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Adult Learning 2020-21

Below are a list of learning opportunities for OrH members and non-members. Watch this space for further updates in programming, or subscribe to the OrH Newsletter. 


Telephone Tree of Life: an Opportunity for Connection and Learning
We sing at the end of each Torah service, “Etz chayim hi,” or “It is a tree of life to those that hold fast.” Combining the old-fashioned telephone tree with that game of alternate meaning-making, we’ll pass a “torah” message from person to person and see how it changes. It involves a minimal time commitment and requires no previous study of Hebrew or Torah. You’ll be called each week by someone who just wants to find out how you’re doing and chat for a few minutes about something interesting they’ve found in the week’s Torah reading. You will, in turn, call one person to check in and pass along what you’ve learned or thought about from the first phone call. Each call need not be long or scheduled in advance. To participate, learn more or ask questions, contact Shira at


Sunday Schmooze ‘n’ Learn Café
Once a month on Sundays, from 10:30-noon, Rabbi Liz will lead a schmooze for us to chat and catch up for the first 30 minutes, and then a member will offer a presentation on a subject dear to their heart. TOPICS INCLUDE: Jewish genealogy, Yiddish language and media, Jewish humour. Our first Schmooze takes place:

Sunday, December 13 - David Brooks, An irreverent perspective on the “invention” of Hanukkah: You will hear about a book that was written Hebrew, published in Greek, canonized for Catholics, rejected by Protestants, and not translated into modern English until 1938, yet contains the only text that tells the story of Chanukah.

Jewish Liturgy and Music
Led by Rabbi Liz, starting January 2021, offered in partnership with Reconstructionist affiliate Shir Hadash in Newton, MA. Details TBA.


Tikkun Olam/Repairing the World Series
A series of member- and guest-led sessions on understanding racism. First Tuesday of each month 7:00-9:00. This is an initiative of the Repairing the World Committee - all members are welcome to attend. To register, please contact

October 6 - Structural racism
November 9 - History in Canada of anti-Black racism
December 1 - Psychological underpinnings of racism
January 5  - White fragility and supremacy
February 2 - The current situation in Canada
March 2 - Healing racism in the Jewish community
April 1 -  Becoming a Jewish ally to racialized people and ending structural racism

Israel/Palestine: Opening the Closed Door
A series of guest- and member-led presentations.

December, TBA - What do Canadian Jews really think about Israel/Palestine? OrH members Keith Neuman and Diana Ralph will report on the findings of two national surveys of Canadian Jews.

TBA - "Beyond Polarized Kvetching" A Workshop with Lia Tarachansky and Emily Green. A safe, fun, hands-on workshop for learning how to effectively and respectfully listen and communicate with those who disagree with our deeply held views on contentious issues. Listening to one another about our Israel stories, questions, fears, longings (This event was postponed from October 29 -- new date TBA)

Chanting & Chocolate is a monthly gathering to engage in sacred Jewish chant, followed by delicious chocolate treats! Voluntary donations go to support orphans from the Abayudaya Jewish community in Uganda. Visit the Chanting and Chocolate page for more information.

A Course for Inquisitive Jews, their Significant Others, Those Considering Adult B’nei Mitzvah or Conversion, and Seekers of Knowledge of Jewish Life

Taught by Rabbi Elizabeth Bolton

This 15-week course is designed for those hoping to deepen their understanding of their Jewish heritage, for those exploring Judaism as a spiritual and religious tradition, as well as for those considering conversion to Judaism.

For more information visit the Exploring Judaism page or contact:

Tue, December 1 2020 15 Kislev 5781