The Gerald Schwartz/Heather Reisman Centre for Jewish Learning at Holy Blossom Temple
Holy Blossom Temple is as much a House of Study as a House of Worship. Our Gerald Schwartz/Heather Reisman Centre for Jewish Learning reflects this, affording our members, and the larger Toronto Jewish Community, the opportunity to come together for major public lectures which address the important issues of our day. The Centre also provides the opportunity to study in smaller groups and classes — everything from the Bible to Rabbinic Texts; from Jewish Literature to Jewish History; from how to make Jewish marriage work to how to raise Jewish children of strong character.
The Gerald Schwartz/Heather Reisman Centre for Jewish Learning at Holy Blossom Temple is made available through the generosity of our members Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman. Gerry and Heather’s generosity reflects their belief in Holy Blossom Temple as a place of deep engagement in the larger issues of concern to the Jewish People. Gerry and Heather’s commitment reflects their belief that the synagogue is the central address in the Jewish Community.
While our lectures are designed to draw larger numbers, our study classes are no less integral to the Schwartz/Reisman Centre. They reflect the character of Holy Blossom Temple as much as do our lectures: substantive and engaging at the same time, open to all regardless of the level of Jewish learning.
We offer many ongoing classes, providing our members the opportunity to study sacred texts in depth. These classes, designed for the adults in our community, encourage each of our members to move from one level of learning to another. This enables each of us to slowly build a foundation of Jewish learning.
For more information on our Gerald Schwartz/Heather Reisman Centre for Jewish Learning at Holy Blossom Temple, please send an email to Debbie Spiegel or call (416) 789-3291, ext.239.
Our Colour Key Guide
Use the colour key guide below to help navigate through our Adult Education Programs
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Ongoing - Saturdays at 9:00 a.m.
Shabbat Torah Study
Rabbi Yael Splansky
Together we’ll study the weekly Torah portion, its corresponding commentaries both ancient and modern, and discover their eternal relevance. Experienced students are valued for their accumulation of knowledge. Newcomers are valued for their fresh insight. Make a weekly commitment or stop by from time to time.
All are welcome.
Ongoing - Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m.
Sisterhood Torah Study
“Jews” or perhaps more elaborately, the “Children of Israel” have maintained their own distinct society for over 3000 years, a feat few other groups have endured. They have done so in the face of very real challenges, which if left unanswered could have brought the complete enterprise to an end.
Ongoing - Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. after Shacharit services
Saturdays, April 9, June 4 at 1:00 p.m.
Beit Midrash Shabbat Learning
Marla Powers, facilitator
Wednesday evenings: Until June 22
Prayer and other Matters of the Spirit
Rabbi Yael Splansky
Part of the two-year course “Aspirational Judaism,” all are welcome to join in for just these fifteen sessions.
Bring your curiosity. Bring a friend.
Sundays, Until May 15
Uke’N Ukulele at Holy Blossom Temple
Sundays, January 10 to May 15, 2016
12:15 to 12:45
for NEW members who need beginner instruction
12:45 to 2:00
for returning and experienced players
Sundays, April 10, May 8, 2016
Breakfast starts at 9:30 a.m.
Lecture starts at 10:30 a.m.
Tuesdays, every two weeks following through June 21 at 1:30 p.m.
Rabbi Michael Satz
Mussar is a system, based on Jewish sources, of practices to transform our inner lives by developing our personal virtues like humility, patience, gratitude and generosity. We have embarked on a second cohort, to study together and help each other develop our neshamot, our souls.
Beginning again March 9, 2016 – June 29, 2016 at 11:00 p.m.
Rabbi Edward Goldfarb
Wednesdays, March 16-April 6 at 12:00 p.m.
The “Zohar Revolution” – How Can Kabbalah Enrich our Jewish Lives?
Rabbi Larry Englander, rabbi emeritus Solel Congregation
Lunch and Learn: Lunch $10/session.
Ongoing - various dates through April 2016
Pep Talks: Parent Education Program
PEP talks are for Parents of children of all ages. This is a chance to meet other parents, and learn strategies and techniques for working with our kids! Please join us.
March 21, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. – Sara Goldman, M.S.W., RSW with Michael Waxman, M.S.W. RSW
April 3, 2016 – Parenting: Punish or Praise with Dr. Marcia Zemans, Psychiatrist CAMH
Thursdays, March 24- April 14, 2016 at 10:30 a.m.
The Truth About Everything Really Important
Rabbi Michael Stroh, rabbi emeritus Temple Har Zion
Every religion and philosophy must deal with the difference between truth and falsehood, good and bad, the nature of God and the inevitability of death. What does the Jewish Tradition say?
Thursday, March 24
OOTC Volunteering for our Young Professional Community
Friday, March 25
Young Professional Shabbat Dinner at Home
Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Prisoner of Tehran
Marina Nemat, author
Sponsored by Sisterhood.
Wednesday March 30, 2016
Holy Blossom Sisterhood Salon Presents: Inspiring Women
Marina Nemat, acclaimed author of the international bestseller, Prisoner of Tehran and After Tehran: A Life Reclaimed will speak at Holy Blossom Temple.
Monday, April 4, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
“On that day you shall tell your child: I do this because of what the Eternal One did for me when I came out of Egypt.” (Exodus 13:8)
Practical tips. Inspiring resources. And best practices that with keep EVERYONE at the table.
Tuesdays, April 5, 19, 26, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Social Justice: Prophets, Rabbis, and the Reform Movement
Rabbi Michael Satz
What do our texts teach us about social justice, and how do we as Reform Jews live these values? This three session course will engage in text study and discussion to explore this central topic of Jewish tradition.
