Adult Education

Learning Opportunities

Expand your Jewish knowledge and friendships by being part of our growing community of lifelong learners. Please check our calendar for more information on Adult Learning opportunities in 2022. We also invite you to learn more about our resources in the Rabbi Richard B. Safran Library. 

Classes currently are offered on Zoom. Links are sent to members of our extended Temple family by email. Please contact the Temple office for access information at or (260) 744-4245.

Beit Midrash With Rabbi Meir and Guest Teachers

Beit Midrash translates to “House of Study,” and describes the institution of classical Jewish learning.  Join Rabbi Meir Bargeron or guest teachers to learn about a variety of topics. Classes generally are offered two Tuesdays per month at 7 p.m. on Zoom, along with ongoing weekly study groups. 

Preparing for the Days of Awe with Psalm 27
Tuesday, September 13 
7 p.m. on Zoom

In Jewish tradition, the community prepares for the Days of Awe by reading Psalm 27 every day of the preceding month of Elul. It is beautiful poetry that is profoundly personal, yet held up as a communal experience. We will read Psalm 27 together, discuss its themes and reflect on its meanings for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. 

Pre-Reading: Please spend some time soaking in the beauty of Psalm 27

Sukkot: Holiday of the Hut and More
Tuesday, October 11 
7 p.m. on Zoom

After the spiritual workout of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we enter the festival of Sukkot. What are the origins of the holiday, and what exactly is a sukkah? We will read the biblical sources, the rabbinic commentaries, and discuss our own interpretations of how to celebrate Sukkot.

An Evening of Chasidic Wisdom
Tuesday, October 25 
7 p.m. on Zoom

The Chasidic movement brought an emphasis on chased, compassion, to the forefront of Jewish life. The teachings of Chasidic sages inspire joy and offer wisdom that remains relevant to modern Jews. We will learn about the history of Chasidism and read some gems from the tradition’s great teachers. 

Seeing and Counting our Blessings
Tuesday, November 8
7 p.m. on Zoom

A substantial part of Jewish prayer is comprised of blessings, the act of calling down God’s favor on someone or something. Blessings are so important that the Talmud teaches that a person is obligated to recite 100 blessings every day! We will study the form of traditional Jewish blessings and reflect on their meaning in Jewish life. 

The Jews and the Greeks: A Hanukkah Object Story with Rabbi Sarah Berman
Tuesday, December 13
7 p.m. on Zoom

The Hanukkah story pits the ancient Jews against their Hellenistic Greek neighbors, but in real life the divisions between these two groups were often much less dramatic. Join Rabbi Sarah Berman to explore art and objects that tell more nuanced stories about the encounter between Judaism and Hellenism — and come away with a new understanding of Hanukkah.

Sarah Berman is Rabbi and Director of Adult Education at Central Synagogue in New York. Before her ordination in 2020 she served as a rabbinic intern in New York City, suburban New Jersey, and Wisconsin, as well as in pastoral roles at organizations serving women transitioning from incarceration to independence. Before attending rabbinical school Sarah spent a decade doing art and historical research and curatorial work at the Seattle Art Museum.

“Calling All Angels”: Divine Messengers in Jewish Tradition
Wednesday, January 11
7 p.m. on Zoom

Derived from the word for “messenger,” angels appear throughout the Hebrew Bible, rabbinic texts, and in Jewish prayers. In this session, we will study examples of angels in our tradition and discuss their meaning to the Jewish people and to individual Jews.

Please RSVP by Thursday, January 5 to receive materials.

Ongoing Classes:

Hebrew 1: Kita AlephSundays, January 15 to April 27-8 p.m. on ZoomReady to follow along in the Hebrew at Shabbat services? Wondering how to master your pronunciation of the prayers? Then Hebrew 1: Kita Aleph is for you!

John Planer will guide us through our study of Hebrew on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. via Zoom. The class will meet for 11 sessions from January 15 to April 2. (No class on February 19.)

The class is offered at no charge, but participants must purchase the required text and have it at the first session. Textbook: Aleph Isn’t Tough: An Introduction to Hebrew for Adults, Book 1. Purchasing Options: Behrman House or Amazon.

Registration is required by Wednesday, January 4 by emailing us at The Zoom link to attend will be sent to those who register.

Hebrew Liturgy Study Group – Mondays at 7 p.m. on Zoom

Study the Hebrew texts – both Orthodox and Reform – of the daily and Shabbat liturgies led by John Planer on Zoom. Join us to examine the meanings and grammar of the texts we recite and note significant variants. The group is open to any and all.

Five Books Of Moses Study

Read and study the Torah, verse by verse, with classic commentaries by Rashi, Rashbam, Seforno and many others during a weekly study group led by Rabbi Mitchell Kornspan on Sundays at 7 p.m. on Zoom. Temple members, as well as members of the larger Fort Wayne Jewish community, are invited to participate. 

This approach to the study of Torah delves into the depths of Rabbinic teaching on the Torah Portion. Note that this group is not studying the texts on the same schedule as the weekly Torah portion. Participants should attend with a Tanakh, and learners with any level of Hebrew proficiency are welcome.

Temple Book Club 2022-2023

Tuesday, October 18 at 7 p.m. on Zoom – We’ll discuss The Woman with the Blue Star and talk with Author Pam Jenoff. Find out more

Tuesday, February 28 at 7 p.m. on Zoom – We’ll join author Alina Adams to discuss The Nesting Dolls. Find out more 

Our enthusiastic readers will meet on Zoom for a book discussion and to talk to the author via videoconferencing.

Hot Topics Shabbat

The Temple’s Social Action Committee hosts occasional programs on Friday evenings highlighting important social justice topics.

We’ve welcomed speakers from Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Fort Wayne–South Bend to inform our members on resettlement efforts for the recently arrived Afghan refugees. Watch the program

We’ve learned about Police Reform and Social Justice with guest speaker Michelle Chambers, an at-large member of the Fort Wayne City Council who co-chaired the city’s Commission on Police Reform and Social Justice. Please check our calendar for upcoming programs.  

Genealogy and the Holocaust

Over the past few years, Temple member Irv Adler has presented several programs on Genealogy and the Holocaust in Fort Wayne and beyond to share his worldwide search through Holocaust records to find out more information about his grandmother and family. Watch his presentation on “Families Lost & Found: Tracing My Viennese Roots After the Holocaust” to IPFW’s Campus Ministry on November 16, 2017.

As part of this personal historical journey, Irv traveled to Vienna to place a Stone of Remembrance in front of the home where his grandmother Clara Bader Nichtern lived before she was murdered in 1942 by the Nazis at the Maly Trostinets death camp outside of Minsk. He returned in 2018 to dedicate additional stones of remembrance. His research continues today. 

Learn more about family history resources in the Madge Rothschild Resource Center and through the Northeast Indiana Jewish Genealogy Society.

Strings of Inspiration

Temple member Bruce Colegrove will be back on March 14, 2023 with more stories of some of the most remarkable events in the life of the women’s orchestra at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Bruce describes the group as the most eclectic, the most unique, the most controversial, and, without any question, the most zealously documented gathering of female musical talent the world has ever known. By many regards, it was also the most inspiring.

An ardent researcher in Holocaust studies, Bruce is the developer of the website Women’s Orchestra of Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was a long-standing Hebrew teacher at Achduth Vesholom and a 20+-year faculty member at Canterbury High School.