At Emanu-El, we are an active community of lifelong Jewish learners — in the endless pursuit of spiritual growth and exploration. As Jews, we are compelled to question and debate. These conversations energize us as we gain new perspectives and challenge our own long-held beliefs. Our shared desire for knowledge and for community enriches us as individuals and bonds us as a congregation. Emanu-El thrives when we are learning together. We hope you will find time on your calendar and in your mind to join us on a thought-provoking and powerful Jewish journey.

To inquire about adult education, please contact Ariana Estoque, Director of Member Experience, at (415) 750-7552 or [email protected].

Scroll down to view our current Adult Education offerings:

George Prochnik ‹ Literary HubEvening with author, George Prochnik – Rabbi Joseph Asher Memorial Lecture
Strangers in Strange Lands
Sigmund Freud, Gershom Scholem & The Dream of Belonging

Thursday, December 14 at 6:30 pm at the Jewish Community Library, 1835 Ellis Street

Free garage parking at 1227 Pierce Street between Ellis and Eddy.

Sigmund Freud—whose psychological theories continue to form part of our cultural bedrock—never overcame a sense of alienation from the civilization that was home to him, even when its public eventually embraced his ideas. Gershom Scholem—the scholar of Kabbalah whose understanding of European Jewry’s doomed fantasy of assimilation led him to emigrate to Mandate Palestine in the 1920s—never found himself at home in the Zionist political project.

In this talk, George Prochnik will discuss the ways that Freud and Scholem’s own experience informed their theories of how the dream of belonging shapes personal-psychological and national history, often to disastrous effect. Today, when illusions of restoring or creating the “true homeland” carry dangerous political reverberations, reexamining the struggles of these two profound thinkers attempting to reckon with the problem of belonging has never been more important or timely.

Learn more and register.

Introduction to Judaism
When: Tuesday Evenings, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Where: In person classes will be at Star of the Sea School (360 – 9th Avenue, between Clement and Geary); some classes will be on zoom. 
Cost per trimester: Emanu-El Member $72; Non-Member: $118

Fall 2023: Oct. 24, 31; Nov. 7, 14, 28; Dec. 1* 5, 12

Winter 2024: Jan. 9, 16, 23, 30; Feb. 6, 13, 20, 27

Spring 2024: April 2, 9, 16; May 3*, 7, 14, 21, 28
Join Emanu-El clergy to learn about the breadth and wonder of Jewish tradition. This class is a pathway for the adult learner who wishes to discover or deepen Jewish knowledge, non-Jews who are marrying a Jewish partner, and those who are considering conversion to Judaism. Participants register for each trimester separately.
*Shabbat Service and Dinner experience (location TBD)


Click here to view the 2023-2024 syllabus.

Discover the Talmud 

Taught by Rabbi Noah Westreich

Discover the Talmud with Rabbi Noah Westreich

Monthly sessions: Tuesday evenings, 7:00 – 8:30pm at Star of the Sea (350 9th Avenue)

November 28; December 12, January 16, February 13, March 19, April 16

The Talmud is the record of narrative and legal change in Jewish tradition and is a whole lot of fun to study–if you know how. This discovery class provides an encounter with the text that will shift your perspective and reveal mysteries about the Talmud. Classes will consist of an introductory lecture, word-by-word translation of a Talmudic passage in its original language, a small group discussion, and a large group discussion. 

Each class stands alone–you can register for one or more sessions. No prior experience with Hebrew or Talmud is necessary, though the ability to sound out the alef-bet is suggested.

Tauber Marin Gatherings – Monthly Learning Sessions with Rabbi Jonathan Singer

We are bringing our learning session to Marin. Join us for a monthly exploration of contemporary issues grounded in Torah text. Grab a beverage or a snack and dive in. 

Wednesdays from 4:30pm – 5:30pm

Book Passage – 51 Tamal Vista Boulevard, Corte Madera.

Registration required, everyone welcome. 

Later dates TBD

This Program is made possible by The Laszlo N. Tauber Family Foundation, reflecting the dynamic, generous, and enduring spirit of Dr. Laszlo N. Tauber.

Shabbat Morning Torah Chevra with Emanu-El Scholar Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

“Zoom Ger” (Yehuda Aryeh Leib of Ger; Green’s The Language of Truth) will begin on Shabbat morning, Sept. 9, 2023 and conclude on June 8, 2024.

Zoom meetings, Saturday mornings, 10:00 am – 11:00am

First session: Saturday morning, September 9, 2023

No class, April 21 & 28 for Passover break

Classes will continue thru May 2024

To register, please contact [email protected] to have your name & email address added to the Zoom invitation list.

Weekly Torah Study with Emanu-El Clergy
When: Every Saturday, 9:15 – 10:00 am
Where: Via Zoom

Each week, a member of our clergy leads a group in Torah Study followed by Mourner’s Kaddish and Healing Prayer.

To find this Saturday’s Torah Study, click here.

Adult Education Committee Mission Statement:

The Adult Education Committee is dedicated to foster Jewish knowledge on the highest educational level. The goal is to deepen the engagement with Jewish texts, Jewish spirituality, Jewish history and tradition, Jewish culture, and Jewish philosophy as we consider how Judaism brings meaning to our world. While choosing speakers, programs and events, the committee will always strive for excellence, inspiration, and diversity.

We commit ourselves to cooperate with other committees of our synagogue like the Tzedek Cooperative or the Israel Action Committee and/or work with other organizations to help to build programs that contain Jewish themes in a broader sense. The goal is to enhance the joy and responsibility that come with the exploration, experience and learning of Jewishness and Judaism in every possible way. Thus, we accept and embrace Emanu-El’s role as one of the leading Jewish learning institutions in the Bay Area.