Congregation Ohav Shalom

Building Community Celebrating Tradition

113 New Krumkill Road, Albany, NY 12208 / (518) 489-4706 / Email Us /

Lifelong Learning

Lifelong Learning

Adult learning experiences are good for the mind, body and soul! According to Harvard Medical School, “scientists have found that brainy activities stimulate new connections between nerve cells and may even help the brain generate new cells, developing neurological ‘plasticity’ and building up a functional reserve that provides a hedge against future cell loss. Any mentally stimulating activity should help to build up your brain. Read, take courses…” Ohav has just the ticket for you to do this with our Lifelong Learning options!

Scholar Stream 5783

Congregation Ohav Shalom’s Life Long Learning Program is excited to announce the full year of ScholarStream learning in 5783! Beginning August 31 and spanning all the way up to Shavuot, the Conservative Movement seminaries and institutions are partnering with us to offer seven series that will bring our community face-to-face with the brightest and most engaging scholars our movement has to offer. 


The first series, entitled “Elul: A Journey Toward Repentance”, begins next week on August 31st (see below for series topics and teachers), with each subsequent series following closely behind. Click here for a full overview of the series dates, topics and faculty. The sessions will be recorded and will be accessible to each registered participant, in case of any time conflicts. (Register now for all the programs, and you’ll be able to access all the sessions, even ones you miss.)


Congregation Ohav Shalom’s Life Long Learning Program is a cosponsor of the whole year’s program, and has already paid for the registration of our members. When you register, please use our discount code (OhavShalom5783) to register at no cost to you.

Click here to register use discount code OhavShalom5783

5783 ScholarStream Full Schedule 2022-23

Series 4: The Exodus in the Jewish Tradition: Philosophy, Bible, Midrash and Art

Wednesdays, 12 PM ET  (Jan. 11th – Feb. 1st)

  • Jan. 11th – The Exodus and the Struggle for Civil Rights in the Thought of Prof. A. J. Heschel (in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the 50th Yahrzeit of Prof. Heschel)
    • Professor Ari Ackerman, President and Associate Professor of Jewish Thought, The Schechter Institute
  • Jan. 18th – Two Conceptions of the Miracle at the Sea
    • Rabbi Prof. David Frankel, Associate Professor of Bible, The Schechter Institute
  • Jan. 25th – The Ten Plagues and the Exodus in Jewish Art
    • Rabbi Prof. David Golinkin, President, The Schechter Institutes, Inc. 
  • Feb. 1st – “By the merit of righteous women were our ancestors redeemed from Egypt”: a midrashic view of the Exodus
    • Dr. Tamar Kadari, Senior Lecturer in Midrash, The Schechter Institute


Series 5: How the Conservative Movement’s Law Committee Impacts our Lives Today

Wednesdays, 8 PM ET  (Feb. 8th – March 1st)

  • Feb. 8th – TITLE TBD
    • Rabbi Guy Austrian, Author of the Teshuvah “Calling Non-Binary People to Torah Honors”
  • Feb. 15th – TITLE TBD
    • Rabbi Joel Rembaum, Author of the Teshuvah “Regarding the Inclusion of the Names of the Matriarchs in the First Blessing of the Amidah”
  • Feb. 22nd – TITLE TBD
    • Rabbi Susan Grossman, Author of the Teshuvah “Choosing Parenthood: ART, Adoption, and the Single Parent”
  • March 1st – Halakha, Criminal Justice and Capital Punishment
    • Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky, Author of the Teshuvah “Participating in the American Death Penalty” 

Series 6: Living our Values: Social Justice and Social Action

Wednesdays, 8 PM ET  (March 8th – March 29th)

  • March 8th – Are They Idolators? Making Room for Other Religions
    • Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, Abner & Roslyn Goldstine Dean’s Chair, Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies
  • March 15th – Let Justice Roll Down Like Water
    • Dr. Yael Landman, Assistant Professor of Bible, The Jewish Theological Seminary
  • March 22nd – What They Say is Just – Changing Law and the People who Live It – An Examination of the Story of the Daughters of Zelophechad and What It Teaches about Changing Legal Interpretation
    • Rabbi Cheryl Peretz, Associate Dean, Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies
  • March 29th – Love Your Neighbor As Yourself
    • Dr. Sarah Wolf, Assistant Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics, The Jewish Theological Seminary

Series 7: Counting the Days & Making Every Day Count

Wednesdays, 12 PM ET  Israel Time (April 19th – May 10th)

  • April 19th – Yom Hashoah
    • Rabbi Dikla Druckman Sherzer, Spiritual Leader of the Masorti Congregation, Kehillat Magen Avraham in Omer, Israel
  • April 26th – Yom Haatzmaut
    • Rabbi Nava Meiersdorf, Rabbi at the Fuchsberg Jerusalem Center
  • May 3rd – Lag BaOmer: Mystical Reflections on the Omer
    • Dr. Eitan Fishbane, Professor of Jewish Thought, The Jewish Theological Seminary
  • May 10th – Multi-Sensory Experience of receiving Torah
    • Rabbi Cheryl Peretz, Associate Dean, Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies

If you have any questions, please email Christine Aucoin at

Current Ohav Shalom Lifelong Learning Classes 

Turn It and Turn It: A Torah Study Circle led by Rabbi Rena Kieval

Through reading and conversation, we will study the basic content, the peshat, of each parsha, and explore its deeper teachings through traditional and contemporary commentary and our own thinking. We will use the Etz Chayim chumash as our text, and students are asked to purchase a copy, which can be done through the Ohav office at the time of registration.     

Thursdays at 11 a.m. on Zoom,  

Currently all classes are conducted through Zoom

  • Instructor: Rabbi Rena Kieval
  • Thursday mornings 11 a.m. – 12:15 pm: 
  • Cost: $42 ~  optional charge of $65 to purchase Etz Chayim


Study Talmud 

The great text of Jewish tradition. Join us for this text exploration and skill building class. No prior knowledge of Hebrew or Talmud necessary. Led by Rabbi Ornstein.

 – Join at any time come as often as you can. Bring a friend and learn together.

Please bring a copy of the Schottenstein Babylonian Talmud, Tractate – Brakhot Volume 2.

Monday Mornings 11AM

check online calendar for Mondays with no classes due to Holidays

Currently all classes are conducted through Zoom

Class Cost: Members $42

Lovers of Torah Study Group: Torah L’Shma – Please join us on alternate Wednesdays from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm for adult, peer-led study and discussion about the weekly Torah portion, focused on how the Torah’s message is relevant for us today. Contact the Ohav Shalom Office for more information.