Jewish Minds

Lifelong Learning

Lifelong Learning at Temple Emanuel offers opportunities to our community to engage in a journey of continued learning and growth.

Our clergy, guest speakers, and classes are dedicated to helping you strengthen and explore your relationship to Judaism.

Rabbi Bassin will hold her three-part themed class this May, examining what our tradition says about tochechah and teshuvah (rebuke and repentance). How do we overcome defensiveness with open hearts. What does this look like on the individual and societal level? Registration is required, click here.

For questions, please email


An 18-week exploration for individuals and couples interested in deepening their understanding of what Living Judaism means to them. Designed for those interested in conversion, as well as those who simply want to learn more about Jewish holidays, life cycle ceremonies, values, history, liturgy, and texts. Whether you are new to Judaism, interested in converting, a partner of a Jew (with no plans to convert) or a practicing Jew who wants to learn more, all are welcome to come and learn.

Wednesdays 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
October 20, 2021 to MARCH 9, 2022

(no class held on: NOVEMBER 24, December 22, DECEMBER 29)

Led by Rabbi Sarah Bassin and Temple Emanuel Clergy

$280 per 18-week course (single/couple).


Contact for more information. This class is offered in conjunction with the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ).


The current session of this two-year program is already in full swing. If you are interested in learning Hebrew and connecting more deeply to prayer and the Torah, keep an eye out for enrollment in our Adult B’nai Mitzvah program in 2020.

For more information, contact Cantor Lizzie Weiss at 310.409.4642 or


Every year, we create and host classes and workshops that encompass our yearly Jewish-rooted theme. We are strong proponents of diversity in thought, and our themes embody the very essence of our community. From our Behrendt Conversation Series to our clergy-led classes, these opportunities provide space for speculation, reflection, and awareness. Learn, engage, and share your thoughts. Break out of your comfort zone with these intellectually stimulating classes!

For more information on how to get started, contact Rabbi Sarah Bassin at 310.409.4656 or



The Behrendt Conversation Series

As America becomes more diverse, so does the Jewish community.  Recent studies indicate that currently People of Color make up 12-15% of the Jewish community and that number is steadily increasing.  Yet most Jewish institutions do not yet reflect this reality. We’re building a road map for Temple Emanuel as a spiritual home for Liberal Jews who are diverse ethnically, culturally and religiously.  A special Jews of Color Task Force has organized a year of programs, celebrations and trainings for all to experience. Join us in exploring and learning how to enhance the richness of our community. Join us as our programming continues after the high holidays.

For information, please contact

MULTIPLE IDENTITIES: Navigating jewish spaces as a Person of Color and Minority Spaces as a Jew

monday, september 28, 2:45 pm – FACEBOOK LIVE

Rabbi Bassin will moderate a conversation with April Baskin, Former Vice President of Audacious Hospitality for the Union for Reform Judaism and Emiliana Guereca, Executive Director of the Women’s March Los Angeles about the nuances of navigating multiple minority identities.

Is it possible to feel at home? What are the common joys, challenges and experiences of Jews of Color? What are the barriers the Jewish community creates for members of the tribe who are not white? How do we take on anti-Semitism in some minority coalitions? Come learn from two renowned experts in exploring these tough questions.


Yom Kippur Afternoon Reflections

Monday, SEPTEMBER 28, 4:30 pm – 300 n clark drive

When God charged Jonah with sharing a difficult truth with the people of Nineveh, he knew he was in a tough spot. Does he avoid the conversation to not ruffle feathers? Does he speak up and invite backlash? Jonah’s challenge comes to life through the voices of members of our Temple Emanuel community who will share their own experiences in answering the same dilemmas that Jonah faced.


SATURDay, November 7, 2:00 pm 

Kendi is a leading thinker in cultural transformation on issues of race and racism. We will explore his presumptions, proposals, and how it relates to us. Purchase and read the book in advance! Open to all.


tHuRsday, November 5, 7:30 pm – sisterhood
tuesday, december 8, 2:30 pm – chaivillagela
SUNday, January 10, 9:30 Am – temple emanuel community    

We get better with practice—whether it’s exercising our muscles or studying to expand our minds. It’s also true of strengthening our skills in addressing bias and prejudice. Join Gamal Palmer, Jewish Federation of Los Angeles Executive Vice President as he leads us in Diversity Gym. It’s an interactive workshop that invites participants to consider their own journey and the journeys of others in understanding how prejudice manifests today. Participants explore topics that often go unspoken and practice interacting with challenging conversations in an exploratory, self-educational way.   

