Adult Education

Also, please see our Programs and Calendar pages for further information.

Continuing education is a vital part of Judaism and can deepen one's understanding of Jewish history, heritage, culture and traditions.

Introduction to Judaism Classes • Sundays (Aug. – May)
Beginning Hebrew, which emphasizes learning to read and write Hebrew, meets from 10:00 to 11:00am.  Introduction to Judaism, including "Lifecycles," a study of the Jewish calendar and Jewish holidays, is offered from 11:00am to 12:00pm. The reasons "why" we observe the festivals and fast days and basic information on "how" to celebrate are discussed. One may take only the "Lifecycles" segment if so desired, or a package of both classes. Classes are open to all. For more information, pricing and to register, contact Rabbi Robert Eisen.

Kollels (classes) on a variety of interesting topics and Jewish history seminars are held several times a year and usually take place over the course of several weeks. Some are offered for a nominal fee, others are free; all are open to the entire community.


19, 26 & Sept 2

The High Holy Days: "Are You Ready?"
Every year, from about the end of August until Rosh Hashanah, Rabbi Eisen is asked: “Rabbi, are you ready?” Ready? For what? For the High Holy Days, of course. Though he approaches the time of year very differently than most, his usual response is: “Are you?!” By which he means: These days are not about him, they are about “us” – as individuals and as a community. Whether he is ready with notes, sermons, signs and songs is not as important as whether we are looking inward to find our own faith and fortitude to make this a NEW year.
To help us each answer the question: “Are you?” we have invited some congregants to share with us something of importance to them; something that helps them with their preparation for this season, so that it can become that much more for us as well.

August 19: Rabbi Dr. Bennett Blum presents “Forgiveness: The Law and The Lore”
August 26: Rabbi Dr. Howard Schwartz presents “T’SHUVAH (Repentance): Up Close & Personal:
What Does/Can it Mean in Today’s World?”
September 2: Scott Lewis presents “Learning to Learn from Each Other: A Collaborative Exploration of our Jewish Ethics through PIRKE AVOT”

$18 for the 3-week series PLUS food or cash donation for the Community Food Bank. RSVP to Michelle.

December 6

The “Real Story” of HANUKKAH, 9:30-10:30am
If most Jews knew the “real story” of Hanukkah, they probably wouldn’t celebrate it! HINT: It involves events that resonate to this day – gross inequality and religious coercion. Join us for a special class where we will explore the texts/history behind this holiday, after which attendees are invited to stay and participate in our Religious School Hanukkah Family Workshop. There is no charge, but a contribution (non-perishable food item or monetary donation) to the Community Food Bank is appreciated. Please RSVP to call Michelle.

10, 17 & 24

"The Wisdom of Jewish Tucson", 7:00-8:30pm
This adult education series provides an opportunity to share what we know and to learn about / from others regarding their faith,
traditions and what they teach about peace, compassion and respect for fellow human beings. Each week offers a different keynote speaker, followed by refreshments and socializing.

 “What We Need to Know About … Islam, Mormonism & Catholicism” with keynote speakers:
Feb. 10 – Dr. Watheq Alobaidi, Muslim Community Center of Tucson presents “What is Islam?”
A well-known scholar of Islamic jurisprudence, Imam Alobaidi will discuss the pillars of Islam, its Abrahamic foundation, the teachings of the Quran, and the importance of being kind and compassionate to our family, friends and neighbors of all faiths.

Feb. 17 – President Cole Thies, Mormon Church, Tucson Stake presents “Mormons: A Bird’s Eye View”
With the Church since 1990 and having served in several positions, President Thies currently oversees several wards (congregations) in east Tucson. In his presentation, he will outline the basic doctrines, history and organization of
the Church, as well as explain daily life for its members and how being a Mormon influences one’s world view.

Feb. 24 – Bishop Gerald Kicanas, Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson presents “Brothers and Sisters in Faith”
Very involved in community life, youth programs and education, and social action, Bishop Kicanas is the seventh and current Bishop of Tucson. In his presentation, he will discuss our common roots and the ways that we share faith in God.

Cost for the 3-week series: $18 per person PLUS food donation for the Community Food Bank.

For more information & to RSVP, contact Michelle.

March 9 & 16

“Not Your Grandchildren’s Purim”‚Äč
Rabbis Robert Eisen and Ruven Barkan will delve into what Purim is really about and why it is so important to reclaim its form and function as adults. It’s not all hamentaschen and groggers!

7:00-8:00pm – “The Rest of Esther” with Rabbi Robert Eisen
Review of the Additions to the Book of Esther found in the Apocrypha, especially in terms of the questions and issues they address, and why they were not included as part of our scripture.

8:00-9:00pmMitzvah… or Not?!with Rabbi Ruven Barkan
Exploration of two “controversial mitzvot” connected with the Festival of Purim and look at what it is we “should” be doing.

Admission: $18 for 2-week series plus non-perishable food donation to Community Food Bank. RSVP by Mar. 7 here.

April 6

Seder Heder: Adult Studies Kollel & Haroset Tasting, 7:00pm
Participate in three rotating “mini” classes, followed by haroset tasting. (Each 20-minute class taught only once.)

