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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.


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:

Seattle Against Slavery
Sunday, March 19, 10:00 - 11:00 AM
TBA Sanctuary
The fight against human trafficking is rooted in the Jewish experience, says Robert Beiser, the executive director of Seattle Against Slavery. From the Exodus out of Egypt through the destruction of the Temple and up until the Holocaust: it is our calling and responsibility to not look away from abuse and exploitation. We have a historical, spiritual, and cultural imperative to take action against modern-day slavery. Our tradition calls upon Jews to break the chains of those who are oppressed, and Beiser will present a compelling case that human trafficking is an urgent need that can be addressed by our Jewish community.

As the head of Seattle Against Slavery, Beiser has nearly a decade of experience in the fight against local human trafficking. He will share his insights and expertise on how average Jews living in the Seattle area can make a transformative impact in the lives of potential and current trafficking victims. More than anything else, he will ask us to answer the call of Isaiah to “break the chains of the oppressed.”

After several years at Microsoft, Beiser left the tech world to work in the non-profit community as a social justice advocate. Robert received the 2011 Covenant Foundation Pomegranate Prize for emerging leadership in Jewish education, holds a Master's of Public Affairs from the University of Washington, and is a member of the Washington State Task Force on Human Trafficking.


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:

Who Wrote the Bible? by Richard Elliott Friedman
Sunday, March 12, 12:30 - 2:00 PM
TBA Library
Who Wrote the Bible? is a fascinating, intellectual, yet highly readable analysis and investigation into the authorship of the Old Testament.


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 Septembers of Shiraz by Dalia Sofer
Tuesday, February 28, 6:30 - 8:00 PM
TBA K'hilah Rm. 226
When Septembers of Shiraz opens, the Shah of Iran has been overthrown and a Jewish businessman is arrested, accused of being an Israeli spy; his real crimes are his religion and the lush lifestyle the family enjoyed under the Shah’s regime. This gripping story unfolds as each family member - the father, his wife, their nine-year-old daughter, and an older son living in New York - struggles to cope with the crisis. The novel reaches beyond the borders of the story’s historical moment and describes how people are often unaware of their political surroundings until events crash upon them, how they can still live, love, and even be hopeful.

Author Dalia Sofer was born in Iran and fled at the age of 10 to the United States with her family. She received her MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College. She has been a contributor to NPR's "All Things Considered," Poets & Writers magazine, and the National Poetry Almanac of the Academy of American Poets. Septembers of Shiraz is her only novel.

Temple Beth Am member and BABA Co-Chair Mikhaila Reudink will facilitate the discussion. Copies of the novel are available at the Seattle Public Libaray, Amazon.com, and as an e-book.


My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem
Tuesday, March 7, 6:30 - 8:00 PM
TBA K'hilah Rm. 226
Gloria Steinem, probably the most famous Jewish feminist of the modern feminist movement, has written My Life on The Road, her first book in over 20 years. Social activist, writer, lecturer, founder of Ms. Magazine, and a ceaseless voice for reproductive and women’s rights, Steinem’s memoir offers a candid and inspirational account of her life as a traveler, listener, and catalyst for change. As the country continues to struggle with painful questions about race relations, reproductive rights, and the plight of immigrants, the experiences shared in Life on the Road are not merely memories; they serve as beacon of hope for our future. TBA member Megan Campbell will lead the conversation. Wine and chocolates served.

April 4: The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman
May 9: The Sacred Calling: Four Decades of Women in the Rabbinate

Writing Our Stories
Sunday, March 5 and Sunday, April 2 / 12:30 - 2:30 PM
K'hilah Rm. 226 

Marilyn Smith Layton leads 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.