Adult Learning

  • Thelma Fenster lectures on Yiddish Medieval Classic, “Bovo-Buch” on July 28

    Posted ‍‍טו תמוז ה תשעו - July 21, 2016 By in Adult Learning, Special Event With | Comments Off Bovo-Buch

    Falmouth Jewish Congregation presents a talk by member and scholar Thelma Fenster “Bovo-Buch: Elia Levita, Jewish Intellectual, Writes Pulp Fiction for Pious Ladies”
    Thursday, July 28
    Brown Bag Lunch at Noon (Bring a lunch – FJC provides drinks) / 12:30 P.M. Talk
    RSVP by July 25 to help us plan; all are welcome.
    This program is free of charge and open to the public
    Come learn about a Jewish classic you probably don’t know

    A Jewish knight who speaks Yiddish in sixteenth-century Italy? A rollicking story for frume vayber (pious women) to pass the time on Shabbes? Really? Is this a bubbe-mayse? No! It’s Elia Levita’s flirtatious Bovo-Buch, or the story of Bovo, who married a Jewish princess and then had a lot of problems. Forced to wander in the forest with his wife and a faithful half-man, half-dog companion named Pelukan, Bovo is a hapless warrior and a lackluster, inexperienced lover—the Li’l Abner of the Jewish courtly class. Levita says he wrote Bovo-Buch to please the ladies, and from all evidence, it did. As a send-up of romances of chivalry (think: King Arthur, Lancelot, Perceval), Bovo pokes vicious and often coarse fun at the idea of a heroic knight who can defeat all comers (Bovo can’t) and win ladies’ hearts (how on earth does he do it?).

    Thelma is Professor Emerita of Old and Middle French Language and Culture at Fordham University. Her publications include Arthurian Women: A Casebook (repr. 2000); translations with Jocelyn Wogan-Browne of Matthew Paris’s History of Saint Edward the King; Paris’s Life of St. Alban. She is co-editor of the French of England Translation Series. Thelma’s current projects include new editions and translations of Christine de Pizan’s Epistre au dieu dAmours and Dit de la Rose, with up-to-date critical essay; with co-editors Jocelyn Wogan-Browne and Delbert Russell: an anthology of texts in the “French of England.”

  • Summer Jewish Film Series on Tuesdays at Falmouth Jewish Congregation, July 12 – August 16, 2016

    Posted ‍‍כד סיון ה תשעו - June 30, 2016 By in Adult Learning, Latest News, Lifelong Learning, Special Event With | Comments Off sun

    The Argentinian comedy/mystery How to Win Enemies opens the 2016 FJC Summer Jewish Film Series. Screenings take place on Tuesdays at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm, with doors opening 30 minutes prior to start time. Refreshments are included in the ticket price (fresh popcorn) and discussions, led by Pamela Rothstein, Director of Lifelong Learning, follow each screening. This popular series brings award-winning, eye-opening, entertaining films and thoughtful discussion to the Upper Cape. The variety of feature films and documentaries from the United States, Israel, and Argentina has a wide-ranging appeal to an audience beyond just the Jewish community. Everyone is welcome and facilities are accessible to all.

     How to Win Enemies (2015), directed by Gabriel Lichtmann (Jews in Space), won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Film at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival in 2015. What begins as a love story becomes a zany caper about betrayal and revenge in this sexy, smart, and enjoyable comedy set in contemporary Buenos Aires and its Jewish community. On the eve of his brother’s wedding, a crime-novel obsessed lawyer is drawn into investigating a theft that hits close to home. When a chance encounter with a beautiful woman turns into a date, it all seems too good to be true…and it is! To tell more would be to spoil the fun. The Jewish context for the film is subtle but present, and the film offers a glimpse into Jewish culture of South America and its film culture, too. This film is in Spanish with English subtitles and runs 78 minutes.

    Future screenings include: (July 19) Remember, a thriller with Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau; (July 26) a documentary double feature with special guest Ina Pinkney and sales of her cookbook, plus  special refreshments: Breakfast at Ina’s and In Search of Israeli Cuisine; (August 2) Besa: The Promise, featuring both the film and accompanying photography exhibit about Albanian Muslims who rescued Jews during the Holocaust; (August 9) Wedding Doll, an Israeli drama about a young woman with developmental challenges; and (August 16) the closing film, Rabin In His Own Words, a powerful documentary that offers an intimate, moving portrayal of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on the 20th anniversary of his assassination.

    Because evening screenings are often more crowded, we recommend that you consider a 2:00 pm show, which are generally not as crowded and offer the same line-up of refreshments, film, and discussion. For evening screenings, plan to arrive as early as possible (doors open at 7:00 pm). Tickets for screenings are $9 for members and  $12 non-members and can be purchased at the door only. Cash and check payments are accepted. The season REEL Pass for $50 members and $65 non-members provides a discount and saves you time at the door, since pass holders do not wait in line. Please note that individual tickets are NOT available in advance. To order a pass in advance, please send payment to the Falmouth Jewish Congregation at 7 Hatchville Road, East Falmouth, MA 02536. Visit for further information and directions. Screenings take place in the Falmouth Jewish Congregation’s Blanche & Joel D. Seifer Community Center at 7 Hatchville Road, where there is ample parking.

    Falmouth Jewish Congregation is an inclusive Reform Jewish congregation serving with Upper Cape and beyond, offering opportunities for worship, social justice, lifelong Jewish learning, and community.

