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A Historic Progressive Conservative Congregation in Valley Village, CA
A Dynamic Jewish Early Childhood Center Serving Children Ages 6 Weeks to Entering Pre-K
A Jewish Day School serving students in Grades TK-6
A Historic Progressive Conservative Congregation in Valley Village, CA

MID (Multi-Interest Day)

Click here to register for M.I.D., and see below for more information regarding classes this year. 

To the Adat Ari El Community,

We are happy to say that this year we have survived the Pandemic with fortitude and look forward to resuming some semblance of normalcy. While we focused on utilizing ZOOM for our classes last year, we were happy to do so since many of you participated actively in this effort. This new year will be exceptional in terms of the way in which Multi-Interest Day classes will be scheduled. First of all, Adat Ari El has a new Senior Rabbi who will inaugurate his teaching in the fall. Rabbi Brian Schuldenfrei looks forward to teaching at MID in an inter-active way with all of you. Rabbi Mark Goodman is returning with a fresh look at religious studies focusing on comparative religions. Rabbi Jessica Yarkin, who teaches during second semester, will only be teaching during the latter part of the semester to allow two key Adat educators to share their Judaic knowledge. Eric Chafetz, and Julee Levine, who both teach in the youth program at Adat, will be joining us this year. We believe that this will be an innovative approach to teach our MID students. Both Eric and Julee bring many years of exceptional teaching experience to MID, and we look forward to their presentations. We are still working on offering on-site classroom education. However, COVID-19 has not gone away, and we have to plan with that in mind. While the Pandemic is still prevalent among us, we are planning to continue offering MID classes this fall utilizing Zoom. As soon as we are able to return to campus safely at Adat Ari El, we will notify you. We are pleased to welcome new and returning teachers with a new set of interesting and provocative classes. 

SPECIAL NOTE: This year we return to charging a reduced amount for our classes. We are thankful that Women of Adat (WofA) graciously offered to underwrite some of our costs last year. However, this is not likely to occur this year.

In addition, generous donations given last year were utilized to defray some of our costs. Under the circumstances, it is necessary to request a reduced fee from you to keep the program going this year in order to defray some of our costs. In addition, an extra donation from MID members and the congregation to help maintain MID would be deeply and sincerely appreciated. We are grateful for your continued support of our programming. Our catalogue of courses is given below.


COMPARATIVE RELIGIONS - Join Rabbi Mark Goodman as he presents a unique classroom experience as he focuses on the major religions of the world. In this year-long course concentrating on Comparative Religions, Rabbi Goodman will describe the key elements of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and their relationship to Judaism. We will look into the key ideas of religious beliefs, practices, and organization. Further, we will glimpse into the historical roots of each to gain a better understanding of the people who practice these religions. If time permits, we will study smaller religious beliefs in the world. Gaining an in-depth knowledge of the diverse religious beliefs and rituals in the world will enhance our understanding of why people act and think differently from us. Rabbi Mark Goodman serves as spiritual leader at Valley Beth Israel in Sun Valley, California.  He has taught Jewish History classes at the American Jewish University and is an Adjunct Professor at Los Angeles Valley College. He earned his B.A. in English from UCLA, obtained an M.A. in Music from California State University Los Angeles, earned an M.A. in Jewish Studies and Rabbinics, and received his ordination at the Academy of Jewish Religion as a Cantor and Rabbi.  He is currently finalizing his doctoral degree in Jewish Studies from the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies.   

EXPLORATION OF PIRKEI AVOT - ETHICS OF OUR ANCESTORS - Join Rabbi Schuldenfrei, our new Senior Rabbi, for an interactive and informative exploration of one of the oldest collections of rabbinical teachings on ethics. Utilizing a new beautifully illustrated edition, Rabbi Schuldenfrei will lead the class through Pirkei Avot (Ethics of Our Ancestors), with an eye towards how these texts can/should be read today. Prior to coming to Adat Ari El, Rabbi Schuldenfrei served as a Senior Rabbi in Palos Verdes, CA and Miami, FL, and also served as Associate Rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. Rabbi Schuldenfrei’s flair for creative programming and outreach has received international coverage in many publications. Rabbi Schuldenfrei also sat on the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles Board of Rabbis, the Rabbinical Assembly’s Resolutions Committee, the Rabbinic Cabinet of the Masorti Foundation for Conservative Judaism, and other organizations. Rabbi Schuldenfrei was a distinguished student the Jewish Theological Seminary, and received his B.A. with honors from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

