Adult Engagement

Deepen Your Understanding

While restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic prevent us from meeting in person, we continue to foster a vibrant learning community. See below for our current course offerings. For other special events and programs, please see our Community page.​

Passover 2021

​Coffee With Clergy

Thursday, March 18, 12:00–12:30 pm

Rabbi Sarah Berman will speak with Israeli artist Eli Kaplan-Wildmann to learn more about the inspiration between the special Passover gift he created for all Central members.

Reaching the Promised Land: The Exodus Story in an Age of Mass Incarceration

Sunday, March 21, 4:00-6:00 pm

How can the lessons from the Exodus story help us better understand issues of mass incarceration? Rabbi Hilly Haber, Rabbi Nicole Auerbach, and John Ducksworth of the multi-faith initiative Ending Mass Incarceration will join with other leaders for an interactive conference that will include an engaging panel conversation, breakout room workshops, and musical performances.

A Musical Passover Afternoon

Monday, March 22, 2:00 pm

Join us live from the sanctuary of Central Synagogue for a special concert for Passover. Host and cellist Elad Kabilio will be joined by Clarinet Virtuoso Avigail Malachi and award-winning vocalists Inbar Goldmann. Together with special guests they will give familiar Haggadah songs a modern twist along with traditional Klezmer, Ladino and Israeli song in a celebration of redemption, freedom and spring.

Seder-Themed Coffee With Clergy

Thursday, March 25, 12:00 pm–12:30 pm

Rabbi Rebecca Rosenthal will share tips and tricks on engaging people in your Zoom and in-person (or hybrid) seders.


Rule Breaker and Law Giver: The Muslim Moses

Thursday, March 25, 7:15–8:45 pm
Free for members, $18 for non-members

This short introduction to Moses in the Qur’an will focus on three points in Moses’ transformation from a Prince of Egypt to a Prophet. Two of these points, Moses fighting an Egyptian guard and Moses in challenging Pharaoh, resonate with the versions of the stories in Exodus but differ in subtle and important ways. The third story, of Moses meeting the figure of Khidr, is a unique story to the Qur’an, but which seems to draw on knowledge of the Torah. Finally, we will turn to some short devotional reflections on Moses from Muslim traditions. No knowledge of Islam or the Qur’an needed.

​Upcoming Classes

Next-Gen Teachers

Fridays, 10:30am - 11:30 am
March 5 - April 23
Taught by Current HUC Students
Free! Offered via Facebook—log in our Facebook page on the correct day and time!

Before Angela Buchdahl was a rabbi, she was a rabbinical student; before Dan Mutlu was a cantor, he was a cantorial student. It was in school that both began to develop their voices as Jewish leaders.

This course gives you an opportunity to learn from the next generation of rabbis and cantors, who will be shaping and shepherding Judaism in the future. Each week you will get to learn with a different creative and thoughtful HUC student, who will present their favorite text. Text selections are drawn from Torah, midrash, prayers, and popular music—a diverse and beautiful range of Jewish perspectives. Classes will be interactive and will require no advance preparation.

5 March – Shoshana Nambi, The Jews of Uganda

12 March – Gabe Miner, Tekhines

19 March – Leah Nussbaum, Jezebel

9 April – Rachel Weston, (British) Yiddish Songs

16 April – Noah Lawrence, Contemporary Song Lyrics

23 April – Stefanie Green, Musical Theater as Midrash

Omer: A Season of Reflection

Thursdays, 9:00am - 10:00am
April 1 - May 13
Taught by Rabbi Nicole Auerbach
$100 members/$150 non-members

The period between Passover and Shavuot, known as the Omer, has traditionally been a time for self-reflection and spiritual preparation. Join Rabbi Nicole Auerbach as we explore the traditional kabbalistic approach to understanding the Divine attributes within us, and how to work with them to live with greater skill, joy, and intention.

If you choose, you can purchase the book “A Spiritual Guide to the Counting of Omer” by Rabbi Simon Jacobson through Amazon or other booksellers.

