Temple Shir Shalom program is a fun way to learn.
Temple Shir Shalom’s Tea, Talk & Torah is returning in 2023 with its first class on Jan. 25.
The monthly sessions at the West Bloomfield temple invite all to gather for an afternoon tea, light treats, schmooze and a brief study of the day’s text. Shir Shalom’s Rabbi Daniel Schwartz and Rabbi Michael Moskowitz take turns teaching the classes.
The class started off meeting over the summer of 2021 at the end of dealing with some of the COVID challenges.
“It just started off as an experiment, giving people an opportunity to be outdoors together — we studied a little bit, schmoozed a little bit, had iced tea and hot tea, depending on what people were interested in, and then a little bit of a nosh as well,” Schwartz said. “People really enjoyed it, so we’ve continued to have them once a month.”
In the classes, it’s usually three different texts that are studied. The first text is always the Torah portion of the week. The second text is something of interest, something that’s going on in the world that’s connected to Judaism, or something of interest somebody may have mentioned that the rabbis were interested in sharing with others. The third text is always from Pirkei Avot.
Schwartz says the program has been a hit, even with non-members.
“The majority of people who are coming are Shir Shalom members, but some non-members have come and checked it out, and we’ve gained a couple members from this class as well — people who enjoyed the study, enjoyed the community and wanted to be a part of the community and part of other programs, too,” Schwartz said.
Overall, Schwartz hopes the classes provide an opportunity to build community.
“It’s the opportunity to make smaller communities within a larger community and then to be able to walk away with a little bit of knowledge about how Judaism and Jewish texts speak to our lives today — and what meaning we can bring into them and raise our spiritual awareness based on some of these texts.”
No matter what, the tea and nosh are always tasty.
“We always bring it in from different bakeries, so people enjoy trying different bakeries from around town,” Schwartz said. “It’s a wonderful group. If people are interested in checking it out, we’d love to have them join us for it.”
Each session stands alone. Join for one or all. RSVP required at shirshalom.org. No charge for members; $10 for non-members. To register, visit www.shirshalom.org/event/tea-talk-torah.