  • Rabbi Robert Eisen presents “Korech: The Hillel Sandwich… The Seder as a Remembrance of the Temple”
  • Cantorial Soloist Nichole Chorny presents “Transforming Your Seder into a Song”
  • Rabbi Ruven Barkan presents “The Moss Hagaddah: An Artistic Midrashic Exploration”

Admission: One box of matza per family for the “Matza & More” Passover Food Drive. Please RSVP by Apr. 1 to Michelle.

June 5

Yom Yerushalayim Program, 7:00pm
Join us on Jerusalem Day to celebrate the anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. We will show the film “Genesis Land,” and pause to pay tribute to all that Jerusalem means to us. The film follows three mammals in their respective geographic habitats as the seasons change. Each of the animals – the wolves of the Golan Heights, the swamp cats of the Sea Of Galilee and the ibexes of the desert – opens a window to the world of plants and animals of the region, a world filled with amazing beauty, a world in which there is no hatred, and which is guided only by one urge – the urge for survival.
Utilizing amazing nature photography by award-winning cinematographer Moshe Alpert, and the magnificent ethnic-inspired music of Uri Ophir and internationally-acclaimed singer Noa, "Genesis Land" is a breathtaking and uplifting experience of sound and color. (Hebrew w/English subtitles; 1 hour 27 min.) There is no charge to attend.


Tikkun Leil Shavuot: A Guide to the Evening of Shavuot
Annual program to observe the celebration of the anniversary of the day Moses received the Ten Commandments from God.

Service 8:00pm; dairy dinner 8:15pm
Study Session 1 at 8:45pm: Rabbi Robert Eisen will present “Megillat Ruth: The Character of the Characters”
Study Session 2 at 9:40pm: Rabbi Ruven Barkan will present “Is the Torah True? What Happened at Sinai?”
Dessert 10:30pm
Reading of the Book of Ruth 11:00pm

$8 per person to attend dinner; No charge for service, study sessions & dessert. RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED by June 8 TO ATTEND ANY PORTION OF TIKKUN LEIL SHAVUOT.

Visiting Scholars/Special Programs
Throughout the year, CAI hosts visiting scholars who offer a variety of Judaic topics. Generally, the scholar-in-residence participates in a Shabbat service, followed by a Shabbat dinner, and his/her presentation. As part of the Shabbat morning service he/she may deliver the D’Var Torah and lead our Torah Study that afternoon. Some visiting scholars also lead family workshops. Portions of a scholar’s visit are open to the community and may include a nominal fee.


Scholar-in-Residence: Gil Hoffman
Gil Hoffman is the chief political correspondent and analyst for The Jerusalem Post. Well-connected to Israeli and Palestinian leaders, Hoffman has interviewed every major figure across the Israeli political spectrum, has been interviewed by top media on six continents and is a regular analyst on CNN, Al-Jazeera and other news outlets. Called "the most optimistic man in Israel" by Israel Television, Hoffman's writing and TV appearances provide a behind the scenes look at both the intrigue and humor in the Israeli political arena.

His visit will include a Shabbat dinner and presentation, and delivering the Shabbat morning D’var Torah and an afternoon presentation on Saturday. *RSVP & fee required by Nov. 9 for Shabbat dinner only. To learn more, click here.

Kabbalat Torah Program • Tuesdays, 7:00 pm (Open to CAI members only.)
Kabbalat Torah translates as "The receiving of the Torah." The goal of the two-year program is to help attendees better understand Torah so as to make it their own. Classes taught by CAI's clergy and held for approximately 30 weeks each year beginning in August. For more information, contact Rabbi Robert Eisen.

Shabbat Afternoon Torah Study • Saturdays, one hour prior to Mincha Service. See Calendar page for times.
Whether you come every week or once a month, are a beginner or a scholar, you will find intellectual stimulus and challenge. This is a great opportunity to become more involved in "Living Judaism." Lay-led.  No charge to attend.

Talmud on Tuesday • Tuesdays, 6:00 pm. See Calendar page for schedule.
The Talmud is an extensive compilation of teachings and opinions of thousands of rabbis over the centuries, covering matters of Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, history, customs, and more. Learn about the law and lore in the Talmud with Rabbi Robert Eisen as we dig deep into living Judaism. No charge to attend. More information.

Weekday Torah Study Group • Wednesdays, 11:00 am. See Calendar page for schedule.
Led by Rabbi Robert Eisen, a lively and energetic text study with an in-depth look at the weekly portion.  No charge to attend.

"Read It & Meet" Book DiscussionsSaturdays (usually Sept.-May), 12 noon (+/- 15 mins.)
Book discussions are held once a month and are open to all. We discuss selected books by Jewish authors and/or with Jewish content, and share our experiences, reactions and ideas. Moderators facilitate each discussion. For more information, contact Vicki Kaufman No charge to attend.

Women's Study Group • most first Mondays, 12:00 pm
Rabbi Robert Eisen leads these monthly group sessions using The Five Books of Miriam: A Woman’s Commentary on the Torah as the core for discussion. Topics can be interesting, insightful and inspiring. Bring your own dairy lunch; beverages and dessert provided. No charge to attend.