Congregation Shaar Hashomayim

Adult Education PDF Print E-mail

Shaar Hashomayim’s Adult Education programming maintains and promotes the dictum:

תלמוד תורה כנגד כולם - the study of Torah is of the greatest value.  For all ages, for all levels of Jewish learning, at all times of day and night and on many different days of the week, our synagogue offers engaging, stimulating, and exciting educational programs.

Monday Morning Torah Institute

under the auspices of Sisterhood

No need to register!
Join us every Monday morning at 11.00a.m. for learning and lunch.

Tuesday Night Learning

Tuesday Night Learning at the Shaar was established in the Fall of 2006. Across six weeks of classes, over 1,000 people took part in the inaugural program. An atmosphere of intellectual and emotional stimulation and growth was created and excitement was felt throughout our community.

The format of the program is a choice of three 50-minute classes running simultaneously, followed by a short refreshment break and concluding with a further choice of three 50-minute classes. The final session of the semester consists of a special movie presentation.


TAPS: Thursday Afternoon Parasha Shiur

under the auspices of Sisterhood

Shabbat Parasha Class

45 minutes before Mincha on Shabbat afternoons, one of the Rabbis teaches a class on Parashat Hashavua, the weekly Torah portion, seen through the eyes of one commentator. 

If the weather is agreeable, the class takes place in the Deitcher Courtyard.

Shavuot All Night Learning

On the eve of Shavuot, the tradition of studying all night is maintained, with a wide range of lectures and discussions of interest to all ages, involving congregational members as well as invited guests. The program at Shaar Hashomayim is dedicated to Morty Cohen, who was a longtime supporter, participant and organizer.


Details of next event will be posted here.

Endowed Lectures

The Helen & Sam Steinberg Lecture

The Sam Steinberg Lecture was established in 1982 by Mrs. Helen Steinberg in memory of her late husband, later renamed in honour of Helen & Sam Steinberg. The inaugural lecture was delivered by Sir William Rees-Mogg, Editor of the London Times who had recently written a remarkable essay, Interpreting Judaism. He spoke on the implication of financial crisis facing the world.
In subsequent years, guests have included Professor Allan Bloom, James Caroll, Ron Chernow, Stuart Eisenstadt, Sir Martin Gilbert, Efraim Halevy, Rabbi David Hartman, Norman Mailer, Chaim Potok, Mordechai Richler, John Ralston Saul, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Dr. Bernard Shapiro, Dr. Harold Shapiro, Adin Steinzaltz, William Styron, Leon Uris, Professor Cornell West, Elie Wiesel and Mort Zuckerman.

Mona Elaine Adilman Lecture

The Mona Elaine Adilman Lecture was established in 1992 to focus on environmental issues. Topics are chosen with the goal of attracting the general public as well as the Congregation.
The series opened with Professor Peter Jacobs, who discussed the environmental concerns surrounding the James Bay Project.
Over the years, speakers have included Dr. David Levy, Jane Goodall, David Suzuki and Elizabeth May, Leader of the Canadian Green Party.

The Elizabeth Shuchat Schwartz Memorial Lecture

The Elizabeth Shuchat Schwartz Memorial Lecture was established by the Shuchat family after the untimely death of Elizabeth Shuchat, not only to commemorate Elizabeth the person, but to bring out some of her qualities and values which gave content and purpose to her life. Invitations to speak are extended only to outstanding women who have excelled in Torah learning, religious leadership and who are role models of Jewish living.
The first guest lecturer was Esther Jungreis who was a mentor of Elizabeth. Subsequent lectures have been given by Aviva Zorrenberg, Dr. Ruth Wisse, Tamar Ross, author and modern Orthodox feminist Blu Greenberg and most recently, Avital Sharansky.

Home Study Groups

The first Shaar Hashomayim Home Study Group, Group Aleph, was established in 1952 by a group of friends. In addition to their regular social gatherings, they arranged, with the help of Rabbi Dr. Wilfred Shuchat, a series of speakers and teachers, to provide intellectual stimulation on a variety of Jewish topics.

Soon after, Group Bet was formed. By 1954, Group Gimmel had been created. Group Daled has been in existence the longest, having convened for the first time in 1955.

A guiding principal which remains true today, is that if the group is compatible socially, it will be compatible intellectually and “Jewishly”.

Today over 200 individuals meet on a regular basis as part of seven active Home Study Groups. The newest group was created in 2006, catering to married couples in their 20’s and 30’s.

For more information contact Brenda Epstein at 514.937.9474 #143, or


© 2014 Congregation Shaar Hashomayim