Today is January 17, 2021 /

8100 Stevenson Road, Baltimore, MD 21208 | 410-486-6400 (Emergency Line - 410-880-8610) | Member Access | Email

Chizuk Amuno Congregation

Stulman Center for Adult Learning

Barukh Habah:  Welcome to the Stulman Center for Adult Learning

The Stulman Center is the definition of a learning community. We offer courses year round, from the frigid dark days of winter through the dog days of summer. Our course titles will intrigue you. Our teachers will inspire you. Our courses will challenge you to think in new ways about not only the history but also the future of the Jewish people.

Stulman offers classes on Torah, Hebrew, literature, history, and the arts. Each year, academics and rabbis visit Chizuk Amuno to offer lectures, teach classes, and serve as scholars-in-residence.  The Stulman Center for Adult Learning provides a point of entry for everyone seeking the excitement of Jewish study in a community of committed, caring learners studying with dedicated, knowledgeable teachers.  Learning is a way of enhancing our Jewish identity and connection to our tradition. Learning enriches our lives and promotes our spiritual growth.

We are happy to offer some of our regular classes virtually. These opportunities offer you the option of either calling in on your phone at +1 301 715 8592 and giving the Meeting ID # or clicking on links from your computer, iPad, or iPhone, which will connect you directly to the sessions. Please note: For each unique Zoom ID/link or Judy Simkin .

Winter 2021 Classes

All classes will be taught over Zoom. Register for any class with Judy Simkin Zoom link will be provided following registration and payment where applicable.

Mishnah Class
Taught by Dr. Shualy
@9:30 a.m.
Register with Judy Simkin

Pikuach Nefesh
Taught by Rabbi Debi Wechsler
@11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
January 11, 18, 25
No Fee
An exploration of the principle that saving a life is the most important value in making Jewish decisions. Register with Judy Simkin

Purim in a Pandemic
Taught by Rabbi Debi Wechsler
@11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
February 1, 8,15, 22
No Fee
2000 years ago the Mishnah set out a guide for how to observe Purim. We’ll look at how the Mishnah stacks up to Purim 2021. Register with Judy Simkin

“Kol Isha: The Transforming Power of Women’s Voices” (Part 2)

Taught by Rosann M Catalano, PhD and Rabbi Ilyse S Kramer
January 19 & 26, February 2, 9, 16, and 23
@10—11:30 a.m.
Fee is $85 for members, $110 for non-members
Both Judaism and Christianity were, from their respective beginnings, founded on a patriarchal structure that systematically silenced, marginalized, and disenfranchised women. One of the hallmarks of contemporary feminist thinkers is their persistent challenge of a status quo in which women have neither place nor power. This course will study some of the biblical, rabbinic, and contemporary texts that have inspired the transformation of these scholars regarding the rightful role of women in synagogue and church.
All participants are welcome to join us for this new series. Register with Judy Simkin

Modern Hebrew Literature Class
Taught by Dr. Shualy
@ noon
Register with Judy Simkin

V’Nahafoch Hu- Turning Adar Upside Down
Taught by Rabbi Joshua Gruenberg
First 3 sessions Wednesdays 7-8: Beginning February 10
No Fee
A journey through some of the issues of Jewish Law that have presented themselves during the pandemic.
Session 1: 2/10 The Halacha of Zoom and electronics on Shabbat during the pandemic.
Session 2: 2/17 Life Cycles during the pandemic
Session 3: 2/24 How will the pandemic changes to Halacha change or remain when this comes to an end?
Session 4: Friday 2/26 4:30pm Purim Seudah on Zoom- “The Craziest Jewish Laws you Never Knew Existed.”
Register with Judy Simkin

Taught by Rabbi Avramn Reisner
8 sessions Wednesdays. 5-6 p.m.
Dates: January 20, 27, February. 3, 10, 17, 24, March 3 and 10.
Fee is $50 for members, $100 for non-members
We will continue studying the eighth chapter of Gittin which considers some details of how a gett (divorce) has to be delivered, and what information it must contain. The chapter is a good study in the way the rabbis of the Talmud deconstructed and studied the ramifications of the Mishnah before them.
We will use the Koren-Steinsaltz which has proven very accessible. Those who wish to purchase the volume are welcome to do so, but everyone else may rest assured that we will send you an e-copy of the relevant pages.
Details to follow with registration. Register with Judy Simkin

New and continuing students welcome.

