Adult Education

Adult Education Fall 2015

We’re proud of our award-winning Adult Education program. We're once again offering classes that are thought-provoking, challenging and fun. Our teaching staff gets kudos each year, and once again we’ve added a few new teachers to the mix. 

Our courses are listed below. To download and/or print our entire Adult Education course list, click Adult Education Booklet. To download and/or print only a registration form, click Adult Education Registration Form.

Course # 1

Weekly Haftarot Learning

 Have you ever wondered what is going on during the Haftarah reading?  Do you find yourself zoning out or looking for a connection?  Then this class is right for you.  Join us as we study the weekly Haftarah readings to see its connections to the parashah and its place within the Chumash.  We will engage in holy dialogue together to derive meaning and find the beauty within these texts that are not always easy to read.  

Taught by:     Rabbi Ariel L. Russo

When:             Wednesday mornings at 10 am, beginning October 21

Fee:                 CSI Members $18 – Non-Members $25

Course # 2

 Real Davvening

In this lively and interactive course, we will explore ways of making the Davenning experience a more meaningful, inspirational, informed, and conscious one. Guided both by the thoughts of classical and contemporary wisdom teachers and our understandings, we will work towards learning how to – aahhhh- really pray. During our journey, we will examine a medley of core liturgical texts in our Siddur and also study samples of original prayers composed in more recent times. Please bring a beloved notebook with you. You may be inspired to compose a Tefilah of your own.

Instructor:   Judith Rose

When:             Six Tuesdays beginning October 13, from 7 to 8:15 pm

  Fee:               CSI Members $100 –  Non-Members $118

Course # 3

Learn to Chant from the Torah

 Ever followed along with the readings from the Torah and said, "Hey, I could probably do this ... if only someone could help me get started"?  Well, that time is now.

 Learn the names of the cantillation marks, their musical sounds, and the common trope groupings that occur regularly throughout the Torah.  Receive group and one-on-one coaching from one of CSI's veterans at chanting ("layning") from the Torah. Pick up tried and proven techniques for practicing so that you'll be well prepared when your opportunity to volunteer for this service to our community arises.  Pre-requisites: good Hebrew reading skills, and good memorization skills.

Instructor:                   Elliot Mitchel

When:             TBD

Fee:                  CSI Members $36 - Non-Members $50




 Is your Hebrew getting rusty?  Do you wish you could watch Israeli movies in Hebrew?

Then this class is for you!  Join experienced educator and CSI's own, Jacob Wasserman, for an advanced Hebrew class on Wednesdays at 7:30 pm.  We will watchHebrew movies together and communicate in Hebrew.  This is a fabulous way to keep up your Hebrew skills and improve upon them!  

Instructor:     Jacob Wasserman

When:         Wednesday evenings at 7:30 pm

Fee:                              CSI Members $36 -  Non-Members $5


Hebrew Literacy – Part 1 

Learn to read the Hebrew of the Siddur and participate in Shabbat, High Holidays, festivals, and bar/bat mitzvah services!  Using a method specifically designed for adults, tens of thousands of Jews have learned how to read Hebrew or to refresh rusty Hebrew reading skills.  Here is your chance to join them in a relaxed, slow-paced, low-key schedule of usually weekly classes spread over five months, with fun along the way. (Hebrew Literacy, Part II, may be offered in the spring.)

Experienced instructor Larry Kintisch truly enjoys teaching this class, and has gotten positive reviews from students for over a dozen years.

Instructor:       Larry Kintisch

When:             Time and Date TBD

Fee:                  CSI Members $36 -  Non-Members $50 (plus cost of the workbook – “Shalom Aleichem”



Course # 6


An overview of the historical,political and cultural climate that fostered the rise of Nazism in Germany, the response of the international community and the nature of genocide.

 Instructor:   Carol H. King

When:          3 - One hour sessions on Thursdays: October 29, November 5, November 19, at 7:30 pm                                   
Fee:              CSI Members $72 – Non-Members $90




 Learn the steps, traditional and new, for Israeli dance.  This class will be taught by an experienced teacher.   Enjoy the social, psychological, and physical benefits of dance.  Connect with Israel right here at home.
Note: We need a minimum of 10 students to run this class. 

When:        Wednesday evenings

                     Beginners:  6:45 – 7:45 pm and stay for the Open Session

                      Open Session: 7:30 – 8:45 pm

                       5 consecutive sessions, beginning October 7.  No class on October 14.

            Fee:       CSI Members $80 – Non-Members $90



About Our Instructors

Rabbi Ariel Russo is proud to serve as the spiritual leader of Congregation Sons of Israel. As she enters her second year of leading this community, she is thrilled to offer another adult education course. Concurrent with rabbinic ordination, Rabbi Russo received a Master’s Degree from the Davidson School of Jewish Education and a certificate from the Center for Pastoral Care and Counseling.

Carol H. King has an M.Ed. and an MSW from Columbia University and an MA from The Jewish Theological Seminary. She is a Holocaust educator and trustee of the Holocaust Museum and Study Center. She has studied at The International School at Yad VaShem. Carol is an adjunct instructor in History at Rockand Community College and an instructor for the LIU Learning Collaborative. She is a social work clinician and family life educator at Rockland Jewish Family Service.

Larry Kintisch is a CSI member who has volunteered as Hebrew Literacy instructor for over a decade. He loves puns, word-plays, and one-liners, and his sense of humor helps make his classes fun. He serves as Chair of the Cemetery Committee and has always been involved in synagogue and social action.

Elliot Mitchel   Contrary to popular belief, Elliot Mitchel did not go to yeshiva or day school, and does not speak Hebrew. Although he chanted the Maftir aliyah when he became a Bar Mitzvah, Elliot learned how to read Torah at CSI some 20 years ago, and has been a frequent reader ever since. Building upon that skill, he now regularly chants using six different trope systems, which include Torah, Haftarot, and Torah trope for the High Holy Days, plus Megillat Esther, Eicha, and the others of the five Megillot (Shir Hashirim, Ruth, and Kohelet). Elliot was President of CSI from mid-2007 through mid-2009, and has served as Chairperson of the Ritual Committee for the last four years. In his spare time, he enjoys walking long distances, running on the beach, and hiking.

Judith Rose works as educator, poet, and therapeutic movement practitioner. She is the founder and director of Vital Movement™ and a certified Otiyot Hayyot teacher.  Her workshops in Jewish spiritual practice guide others towards the richest development of their inner potential as they engage with Torah, wrestle with text, and stretch toward the sacred. She has developed original curriculum for many learning centers, schools, synagogues, and universities. She has been a member of the Adult Education faculty of CSI for many years and has been selected to teachat the Global Day of Jewish Learning.

Jacob Wasserman was born in Israel, and served in the Israel Defense Forces, spending seven months in the Sinai desert and the Suez Canal. He graduated from the Technion in Haifa with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Jacob has served as Principal at the Pomona Jewish Center Hebrew School and has also taught at Reuben Gittelman Hebrew Day School. He loves being with friends, traveling and being a member of CSI for the past 26 years.