TBA-logo Web


Adult Education

BestSeattle2015WinnerWebSquareVoted "Best Adult Education" program in Seattle by the readers of the magazine Jewish in Seattle in 2016, Temple Beth Am promotes life-long learning and is committed to being a center of Jewish life for people of all ages. Our classes, discussions, and lectures offer many opportunities for our adult community to learn at a variety of levels. The program listings below are updated frequently with a wide variety of offerings.

For our additional selection of Torah Study classes, including Introduction to Judaism and Adult B'nai Mitzvah, visit our Torah Study page.

Please contact our Director of Community Engagement, Alexis Kort, or call 206-525-0915 x 210 with any questions.


Upcoming Events: 

Celebrate Spring with Beth Am Poets: A Poetry Reading 
Sunday, April 30, 2:00 – 4:00 PM 
Temple Beth Am
In the spirit of honoring our past and envisioning our future, three talented authors and members of our congregation will read from their recently published books: Debby Bacharach, Erika Michael, and Ken Shiovitz. A light spring tea and dessert will follow. 

Writing Our Stories
Sunday, June 4, 12:30 PM
TBA K'hilah Rm. 226
Marilyn Smith Layton is returning to lead a memoir-writing workshop at Temple Beth Am. Inspired by Rabbi Ruth A. Zlotnick’s Rosh Hashanah sermon about the importance of storytelling in the context of a safe and welcoming gathering, you’ll be encouraged to explore and capture important memories in words. We’ll drop the fishing line into the pool of your long experience, pull it up, and see what’s there and, in the process, learn more about the dynamics of writing.


On select Sundays throughout the school year, Temple Beth Am hosts thought-provoking discussions on current issues in social justice, the environment, LGBTQ culture, economics, and more. The forums are led by speakers who are significant thinkers in the community and have included local politicians, social specialists, touring authors, artists, and many others. 

Each of these programs are free and open to everyone.


Upcoming Events:

Spiritual and Jewish Experience of Long-Distance Backpacking with David Kosins and Alan Genatossio
Sunday, June 11, 10:00 - 11:15 AM
TBA Social Hall East


Union for Reform Judaism: Introduction to Judaism
Sundays, October 23, 2016 - May 14, 2017
K'hilah Room 226

For 2016 - 2017, Temple Beth Am is excited to launch a revamped and upgraded Introduction to Judaism class in partnership with the Union of Reform Judaism (URJ). This course is used across North America and is recognized universally by Reform synagogues, using URJ curriculum and resources for adults interested in exploring Judaism.

Taught by Rabbi Jason Levine, class time will double from previous years and includes a Shabbaton designed specifically for this class. Topics include Jewish rituals, Jewish theology, history, texts and prayer, life cycle, holidays, and comparative Judaism. This course may be especially valuable for interfaith couples or those considering conversion. We encourage conversion students to also enroll in Beginning Prayerbook Hebrew from 11:00 AM - Noon on Sundays. We foster a welcoming and inclusive environment. 

Class dates: October 23, 30 / November 6, 13, 20 / December 4, 11 / January 8, 22, 29 / February 5*, 12, 26 / March 5, 19, 26 / April 2, 23*, 30 / May 14. (*students are encouraged to attend the Sunday Morning Forum with our scholar-in-residence and for Yom Ha’Shoah)

Intro to Judaism Class Shabbaton: April 8, 2017, 9:15 AM - 2:00 PM

Cost for 18 classes: $200 TBA members / $280 non-members / $50 - $100 additional for textbooks

Tuition allows for either one or two people to attend, so couples may attend together and singles may invite a friend. Reading list can be found here. Used copies and e-readers are encouraged. 

To register for this course, please visit the Union for Reform Judaism website. Please contact Rabbi Jason Levine (206-525-0915 ext. 215) to inquire about the scholarships offered by Temple Beth Am.


book stack


No matter what the monthly reading selection is, you can rely on the book clubs at TBA for lively, passionate opinions and meaningful conversation among friends. We welcome newcomers and new ideas each month and often feature notable specialists to lead our discussions. 


Beth Am Book Lovers (BABL)
Monthly / Sundays at 12:30 PM

Open to all ages, this collaborative book group, which meets monthly during the school year, is made up of TBA members and friends who come together to read, discuss, and enjoy books. Newcomers welcome!

For more information about this group, contact Leah Vetter or call the TBA office at 206-525-0915.


Upcoming Selections:

Operation Babylon: The Story of the Rescue of the Jews of Iraq by Shlomo Hillel
Sunday, May 21, 12:30 - 2:00 PM
TBA Library
Operation Babylon is the extraordinary true story of the exodus - from 1947 to 1952 - of the Jews of Iraq. As an agent of the Jewish Secret Service, author Shlomo Hillel was instrumental in helping 125,000 Iraqi Jews escape to safety. Forty years later, he reveals all of the drama and intrigue of the largest air migration in history in this bestselling book, which won the Yitzak Sadeh prize, Israel's most prestigious literary award.

Jewish Feminist Writers Book Club
Monthly Tuesdays (December - May) / 6:30 - 8:00 PM
K'hilah Rm. 226 

Continuing the format of this year's Israeli Authors Book Club, we will follow up this Winter with a new session of monthly gatherings to discuss Jewish feminist books. Our selections will include fiction and non-fiction by Jewish women authors exploring feminist themes and topics. From groundbreaking feminists to contemporary writers, these discussions will be moderated by members of our congregation. 

Co-sponsored by the Sisters of Beth Am and Young Families at Beth Am, we hope that parents dropping off 4th - 12th graders for Tuesday night Religious School will stay and join us! 


Upcoming Selections:

The Sacred Calling: Four Decades of Women in the Rabbinate
Editors: Rabbi Rebecca Einstein Schorr and Rabbi Alysa Mendelson Graf 

Tuesday, May 9, 6:30 – 8:00 PM
TBA K'hilah Rm. 226
Winner of the 2016 National Jewish Book Award in Women’s Studies, this collection of readings by rabbis and scholars from across the Jewish world reflects on the historic significance of women in the rabbinate and their impact on all aspects of Jewish life. 

Among the many impressive contributors is our own Rabbi Ruth A. Zlotnick whose essay “Personal Reflection: Journeying to the Edge of the Known and Comprehended World – Becoming a Senior Rabbi” is a personal exploration of the journey that brought her to Seattle to become our senior rabbi, a role that is still considered uncommon and unconventional for a woman. (There currently are only 28 female senior rabbis leading large congregations.)

A comprehensive and lengthy book, over 700 pages, Rabbi Zlotnick will select several essays that provide insight into this journey of empowerment that has revolutionized Jewish life since women have been able to say “Hineyni” (“Here I am”) and actualized their sacred calling.  

This is the final meeting of the Jewish Feminist Writers Book Club. To read selected essays from this publication, contact Director of Community Engagement Alexis Kort.


Breaking White Silence Book Group
May 11 and June 1 / 7:00 - 8:30 PM
Book Group Leaders: Rabbi Jason Levine and Cecily Kaplan

Temple Beth Am is pleased to be participating in a project developed by the Phinney Neighborhood Association of creating anti-racist consciousness-raising groups in our community. As a starting place, we will be using Dr. Robin DiAngelo’s book, What Does It Mean to be White?: Developing White Racial Literacy.   

Using Dr. DiAngelo’s text and encouraging personal reflection and conversation, these book groups are a first step to open up conversations about whiteness, white privilege, and racism. 

Space is limited to 20 participants. To register, email TBA’s Director of Community Engagement Alexis Kort.