Lifelong Learning Opportunities

Temple De Hirsch Sinai offers a variety of educational opportunities for all generations, cultivating lifelong connections and relationships. Rabbi Kate Speizer, our Adult Engagement Coordinator, is available to help you navigate the many choices we have here at Temple and beyond. Please feel free to contact her via email at kspeizer@tdhs-nw.org or by phone (206) 693-3046.

Registration for upcoming classes can be done online HERE.

Come and Learn: Adult Education Offerings

A community-wide program offered in partnership with Temple B'nai Torah & Jewish Family Service. Events are both educational and social for adults ages 60+.

Programs are open to all. Rabbi Kate Speizer is the coordinator and can be reached at kspeizer@tdhs-nw.org or by phone at (206) 693-3046. RSVPs are encouraged for programs and can be sent to rsvpEO@tdhs-nw.org.

Temple De Hirsch Sinai and the Union for Reform Judaism sponsor this Introduction to Judaism course for the greater Seattle region. The intro course offers a basic foundation in Judaism in 18 sessions, covering topics from history to theology, holidays to prayer. This course is designed for individuals considering conversion to Judaism, interfaith couples and Jews-by-birth who want a refresher course.

Introduction to Judaism is offered twice a year: Fall & Spring

Thursdays from 7-9 PM on our Seattle campus.

Tuition for the 18-week course is $280 community/$200 URJ congregation members. You will also be asked to purchase a number of books for the class (appr. $110). This tuition fee allows for either one or two people to attend, and we encourage couples to attend together or singles to invite an interested friend.

To register and learn more about the class, please click here. Please contact Rabbi Sabine Meyer, smeyer@urj.org, at the Union for Reform Judaism if you have any questions about course registration or requirements. Temple's Adult Engagement Coordinator, Rabbi Kate Speizer is also available to help.

Welcome to the neighborhood! Enjoy the benefits of adult Jewish learning with friends, new and old, in a comfy and convenient setting – your own home or office! It could be a morning, afternoon or evening of Jewish learning and friendly discussion around the topic of your choice. All you have to do is follow this simple two-part process:

1) Look over the topic list below and choose what interests you.

2) Contact Rabbi Kate Speizer via email at kspeizer@tdhs-nw.org or by phone at (206) 693-3046, indicating which topic and teacher you are interested in hosting.

If there is a topic you are interested in and don’t see it on our list, ask! We will try to accommodate special requests!

After you have chosen your class, our Adult Education Coordinator, Rabbi Kate Speizer, is available to help you with all details around hosting learning in your neighborhood. Your course instructor will also connect with you to customize the materials and timing to maximize the experience for your group.


From Westeros to Wisdom: Scriptural and Rabbinic Themes in Game of Thrones - Like all great popular tales of intrigue and adventure, Game of Thrones is replete with the universal themes emerging from the classic Hero’s Journey. And this ubiquitous archetype finds inspiring expression in the timeless tales and values of Jewish tradition. Join us for an exploration of parallelisms between this iconic show and our sacred story. Note: Discussions will focus on the HBO show only, not the series of books.

“...do we not bleed” Shakespeare, Shylock and the Anatomy of a Dramatic Portrait - Is the Bard’s The Merchant of Venice a portrayal of a single Jew or a more pernicious generalization? Is there really a distinction?

Liberal Zionism: Nuanced Identity or Oxymoron? - The recent Gaza conflict has taxed the cognitive dissonance of many American Jews who both love and support Israel while cherishing the progressive values from which Israel seems increasingly distant. In an era of black and white oversimplification and stereotype, are we witnessing the emergence of a new and nuanced Liberal Zionist ethic?


Another Look at Women of the Bible – Last year many of us were fortunate to spend time getting to know key women in Torah, N’vi’im and Ketuvim. This time around we’ll take a closer look at some additional influential – yet not always well known – women in the text.

Keeping the Covenant: Understanding Jewish Life-Cycle Rituals – A Jewish life-cycle event, whether it be a bris, bar mitzvah, wedding, or funeral, roots us in our identity and places us within a greater community. In addition to exploring the nuts and bolts of the Jewish Life Cycle, this course will address how and why life cycles possess such power in our Jewish lives. We will ask: from where do our most beloved and best-known Jewish life-cycle rituals emerge? How do we understand the language and movements of these rituals? And how can we innovate what we know as “tradition” to fit our modern and evolving Jewish practices today? Required texts: Inventing Jewish Ritual, by Carol Ochs.

Middot and Mussar – Middot are the Jewish values that guide our lives. Mussar is a spiritual practice that helps us learn to be the best versions of ourselves by finding a balance between extremes. This course will be a study of individual middot – such as humility (anavah) and compassion (rachamim) – and it will help us cultivate a spiritual mussar practice. We will study themes and cite examples within our sacred text and explore different methods of achieving balance in our hectic and fast-paced lives. Required text: Everyday Holiness: The Jewish Spiritual Path of Mussar by Alan Morinis.


Israel on Campus – Progressive values, human rights, and the Palestinian cause are often wrongly conflated on college campuses, leading to demonstrations, protests, and even anti-Semitism. Learn more about what kids are facing when they get to college, tips and tricks for responding, and how we can help.

A Ta’am of Torah – Learn to chant Torah in one hour! Together we will explore the customs and rituals surrounding the public reading of Torah and begin learning the system of Torah trope or cantillation. Ability to decode Hebrew (recognize and sound out letters/vowels) a must.

Ask a Rabbi: The Responsa Literature – Should we take money from Messianic “Jews”? Is organ donation permissible in Jewish law? What should we do about Halloween? Learn more about responsa literature, the historical question and answer texts of Jewish tradition, through case study and examples.