Beth-El Congregation

Lifetime Learning


The mission of Lifetime Learning is to provide programs and opportunities for adult members of Beth-El Congregation and the Jewish Community at-large which will enable them to learn and experience the heritage, values, theology and language of the Jewish people from a Reform point of view.

Upcoming Lifetime Learning Programs

Sunday Mornings

Weekly at 9:20am in the Sanctuary or Board Room

Join Rabbi Zimmerman, Rabbi Ottenstein, Rabbi Mecklenburger and some special guests on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am for opportunities to learn, discuss, debate and explore powerful Jewish ideas. A full schedule of dates will be provided at the first few classes with regular updates in the monthly Temple bulletin.  Topics will cover a diverse range from current events to ancient texts and academic discourse to practical conversations for parents and grandparents raising their children in an ever-changing Jewish world. Some of the special programs and guests planned at this time can be found listed here.

  • “What’s On Your Mind Two Days Before Yom Kippur:  Q&A with Rabbi Zimmerman,” Oct 9
  • “Reward, Punishment, and The Season” with Rabbi Zimmerman, Oct 16
  • “Who Was Lillith and Why Should We Care?” with Rabbi Zimmerman, Oct 23
  • “Jewish Ghost Stories and Superstition” with Rabbi Zimmerman, Oct 30
  • Hitler’s Art Thief with Susan Ronald, Nov 13
  • “The Amazing Story of Caribbean Jews” with Jane Pawgan, Dec 4
  • “Talking to Your Children about God” with Rabbi Zimmerman, Jan 8
  • “Talking to Your Children about Death and Afterlife” with Rabbi Zimmerman, Jan 15
  • “The Birth of gods and God” with Rabbi Mecklenburger, Mar 5
  • “New Developments in Our Understanding of Biblical Prophecy” with Rabbi Mecklenburger, Apr 2
  • “Reading Matthew as Midrash” with Rabbi Mecklenburger, Apr 30
  • “Pump Up Your Passover Seder” with Rabbi Zimmerman, date TBA
  • Kol Bo (everything Jewish) with Rabbi Ottenstein, various dates

Adult Hebrew

Beginners' Classes are Sundays, 10:30am.
Intermediate Hebrew Classes are Sundays, 11:30am.
Conversational Hebrew with Roseta Stone, set up time with Ilana Knust in the Computer Lab.


Classes are in session every Sunday that Religious School is in session (click here for calendar)

Guest Speakers at Beth-El

The Many Faces of a Prophet: Jeremiah between History and Tradtion

by Dr. Christl Maier

A special presentation by Dr. Cristl Maier for the Jewish Studies Cristol Lecture by TCU's Brite Divinity School. Dr. Maier is a professor of Old Testament at Phillpps-University Marburg, Germany. While religious art depicts Jeremiah mostly as a mourning prophet, the biblical book that bear his name presents a dramatic figure and a multifaceted literary character. The lecture introduces the various portraits of the prophetic figure and explores what we can know about the historical person.




Beth-El’s Film Festival

Beth-El’s Library has a copy of each film that was shown at our annual film festivals. These films are available to Beth-El members for short-term check-out at no cost. We would like to thank Beth-El’s Endowment #2 and a grant from the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County for making this possible.

2017 Films:




Rosenwald, February 11 at 7:30pm in the Great Hall

The second film is Rosenwald, an unrated documentary.  Aviva Kempner's Rosenwald is the incredible story of Julius Rosenwald, who never finished high school, but rose to become the President of Sears. Influenced by the writings of the educator Booker T. Washington, this Jewish philanthropist joined forces with African American communities during the Jim Crow South to build over 5,300 schools during the early part of the 20th century. Rosenwald sheds light on this silent partner of the Pre-Civil Rights Movement. Rosenwald awarded fellowship grants to a who's who of African American intellectuals and artists. Inspired by the Jewish ideals of tzedakah (charity) and tikkunolam (repairing the world) and a deep concern over racial inequality in America, Julius Rosenwald used his wealth to become one of America's most effective philanthropists. Because of his modesty, Rosenwald's philanthropy and social activism are not well known today. He gave away $62 million in his lifetime.

Click here for more information about the film.




Very Simi-Serious and The Trailor, February 25 at 7:30pm in the Great Hall 

An offbeat meditation on humor, art and the genius of the single panel. The film takes an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at the New Yorker and introduces the cartooning legends and hopefuls who create the iconic cartoons that have inspired, baffled - and occasionally pissed off - all of us for decades.

Click here for more information about the film.


*Please click here for a printable flyer of all films

Film Study

Soul of the Matter:  Modern Films and Ancient Questions,

March 26 & April 2 at 6:00pm

Is there a heaven or a hell? Do we have a soul? Does God really run a court in the great beyond that decides who will live and die? Join Rabbi Zimmerman for two nights of conversation about the soul, afterlife, reward and punishment through clips from secular American mainstream movies and accompanying Jewish texts. Explore these important questions with a bag of popcorn, a laugh or two and scenes from movies as diverse as “Casper”, “Defending Your Life”, “Beetlejuice” and many more

Introduction to Judaism

Tuesdays, December 6 - April 4 at 7:30-9:00pm in the Library

Come explore the customs, culture, festivals and philosophy of Judaism. This class is open to all including those interested in conversion, those who are Jewish and want to keep up with their children in religious school and those who might just want a grown up refresher course. No prior knowledge or Judaism or Hebrew is required.

This class will include 15 Tuesday nights and a Shabbat experience. This class begins on Tuesday, December 6th and concludes Tuesday, April 4.  A complete schedule will be handed out at the first class.

Please contact either Rabbi Zimmerman or Rabbi Ottenstein with any questions.

Share Your Ideas

Is there a program or topic that you would like for the Lifetime Learning Committee to consider? Let us hear from you. Email your thoughts at

External Websites for Lifetime Learning