Current Events
Taught by Rabbi Joshua Gruenberg
@10-11 a.m.
Beginning Thursday, January 7
Register with Judy Simkin


Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
Taught by Rabbi Joshua Gruenberg
Thursdays, January 7, 14, 21, 28, 7-8 p.m.
Please Note: Class January 14 will be from 8-9 p.m.
No Fee
“In Caste, Wilkerson sets out to understand American hierarchy, which she compares with two of the best known caste systems in the world: that of India, the very birthplace of caste, and of Nazi Germany, where caste as a modern experiment in barbarism was ultimately vanquished. ( The Guardian Book Reviews 7.30.20)

Together we will explore the themes set out in Wilkerson’s new book about American hierarchy. Over four sessions we will discuss how these ideas resonate with us, and what we can do to be a part of the solution. The book is available at all major online sellers and on audible as well.

Register with Judy Simkin


Jewish Influences in American Popular Music
Taught by Cantor Randy Herman
Sundays 11:00-12:00 : Beginning January 17
No Fee
Session 1: 1/17 Jewish Influence in the Development of the American Popular song
We will explore the influence of synagogue music on the iconic love songs and standards that make up the Great American Songbook. From Irving Berlin to George Gershwin to Harold Arlen (Wizard of Oz composer, born Hyman Arluck, son of a cantor), Jews played a tremendous role in the birth of the modern American popular song – in which the sounds of the synagogue can be heard to a surprising degree.

Session 2: 1/31 Jazziness in Judaism
Legendary avant-garde jazz sax player Ornette Coleman, a non-Jewish African American, referred to the traditional cantorial music of Yossele Rosenblatt (1882-1933) as essential music listening. Swing legend Benny Goodman breaks into a hora in a live version of one of his classic tunes. Cab Calloway sings a song in Yiddish and breaks into cantorial-style skat singing. Why do these things happen, and what do they mean? You’re asking me?? I don’t know – let’s explore!

Session 3: 2/7 Jewish Influence in the Music of Bob Dylan
How much if at all did Jewishness influence the music of Dylan and other major figures of the 60’s folk revival? I have some thoughts and theories; we will take a look, and a listen.

Register with Judy Simkin

January Book Month@Chizuk Amuno


Wednesday, January 6th at 7 p.m. – Nicole Krauss
We are honored to host award winning author Nicole Krauss for a book chat on her new book “To Be a Man.” This dazzling collection of short fiction explores what it means to be in a couple in these turbulent and unpredictable times.

Nicole Krauss is the author of the international bestsellers, “Forest Dark,” “Great House,” a finalist for the National Book Award and the “Orange Prize,” and “The History of Love,” which won the Saroyan Prize for International Literature and France’s Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger, and was short-listed for the Orange, Médicis, and Femina prizes. Her first novel, “Man Walks Into a Room,” was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book of the Year. In 2007, she was selected as one of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists, and in 2010 she was chosen by The New Yorker for their “Twenty Under Forty” list. Her fiction has been published in the New Yorker, the Atlantic, Harper’s Magazine, Esquire, and The Best American Short Stories, and her books have been translated into thirty-seven languages. She is currently the first Writer-in-Residence at the Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute at Columbia University.

Register in advance for this book chat:

Saturday, January 16th at 6 p.m. – Harriet Helfand
Join us for a special Havdalah and book chat with Chizuk Amuno member and KSDS alumni parent, Harriet Helfand, as we explore her new and debut novel, “Fee Simple Conditional.” Found on Amazon here.Hosted by Mimi Blitzer & Dave Mallott

Wednesday, January 27th at 7 p.m. – Suzanne Nossel
We are excited to host Suzanne Nossel, CEO of PEN America for a book chat on her book “Dare to Speak: Defending Free Speech for All.” A vital, necessary playbook for navigating and defending free speech today, it provides a pathway for promoting free expression while also cultivating a more inclusive public culture.

