Adult Education

Our adult education programs and activities reflect a deep commitment to thoughtful implementation of Jewish tradition. We support each other on our personal journeys through communal programs of learning for all ages. Our programs strive to engage not only the mind, but also the heart. We are a community of life longer learners.

Hot Topics with Our Rabbis

We can look to Torah for wisdom on every aspect of lives! Our rabbis will help us delve into some of the more tricky issues of the day with our traditional texts and values as our guide.

Join us monthly from September to November, to learn more more. Check the calendar for topics, dates and times.

Insight into Judaism

An Educational and Spiritual Journey

Rabbi Mikelberg delves into Jewish faith, Jewish culture and Jewish life in this year long journey. Torah will be our guide for us as individuals and in community.

We will explore tradition and texts, history of the Jewish People, Jewish holy days, ritual and life-cycle events. No previous experience necessary.

Insight Into Judaism includes a weekly Hebrew language component which will have all participants comfortable with essential Hebrew prayers and blessings.

Insight Into Judaism is ideal for anyone, Jewish or non-Jewish, who is interested in learning more about Jewish life and Jewish heritage. It is also for those seeking conversion under Reform auspices. Students are asked to commit to attend weekly classes from September 2020 through May 2021. The course is now full.

Wednesday Talmud Class

For over 20 years, a committed core of students augmented by community members has been solving the mysteries of where our practices and values originate. We unpack the hidden histories and words of the ancient rabbis through the pages of the Talmud and modern explanations

Join us on Wednesdays at 1 pm. This adult education class is led by Rabbi Garten.

Books and Bagels

Books and Bagels will resume September 13, 2020 at 10 am. We are pleased to continue offering Books and Bagels reviews via Zoom until we can safely resume meeting at Temple Israel. No registration or RSVP is necessary.

September 13, 2020
Strangers with the Same Dream by Alison Pick will be reviewed by Gerald Halpern. This novel examines the competing ideals underlying the Zionist movement, by exploring the deep and conflicting feelings of Jewish pioneers who fled the violence and anti-semitism of Eastern Europe to forge a new way of life – the establishment of kibbutzim.

Gerald is a member of Temple Israel and a regular reviewer for Malca Pass Book Club.

He has had a career in performance measurement and evaluation and is an active volunteer in the community.


October 25, 2020
Books and BagelsThe King of the Jews by Leslie Epstein will be reviewed by Angus Smith. Angus will revisit Epstein’s 1979 imagining of life and death in the Lodz Ghetto, to see what it has to tell us about individual and institutional compromise in the contemporary world.

Angus is a corresponding member of Temple Israel. He lives in rural Nova Scotia with his partner, film producer, director and farmer Camelia Frieberg, a lot of poultry and two rambunctious border collies.

Temple books recording of October 25 review
Access Passcode: %XsRem9&

November 29, 2020
I am Forbidden by Anouk Markov will be reviewed by Rabbi Daniel Mikelberg. “Sweeping from the Central European countryside just before World War 2 to Paris to contemporary Williamsburg, Brooklyn, “I am Forbidden” brings to life four generations of one Satmar family “ ( Good Reads ).

Zoom link:
Telephone: 1-647-558-0588

Where can I get the books?

Books are available through the Ottawa Public Library or the Greenberg Families Library at the Soloway JCC. The Malca Pass library and Temple Israel Library may also carry some of these titles.

What are you reading?

Do you enjoy reading books with Jewish/Israeli themes or subjects? Would you like to know what others in our Temple community are reading and to share your recommendations with others?

The Books and Bagels committee is initiating a book corner in the Temple Bulletin. If you have a fiction or non-fiction book of Jewish interest you would like to recommend, please write a brief paragraph describing the book and, most importantly, why you enjoyed it.

Parents, feel free to recommend books your children have enjoyed and encourage your children to submit their own recommendations.

For more information please contact Lily Cox.

Cooking with Temple

Temple’s chef Emma and her aspiring foodie sidekick Susan recently joined forces to present a virtual cooking and conversation hour on cooking for Sukkot.

