Cultural and Educational Classes

What’s this? If you see this icon it means that this is a virtual course and the department manager will provide further information closer to the start of the course.


Stimulate your mind and your soul at the SJCC with inspirational classes taught by inspiring educators. Learn Hebrew or Yiddish, take a literature or memoir writing course, study Shakespeare, history, current affairs, or, be part of the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning. It’s always a good time to learn something new!

Fall 2020 Adult Education Programs


Registration for Fall Melton Programs now open

For information please contact Roslyn Wollock at

Vayikra (Leviticus): A Call to Holiness SOLD OUT

For generations, students of Torah have begun their study with the book of Leviticus.  So it should be no surprise that the first sponsored evening class begins with the study of Holiness.  Contemporary readers often perceived Vayikra as inaccessible, yet embedded in the laws that focus on the prescribed sacrificial practices, laws of ritual impurity and purity, and the pursuit of holiness are messages and values that have relevance to the universal condition.  In our study of Vayikra, we will examine themes including the role of rituals, responding to tragedy, confronting birth and parenthood, seeking forgiveness, balancing the place of the individual and the community, bringing sanctity into one’s daily life.

Thursdays beginning on September 17, 2020 for 10 weeks 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Instructor: Rabbi Steven Garten
Location:  via Zoom

A printed Student Reader is included with your tuition for this course. The course is $250 CDN, the text, $45, for a total of $295 CDN. The prices listed on the registration page are in U.S dollars.

Jewish Medical Ethics: A 21st Century Discussion with Rabbi Reuven Bulka and Rabbi Idan Scher  

Within the field of ethics, one of the most challenging frontiers is medical ethics. While contemporary medical knowledge preserves life, modern advances have raised moral and ethical issues related to the sanctity and dignity of life – issues whose scope was unimaginable a generation ago.  A new ten-lesson Melton course on Jewish Medical Ethics explores Jewish approaches to a number of challenging dilemmas including human cloning, surrogate motherhood, assisted suicide, genetic manipulation and organ donation.

September 15 – November 17
Tuesday 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Instructor: Rabbi Dr. Reuven P. Bulka and Rabbi Idan Scher
Location:  via Zoom

A printed Student Reader is included with your tuition for this course. The course is $250 CDN, the text, $45, for a total of $295 CDN. The prices listed on the registration page are in U.S dollars.

Registration begins Tuesday, September 1st ONLINE ONLY at  

For more information contact Roslyn Brozovsky Wollock – Adult Education Manager • (613) 798-9818 ext. 254

Once registered, you will receive your zoom invitation one week before your course begins.



Imagining a Better Society in Literature with Gefen Bar-On Santor

Fiction is a powerful tool for pointing out societal flaws and for imagining a better society.  At the same time, fiction also depicts the problems that often ensue when human nature rebels against attempts to implement utopian schemes.  We will study excerpts from the following works that either depict attempts to create better societies or that awaken the reader to the ills of society: Plato’s Republic, Thomas More’s Utopia, Henry Neville’s The Isle of Pines, Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis, Sarah Scott’s Millenium Hall, Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, Drew Hayden Taylor’s Cottagers and Indians and Catherine Hernandez’s Scarborough.  What can we learn from these works as we attempt to move forward from the dramatic events of 2020?

Monday, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
October 19 – November 23
$150 SJCC Members • $165 Non Members
Location: Via Zoom

CanLit: Devising and Disrupting the Canadian Canon with Dr. Nick Milne

From Henry Kelsey’s exploratory poetry of the 1690s to the work of authors flourishing at the time of Confederation in 1867, Canadian literature has long been marked by a series of sometimes tense relationships: English and French, Indigenous and European, Empire and Dominion, Canadian and American. This course examines the fruits of these relationships as we track the definition and development of Canadian Literature, the establishment of its major voices, and the progress of certain disputes – some old, some new – that continue to shape that evolution today.

Wednesday, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
October 7 – November 25
No Class: November 11
$150 SJCC Members • $165 Non Members
Location: Via Zoom



Power in America: Election 2020, Part I

Lecturer: Dr. Elliot Tepper

The world watches in fascination as the contest for political power in America reaches its culmination. The election is the most momentous in a generation, determining the trajectory at home and abroad of the world’s only democratic superpower. Canada has a vested interest in the fate of our neighbour to the south. Two lectures will present commentary throughout the Fall election campaign and its immediate aftermath. Each lecture will be presented entirely online, led by Dr. Elliot Tepper, a veteran Carleton University political scientist and media commentator. Ample opportunity will be available for questions and answers. The lectures will be as interactive as technology and time permits. Each lecture requires a separate registration.

PART ONE: Thursday, October 1
PART TWO: Thursday, November 12
2:00 pm – 3:15 pm
$15/lecture (Each lecture requires separate registration)

Once registered you will receive your Zoom invitation on September 30 for the October 1 lecture.



From Longhouse to Lumber to Legislation: An anecdotal history of Ottawa with author/columnist Phil Jenkins

Join author Phil Jenkins as he combines the anecdotal, biographical, administrative and infrastructural background to provide a chronological social history of Ottawa – from the arrival of the First Nations to the region, through the arrival of the Europeans to the present multi-cultural city. The philosophical approach to the story of Bytown/Ottawa running through the course is to see how each arriving ‘tribe’ (Algonquin, French, and British) made use of the geographical setting of Ottawa. Each class is augmented by the extensive use of illustrations and photographs.

Thursday, 1:00 pm -2:30 pm
October 8 – November 5
$125 SJCC Members • $145 Non Members
Location: Via Zoom

Memoir Writing: Turning Your Life into Story with Suzannah Showler

Though you happen to be an expert in the subject matter, writing about your own life can nonetheless be a daunting task. How do you spin your memories or your family history into a rich, captivating story? Where to even begin? Through lively, discussion-oriented lessons and creative writing exercises, this class will focus on practical strategies and structures that will help you shape stories from your life into works of art.

Read Suzannah’s work in The New York Times Magazine, Slate, Buzzfeed Reader, The Walrus, Hazlitt, Maisonneuve, and The Los Angeles Review of Books, among other places.

Monday, 1:00pm – 2:30pm
October 19 – November 16
$125 SJCC Members • $145 Non Members
Location: Via Zoom


Beginner Conversational Hebrew with Ella Dagan

Each lesson includes 90 minutes of spoken language practice at the beginner level. Emphasis is on comprehension and pronunciation.

Tuesday, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
October 6 – November 10
$150 SJCC Members • $165 Non Members
Location: Via Zoom


Yiddish Conversation Circle with Ellen Caplan and Judith Weinman

Open to all lovers of Yiddish.

Wednesday, 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm
September 16 – December 30
Location: Via Zoom.

For information contact


The Grandparents Circle

The Grandparents Circle is a six-week facilitated discussion group for grandparents with children in an interfaith marriage.

The discussion begins with an exploration of the participants’ Jewish identity and assumptions about intermarriage and then provides ideas and materials for incorporating Judaism into their regular interactions with their grandchildren and creating Jewish stories and memories for them.

There is no charge, but you must sign up, this is not a drop-in program. The meetings will be virtual (for now). To register, please contact Maxine Miska,, (613) 798-9818 ext. 263.

First class: Monday, November 2 at 7:30 pm via Zoom