Suzanne Nossel currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of PEN America, the leading human rights and free expression organization, and she is author of Dare to Speak: Defending Free Speech for All. Since joining in 2013, she has doubled the organization’s staff, budget, and membership, spearheaded the unification with PEN Center USA in Los Angeles and the establishment of a Washington, D.C. office, and overseen groundbreaking work on free expression in Hong Kong and China, Myanmar, Eurasia, and the United States. She is a leading voice on free expression issues in the United States and globally, writing and being interviewed frequently for national and international media outlets. Read more of her bio here.

Register for her book chat:

Support your local bookstore! Purchase these books from The Ivy Bookshop, and receive 10% off.


January 7, 14, 21, 28 –  7-8 p.m.  (Please Note: January 14 class will be at 8 p.m.)

Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
“In Caste, Wilkerson sets out to understand American hierarchy, which she compares with two of the best known caste systems in the world: that of India, the very birthplace of caste, and of Nazi Germany, where caste as a modern experiment in barbarism was ultimately vanquished. ( The Guardian Book Reviews 7.30.20)

Together we will explore the themes set out in Wilkerson’s new book about American hierarchy. Over four sessions we will discuss how these ideas resonate with us, and what we can do to be a part of the solution. The book is available at all major online sellers and on audible as well.

Email Judy Simkin for the zoom link.

Beit Midrash Schedule 2021

Beit Midrash returns for the third year. Generously funded by a grant from the Hoffberger Endowment Fund for Torah Education , this year’s organizing theme will be “Jewish Great Books”. Each week a talented teacher will introduce us to a different book in its context, encapsulate the content of the book including teaching a text from it, and most importantly describe its “greatness” or why it is important in the Jewish canon. While students are encouraged to join us for the whole series, each class may also be attended individually.

Tuesdays 7 p.m.

January 12
Rabbi Debi Wechsler on “The People of the Book” and the authority given to texts.

January 19
Rabbi Gus Buchdahl on Emunot v’Deot by Saadia Gaon

January 26
Dr. Andrea Lieber on The Book of Judges

February 2
Rabbi Joshua Gruenberg on A Living Covenant by David Hartman

NO Beit Midrash February 9

February 16
Rabbi Amy Eilberg on Tomer Devorah

February 23
Rabbi Dorothy Richman on The Zohar

March 2
Rabbi Zevi Lowenberg on Sefer Ha Aggadah (The Book of Legends)

March 9
Rabbi Richard Camras on Mesillat Yesharim (The Path of the Just)

March 16
Dr. Shuly Rubin Schwartz on the Memoirs of Gluckel of Hameln

No Beit Midrash March 23 & 30 for Pesah

April 6
Rabbi Julia Andelman on The Mishnah

April 13
Rabbi Steve Heneson Moskowitz on Maimonides’ Guide to the Perplexed

April 20
Dr. Benjamin Sax on Abraham Joshua Heschel’s The Sabbath

April 27
Rabbi Adam Naftalin Kelman on The Dignity of Difference by Jonathan Sacks

May 4
Rabbi Iscah Waldman on Midrash Rabbah

May 11
Rabbi Mickey Safra on the Talmud



Yom Kippur – Study Session: “Jews and Whiteness: From Charlottesville to BLM”
Dr. Jennifer Caplan, Assistant Professor of Religion at Towson University (View the recording here)
Yom Kippur  – Study Session: ”Reading Book of Jonah in a World of Corona”
Dr. Andrea Lieber, Professor of Religion & Asbell Chair of Judaic Studies at Dickinson College (View the recording here)
Yom Kippur – Study Session: ”Judaism as Anachronism: What Does it Mean to be Jewish in Times of Crisis” 
Dr. Martin Shuster, Associate Professor of Philosophy and the Professorship of Judaics and Justice at Goucher (View the recording here)