Petaluma's Inclusive Center for Jewish Life

Adult Learning Opportunities

B'nai Israel offers a wide range of learning opportunites through organized classes, special events, residencies, workshops and more. 

Upcoming Education Special Events

An Introduction to Judaism

14 Classes, 10 Rabbis, Infinite Points of View

Rabbi Ted will lead two sessions of An Introduction to Judaism, an exciting new class beginning on January 9. Offered by The Jewish Community Center Sonoma County, the sessions run on Wednesdays from January 9 to April 17 at Congregation Ner Shalom, 85 La Plaza, Cotati. 

This class will appeal to those who want to learn about the basics of Judaism as well as those who would like to expand on what they already know. People of all backgrounds and experiences are welcome. 

Register here!

Course instructors represent each of the Jewish congregations of Sonoma County. They include:

  • Rabbi Ted Feldman: B’nai Israel Jewish Center
  • Rabbi Mendel Wolvovsky: Chabad Jewish Center
  • Rabbi Mordecai Miller: Congregation Beth Ami
  • Reb Irwin Keller: Congregation Ner Shalom
  • Rabbi George Gittleman: Congregation Shomrei Torah
  • Rabbi Stephanie Kramer: Congregation Shomrei Torah
  • Rabbi Steve Finley: Congregation Shir Shalom
  • Rabbi Meredith Cahn, The Mussar Institute
  • Rabbi Zelig Golden: Wilderness Torah
  • Rabbi Dovid Bush: Chabad Jewish Center of Petaluma

This class is open to everyone regardless of previous knowledge or religious background. Just bring an open mind! 

Class schedule

Wednesday Evenings, 7:00–8:30 pm

  • Jan. 9: The Beginning of Wisdom Introductory Class, All Rabbis
  • Jan. 16 & 23: What is Judaism? & What Does it Mean to be a Jew? Rabbi Feldman
  • Jan. 30: Hatch, Match, Dispatch: Exploring Jewish Lifecycle Traditions, Rabbi Wolvovsky
  • Feb. 6: The Emergence of Modern Israel, Rabbi Finley
  • Feb. 13 & 20: People of the Book & The Art of Jewish Prayer, Rabbi Miller
  • Feb. 27: Jewish Life Cycles, Nature’s Cycles: Rediscovering the Hebrew Calendar, Rabbi Golden
  • Mar. 6: A Millennium in the Life of the Jews, Reb Keller
  • Mar. 13: Mikveh to Mourning: The Sacred Way of Marking Time, Rabbi Kramer
  • Mar. 28*: Mussar: The Art of Being a Mensch, Rabbi Cahn - Class on Thursday
  • Apr. 3: DNA of the Soul, Rabbi Bush
  • Apr. 10: “God” – a Jewish Exploration, Rabbi Gittleman
  • Apr. 17: Journey of Liberation Course Closure, All Rabbis

*Mar. 28 class is a Thursday

Click here for detailed class descriptions.


Recurring Study Opportunities

Shabbat Lunch & Learn

Twice monthly, 12:30-2 p.m.
Many people find a deep satisfaction and joy in the quest for knowledge and the experience of engaged learning. Shabbat is a rich time to relax, share food, and come together in community to study Jewish wisdom.

Twice a month Rabbi Feldman conducts a learning session after services. Beginning this Shabbat, he will be teaching from sections of a work called Ein Yaakov. This text, a compilation of the spiritual and inspirational teachings from the Talmud, was a the subject of Sunday morning for many Sundays at BIJC. This study opportunity will allow these teachings to enhance our Shabbat experience in our community.

The class begins on October 27 at 12:30 p.m. Check our calendar or weekly announcements for upcoming Lunch & Learn sessions.


Individual Study and Direction

Rabbi Feldman is available to set up individual courses of study, including for those interested in exploring basic Judaism.

You may reach Rabbi Feldman at 707-765-2937 or rabbi@bnaiisrael.net