Tuesday, April 5
“The Body Politic: Breasts and Jewish Law”
Rabbi Jordan Helfman will be teaching at BASE at the Centre for Social Innovation – Annex
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Holy Blossom Sisterhood Salon Presents: Inspiring Women
Helena Fine & Anne Dublin
Join us for a very special evening where two of our Long-Standing Temple Members, Helena Fine and Anne Dublin share personal events that inspired them to create deeply enriching and award-winning works of art in children’s theatre and in literature.
April 7-21. 2016 at 8:00 p.m.
Beyond the Chuppah
David & Eileen Berger
A program for newly married and engaged couples. Contact Hayley McAdam, ext 246 for registration.
Thursday, April 7, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Syrian Refugees in Canada: The Issues and our Response
Ratna Omidvar, Chair of Lifeline Syria, head of the Global Diversity Exchange at Ryerson University and recognized as one of the country’s foremost experts on immigration and diversity.
Professor Morton Beiser a psychiatrist and epidemiologist known for his research in the fields of immigration and resettlement.
Friday, April 8, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.
Abraham Joshua Heschel and the Sources of Wonder
Rabbi Michael Marmur Ph.D, Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion
Why is Abraham Joshua Heschel, who died in 1972, one of the most important thinkers and activists of the twentieth century, still so resonant and significant in the twenty-first? And what is the connection between Heschel’s ‘spiritual activism’ and his reliance on thousands of classical Jewish sources? How does tradition inform our reading of the times we live in?
Tuesday, April 12, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Are Liberal Jews Trapped by Their Own Ideology?
Barbara Kay, National Post columnist
Barbara will speak to the HBT community about the problems caused by some segments of the Jewish community, global anti-Semitism, the demonization of Israel, and her very specific views on issues facing the Jewish community and Israel. Come to have your assumptions challenged.
In Conversation with Josh Cooper, CEO JNF Canada.
Sunday, April 24
Young Professionals Passover Seder; the Third Night
Wednesday, May 4, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.
Yom HaShoah: Our Holocaust Day commemoration
We look forward to learn from a member of our congregation, a survivor of the Shoah, the Holocaust, who will share with us memories from that period of our collective history.
May 5-15, 2016
Learning Through Travel: Congregational Social Justice Trip to Israel
Join Rabbi Yael Splansky and Temple President Joan Garson on a congregational social justice trip to Israel this spring. Members of our congregation will learn together about Israel’s challenges and its wide range of responses, and meet some of its leading activists where they work.
Wednesday, May 11
Yom HaZikaron commemoration
Yom Ha’Atzmaut celebration
May 13-15, 2016
Sisterhood Retreat at Bayview Wildwood Resort
Our very special weekend of study, prayer, relaxation and fun is coming again to the beautiful countryside at Bayview Wildwood Resort. Surrounded by nature and friends, come to experience all that Sisterhood retreat has to offer.
Tuesdays, May 17-31, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Job and a Serious Man
Rabbi Yael Splansky & Professor Adam Sol
We’ll compare the Biblical Book of Job and the 2009 Coen Brothers film, A Serious Man. One is brave theology, which stands nearly alone in the biblical canon. The other is a dark comedy, which asks the same questions about a person’s search for meaning in the midst of life’s joy and suffering.
In memory of Harold Heft z”l
May 25, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Eye on Israel: Israeli TV Night with our Shinshinim
Noam Nadler and Bar Cohen
Israeli TV is fascinating. It brings out the best of Israeli culture. Join us as we look at some of the best of TV and its effect on the climate and culture of Israel.
Monday & Wednesday May 30 & June 1, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Harry & Blanche Posen Memorial Lecture
Professor Gabi Ben Dor, University of Haifa
Professor Ben-Dor brings the up to the minute “What is happening in Israel now” political/strategic conversation from two perspectives, the local one and the world view. Please mark your calendars for what is always a stimulating and enriching conversation.
Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 8 p.m.
Tikkun Leil Shavuot
Join us as we learn together marking the giving of the Torah. Reception following.
Ongoing: Mondays throughout the until May 9, 2016
Our senior community gathers each week for learning, lunch and friendship. Please join us on the following dates:
Mar. 7: Our ShinShinim, Noam Nadler & Bar Cohen
Mar. 14: Rouhama Danto, Our Four Matriarchs
Mar. 21: Purim Party
May 9: Dr. Adam Sol
June 20: Music with Sharon Smith & Jordan Klapman
Saturday June 11 until the morning of Sunday June 12
An all-night ‘study session’ and party
At the Miles Nadal JCC. Rabbi Jordan Helfman is teaching, as are many other HBT people.
Jewish Information Class
The Jewish Information Class (JIC) was created by the Reform Rabbis of Greater Toronto to enable those who wish to learn more about Judaism and the Jewish People an opportunity to study in depth. In addition to transmitting Jewish knowledge, the Jewish Information Class also affords the opportunity to acquire Jewish life skills and to experience Jewish religious and communal life.
Our classes, taught by the rabbis and master teachers of our community, also serve as a prerequisite for those who wish to convert to Judaism under the auspices of the Bet Din (rabbinical court) of the Reform Rabbis of Greater Toronto.
The program runs for approximately 30 weeks. All students in the Jewish Information Class participate in the program under the sponsorship of a rabbi who is a member of the Bet Din.
Hebrew 1, 2, 3
Are you interested in learning Hebrew? We would love to assist you in your quest! Contact Dalia Alalouf (ext. 238) to arrange a class/one-on-one program for you.