Poetic Shabbat: The Siddur as an Evening-Long Poem of Transformation

Wednesdays, 10:30am - 11:45am
April 21 - May 26
Taught by Jessica Greenbaum
$100 members/$150 non-members

Join award-winning poet Jessica Greenbaum in a six-week investigation of the siddur’s guided progressions into the experience of Shabbat. We will take a close look at the emotional valences of Central Synagogue’s Friday night service’s collage of psalms and text, distilling their ideas and pairing them with contemporary poems. Our overarching ambition will be that of Shabbat—to find our way to holiness in time through a personal illumination of what we are offered. Writing our own poems will be optional. This is the most recent in a series of classes over seven years that have paired Jewish text and values with contemporary poetry and the writing of poems. No previous experience required!

In Case You Missed It

Let’s Talk Climate, Part 1: Dr. Kim Knowlton

On August 14, we had a conversation with Dr. Kim Knowlton, Senior Scientist and Deputy Director of Natural Resources Defense Council Science Center, for the first in the new Let’s Talk Climate series. Initiated by a group of passionate Central teens (Abby Berman, Rachel Berman, Lila Stevens, and Hannah Youngwood), this four-part series brings to the forefront important climate change and key environmental issues through talks with climate experts.

Being Jewish in France Today: The Challenge of Antisemitism and the Promise of the Republican Spirit

On June 17, Central’s Rabbi Emeritus Peter Rubinstein and Rabbi Delphine Horvilleur, writer and co-leader of the Liberal Jewish Movement of France, participated in a fascinating conversation as part of the 92Y series “France and Judaism: 2,000 years of Intertwined History,” in partnership with the Consulate General of France in New York, the World Jewish Congress, and the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaisme in Paris.

What Matters: Advance Care Planning with Rabbi Nicole Auerbach and Howard Sharfstein

On June 23, Rabbi Nicole Auerbach and Howard Sharfstein, Coordinator of Central’s What Matters initiative and former President of the Board of Trustees, hosted a webinar on the topic of Advance Care Planning. Click below to learn why it’s more important than ever to have “the talk” and learn the process of designating a health care proxy.

Spotlight NYC: Jennifer Finn and Concerts in Motion

Central’s Adult Engagement Program Manager, Lauren Dickel, moderated a conversation with Jennifer Finn, the found and executive director of Concerts in Motion (CiM). Viewers learned about Central’s partnership with the organization and also got a taste of CiM’s intimate virtual concerts through a 30-minute live performance with professional musician Tereasa Payne (flute, world flutes, reeds) and two young musical prodigies, Lucas (piano) and Leah Amory (violin).

20s and 30s at Central Synagogue

Find out about opportunities to meet, worship, learn, volunteer and virtually socialize with fellow Jewish 20s and 30s.

Click here for ways to stay connected and join our mailing list.

Center for Exploring Judaism

Now accepting registrations for our March 2021 cohort. Please register here.

The course is open to non-Jews alone or non-Jews with their Jewish partners, who are either members or non-members of Central Synagogue. For students exploring the possibility of converting to Judaism, this course serves as the first prerequisite step at Central Synagogue. Jewish partners of potential converts are welcome and strongly
encouraged to attend classes. For more information, click here.

Questions? Contact Center for Exploring Judaism Director, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Access to Programs and Events

Members, please check your Daily and Weekly Newsletter emails for login information and passwords where needed; all others may contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) during business hours for information on how to join.

Some Technological Tips

Many of our programs are accessed on the Zoom platform. New to Zoom? Check out this video from for help.

Other Learning Opportunities:

A few virtual programs being offered outside of Central Synagogue.

Virtual Beit Midrash from Hadar

This pluralistic Jewish learning organization offers a number of recurring online classes and other programs.

My Jewish Learning

A Daily Guide to Zoom Events, Livestreams and Other Online Resources

The Institute for Jewish Spirituality

A compilation of resources for challenging times including free Torah study and daily online meditation.

The IJS is also offering the course, “Learn The Jewish Practice That Teaches You How To Be Your ‘Best Self’”.