Learning Opportunities for Adults in 5778 (2017-2018)


(Menschlichkeit = the quality of being a Mensch)

“The key to being ‘a real mensch’ is nothing less than character, rectitude, dignity, a sense of what is right, responsible, decorous.” – Leo Rosten

In our contemporary culture, particularly here in the United States, we are seeing an unprecedented rise in bullying, hateful speech and actions, as well as violence toward those who are in any way “different.” Many of us know that behaving this way toward others is not only inappropriate but also unacceptable. Though we may know this instinctively, we may not be able to ground our beliefs in anything but our own inner sense of right and wrong. Some of us may have been explicitly taught core values of appropriate behavior in childhood; some may have learned right and wrong from role models and teachers. Many of us might never have been taught. As a result, we may not always know what would be considered the menschlichkeit thing to do.

In this multi-layered year-long program led by Rabbi Zari in varied formats, participants will have a variety of opportunities to learn, explore, practice, and reflect on what it means to be a mensch—an honorable human being. 

There will be series of 4 Sunday afternoon workshops from 3-5pm on: October 15, January 7, March 4, and May 6.

Participants must attend the first workshop and are encouraged to attend the succeeding ones.  At the first workshop, a syllabus will be provided which will list recommended readings, reflection questions, and suggestions for practice.

Participants can do one or all of the following:

1) Workshop series                                               $72/$144

2) Work with a chevrutah study partner               $18/$36

3) Meet with a group on a monthly basis             $54/$108       

4) One-on-one meeting with the rabbi                 $36/$72

*Please see our note about tuition fees near bottom under “Register”




Taught by Shoshanna & Josh Cohen

Sunday, October 8, 2:00pm

Join us for this afternoon workshop during our Sukkot gathering. Beginning and advanced dancers welcome! We’ll also celebrate the harvest season by doing some apple tasting.

Tuition: Please bring a few apples, all cut up and ready to share!




Rosh Chodesh, which means ‘head of the month,’ takes place when the New Moon appears in the sky… In the ancient world, when eyewitnesses first spotted the first sliver of the New Moon in the sky, they’d light bonfires atop mountaintops and run to alert the rabbis so they could announce the beginning of the new month.

According to an ancient tradition, the holiday was a reward given to the women of Israel because they refused to surrender their jewelry for the creation of the golden calf (Exodus 32). Because of their righteousness, the women were exonerated from working on Rosh Chodesh.

excerpted from ReformJudaism.org

In modern times, Rosh Chodesh has come to be thought of as a “women’s holiday,” with many women’s groups forming around that theme. At Kol HaNeshamah we’d like to gather for Rosh Chodesh in a way that is inclusive of all genders. We will study and celebrate Jewish women in a way that is inclusive to all, explore the traditions and rituals that have evolved around Rosh Chodesh, and perhaps create some of our own! We’ll explore such topics as Moon Cycles: The Role of the Moon in Jewish Life, Techinot: Jewish Women and Prayer, Modern Rituals to Mark Sacred Moments in Our Lives, and Significant Women in Jewish History.

Those who are interested in celebrating Rosh Chodesh with others are invited to participate in these gatherings on the following dates:

Thursday, October 19, 7:00pm

Sunday, November 19, 5:00pm

Sunday, December 17, 5:00pm (Chanukah)

Tuesday, January 16, 7:00pm

Thursday, February 15, 7:00pm

Friday, March 16, 7:00 pm (part of Shabbat services)

Sunday, April 15, 5:00pm

Monday, May 14, 7:00pm

Tuesday, June 12, 7:00pm

Tuition: $10 /$20 per gathering   *Please see our note about tuition fees near bottom under “Register”




Taught by Nora Menkin and Rabbi Zari

Tuesday, October 17, 7:00pm

There is great wisdom within Jewish tradition to guide us as we accompany our loved ones who are dying, care for them when they have died, and mourn them after they are gone.  In this introductory single-day workshop, we will learn some of the basic concepts around Death, Dying, and Mourning in Judaism.

Tuition: $18/$36   *Please see our note about tuition fees near bottom under “Register”




With Rabbi Zari

Have you ever wanted to learn more about what Judaism has to say about euthanasia?  About what comprises the Jewish Bible and how it differs from the Christian Bible?  Have you wanted to learn what Jewish life was like in the Middle Ages for women, or what happens in a mikvah (a ritual bath)? 

Given how busy people are in the 21st Century, and how reluctant people often are to sign up for on-going classes, we are launching a new and exciting adult education opportunity:  Concierge Learning. You determine what you’d like to study and the rabbi will prepare a personal, private, one-on-one lesson for you.  If you’d like to add an additional session, you can; if you’d like to invite someone else to join you for the session(s), you can.

This opportunity will begin following the High Holy Days. Contact Rabbi Zari directly at rabbi@khnseattle.org if you’d like to learn something with her.

Tuition: $36/$72  *Please see our note about tuition fees near bottom under “Register”




Taught by Bruce Kochis

This course is divided into two parts: 1) “Why are Jewish ethics different from all other ethics?” will explore the basics of ethics in general and the categories and issues that ground the tradition of Jewish ethical questioning and distinguish it, in part, from other traditions, and 2) “Basic ethical texts and a few current applications” will be a text-based study of excerpts from Torah, Talmud, and the 19 th century ethical tradition called Mussar, the latter including Duties of the Heart by Rabbi Bachya Ibn Paquda, The Way of the Upright by Rabbi Chaim Luzzato. We will examine a contemporary ethical problem guided by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin’s A Code of Jewish Ethics. Hebrew not required though helpful. All materials provided.

Part 1: January 6, February 3, February 17

Part : April 7, April 21, May 12*

All classes will last 45 minutes and will be held at KHN directly after services (approximately 12:15 – 1:00) *except for class on May 12* which will be held at Bruce’s house at noon.

Tuition: $54/108  *Please see our note about tuition fees near bottom under “Register”




All classes held at KHN unless otherwise noted.




Registration form is at the bottom of this page.  Please contact us with any questions at adulted@khnseattle.org

Note about tuition fees:

Fees are listed with member price on the left and non-member price on the right:

$member price / $non-member price

We value the diversity of our community, and recognize that some can pay more to attend classes, and some less.  We want all those who would like to participate to be able to do so.  Fees listed are suggested.  Please pay as you are able (as indicated).


This information is available in our brochure adulted5778final


Would you like to volunteer to teach at KHN? Please notify Susanna Bluhm Callahan at adulted@khnseattle.org. Volunteer teaching opportunities include a one-day workshop, or a series of classes, or individual Concierge Learning, or even offering a learning experience as an auction item during our annual gala. We can help you decide which option would be the best fit.


Register for Adult Education