Shir Tikvah Lifelong Learning Programs for 5780 (2019-20)

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Our Vision for Lifelong Learning

Shir Tikvah will be a welcoming, sacred Jewish community of learners of every age, ability, perspective, and background. Learners will engage in holy conversations about Torah, concepts of God, Judaism, Israel, and relevant issues of today's world in all their exhilarating, challenging, and profound forms. We will encounter innovative and flexible learning models in rhythm with Jewish holidays, lifecycle events, and Shabbat. Our learning will cultivate Jewish identity, build community and inspire us to live in harmony with our Jewish ethics.

Lifelong Learning for the High Holy Days Season 


Saturday, September 21, 8:00 pm, Shir Tikvah

At the end of the Shabbat immediately preceding Rosh Hashanah, we gather to learn with guest speaker Noam Sienna, and then sing prayers of S’lichot.  

7:45 Dessert Reception

8:00 Guest speaker Noam Sienna

9:00 Sing songs of yearning and teshuva traditional to this sacred moment in our calendar.

Call of the Shofar Workshop

Monday, September 16, 7:30-8:45 pm

The essential mitzvah of Rosh Hashanah is to hear the call of the shofar, lishmo’a kol shofar. What kind of learning and kavanah (intention) is asked of those who are ba’alei-Shofar, the people who sound the shofar on behalf of the community? In this freestanding workshop with Rabbi Rappaport, participants will explore the keys to unlocking the holy shofar moment, as demonstrated in this short video:  Please bring a shofar if you have one.

Community Tashlich and Learning

Sunday, October 6th, 9:30 to 11:30 am at Crosby Park - rain or shine!

What does it mean to ‘toss away our sins’ year after year? Learning with the rabbis, story with Bobby Zelle, and a pilgrimage to the river to toss away or recycle our transgressions! 

Weather-permitting, we’ll follow our learning and ritual with a potluck picnic in the park.

Leaves, Sticks, and Sand:

Preparing for the High Holy Days through Art and Nature along the Mississippi River

Sunday, September 15, 1:00-4:00 pm at Crosby Farm Regional Park

Led by Sara Lynn Newberger and Denise Tennen

$25 in advance, $30 at the “door” Info & registration here

Multi-Week Lifelong Learning Opportunities

What follows are multi-week courses during which participants experience both deep learning and developing meaningful relationships.

Please register in advance with your time and financial commitment; contact Alison Olig for questions about payment options.

Jewish Sparks

Inside every Jew, the Rabbis teach, is a n’kudah tovah – a spark of holiness, goodness – a unique gift that no one else in the world has. The mystics explain that this is a spark of divine holiness, the chamber of our souls. What are those sparks  inside us that animate Jewish life? How can our Jewish traditions nourish those sparks in our daily lives and work in the world?

Shir Tikvah’s Sparks series is designed for people of all backgrounds who want to dig deeply into Jewish heritage and contemporary relevance - whether you grew up Jewish or are exploring conversion. Each session has at-home reading to prepare in advance, so that when we meet we can go deeply into the topics and how they relate to our lives and world today.

2019-2020 Sparks of Jewish Time

Judaism marks times in ways that are linear and cyclical.

The next series of courses explores Jewish time through the annual holidays and the unique moments we ritualize over our lifetimes. 

Sparks of Return

Rabbi Rappaport

Mondays, 6:00 to 7:30 pm: September 9, 16, 23, and October 7 (4 sessions)

What is the spiritual call of the High Holy Days? How do our prayers and rituals inspire and deepen our work?

Join Rabbi Rappaport to explore Selichot, Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, Tashlich, Sukkot, and Simchat-Torah; and celebrate the first night of Sukkot together on Sunday October 13.


Fall 2019 Sparks Registration

Ritual Sparks of a Jewish Life

Rabbi David Thomas

6:00-7:20 pm, Mondays November 4 - December 16 (7 sessions)

Rituals mark the most vulnerable moments of transition in a human life. Learn about the foundational Jewish life cycle rituals and how they’ve evolved over time. Topics include birth/baby-naming; b’nei-mitzvah, marriage, death and mourning.



Shir Tikvah Clergy

Philosophy, theology, and how-to’s of Shabbat

January 6-February 2 (5 sessions)


Winter and Spring Holiday Sparks

Shir Tikvah Clergy

Learn the meanings and how-to’s of Jewish spring holidays through an environmental lens, including our relationship with the lands in which Jews live. 

Tu B’Shevat celebrated Feb 10; Purim March 9; 

Classes meet February 24 -May 18 (no class Mar 9, April 13)  (12 sessions)

Continuing Mussar with Julie Dean

Open to those who have studied Mussar and are seeking to deepen their personal practice and learning in a supportive, engaging community.

Participants should plan to attend 90% or more of the sessions and communicate with a chevruta at least once on the weeks we do not meet.  We will be using Middot focused Torah summaries from the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. Questions? Contact Julie Dean at

Two Thursdays per month, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm

9/5, 9/19, 10/3, 10/17, 10/31, 11/21, 12/5, 12/19, 1/9, 1/23, 2/6, 2/20, 3/5, 3/19 (14 sessions)


Continuing Mussar Registration

Trope Seminar: Learn to Chant Torah

Mondays, 6:00 to 7:20 pm

September 9 - December 16 (No class Sept 30, Oct 14 or 21)

Master tutor Steve Greenberg will use The Art of Torah Cantillation to teach learners how to chant Torah for Shabbat. This workshop is for students of Hebrew who are already comfortable decoding Hebrew letters and vowels, and is part of the Adult B’nei Mitzvah program. 

$136 plus The Art of Torah Cantillation by Marshall Portnoy (please purchase through Magers & Quinn at 612-822-4611)

Register here

Beginning or Refreshing: Prayerbook Hebrew

Beginning October 28, 2019, Mondays 7:30-8:45pm

Hebrew is the language with which we talk to God! If you are new to Hebrew, and/or interested in an adult b’nei-mitzvah, this class is for you.* Learn with b’nei mitzvah tutor and experienced teachers.

*If you know your letters and vowels, you may join in the winter or spring session or you may want to learn Hebrew at the college level on Tuesday and Thursday nights with Hineni

Hazon: Jewish visions for living authentically and with purpose, with Rabbi Rappaport

Mondays November 11 & 25, December 9 & 16, 6:30 - 8:00 pm (plus a Sunday workshop on December 1, time TBD by participants) 

With so many things competing for our attention (some worthy and some not), many of us need extra support for returning to our own centers and remembering what matters. In this workshop, we will explore some of Judaism’s best tools and teachings for resilience. Specific practices include: spiritual qualities to cultivate for wellbeing; exploring the wisdom in our prayers; hitbodedut - calling out to God; silence; time in nature; creative expression; journaling; and more

$72, Register here

Ongoing Lifelong Learning Opportunities

Torah Study: An Exodus Journey 

2nd & 4th Fridays of the month 12:15pm-1:30pm

Word by word, phrase by phrase, each month we explore approximately 12-14 verses of Torah. Join us as we complete our journey through the book of Exodus. To be added to the email reminder list contact Gayle Zoffer. All are welcome to participate.

Shabbat Morning Torah Study with Rabbi David Thomas

Second Saturday of the month, 9:00-10:15 am, resuming Fall 2019

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