

Chevrah Torah Study

Year-Round, Every Shabbat Morning (Except Yom Kippur)
8:45-9:45 AM I Bendalin Conference Room, CBI
Instructors: CBI Clergy & Guest Clergy
No Cost

According to the Talmud “The study of Torah [is greater than the sum of doing all Mitzvot] because it leads to them all” (Talmud Shabbat 127A). Every Shabbat morning we draw close to the greatest teaching in Jewish life among friends. Our rabbis will lead an interactive and engaging study of the weekly Torah portion. No prior study is necessary and participants are encouraged to attend as many times as they are able.


Lunch n’ Learn

November 6th; December 4th; January 8th;  February 5th; March 5th; April 2nd; May 7th
12:00-1:00 PM IBendalin Conference Room, CBI
Instructor: Rabbi Keller
No Cost

Once per month Rabbi Rony Keller will lead an informal group discussion on current events which concern the Jewish community. Topics include: Israeli politics and society and North American Jewish issues of interest.


Women’s Book Club

2014: September 4th, November 6th, December 4th
2015: January 8th, February 5th, March 5th, May 7th
12:00-1:00 PM & 7:00-8:00 PM I Cantor Shpall’s Office, CBI
Instructor: Cantor Jaime Shpall
No Cost

Come join together with other Beth Israel women for some schmoozing, some noshing and some engaging discussion. This book club is meant to be very casual, so you shouldn’t worry if you haven’t finished (or even read) the books to attend.


Scholar-in-Residence 5775

Thursday, November 6, 2014
7:00-9:00 PM I Goldsmith Sanctuary, CBI
Instructor: Rabbi Daniel Gordis
Cost: No Fee (CBI Members) / $36 (Non CBI Members)

Dr. Daniel Gordis is the Senior Vice President and Koret Distinguished Fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, Israel. He is a regular columnist for the Jerusalem Post and a contributor to the New York Times. Dr. /Rabbi Gordis is one of the most profound contemporary thinkers and speakers on Zionism, the modern State of Israel and the challenges of Jewish life and Peoplehood both in and outside of Israel. Professor Alan Dershowitz has called him “one of Israel’s most thoughtful observers,” and Jeffrey Goldberg of Atlantic has written, “If you asked me, ‘of all the people you know, who cares the most about the physical, moral and spiritual health of Israel?’ I would put the commentator and scholar Daniel Gordis at the top of the list”

Dr. /Rabbi Gordis is the author of ten books and most recently published, “Menachem Begin: The Battle for Israel’s Soul” (Nextbook, 2014).


Scholar-in-Residence 5775


February 20-22, 2015
Friday, February 20, 6:15 PM I Goldsmith Sanctuary, CBI
Saturday, February 21, 8:45 AM I Bendalin Conference Room, CBI
Sunday, February 22, Time TBD I CBI
Instructor: Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D.
Cost: No Fee

Register Here

Dr. David Ellenson is the Chancellor of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and a beloved teacher of all three CBI clergy. Internationally recognized for his publications and research in the areas of Jewish religious thought, ethics, and modern Jewish history, Rabbi Ellenson’s twelve years as President of the seminary of the Reform Movement (2001-2013) were distinguished by his devotion to sustaining HUC-JIR’s academic excellence and ensuring its financial sustainability. Rabbi Ellenson is also one of the world’s greatest minds of Judaism and through his engaging style of teaching, adult learners will find him among the most captivating and dynamic teachers they have ever experienced.


Hebrew for Beginners- Class Full

2014: August 24, September 7, 14, 21 & 28; October 19 & 26;
November 2, 9, 16 & 23; December 7 & 14
10:15-11:45 AM I Bendalin Conference Room, CBI
Instructor: Arlene Kerzner
Cost: $180 (CBI Members)/$300 (Non CBI Members)

It's time to learn Hebrew! We know you've been putting this off for years and we have the answer to all your hopes of learning the Hebrew language in a safe and nurturing environment. Arlene Kerzner (who happens to be abundantly patient and kind) will guide you toward learning the Hebrew letters and vowels so you can become comfortable following along at services and begin to read the Hebrew language. This class is specifically designed for beginners with no Hebrew experience or those who wish to start over again and "brush up" on their Hebrew skills. It is also a prerequisite for students who wish to enroll in our Adult B'nei Mitzvah course (see Adult B’nei Mitzvah).

Adult B’nei Mitzvah

Tuesdays (January-June, 2015)
January 6, 13, 20, 27; February 3, 10, 17; March 3, 10, 17, 24; April 7, 14, 21, 28; May 5, 12, 19, 26; June 2, 9, 16
7:00-8:30 PM I Bendalin Conference Rm, CBI
Instructors: Rabbi Rony Keller & Cantor Jaime Shpall
Cost: $250

Register Here

Have you ever thought of becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah as an adult? Join other members of CBI in an intimate setting toward becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah on Shabbat morning, June 20, 2015. Rabbi Keller and Cantor Shpall will work closely with all participants to lead the Shabbat morning service, chant both Torah and Haftarah portions and compose a “B’nei Mitzvah Speech” for this extraordinarily meaningful service. Prerequisite Hebrew letter/word recognition necessary to enroll in this course (see Hebrew for Beginners).


