Adult Education

Passionate community of learners

In Judaism, learning is a life-long process, and each stage of learning brings with it special blessings and insights. At Congregation Or Atid, we offer a wide variety of courses for adults where we explore our rich heritage in a literary and historical way.  Classes are taught by Rabbi Finestone and a number of scholars who share their wisdom with us.  In addition, Or Atid is honored to have sponsored Hebrew College's Me'ah program, an intensive, two-year graduate level study program for adults.

Something for everyone

Whether you are a serious or casual learner, we have classes and programs that will stimulate and challenge your mind and spirit. For our scholars, we offer intensive Torah and Talmud study classes.  We also offer Hebrew for beginners. 

Just for fun......

Spend an afternoon with "Or Atid Reads" discussing politically current books like "Start Up Nation" or NY Times bestselling novels like "City of Thieves". Enjoy movie night featuring films like "The Dybbuk", one of the top 10 Jewish films of all time. We also explore contemporary themes from a biblical and psychological perspective like "Jewish Guilt 101" or "Family Struggles from the Book of Genesis".

To find out more

Contact Rabbi Finestone at 508-358-9623 or [email protected]. You can also email one of our Adult Education committee Chair people Joel Rosen or Marjorie Solomon at [email protected].

Current class offerings:


NEW! Into the Grey Space: Delving into Contemporary Ethical Questions
Instructor: Misha Clebaner, Rabbinic Intern
Classes complete.

Black and White are for cookies. When it comes to modern hot topic issues, more often than not the answers can be found in the grey space between the poles. Come join us for one, two, or all four Wednesdays this March as we dip our toes in the waters of modern ethical challenges. We'll look at the limits of free speech, the unwavering obligation to honor parents, interfaith marriage, and the difficulty of ethical shopping.

Becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah
Classes complete.

This class looks deeply into the process, values and impact of this coming of age ceremony, for both the student and the parents. For seventh grade students and their families.

"Me'ah - 100 Hours of Study - For 2nd Year Students
Class meets Thursdays, 7:30-9:45pm
Classes complete.

Our Me’ah class will enter its second year of the two year long course. During the fall semester, we will look at the history of the Jews of the Middle Ages, studying their literary and cultural achievements despite difficult and challenging conditions of life. During the spring semester, our focus will turn to the modern age, with its unique set of challenges.

Fall Semester Instructor: Shari Lowin is associate professor of religious studies at Stonehill College. She previously taught at the University of Chicago, Yeshiva University, Brooklyn College and in Ma'ayan. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

Spring Semester Instructor: Simon Rabinovitch teaches modern Jewish, European and Russian history at Boston University, and has served since 2010 as an associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. He is a graduate of McGill University and holds master's and doctoral degrees in comparative history from Brandeis University

For more info, email Rabbi Finestone.

Women of the Bible
Mondays, from 7:30-9:00 pm.
Instructor: Rabbi Sally Finestoner
Classes complete.

This is an historic year for women, with the first woman presidential candidate, and with other substantial gains made by women here and in the world. This course will look at some of their predecessors from our Jewish tradition. We will discuss in depth not only the Biblical text, but also consider the Midrash and rabbinic traditions, Jewish mysticism, how these women are seen by other faiths, and contemporary literary references.

Judaism and Islam 
12 sessions: Alternating Tuesdays,  7:00-9:00pm, starting Dec. 6, 2016 at Or Atid
Classes complete.

This course will explore the intertwined destinies of Judaism and Islam beginning with the Talmudic idea of the Jews and Arabs as cousins, continuing through the Jewish background to the Islamic religion, and concluding with the Muslim-Jewish symbiosis during the medieval period. Topics will include the biblical origins of the Ishmaelites and the rabbinic identification of Ishmaelites with Arabs; the influence of Jewish teachers and Judaism on Muhammad (570-632), the founder of Islam; the relationship between the five pillars of Islam and Judaism; the Qur’an’s attitudes to Jews and Judaism; the status of Jews as dhimmi (“protected minority”) under Islam; the role of the Jews in Islamic societies; the Golden Age of Jewish life in Muslim Spain; the influence of Arabic poetry on medieval Hebrew poetry; the Arabic writings of Judah Halevi and Moses Maimonides; recent discoveries about Judeo-Islamic civilization in the Cairo Genizah; and the status of Jews living under Islam before the founding of the State of Israel.  

Instructor: David Ariel, Ph.D. David Ariel is an adult Jewish educator in the Boston area. Previously, he served as president of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. He also served as president of Siegal College of Judaic Studies in Cleveland. Ariel is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and received a master's and Ph.D. from Brandeis University. He is the author of four books, including "Kabbalah: The Mystic Quest in Judaism" (Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2005) and "What Do Jews Believe? The Spiritual Foundations of Judaism" (Shocken, 1996).

Registration form here.















Social Action

Family Promise - Hosting Homeless Families

Or Atid joins forces with Peace Lutheran to host homeless families for two weeks, twice during the year. 

Community Cooks!

Upcoming date: TBA.  Help cook and deliver a meal for Bristol Lodge Women's Shelter, Waltham. 

Patient Navigator Service

With JFS of Metrowest, this free service helps Jewish and other frail older adults living in Metrowest get to and navigate their medical appointments. 

Bristol Lodge

Upcoming dates: Sept. 3 . Help set up, clean up and serve a meal to homeless people at this Waltham soup kitchen. Great opportunity for children ages 8 and up and adults. Choose a Sunday. 


Adult Education

Our classes are complete! Check back here for a new slate of classes this coming Fall.