  • “Streit’s: Matzo and the American Dream” A Passover Lunch and Film Program, Thursday, April 9 at Noon

    Posted ‍‍יד אדר ב' ה תשעה - March 5, 2015 By in Adult Learning, Latest News, Lifelong Learning With | Comments Off Streit's Matza image

    Streit’s: Matzo and the American Dream - Passover Lunch and Film Program

    Free for members / Non-members $7

    RSVP by April 7

    We will gather at Noon in Speen Hall for – what else? – Streit’s matzo and hot soup. Bring a side or salad for yourself and, if you like. a dessert to share — Kosher for Passover food only (no noodles, bread or baked goods with leavening, no pork or shellfish). The film, which runs 65 minutes, will begin at 12:30 P.M.

    On Manhattan’s Lower East Side, in a series of four nondescript brick tenement buildings, sits the Streit’s Matzo factory. In 1925, when Aron Streit opened the factory’s doors, it sat at the heart of the nations largest Jewish immigrant community. Today, in its fifth generation of family ownership, in a rapidly gentrifying Lower East Side, it remains as the last family owned matzo factory in America. Streit’s: Matzo and the American Dream takes audiences on a nostalgic tour of the last family-owned matzo factory in the U.S., still baking a 3,000-year-old recipe. This January, the New York Times carried news of the family’s decision to move production from the Lower East Side to a yet-to-be-determined site in New Jersey, ending an era for the company.

    While other matzo companies have modernized, Streit’s is a piece of living history, churning out 40 percent of the nation’s unleavened bread on prewar machinery as old as the factory itself. The sense of tradition and resilience is reflected in the owners, inheritors of a five-generation Jewish family business. Filmmaker Michael Levine captures the characters within the story, in particular the loyal and surprisingly diverse factory employees, some of whom have worked at Streit’s for decades. Even in the highly gentrified Lower East Side, their colorful on-camera anecdotes represent the continuation of the immigrant dream.

    While lamenting an old New York lost to modernity, Streit’s: Matzo and the American Dream celebrates a venerable Jewish institution still thriving on family ties. It is a story of tradition and resilience, of the perseverance of the Jewish people, and of immigrants of all faith, so many of whom have found a home on the Lower East Side, behind the doors of Streit’s, or in the matzo they bake.


  • Yom HaShoah Service & Film: Defiant Requiem, Wednesday, April 15 at 7pm

    Posted By in Adult Learning, Latest News, Lifelong Learning With | Comments Off Defiant Requiem image

    Falmouth Jewish Congregation will hold a service to mark Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, followed by a free screening of the film Defiant Requiem. The public is welcome to all or any part of the evening’s program. The service will begin at 7:00 P.M. and the film will start at approximately 7:40 P.M. Both service and film will take place in the Blanche & Joel D. Seifer Community Center at 7 Hatchville Road.

    Defiant Requiem tells the little-known chapter of resistance that transpired at the Nazi concentration camp Terezin (Theresienstadt), where Jewish inmates fought their oppressors with art and music.  In the face of horrific living conditions, starvation, and the threat of deportation to Auschwitz, the Jewish inmates of Terezin – artists, musicians, poets and writers – fought back by staging plays, composing opera, and using paper and ink to record the horrors they witnessed. This creative rebellion reached its peak when conductor Rafael Schaechter led a choir of 150 inmates in studying and performing one of the world’s most difficult and powerful choral works, Verdi’s Requiem, a Catholic liturgical work re-imagined as a condemnation of the Nazis. Schaechter led over a dozen performances of Verdi’s Requiem. In 1944, they delivered their final performance right in the face of Nazi leaders during a site visit from the International Red Cross, staged to give the impression of Terezin as an idyllic town set aside for Czech Jews. Soon afterwards, Schaechter and the remaining choir members were transported to Auschwitz, where an entire generation of Czecholovakia’s Jewish musicians died.

    The film has at its central focus the inmates’ defiant performance of Verdi’s Requiem, but it also tells the story of a contemporary tribute to Schaechter by the Boston-based conductor Murry Sidlin, who in 2006 conducted a memorial performance of the Requiem at Terezin. Doug Shultz, the film’s writer and director, began this project as a straightforward filming of Sidlin’s concert at Terezin, but it grew into a documentary that features interviews with survivors of Terezin and animations developed from surviving drawings depicting life at Terezin by artists imprisoned there. Commenting on the power of the Requiem story, Shultz commented: “…when you hear this story, it taps into some different place, in terms of the power of the human spirit. To create under those circumstances is pretty incredible.”

  • Knitting Circle – Creating for Ourselves and Others in the FJC

    Posted ‍‍ג כסלו ה תשעב - November 29, 2011 By in Adult Learning, Lifelong Learning, Social Action With | Comments Off knitting

    Led by Member Ilene Karnow

    Daytime, evening, and Sunday morning sessions to be offered in January

    Just ask anyone who knits while waiting for an appointment, at a child’s sporting event, a meeting, or while riding a bus – a conversation about something knitted will ensue and a connection is formed.

    Knitting has been shown to benefit us by altering our physiology, mental states and even attitudes! Join in and make a difference for yourself and others.  You can help create items to wrap around all generations of our FJC community, such as baby hats and sweaters and shawls/blankets for the ill and chilled created from individually-knit squares.

    Knitters of all levels are welcome, from novices to experts, men and women. All are welcome and we will help one another. The Knitting Way – A Guide to Spiritual Self Discovery by Skolnik and McDaniels is our resource.

    Come once, twice, or all three times. Can’t make any of the dates, but still want to learn? Are you a snowbird who is unavailable but would like to participate upon your return?

    Please contact Ilene Karnow or Pamela Rothstein (

    [Submitted by Pamela Rothstein, Director of Lifelong Learning]

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