Adult Education

Here at Emek Shalom, we have historically prided ourselves on having a strong and vibrant culture of Adult Education that far exceeds our size as a relatively small congregation.  Our goal is to create, nourish, and sustain a community of lifelong learners, and at TES you will find a plethora of classes taught by rabbis, community experts and guests, who aim to bring depth and breadth to the subjects they explore. Our classes and programs provide paths of connection that meet learners wherever they are in their journey.


Personal Actions in a Time of Climate Change – Post-poned until Fall 2023


A Library Perk

Beginning in March, the Library will be offering a “Study Hall” opportunity one day/evening per week (schedule to be announced) for students to study recommended readings and other materials in conjunction with a class they’re attending. (Note: Class instructors will need to provide advance notice of class content to Rabbi Ken and the Library Committee.)

Ongoing Groups

Tea and Conversation with Rabbi Julie

*On break until November*

Tea and Conversation with Rabbi Julie, meet the second Thursday of each month on Zoom. Join Rabbi Julie for an informal, sweet time of conversation and connection where we will discuss short teachings, quotes or ideas from Judaism, and then have an opportunity to share experiences, wisdom and stories interfacing with the topic. This class meets on the second Thursday of each month at 10:30 am.

A Jewish Fiction Book Group

*On break*

The Jewish Fiction Book Group, facilitated by Pam Dehnke, began in January and continues to meet the third Wednesday of each month at 2:30pm. Participants convene at the Nightingale’s Inn, 117 North Street (parking in rear), Ashland, to discuss Jewish-related novels. The Messiah of Stockholm is the February selection. Future book choices are decided by the group. If you have questions or suggestions feel free to contact Pam –


Unraveled, our kitting and other yarn crafts, will meet on the first and third Thursday of the month at 11:00 am at TES!  Bring your current project and what you’ve recently completed! Let’s kvell over our successes and work together on our challenges! Any questions, email Melissa Grudin at


A Mussar class, studying The Kabbalah of Forgiveness by Henry Abramson commenced September 28 and will conclude next month. This class is self-contained, meaning the students who enrolled at the beginning continue through as a unit; there is no revolving enrollment once the class begins.  See Mussar for more information.

  • Meet the Author – 2023! with Rabbi Ken Ehrlich: Class Recordings
    • TES Members can access recordings of Rabbi Ken’s “Meet The Author – 2023!” classes in the TES Member Portal here.
    • For instructions on accessing the TES Member Portal, please click here.
  • Rabbi Julie’s Pre-Passover Class Recording
    • TES Members can access the recording of Rabbi Julie’s Pre-Passover class here. For instructions on accessing the TES Member Portal, please click here.

Tuesday afternoon Torah Study, 5:00 pm

Saturday morning Torah study, 9:00-9:45 am  Please see our calendar for the current schedule.

If you’re interested in joining our extraordinary Temple Emek Shalom Mussar Study program (or just to hear more), contact Marty Towbin at

Highlights showing the range of last year’s (2020-2022) programs:

  • An Exploration of Rebbe Nachman’s “The Seven Beggars Tales” – Rabbi Joshua Boettiger
  • Shavuot:
    • Standing at Sinai: Studying the Sources, Emily Simon
    • You Just Can’t Find Good Manna in Oregon, Rabbi Ken Ehrlich
    • The Gifts of Torah: Answers, Tools and Grounding in the Time of COVID and to Last a Lifetime – Rabbi Julie Benioff
    • The Night Sky and Starscapes, Sascha Meier
    • Through the Gates of Praise:  Love and Fear, Intimacy and Retreat, Rabbi Joshua Boettiger, Rabbi Benjamin Barnett
  • Staying Inside/Staying Alive – Emily Simon
  • Shabbat Morning Prayer Writing with Rabbi Julie
  • Conscious Community (by R. Kalonymus Kalman Shapira), Marty Towbin
  • Jeremiah: The Path of Upheaval, Rabbi Joshua Boettiger
  • Mothers’ Daughters’ Sisters’ Voices in American Jewish Literature, Rabbi Ken Ehrlich
  • Love in the Time of Corona: Meeting the Unknown Together, David Lester
  • All is But a Breath: A Jewish Meditation Retreat on the Wisdom of Ecclesiastes, Norman Fischer and R. Joshua Boettiger
  • The Broken Mishkan: Creativity, Disability, and the Journey in Between, Sara Nesson
  • “Angels in America” play reading and discussion, Emily Simon
  • “The Status and Future of Judaism in America”
  • Women’s Resistance To The Nazi Regime, with Emily Simon