Spring 2017





For information about other Hebrew opportunities, please contact Leah Volynsky at or 212-369-4900, x159.


Shulhan Ivrit

Mondays | February 13, March 20, April 24, May 15 | 7:00–8:30 pm
Varda Hubara
Intermediate and advanced level Hebrew speakers are invited to this monthly opportunity to practice conversational Hebrew. Come to one session or come to all to speak Hebrew in order to deepen your connection with Israel and the Jewish people.
Cost: free
Register here.




Essential Essays

Tuesdays | continues January 10 (no class on February 21; April 11, 18) | approx. 8:00 am, immediately after morning minyan
Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove
Join in a discussion of Jewish philosophy, theology and thought. Pick up the essay for each week from the literature rack in the lobby. The essay is also distributed via a weekly email; if you wish to be added to the distribution list, please contact or 212-369-2600, x120.


Contemporary Jewish Thought

Tuesdays | continues January 10 (no class on February 21; March 21, 28; April 11, 18) | 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Rabbi Neil Zuckerman 
Each week, explore a reading about contemporary Jewish experience and thought. Currently the class is reading Putting God Second: How to Save Religion from Itself by Rabbi Donniel Hartman.
The PAS Conversation
What it Means to Belong to the Jewish People
Tuesdays | April 4, May 23 | 7:00–8:15 pm
Rabbi Neil Zuckerman
Who identifies as a Jew, and whom does the Jewish community recognize as a Jew? The Pew Study highlighted challenges and opportunities to engage Jews who may previously have been marginalized and/or left behind by the Jewish community. With guest speakers, readings, and video clips, we will dialogue with Jewish thought leaders to consider how this critical issue affects our families, our community, and the wider Jewish world.
Cost: Free/members; $36/general
Register here

The PAS Conversation
Zionism: Past, Present, and Future
Tuesdays | January 17, March 14, May 9 | 6:30–7:45 pm
Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove
One hundred years after Balfour and fifty years after the Six-Day War, we turn our attention to the Zionist idea – past, present and future. We will survey some of the founding Zionist thinkers, trace their ideas over time, and ask the all-important question of where to go from here.
Cost: Free/members; $36/general
Register here.



Traveling Down Prophets Lane

Wednesdays | begins January 4 | 8:00 am, after morning minyan 
Abe Lebovic
The melodious Haftorah readings each week are selections from the
Prophets that are matched to each Torah reading and holiday. Find out what these poignantly poetic words actually mean.

Midtown Lunch & Learn: "As the Good Book Says"

Wednesdays | March 1, 8, 15, 22 | 12:30–1:30 pm | Location provided upon registration
Rabbi Charlie Savenor
While the Torah is filled with stories that shape our character and values, some of our favorite biblical stories actually come from the Midrash. We will unpack several texts to understand their source and original intent and their meaning today. Space is limited.
Cost: free/members; $36/general
Register here. 

Blessings of Time, Space, and Community: Learning & Art Workshops

Wednesday | January 11 | 6:30–8:00 pm | Blessings of Time
| Rabbi Charlie Savenor
Wednesday | January 18 | 6:30–8:00 pm | Blessings of Space
| Rabbi Neil Zuckerman
Wednesday | January 25 | 6:30–8:00 pm | Blessings of Community | Cantor Rachel Brook

In each session, we will study blessings: when they are used, how they are structured, and their power for making ritual. Class members will then write their own blessing and create an art piece with Ellen Alt, Artist-in-Residence. Sign up for any one, two, or all three sessions.
Cost: $40/member, $50/general for all three workshops; $15/members, $20/general for each workshop
Register here.

Melton: Year 2

Wednesdays | continues January 4 | 7:00–9:15 pm
Rabbi Shmuel Afek and Rabbi Ethan Witkovsky

In Ethics of Jewish Living, students learn how Jewish teachings shed light on contemporary issues such as the environment, interpersonal relationships, end-of-life decisions and stem-cell research. Crossroads of Jewish History merges the concepts of history and memory in order to better understand how each has shaped Judaism. Prerequisite: completion of Year 1


For Graduates of Context and the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning

The Book of Job: How an Individual Found Solace and a New Understanding of God's World

Wednesdays | continues February 1 | 6:30 – 7:45 pm | 20 sessions (Full year commitment required)
Rabbi Shmuel Afek
The book of Job (Iyov) tells the story of a righteous person who undergoes extreme suffering for no apparent reason. His faith is tested, both by circumstances and by his friends’ attempts to provide explanations. God-fearing as he is, Iyov is unwilling – and perhaps unable – to accept the well-articulated, time-tested reasoning of his former colleagues because it contradicts his own truth. Only when he arrives at an impasse is he able to begin to perceive a new understanding of God’s world and to rejoin society. This book may not be a true story, but the people in the book are real. Join Rabbi Afek in a chapter-by-chapter study of the book in both Hebrew and English. Knowledge of Hebrew is not required.
Registration for this class is closed.


