Congregation Ohav Shalom

Building Community Celebrating Tradition

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

Ohav Shalom Lists Fall Adult Education Classes

Posted on October 22, 2019

Steven Stark-Riemer and Audrey Seidman featured guest lecturers in Lifelong Learning Series

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Congregation Ohav Shalom is pleased to once again offer classes as part of its Lifelong Learning Series, open to members and nonmembers who are interested in furthering their knowledge about many varied subjects.

This fall, Ohav is pleased to feature The Diversity of Ancient Israel: A Retrospective of Archaeology, History, and Religion, which will be taught by Steven Stark-Riemer. Diversity – of community, of thought, of practice – has marked Ancient Israel from its beginnings in the central hill country of Canaan to its life in the Diaspora. This course, consisting of eight 1½ hour sessions, is built on the instructor’s ongoing study of the archaeology, history, and religion of Ancient Israel that highlights this variety. Classes take place on Tuesday evenings: Oct. 29, Nov. 5, Nov. 12, Nov. 19, Nov. 26, Dec. 3 Dec. 10, and Thursday, Dec. 19 at 7:00 PM. The cost for members is $42 and $54 for non-members.

Course instructor Steven Stark-Riemer is a sought-after lecturer — especially among local synagogues — and Ohav Shalom is happy to welcome him back for this series. Stark-Riemer studied anthropology at City College of New York where he specialized in archaeology, and received his degree in 1972. He is an attorney who was the Acting Deputy Counsel for Litigation at NYS Office of Mental Health until he retired in 2012.

Ohav Shalom is also pleased to present a five-session workshop entitled From Aging to Sage-ing®: Living as a Spiritual Elder, which will be facilitated by Audrey Seidman. People who wish to further embrace living  life and live their elder years more consciously, more joyfully, and more compassionately are invited to this workshop series. The workshop sessions will be held on Tuesday afternoons from 1:30 to 3 PM on December 3, December 17, January 7, January 21, February 4. Audrey Seidman, who completed a two-year Sage-ing® Mentorship program in 2016, has offered this program through Jewish Family Services and AARP-NYS. The cost for members is $42 and $54 for nonmembers.

Building on the teachings of Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi, z”l, the program offers powerful contemplative tools and opportunities to explore fears and dreams in community. Participants will be invited draw wisdom and harvest blessings from their life experiences, consider where forgiveness may be needed, find inspiration in contemplating mortality, and reflect on how to be of sacred service. All who want to gain deep meaning in the aging process are welcome. Participants are strongly encouraged to attend all the sessions, the first of which is essential. Purchasing the book, From Age-ing to Sage-ing®, is suggested, but not required. Pre-registration is required.

In addition to her work as a Sage-ing Mentor, Audrey Seidman is a Spiritual Director, having completed her training in 2010. Audrey has completed three units of Clinical Pastoral Education at Albany Medical Center and serves as Outreach Chaplain for the Jewish Federation of NENY Chaplaincy Services. She retired in 2015 from careers in public relations and organization development, last serving as Manager of Employee Engagement Programs at a New York State agency where she facilitated programs to bring out the best in employees and the organization.

Ohav is pleased to continue offering Many Voices: Ta Sh’ma (Come and Hear) 2019-2020 , inviting all those interested to join for stimulating study and lively discussion in its exploration of classic Jewish texts teaching the values of pluralism, honoring of different perspectives, and respect for all people regardless of their differences. Knowledge of Hebrew and previous text study experience is not required. Taught by  Rabbi Rena Kieval on Thursday mornings from 11 AM – 12:15 PM, the classes are being held on: 10/31,11/14, 11/21, 12/5, 12/26, 1/2, 1/16, 1/23, 1/30, 2/13, 2/27, 3/5, 3/12, 3/19, 3/26, 4/2, 4/23. Additional spring dates are yet to be scheduled. The cost for members is $42 and $54 for non-members.

Additionally, Study Talmud 2019-2020, will explore this great text of Jewish tradition. No prior knowledge of Hebrew or Talmud is necessary. Led by Rabbi Daniel Ornstein, this course is being held on Monday mornings at 11 AM through June 8. There are two evening dinner classes on Dec. 16 and Mar. 30 at 6 PM. Participants are asked to bring a copy of the Schottenstein Babylonian Talmud, Tractate – Brakhot Volume 2. The cost for members is $42 and $54 for non-members.

To register for any of these classes or for further information please visit You may also contact the Ohav Shalom office at 518-489-4706 X10. Payments may be made by check or credit card.

Congregation Ohav Shalom, led by Rabbi Daniel Ornstein and Rabbi Rena Kieval, is a Conservative/Egalitarian Synagogue affiliated with The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.