Martin luther king, jr. shabbat unplugged

Shabbat Service

Friday, January 15, 6:15 pm – 300 n clark drive

As we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., join our Scholar-in-Residence Ilana Kaufman as she details an increasingly diverse Jewish communal future and what it means for communities like ours. With an inspiring sermon on Friday night and a text study on Saturday morning, Ms. Kaufman will root our year of work in Jewish tradition. Ilana Kaufman is the founder of the Jews of Color Field Building Initiative.



We get better with practice—whether it’s exercising our muscles or studying to expand our minds. It’s also true of strengthening our skills in addressing bias and prejudice. Join Gamal Palmer, Jewish Federation of Los Angeles Executive Vice President as he leads us in Part II of Diversity Gym. This session is open to all participants of previous Diversity Gym sessions.


With gratitude to the Behrendt Family Foundation and the Jews of Color (JOC) Task Force Members:  Chair Anike Tourse, Genia Quinn, Beatriz Herman, Caroline Lovell-Moore, Wennie Lu, and Veronica Abney.


Yoga &


Connect breath with movement as you progress through a series of yoga poses in an hour-long, mixed-level flow class. Explore your own edge, strengthen your body, expand your heart, and quiet your mind. Come for the exercise; return for the community. Participants should wear comfortable clothing and bring a towel or a mat. No prior experience required. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact or visit RSVP for time and location.



Mindfulness Meditation with Rabbi Jonathan Aaron

We have very busy lives here in Los Angeles. Always on the go, always checking our devices to see what’s next. At the same time many of us are stuck in our past actions, questioning what we’ve done, what we said, and we punish ourselves with our thoughts.

This is an invitation to take time to work on being – instead of doing, recharging -instead of charging ahead.

Mindfulness helps us to live in the present by concentrating on the life sustaining breath that is with us moment by moment. It allows us to see our truth with loving-kindness, so that we can live in a the world with more compassion towards others and ourselves.

Take this opportunity and join us in this drop-in 30 minute meditation session with our senior rabbi.

MONDAY THRU Thursday at 5:30 pm 


During the month of Elul, Jewish tradition provides several preparatory words, symbols, and actions leading up to the High Holy Days (the month of Tishrei). This month is considered a time when God is more accessible to the Jewish people, and a time for personal reflection and preparation for the new year.

Our Elul classes are preparation sessions intended to deepen our experience, and provide new ways of approaching the upcoming High Holy Days. We begin to wake up and do the work of Heshbon HaNefesh, accounting of the soul, leading us to be prepared for our repentance during the Days of Awe (the ten days between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur). Join the clergy as each tackles a significant topic we can reflect upon during this important time of year.

Revitalize your body and soul for an enlightening year of celebration, love and milestones. For information about upcoming classes, please contact


A connection to Judaism is intertwined with a connection to modern day Hebrew. At Temple Emanuel, we offer a number of Hebrew language classes for you to enjoy. Take a look at the classes we offer!

Modern Hebrew Beginner Level 1

This class is designed for people with no previous knowledge of Hebrew. Student will read modern Hebrew text, write in cursive, and engage in conversation in Hebrew while developing listening and speaking skills. Emphasis is on communicative skills as well as reading and listening comprehension.

Modern Hebrew Intermediate Level

This class is ideal for students who want to build on their basic skills and begin to develop fluency in language. Emphasis is on communicative skills, independent reading, and language analysis.

to register

Register online at or registration over the phone can be done by calling 310.440.1572

If you have any questions, please contact the Hebrew Director at or call 310.476.9777 ext 1436.



A connection to Judaism is intertwined with a connection to modern-day Hebrew. At Temple Emanuel, we offer a number of Hebrew language classes for you to enjoy. Take a look at the classes we offer!

Through the Eyes of Rashi

Engage in an ongoing discussion of the Torah text as seen through the eyes of scholars across generations, from Talmudic to modern times. Guided by respected teacher Dr. Chaim Plotzker, learn how the ancient texts and interpretations are relevant to our modern lives. All questions are welcome, and no previous experience is required. $120 for 12 sessions. Contact to register.

Clergy-Led Classes

Living Judaism just got a whole lot more fulfilling! Our classes bring Jewish wisdom through out the year in the temple or right into your living room.

Interested in having one of our clergy teach a class in your home?

Be in touch with the clergy of your choice to learn more about how to make it happen. Contact Rabbi Jonathan Aaron, Rabbi Sarah Bassin, or Cantor Lizzie Weiss for more information about our next Parlor Class!