Adult Jewish Learning Brochure


Gerson D. Cohen Institute for Adult Jewish Learning

We are a center for serious Jewish learning. Synagogue classes offer everyone opportunities to discover new meanings in Judaism and Jewish culture. Our adult learning program is named for Rabbi Gerson D. Cohen, a widely respected historian and Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America from 1972 to 1986.

All classes are open to the CSAIR congregation/public and requires no registration unless otherwise indicated.


Adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah Class
Wednesdays, 7:45 PM-9:00 PM

Taught by Rabbi Barry Dov Katz, Rory Katz (Rabbinic Intern), and
Cantor Elizabeth Stevens

Perhaps you never had the chance to ascend the bimah as a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Maybe you did, but want to do it again at a time in your life when you will appreciate your connection to Judaism in a different way. This course is designed for adult learners of any age who are members of CSAIR. It will provide an in-depth study of the Jewish lifecycle, holidays, history, and core Jewish concepts. You will learn to chant from the Torah and participate in a Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony in Spring 2019. No prior experience is necessary. If you need to learn/improve your Hebrew reading, we will work together to find a tutor/class who can help you. RSVP to

Class Meets: May 23, 2018


Coordinated by Sharon Kern-Taub
Free and open to all. Pre-registration required - email

Moonglow by Michael Chabon
Sunday, June 3, 2018 at 10:30 AM (Note date change)
A wonderful book that celebrates the power of family bonds and the slipperiness of memory. Moonglow is an enchanting story about the circuitous path that a life follows, about the accidents that redirect it, and about the secrets that can be felt but never seen, like the dark matter at the center of every family's cosmos.


Text Wrestlers
Saturday, June 2, 2018 at 11:00 AM
Join the discussion as Dr. Diane Sharon leads an exploration of the weekly Torah portion.

Immolation and Conflagration In The Biblical
Thursdays, May 31, June 7, and June 14, 2018 at 7:45 PM
Taught by Dr. Diane Sharon, The Skirball Academy at the Streicker Center of Temple Emanuel

World Fire signifies God's presence in the Bible. It is an agent of the miraculous, a comforting sign of civilization, and an element of Israelite worship. It is also punishment for transgression as it falls from the sky or erupts from the earth. In this course we will examine selected biblical episodes marked by fire, and discover the astonishing range of meanings embedded in this powerful element. Please bring a complete Tanakh to each class. The JPS Hebrew-English edition is recommended.


Regular Programming

Hug Ivri
CSAIR's monthly Hebrew discussion group meets following Kiddush one Shabbat a month to talk about politics, literature, current events, and more. Dr. Yaakov Taitz, Coordinator. Free and open to all Hebrew speakers.

Yiddish Vinkl
Informal classroom style Yiddish conversations held monthly after Kiddush with an array of members. Enjoy the joys of Yiddish with a group that meets to schmooze together. - Charlie Goldfischer, Coordinator. Free and open to all Yiddish speakers.

Hazzan's Tisch (Led by CSAIR Cantor Elizabeth Stevens)
During Kiddush on Saturdays:
Tentatively set for June 2 and June 9, 2018
Between Mincha and Maariv on Saturday, May 26, 2018
Enjoy Shabbat to the fullest with more chances to sing. We will gather on Shabbat during Kiddush or between Mincha and Maariv to sing zemirot (table songs), niggunim (wordless melodies) and more. Free and open to all.

CSAIR :: 475 West 250th Street :: Bronx, NY 10471 :: 718-543-8400