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Adult Education Programs

The Adult Education Committee of Temple Emanu-El presents a myriad of programs for adults on Wednesday and Sunday mornings, as well as Monday afternoons and special events. Check the monthly calendar on this web site for dates and times or call the Temple Office for detailed information.

In addition, ongoing learning opportunities include:

  • Torah Study - Discuss, debate and dispute - everyone and all perspectives welcome!  No prior Torah study required. Shabbat mornings, 9:00 am beginning in October.
  • Introduction to Hebrew - Alef Bet and Shalom Rav:  Join one of our many fun and effective introductory Hebrew classes, designed for adult learners with or without any prior Hebrew studies.  These small classes focus on siddur (prayer book) Hebrew and serve to increase Shabbat service familiarity. Scheduled on an on-going basis.
  • Torah Chanting and Service Honours - Learn how to chant Torah or to be comfortable accepting any honour in our service (such as a Torah aliyah or chanting the Haftarah blessings) in small classes.

2019 Programs



Mondays  1:30 pm  to  3:30 pm


October 28, 2019 – The New Old Age: Is Canada Ready for the Demographic Time Bomb Hurtling at Us

Sandra Martin,  Award-Winning Journalist and Author

Ms. Martin, formerly a columnist and feature writer with the Globe and Mail, is the author and co-author of many books. She has taught journalism and writing courses at Ryerson and the Scarborough campus of U of T. This lecture will discuss the changing society where centenarians are the fastest growing demographic and how society must transform its definition of retirement and old age to prepare for the new reality.

November 4, 2019 Power Shift

Sally Armstrong, Social Activist, Author and Journalist

Ms. Armstrong has covered stories of conflict around the world and has received numerous awards and honors, including Amnesty International Media Award and ten honorary doctorate degrees. Her most recent book, Power Shift (expected publication date is October 2019), reviews the longest revolution in history, where women moved from equality during the Stone Age to oppression that was sustained for 10,000 years. Will the #MeToo movement be the key to justice tomorrow?

November 11, 2019 From the Binoculars Building to Bilbao and Beyond: the Starchitecture of Frank Gehry

Peter Harris,  Retired Assistant Dean, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, U of T

Dr. Harris is Professor Emeritus of Victoria College and is a frequent lecturer for many Later Life Learning Groups in Toronto. Frank Gehry bounded into the international architecture spotlight with his 1993 "Binoculars Building in Los Angeles". His 1997 Guggenheim Bilbao Museum was so extraordinary that term "Starchitecture" was coined to pay homage to his achievement. He is still going strong at the age of 90. This lecture will explore the highlights of his remarkable career.

November 18, 2019  – The Artificial Intelligence Age: Understanding What AI is, its Risks and Rewards

Nora Young,  Host of CBC Radio's Spark

Ms. Young is a journalist specializing in technology and culture. Her award winning show airs across Canada on CBC Radio One and internationally on podcasts. She is the author of The Virtual Self. Although AI has been around for 60 years, in recent years it has produced remarkable results in areas that had resisted automation. The danger is that AI reproduces human biases and leads to job losses. This lecture will explain AI in simple language and issues that must be tackled to get the AI future we want.

November 25, 2019 - Glasnost, Perestroika and the Fall of the Soviet Union

Julia Zarankin, Teacher, Author

Dr. Zarankin teaches lifelong learners about Russian politics and culture at many venues throughout the GTA. She has been awarded an Excellence in Teaching Award from the U of T School of Continuing Education. This lecture will explore what caused the collapse of the Soviet Union and the paradoxical nature of Gorbachev's radical reforms. Though well intentioned, Gorbachev's restructuring the Soviet system ultimately plunged the country into total chaos. How did Russia recover from such turbulent times?


 To pre-register (for the full series only) using Visa or MasterCard, call 416-449-3880

or send a cheque (payable to  Temple Emanu-El) to 120 Old Colony Road, Toronto, ON  M2L 2K2.

Please include your telephone number and e-mail address.

Thursdays 1:30 pm - 2:45 pm
Doors open at 12:30pm; Biscotti (& other nibbles), 1:00pm
Temple Members: No charge; Non-Members: $10

In addition to the Lecture Series, there will be Thursday Books and Biscotti reviews. These events are open to non-members at a cost of $10. Please let your friends know they are welcome!
The biscotti (and other nibbles) will be in the Social Hall from
1:00 - 1:30 pm; followed by a one-hour book review.
Copies of the books (titles below) may be reserved, by members, through the Temple office.

  • September 19, 2019
    Washington Black by Esi Edugyan - Reviewed by Cathy Tile
  • October 17, 2019
    Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan - Reviewed by Elaine Newton
  • November 14, 2019 by Nathan Englander - Reviewed by Janna Nadler
  • March 26, 2020
    The Iron Tracks by Aharon Appelfeld - Reviewed by Harriet Morris
  • April 23, 2020
    Embers by Sandor Marai - Reviewed by Cathy Tile
  • May 21, 2020
    To be Announced
    Reviewed by Elaine Newton


A Present for the Future: How to Write a Memoir

Thursdays, October 17-November 21,  10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Temple Members: $60 | Non-Members: $120

This six-session workshop offers thought-provoking activities that will inspire participants to see with fresh eyes the richness of their experience and help them shape the story they want to tell.

For more information and to register, click HERE

Fri, October 18 2019 19 Tishrei 5780