Welcome to Shalom Maine

Shalom Maine is an Adult Education collaboration between Portland area Jewish organizations, meant to bring together learners from our entire Jewish community.  Classes are open to everyone and we use a pay-what-you-can tuition system, allowing people of all means to attend.

Shalom Maine was founded by Congregation Bet Ha’am, Temple Beth El, and the Jewish Community Alliance. Thank you to our community partners, Etz Chaim Synagogue of Portland, Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh, and Congregation Etz Chaim of Biddeford.

Upcoming Courses

Philanthropy Re-imagined: A Radical Approach to Tikkun Olam & Gifts of Wealth, Work, and Wisdom – With Benjamin Gorelick and others

Monday evenings, January 28; Feb. 4, 11, 25 (No class on Feb. 18 – Presidents Day).
6:30 – 8:00 PM
Location: Congregation Bet Ha’am
Suggested tuition: $48
4 sessions
Enrollment: Minimum 10 /Max. 22
Registration deadline: Friday, January 18

Course Description: I’ve written three different course descriptions, and my wife keeps saying “It sounds like you’re going to hit people up for money.  Also, what does Tikkun Olam have to do with philanthropy? I don’t see the connection.” That, of course, is the problem. Tikkun Olam and Philanthropy, if done right, are one in the same.

What does it mean to be a philanthropist?  What do non-profits really need, to do their best work?  This course will challenge the existing order of things, inspiring you, the giver, to solve big problems by transforming the organizations in which you invest wealth, work, & wisdom.

This isn’t a class about giving money.  Instead, we’re examining a radical philosophy of giving, in many forms, applicable to anyone who wants the world to be a better place.

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Welcome to Judaism – Led by congregational rabbis

Tuesday evenings, Feb. 26, March 5, 12, 19, 26
6:00 – 8:00 PM
Location: JCA
Registration deadline: Tuesday, February 12

Always wondered about your religion? Thinking about converting to Judaism? Thinking about being part of a Jewish family? Just curious?

Welcome to Judaism is for those who are new to Judaism as well as those looking to renew their connection and deepen their knowledge. The course is free and dinner, babysitting (with advance registration) and all course materials will be provided. Free dinner and childcare available with advanced registration.

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A Food Tour of the Talmud

Presented by Project Zug: Online Partnership Learning; Co-sponsored by The Center for Small Town Jewish Life and the Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine

Course Tuition: $36

Special Scholarship Discount Opportunity: The first 20 registrants will receive a 50% discount off the $36 tuition fee. To apply the scholarship use the code First20 in your registration.  ▪  Discount applies to the first 20 registrants ONLY. That’s ten weeks of high caliber learning for just $18!

Food is a powerful force at the center of ritual, community and ethics. This class will explore all of these aspects of food by studying passages on food found across the Talmud. How can the act of eating become a practice of gratitude? Who should receive food as charity, and how much? What rights do field-workers have? Jumping into the lively debate of Talmud will pave the way for rich discussion to affirm, challenge, and transform our own approaches to food. This online course is facilitated by Rabbi Aviva Richman of the Hadar Institute, New York.

How this course works:

Sign up with Project Zug to gain access to the full course materials when the course launches on February 3rd. You’ll learn online with a chavruta – a traditional-style study buddy: You can either list your study partner when you register, or write “Match Me” to have us pair you with another Mainer! We’ll send you updates about the course, but the two of you can work through it at your own pace. We’ll have a kickoff event at Beth Israel Congregation in Bath on February 3rd from 1:30-3:00pm, and a siyyum (a capstone event) at this June’s Maine Conference for Jewish Life in Waterville – so you and your chavruta have a chance to learn together in person!

What do you need?

You’ll need a computer with internet connectivity (a camera is very helpful, but can be worked around), and the desire to engage meaningfully with Jewish texts!

No prior experience with text study or chavruta learning?

No problem! The Project Zug experience ensures that this curated material will be amplified and explained by renowned teachers. This 10-week course can take the 10 weeks allotted – or you and your partner might take a slower pace, to account for your schedules or to spend more time with the texts. How long your study sessions are, whether you prepare individually or work through everything together – the decisions are yours. This is an amazing opportunity to build our Maine Jewish community, and enhance our relationships to one another, through traditional learning – and to do it from the comfort of our own homes!

The Center for Small Town Jewish Life and the JCA are thrilled to be partnering with Project Zug to bring the Maine Jewish community an amazing learning opportunity at an incredible price. If you need some tech support, we are here to help. We encourage learners of all backgrounds to dive in. Registrants will receive emails with all details, including the date that the first materials will be released online.

Questions about this program?

We’re happy to talk to you! Email Melanie Weiss at maweiss@colby.edu

Register Now