ASKT sets new program for adult Jewish education

Congregation Anshe Sfard Kehillat Torah in Glendale has announced the beginning of an educational initiative called “Program for Learning and Adult Torah Education” (PLATE).

The initiative is meant to “offer dynamic Torah programming to the community which reflects our commitment to Jewish learning, history, law and Israel,” according to the project’s mission statement.

“We welcome all members of the Jewish community to fill up their plate at PLATE, with all the offerings and the trimmings. People are Jewishly hungry and we will do our best to feed them,” said Rabbi Wes Kalmar, ASKT’s new principal rabbi.

Currently Kalmar and Rabbi Nachman Levine, ASKT rabbi emeritus, are giving the classes. PLATE will be inviting other teachers and scholars to and from Milwaukee to add their own perspective and expertise.

On Monday nights, Levine gives a Talmud class on Tractate Megillah at 7 p.m., followed by Monday Night Beit Midrash, an in depth study of halachic topics at 8 p.m. directed by Kalmar.

Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12:45 p.m., Levine gives a class on the biblical books of Samuel.

Wednesday nights are community lecture nights in which Kalmar recently ran a series called “ASKT Biography” that examined the lives and historical context of Rashi, Rambam, Ramaban, and Abarbanel.

On Shabbat mornings, the rabbis alternate giving interactive Torah Portion of the Week classes, while daily Shacharit services are followed by the study of Mishna.

Kalmar is offering a series of classes on the life and teachings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (1903-1993), Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva University, authority on Jewish law for the Rabbinical Council of America, and leader of the Boston Jewish community.

“Not only was he one of the greatest Torah scholars of the 20th century, but his command of philosophy, of the American Jewish scene and the entire scope of Jewish history made him the teacher par excellence, who inspired and continues to inspire generations of Jews,” said Kalmar.

This educational initiative intends to offer opportunities to all levels of Jewish fluency, from the beginner to the very learned. All classes are open to the community at no cost. For any more information, e-mail rabbi@asktshul.org.