We draw closer to our sacred texts through the study of Hebrew, the language of Torah and Jewish liturgy.

I am delighted to announce that Temple Beth Or will be offering two adult Hebrew classes to congregants and community members in March-May, 2012. The desire for a Hebrew class was oft-expressed and I am glad we will now be able to meet this need.

The ORacle, January 2012 Issue

Our beginner class will be taught by Heidi Piel and will cover learning the alef, bet and basic Hebrew letter decoding. Heidi has been a member of Temple Beth Or for eight years. During that time she has dedicated herself to Jewish study, Jewish community, Jewish leadership and promoting Jewish education. She connected to these aspects of Jewish life while studying for her bat mitzvah just 6 years ago. She has served as Beth Or’s Social Justice Chair, Governing Board President, Adult Education Coordinator and currently teaches the b’nei mitzvah, Confirmation, and Jewish Learning, Jewish Living classes. She most recently completed instructing an adult beginning Hebrew class.

Our intermediate class will be taught by Jeremy Alk. This class will either cover prayer book competence or preparation for reading Torah depended on our particular class’ goals. A Jewish educator for over thirty years, Jeremy is a double Masters Degree recipient in Jewish Education and Jewish Communal Service from Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles. He currently teaches the Hey/Vav/Zayin class at Temple Beth Or’s Religious School. Jeremy teaches adult education classes at various synagogues throughout the area, he also tutors adults and children in King and Snohomish County. He currently teaches the advanced and intermediate Biblical Hebrew classes at Congregation Bath Shalom, and he has had dozens of Bar and Bat Mitzvah students over the years. This intermediate class can be used as a stepping stone to those seeking an adult b’nai mitzvah and can prepare congregants to become service leaders and Torah readers.

Registration information for the classes will be available at the end of January, stay tuned for details.

May this class be one part of our commitment to lifelong study. Through Torah study, in all its forms, we are called to mitzvot, the means by which we make our lives holy.


Rabbi Jessica Kessler Marshall