WHAT MADE KING DAVID SO SUCCESSFUL? - Join Eric Chafetz for a new look at King David. From the very beginning of King David’s life, God had picked David and his line to be the leaders of the Israelite people. In the book of Psalms it says, “He chose David, His servant, and took him from the sheepfolds. He brought him from minding the nursing ewes to tend his people Jacob, Israel, his very own. He tended them with blameless heart; with skillful hands he led them” (Psalms 78:70-72). Aside from being God’s choice to be King, David showed himself as a very cunning politician. It can be argued that much of David’s success was due to his own impressive political abilities. In particular, David repeatedly entered into and took advantage of particular relationships, including those with his wives, to further his own political ambitions. Perhaps it was God’s appreciation of David’s skill’s that led to the selection of David in the first place. This class will address the complexity of David’s relations with God and with the people closest to him, both of which show the tension between the Divine and the political. Eric Chafetz was born and raised in New York City, where he was active in both his synagogue and local youth group. This love for the Jewish community blossomed into a natural career in synagogue and camp education. After seven years of working in the field of Jewish education, Eric took the next step in discovering his Jewish identity and made Aliyah. While in Israel, he worked for the Jewish Agency for Israel. Eric returned to the United States a few years later to continue his studies at Hebrew College in Boston, Massachusetts. Two years later, Eric moved to Los Angeles to be closer to his now wife, Rabbi Ashley Berns-Chafetz, and graduated from the American Jewish University with a master’s degree in Education and a double focus in Experiential education and Jewish studies. Additionally, he received a master’s concentration in advanced Israel education from the iCenter for Israel Education. 

INSIDE THE EDUCATOR’S STUDIO… - Join Julee Snitzer Levine, Director of Supplemental Education, who will pull back the curtain and share teachings and insights on how education has evolved, how educators struggle and thrive, and what she and her colleagues have learned about themselves through the sacred profession of education, and from trying to hold it all together in the age of screens and amidst a global pandemic. Julee Levine is a career educator and has worked in Jewish and secular settings for over 25 years. She came to Adat Ari El in 2002, starting off as Youth Director and over time, expanding her skills and portfolio, working with a variety of ages and stages. Julee Levine is a proud alumna of the University of Florida, holding two degrees in Special Education. She is on the Board of NewCAJE, has participated in fellowships and cohorts through NewCAJE, Hadar, the Advot Project, M2: The Institute for Experiential Jewish Education, and the Center for Rabbinic Innovation. She and her husband Jason live in Northridge. Outside of the Jewish educational world, Julee has been a contestant on four Game Shows! Ask her how heavy the Wheel is on "Wheel of Fortune"!

MINOR CHARACTERS, MAJOR INTRIGUE! - Join Rabbi Jessica Yarkin as we explore several minor but intriguing female biblical characters, who don’t get the spotlight in their stories, receive much dialogue, or even always get their stories resolved! BUT, fear not, MID-ers, our sages, too, were unsatisfied with the treatment of these mysterious figures, and fleshed out their backstories with some extraordinary midrashim to help us fill in these blanks! Some are outlandish and shocking (nay, sordid!), some are wholesome and beautiful… all of them are powerful, and help transform our understanding of the original biblical verses. These texts may even alter our perceptions of certain beloved characters forever… Rabbi Jessica Yarkin currently serves as Associate Rabbi at Adat Ari El and attended the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University where she was ordained. She interned at Adat Ari El before ordination, and returned as a pulpit rabbi a few years later.

WRITING CLUB - Join Susie Katz as she facilitates the members of the class in writing their never-to-be forgotten memories and experiences. This class has been ongoing for many years.

MAH JONG AT MID - Join us for fun as we play Mah Jongg after lunch when we return to the Adat Ari El campus.     


October 6, 2021 – January 26, 2022 (Semester 1)

February 2, 2022 - May 18, 2022 (Semester 2)


Semester 1 & 2 - Period 1 - 10:00 - 10:50am

Comparative Religions with Rabbi Mark Goodman

October 6, 2021 – May 18, 2022


Semester 1 - Period 2 - 11:00 - 11:50am

Pirkei Avot with Rabbi Brian Schuldenfrei

October 6, 2021 – January 26, 2022


Semester 2 - Period 2 - 11:00 - 11:50am

What Made King David So Successful with Eric Chafetz

February 2, 9, 16, 23, March 2, 2022

Inside the Educator’s Studio… with Julee Snitzer Levine

March 9, 16, 23, 30, 2022

Minor Characters, Major Intrigue with Rabbi Jessica Yarkin

April 6 through May 18, 2022


Semester 1 & 2 - Period 3 - 1:00-3:00pm

Writing Club (first Wednesday of each month) with Susie Katz 

Mah Jongg in the afternoon at MID (When we return to Adat Ari El)


No classes: Thanksgiving Holiday, November 24, 2021; Winter Break, December 22, 2021 and December 29, 2021; and Passover Holiday, April 13, 2022 and April 20, 2022. 

REGISTRATION AND FEES: $36 for Women of Adat members and men; $54 for non-members of Women of Adat. Please remit your check to Susie Katz at 4945 Gaviota Avenue, Encino, CA 91436. Make check payable to Women of Adat. Or, you may register online and pay by clicking below. We will forward you the Zoom link after the High Holy Days before the start of classes. 

For further information call: Rosalee Pechersky, Co-VP of Education at (818) 360-0437 or Susie Katz, Co-VP of Education at (818) 995-0391.

To register for classes, please complete the registration here.

We look forward to seeing you in the fall!

Tue, January 18 2022 16 Shevat 5782