Adult Learning

Etz Hayim Synagogue’s Continuing Education Program

2019-2020 Calendar 5780

Hot Topics and Cool Contemporary Stuff

Except where indicated, programs are open to the public at no charge.

Donations to the synagogue to allow us to continue with these and other programs are welcomed.

All programs are held at Etz Hayim Synagogue, 1 ½ Hood Road, Derry, NH 03038

For more information, please contact: Stephen Soreff, MD, at or 603-895-6120

Sunday Programs include bagels and all the fixings

November 7, 2019 Thursday SPECIAL TIME 7:30 PM “ The Powers that Bind: Women in the Family Circle “

Noreen Leibson, Director of Education and Family Engagement, Temple Beth Abraham will talk on how our ancient family stories are riddled with tales of true love, lust, seduction and adultery. Given that the Torah is laconic, so much is left to our imagination, and often the women’s voice is left out altogether. Thankfully we have a rich resource in Biblical midrash, interpretations of the text that offer readers a wider vista within which to understand and learn from the narratives. Come ready to listen and talk as we explore new portals for gleaning wisdom from our past. We will focus on the story of Dinah and Shechem.

November 17, 2019 Sunday 10 AM “The Stories behind the Badges”

Austin Goodman, Manchester Police Officer, Stephen Landau, Retired FBI and Charles Walsh, Retired FBI present a real back stories of their work. This will include talk about the apprehension of Unabomber (Ted Kaczynski), security at the trial for the Oklahoma City bombing , and the armed car robbery in Hudson, NH.

December 5, 2019 Thursday “Systemic Racism: The United States and Nazi Race Law”

Thomas White, MA from the Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies presents how did Hitler and the Nazis utilize American precedents, including the U.S. eugenics movement, to shape and formulate their own race laws. As racism, Nazism, the KKK, and the “alt-right” have emerged as significant societal factors, this lecture will explore American precedents and reactions to Nazi Germany then and now. In September 1933, Hitler ordered a memorandum from Prussia Ministry of the Interior directing German political and legal minds to wrestle with the self-imposed “Jewish Question.”

January 9, 2020 Thursday 7 PM “Control and Reversal of Autoimmune Diseases through Diet and Lifestyle ”

David Riese will talk about Autoimmune diseases, such as Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis, are treated as distinct diseases by different specialists with specific drugs for each. However, the drugs mostly target symptoms or suppress our immune system responses. We will look into the nature of these conditions and what research has demonstrated can be done to slow, arrest and sometimes reverse them through diet and lifestyle modifications.

January 26, 2020 Sunday 10 AM “Jews on Broadway”

David Hirsch presents how everybody knows that most of the great Broadway songwriters were Jewish. But what, if anything, was Jewish about their words and music? Learn about the “Jewish Scale,” ambivalence in song, anglicization, and the curious quasi-Jewishness of Cole Porter in this investigation of our people’s greatest contribution to American music.David Hirsch has played bass in klezmer bands and the Portsmouth Symphony, sung Yiddish song recitals, acted in semi-pro musical theater, and presented variants of this lecture from the Seacoast to Seattle. In real life, he is a lawyer.

February 6, 2020 Thursday 7 PM “Instilling Jewish Pride in the Next Generation”

Lisa Adams, Leslie Kirshman and Amy Levy will talk about If we cannot instill Jewish pride in our next generation, then there will be no one left to carry on our tradition and face our future challenges. We'll discuss some of the ways to help you instill Jewish Pride for your family, including knowledge (and how to make that fun), brotherhood/sisterhood, and way to inspire courage to be a Jew (as we know it is not always easy or convenient for young folks to be/feel different).

February 23, 2020 Sunday 10 AM “The Future of Work and Play”

In this session Wayne Kurtzman walks you through the emerging technologies and how they are now and will affect how we create better (or at least new) consumer and employee experiences, and how new technologies will affect with way to work and play

March 5, 2020 Thursday 7 PM “The Experience of being a Muslin American”

Ahmed Tahoun a realtor in Manchester, NH. He will discuss what he has encounter as a practicing Muslin since immigrating from Egypt to the United States. He will talk about his family’s reaction to 9-11.

April 2, 2020 Thursday 7 PM “Was Jesus a Jew?”

Rabbi Peter Levy and the Reverend Raymond Bonin will discuss his question. Jesus has a Jewish mother. What Jesus said, and what you will find in the Gospel is not new.

April 19, 2020 Sunday 10 AM “Engaging Children through Jewish Reading Aloud”, * Done in conjunction with Sunday Camp.

Allyson Guertin , PJ Library Coordinator, will start with adults by discussing ways to engage child through Jewish Read Aloud. Then the last 15 minutes children will join us and adults can read to their children

May 7, 2020 Thursday 7 PM “The Kibbutz: Then and Now ”

Avia Sagron, Jewish Federation NH New Schlicha, will begin her talk about the history of the kibbutz in the history of Israel. Then she will draw upon her experiences of working at Kibbutz Yakum to give a picture of the kibbutz today.

May 17, 2020 Sunday 10 AM “Exodus – history, fiction, or some place in between?”

Isabel and Douglas Danforth will be looking at Torah and archeological and historical evidence, can we conclude that the Exodus that we celebrate at Passover was an historical event or not?Much of our discussion does come from the ideas of Richard Elliot Friedman’s recent book titled “The Exodus”. We will discuss some of his evidence and see if we can agree or not with his conclusions.

June 4, 2020 Thursday 7 PM “ Israel: A World Leader in Medical and Technological Innovation and Environmental Sustainability.”

Linda McGrath talks about how this tiny country has contributed to making this world a better place and how is it possible that it is the number two destination for venture capital in the WORLD after the United States? More than all of Europe combined!