Stuffed Eggplant (M’hasha)

Presented by Emma

  • 10 small eggplants, cored, the inside chopped
  • Oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • A bunch of parsley, chopped (stem and leaves separate)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • ⅓ can of tomatoes
  • 1 ½ lbs ground beef
  • Pepper and salt to taste<//li>


  1. Mix ⅔ can of diced tomatoes, ½ can of water, lemon juice (about 3 lemons), about 4tbsp of brown sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and set aside.
  2. Sauté onions, eggplant core, parsley stems in oil; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add tomatoes, lemon juice, sugar, and adjust the seasoning (it should taste sweet and sour).
  4. Mix the ground beef with the parsley leaves, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the eggplant/tomato mixture to the ground beef, mix first with a wooden spoon and when the mixture is cooler, mix with your hands until well incorporated.
  6. Stuff the eggplants with the mixture.
  7. Put the eggplants in a pot and pour the sauce around them until sauce reaches the edge of the eggplant. Cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes, then lower the heat and simmer until cooked and the tastes have developed. Adjust the seasoning, and serve with rice.
Eggplant recipe ingredients
Eggplant prep

Pumpkin with Everything Good

(Adapted from Dorie Greenspan)
Presented by Susan

  • 1 pumpkin, about 3 pounds (I like pie pumpkins/sugar pumpkins)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 pound stale bread,  cut into 1/2-inch chunks (dried stuffing also works)
  • 1/4 pound cheese, such as Gruyère, cut into 1/2-inch chunks (any melting cheese like cheddar – or a mix of cheeses – will work!)
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • About 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives (you could also use scallions)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1/3 cup (or more) heavy cream (you can use a mix of cream and milk if you prefer a lighter dish)
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg

Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment, or find a casserole dish with a diameter that’s just a tiny bit larger than your pumpkin.  (If you bake the pumpkin in a casserole dish, it will keep its shape, but you’ll need to serve it from the casserole.  If you bake it on a baking sheet, you can present it freestanding, but maneuvering a stuffed pumpkin with a baked shell isn’t always easy.  I usually prefer to take the risk, as the presentation is pretty great!)

Using a sharp and sturdy knife, cut a “lid” out of the top of the pumpkin.  You want to cut off enough of a lid to make it easy to get inside the pumpkin.  Clear away the seeds and strings from the cap and from inside the pumpkin (this is a great job for kids). Season the inside of the pumpkin with salt and pepper, and put it on the baking sheet or in the pot.

Toss the bread, cheese, garlic, and herbs together in a bowl.  Season with pepper and stuff the mix into the pumpkin.  The pumpkin should be well filled.  Stir the cream with the nutmeg and some salt and pepper and pour it into the pumpkin.  You want enough cream that the ingredients are moistened but not so much that it looks like soup.  (Both the filling and the cream are a bit to taste and to the eye.  I always think more cheese is better!  You will likely need to adjust, depending on the size of the pumpkin).

Put the top in place and bake the pumpkin for about 2 hours (checking after 90 minutes) or until everything inside the pumpkin is bubbling and the flesh of the pumpkin is tender enough to be pierced with a knife (like testing a cake).  Remove the top during the last 20 minutes of cooking to bake away any liquid and so the stuffing can toast a bit.  When the pumpkin is ready, carefully bring it to the table.

This is also great with cooked rice (especially if you can’t have gluten – it is more of a risotto), peas, kale, or apples and chestnuts.

And, what to do with all of those pumpkin seeds?

  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons spice blend of your choice

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Fill a medium saucepan with two cups of water and season with 2 teaspoons salt.  Bring to a boil.  Meanwhile, clean the pumpkin seeds you have scooped from your pumpkin in a bowl filled with cold water.  Add the cleaned seeds to the boiling water and simmer for five minutes. Drain and pat the seeds very dry.  Place the seeds onto the prepared baking sheet.  Add the oil and any spices then toss until well coated. Spread the seeds into one layer. Bake, stirring  at least once, until golden, between 10-20 minutes, depending on the size of the seeds.

Pumpkin dish ingredients
Pumpkin dish spices
Pumpkin dish pre-cooked
Pumpkin dish cooked