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North Shore Temple Emanuel

a Progressive Jewish Congregation

Adult Education

At NSTE, our Rabbis, special guests, and lay leaders provide meaningful formal and informal instruction to individuals of all ages and backgrounds. 


  • Lunch and Learn Sessions (Shabbat mornings throughout the year)
  • Tikkun Leil Shavuot
  • Tisha B’Av program
  • Selichot program
  • Parashat HaShavua
  • Introduction to Judaism
  • Lay-led discussions (Boomers' Book Club, Hashkafah discussion group) 
  • Adult B’nei Mitzvah program

To find out more, contact the office on 9419 7011. 

Past offerings

Adult Education class with Simon Holloway

Who Were The Sages?

A 5 week course by Simon Holloway
We know them merely as our sages of blessed memory, but their exploits and their aphorisms fill the most important literature that we have. Who are the rabbis of the Mishna and the Talmud? In this five week course we will provide an historical overview of the rabbonim of old, from Hillel and Shammai in the last years of the second temple through to Ravina and Rabbah Yose over six centuries later. In presenting these sages, we hope to focus on their unique contributions to Jewish practice and thought, and consider the deeds (both comic and profound) for which they have been remembered.
Starting on Thursday 1 August this course will run for 5 consecutive weeks 7:30pm - 9:00pm.
The class will cost $150 for members and $175 for non members for the full 5 weeks. There is no discount available for attending less than 5 weeks.
This offer to book early will expire on Thursday 30 May when the course will be advertised to the wider community.
Please click here to book in.

Dr Simon Holloway is an Education Officer at the Sydney Jewish Museum, where he researches and delivers seminars on Nazi racial science, Jewish resistance and the history of the Holocaust. He has a PhD in Classical Hebrew and Biblical Studies, for which he wrote a thesis on the use of metaphors in the Hebrew Bible, and a Masters in Ancient History. His research interests include the formation of the rabbinic literature and the use of humour in Jewish legal texts.


See below for a report on the 2018 Sir Asher Joel Oration, an NSTE tradition coordinated by member Gil Davis:

Who knew rainbows weren’t always good?

Visiting Professor Wayne Horowitz from Hebrew University wowed the crowd with his lecture on rainbows held at North Shore Temple Emanuel on 25 September 2017. Wayne told an audience of about 50 people how the biblical story of the Flood had its origins in the misty Sumerian past, where rainbows more often than not portended disaster. He then linked the story with native traditions, such as the Gwich’in narrative of ‘The Boy in the Moon’ of Arctic Canada, where, curiously, they speak a language derived from Sumerian.

The talk was co-sponsored by Macquarie and Hebrew Universities. Dr Gil Davis, Director of Ancient Mediterranean Studies at Macquarie University, introduced Wayne and spoke a bit about the achievements of the Ancient Israel Program and the joint cooperation between the two universities. Robert Simeon, President of the Australian Friends of Hebrew University made a vote of thanks to Wayne and to the NSTE which is a frequent and welcoming host to such events under its President, Mark Ginsburg.

Many of the students in the audience will be taking part in courses that have been jointly set up by the two universities in Israel at Hebrew University over the coming summer break. These include a Biblical Archaeology course, an Ulpan, and a joint archaeological excavation between Hebrew and Macquarie Universities at the site of Khirbet el-Rai.

For more information contact Dr Gil Davis,



Mon, 25 January 2021 12 Sh'vat 5781