The Holocaust as Reflected in Diaries and Memoirs

Wednesdays | begins February 1 | 6:30–7:45 pm | 10 sessions
Rabbi Charlie Savenor
Journey into the world of Jewish individuals and communities as the events of the Holocaust unfold around them. Explore the profound record of first-person accounts in diaries and memoirs uncovered in the years since the Holocaust and gain remarkable insights into the struggle for life as both young and old writers describe day-to-day life coping in the ghettoes, imprisoned in the death camps, hiding on the run, and fighting for their lives.
Register here


Foundations of Jewish Family Living: Jewish Values for Parents to Share with Their Children

Wednesdays | continues January 11 | 7:00–8:00 pm | 15 sessions
Rabbi Neil Zuckerman

Providing parents with a thought-provoking encounter with the core values of Judaism, this course brings to life the master stories from our tradition and the profound messages they convey. This rich learning experience gives you the language and the confidence to bring the Jewish conversation home to share with your young child.
Cost: $310/member; $420/general
Registration for this class is closed.




The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning:
Year 1

Thursdays | continues January 5 | 9:15 – 11:30 am
Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove and Debbie Cosgrove

Learn what we as Jews believe and why in Purposes of Jewish Living. Examine the ideas, beliefs and lifecycle and holiday practices involved in living Jewishly in Rhythms of Jewish Living.
Registration for this class is closed

What Makes You Think You’re So Special? Who Is Chosen, by Whom and for What, in the Hebrew Bible

Thursdays | begins February 2 | 9:15–10:30 am
Dr. Diane Sharon

How do biblical characters know they are chosen? What are they chosen for? Is being chosen different for men and women? Who is choosing? A son may be the darling of either his mother or his father, but not both. God seems to prefer younger siblings over firstborns, but not always. Wives are favored either by God or by their husbands, but not both. What can we learn about chosenness from both familiar and obscure biblical figures?
Register here

The Ethical Life: Jewish Values in an Age of Choice

Thursdays | begins February 2 | 9:15–10:30 am | 10 sessions
Rabbi Neil Zuckerman

From political and financial scandals to rapid progress in biomedical science and technology, the complex issues of modern society are matters of ethical and moral concern. Judaism has always wrestled with moral questions, considering all sides of every subject. Now more than ever, we require a solid understanding of how Jewish ethics can inform our discussions and decisions about critical questions.
This class has reached capacity. Please contact Leah Volynsky at or 212-369-4900, x159 to be added to the waitlist.

Library Lunch & Learn

First and third Thursdays of the month | 12:00-12:45 PM
Library Lunch & Learn now meets for 45-minute sessions on the first and third Thursdays of the month. On first Thursdays, a member of the PAS senior staff will lead the session; on third Thursdays, a DOROT staff member will lead. Sessions will cover topics ranging from Jewish history to current events. Join us, and bring a friend!

Insights from Israel

Thursdays | January 12, February 9, March 9, April 27, May 11, June 8 | 12:00–1:00 pm
Rabbi Michael Graetz

On second Thursday of the month, we explore the most pressing issues affecting Israel, meeting with Rabbi Graetz and his guests via video conferencing in the Rothschild Library. A co-founder of the Masorti (Conservative) movement in Israel, Rabbi Graetz is and was guest scholar and interim rabbi at PAS in 2008-09.

Sponsored by the Rabbinical Assembly
Exploring Judaism
Thursdays | 7:00–9:30 pm | ongoing classes | various locations
Rabbi William Plevan | through Apr 6 
Rabbi Joel Shaiman | through June
Exploring Judaism is a program of Jewish learning and experience. It is intended for those interested in learning more about Judaism, as well as pursuing or thinking about conversion. 
For more information please contact Rabbi Neil Zuckerman at or 212-369-2600, x124, or visit

Parashah & Pizza

Monday | January 23 | 7:00–8:15 pm | Bryan Wexler, Rabbinical Intern
Thursday | February 23 | 7:00–8:15 pm | Rabbi Neil Zuckerman
Thursday | March 16 | 7:00–8:15 pm | Bryan Wexler, Rabbinical Intern

Enjoy a slice of pizza and learn about the Torah portion. Pizza generously sponsored by the Men’s Club.
Register here



Daf HaShavua: Weekly Talmud Study

Fridays | continues January 6 | approx. 8:00 am, immediately after morning minyan
Rabbi Ethan Witkovsky
We will read through Masechet Megillah of the Talmud page by page to explore the world of the Rabbis, their methodology, and how they shape us today.


Women in the Bible

Fridays | February 17, March 10, May 12 | 9:15–10:15 am
Debbie Cosgrove

Learn the fascinating stories of the women in the Bible. Through engaging texts, we will study the lives of the familiar and not-so-familiar women who populate the biblical narrative.
Cost: $36/members; $46/general
Register here

Caffeine for the Soul

Fridays | January 13, February 10, March 3, April 21, May 19 | 9:15–10:15 am
Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove

Join the rabbi for a cup of coffee, Jewish texts, and a substantive learning experience.
Register here



Shaharit & Parashat HaShavua

Shabbat/Saturdays | ongoing | 9:00 am
Join in a full and traditional P’sukei D’zimrah and Shaharit and an engaging study of the morning’s Torah portion.