Adult Ma’ayan

2014: September 11th, November 6th* & December 11th
2015: January 22nd, February 26th, March 19th, April 16th
8:00–8:45 PM I Various Rooms, CBI
Instructors: Rabbi Stephen Kahn & Rabbi Rony Keller
No Cost (CBI Members Only)

While our Ma’ayan students (8th-12th graders) are in class, join us for relevant and topical conversations about Judaism. Since you’re on the way to pick your kids anyway, why not stop in early and chat with the rabbis about the things that are happening in the Jewish world? There are no prerequisites for these classes...all are welcome.

September 11: Prayer Toolbox

Ever wonder what we are actually saying during services? Why do you bow, sit, and stand all the time?

Why do we wear a kippah and tallit? We will examine all of these questions…and more.

November 6: Our Personal Connections to Israel

*7:00pm (special time)

Dr. Daniel Gordis is the Senior Vice President and Koret Distinguished Fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, Israel. He is a regular columnist for the Jerusalem Post and a contributor to the New York Times. Dr. /Rabbi Gordis is one of the most profound contemporary thinkers and speakers on Zionism, the modern State of Israel and the challenges of Jewish life and Peoplehood both in and outside of Israel.

December 11: The December Dilemma

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…but what about Chanukkah?

What is it like living as a Jew in a Christian society? Can we do both? We will look at what the Reform movement has to say about balancing our winter holidays.

January 22: Taking a Break: Shabbat

Every week God provides us with a precious gift…Shabbat. The Sabbath is a beautiful time to relax, pray, and eat…but there are a bunch of restrictions as well—what are those about? Why do some people need to pre-tear their toilet paper? Find answers to those questions and more.

February 26: The Jewish Triangle

The entirety of Judaism can be symbolized by a triangle = God, Torah, Israel. How do these three stabilize one another? How can we live our lives as Jews working to connect all three of these points? We will explore all three of these concepts and hope to strengthen our connections to all of them.

March 19: The Crumbiest of Holidays

Where do the 4 questions come from? Why do we continue celebrating a holiday about slavery if we are free? Why is Passover the most celebrated Jewish holiday…even more than the High Holidays?

Together, we will examine the Seder and figure out why we can’t eat corn syrup and soy?

April 16: The Saddest and Happiest Days for Israel

Israel doesn’t have BBQ’s and sales on Memorial Day, instead, it’s a deep national day of mourning for fallen soldiers. In fact the week surrounding Memorial Day is a roller-coaster of emotion commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day then Memorial Day and concluding with celebrations of Israel’s Independence Day. We will look at three major national holidays that occur in one complicated week.


Lecture Series

The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning
Wednesdays: 25 Sessions Beginning on October 22, 2014
7:00–9:15 PM I Various Rooms at CBI
Instructors: Members of the Greater PhoenixBoard of Rabbis
Cost: $530 Per Semester (Scholarships Available)
For questions: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning is the largest pluralistic adult Jewish education network in the world. With 50 locations in North America, Great Britain, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and Hong Kong, the Melton School sets the standard for high-quality, text-based, interactive Jewish study by offering world-class curriculum that informs and inspire adult learners from all knowledge-levels and backgrounds.

Are you looking for a profound understanding of what it means to be Jewish? Join us to explore the texts of our tradition and discover how they relate to us today. Join with inspiring teachers who are members of the Greater Phoenix Board of Rabbis for inspirational and meaningful study of Judaism, in a wonderful community setting at CBI.


Introduction to Judaism

Fall: Sep 17, 2014 - Mar 18, 2015
7:00-9:00 PMI Temple Chai
Spring: January 2015, Temple Kol Ami, Dates/Times TBD
Instructors: Reform Rabbis from CBI, Temple Chai, Temple Kol Ami & Temple Solel
Cost: $50 Registration + $200 (Reform Congregation Affiliated)/$280 (Unaffiliated)

URJ Introduction to Judaism is a course offered in partnership between the Union for Reform Judaism and local Reform congregations for anyone interested in exploring Judaism - singles, interfaith couples, those considering conversion and Jews looking for adult-level basics. This class introduces the fundamentals of Jewish thought and practice in 16-20 weeks. Topics include Jewish holidays and life cycle events, theology and prayer, Israel, history and Hebrew.

There are many reasons why people choose to register for Introduction to Judaism. Whatever you are seeking, URJ Introduction to Judaism offers you a time and place to broaden your Jewish awareness. It can launch you on a path to deeper personal Jewish connection, acquire a basic Jewish vocabulary, and gain intellectual and experiential knowledge of Judaism as well as the skills necessary to "do Jewish." Intro is designed to be a meaningful, educational experience for any person interested in knowing and understanding Judaism and Jewish life. The course is organized around the major themes of Judaism, and around the holidays and events in the Jewish life cycle.