Life Long Learning

Join us for JELLI!

The next sessions of the Jewish Education Lexington Learning Institute (JELLI), co-sponsored by Temple Adath Israel and Ohavay Zion Synagogue, will be held:

Wednesdays, January 14 and January 21
Ohavay Zion Synagogue 7-9 pm

Lisa Miller, “Introduction to Mussar” and Liza Goldenberg, “Not Your Bubbie’s Shul: A Look at the Past, Present, and Future of Women in Judaism”
(7:00-7:50 pm)

Mussar is an ancient Jewish spiritual path for everyday holiness that has a very modern application in our lives. Through the study of the soul traits each of us are born with, we become aware of our individual personal life curriculums and we realize that our souls are the primary essence of who we are.  Join Mussar Institute Manchim facilitator Lisa Miller on Jan 14 and 21 for an exciting event.

Bennett Bayer, “Same Sex Marriage in Jewish and Secular Law” and Ken Slepyan and Karen Petrone, “Jews in Russia: Part 1 – Jews in Tsarist Russia; Part 2 – Soviet Jewish Literature”
(8:10-9:00 pm)

Refreshments served between talks.
All community members are invited.




“ For 4000 years the Jewish people have sat at the feet of the wise of all times and places. “

This important understanding defines us.

It is what has made us unique.  For we treasure persons of wisdom and profound knowledge no matter what its source may be.  Indeed, we say a special blessing when we encounter a scholar who is other than Jewish.

Thus, the education of Jewish children is a priority and has its start at a tender age.  Moreover, no matter how poor the community the Jewish community always scrapes together whatever is needed to educate its children.  In the past every child learned not only how to read and write but also multiple languages, and most important, critical thinking.

Learning is not just reserved for children but is a lifelong personal obligation and endeavor.  No matter how poor the community, it always established one special “House of Study” that was open 24-hours-per-day and provided a library of fundamental books.  The old and young studied there with community support. In my father’s Polish stetl housewives collected candle butts to enable  poor kids to have the light they needed to pursue their studies at night.

The community valued learning. Scholars had the highest status. The rich and powerful deferred to them. When, for example, a prosperous family sought a husband for its daughter, they wanted a great scholar, and later financially supported the young couple to enable the husband to complete his studies, or even devote his whole life to study.

People wonder why the Jewish people are so successful in the professions and in business enterprises.  There is no secret. They ceaselessly study their field of endeavor. In business critical thinking and ceaseless study comes into play in the starting and maintaining of every enterprise.

This learning has also at its root the study of ethical issues—one’s obligations to one’s family, one’s clients, and one’s community. And the boundary is not the boundary that demarcates the Jewish people. Rather Jewishness embraces humanity with a special emphasis on the poor, the hungry, the naked, the prisoners, the oppressed.

Thus, it is no accident that Temple Adath Israel is a learned community. Many of its members are public school and university teachers and researchers. In addition many members who are not professional teachers assist the Principal and the teachers of a public elementary school down the street. They also tutor individual students and groups of students. In addition, they gather food and school supplies for indigent students.

To summarize, the above is just the consequence of the fact that

“ For 4000 years the Jewish people have sat at the feet of the wise of all times and places. “

Joe Engelberg