Beginning September 23, proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required to access the SJCC.Get all the details here.

Cultural and Educational Classes

Stimulate your mind and your soul at the SJCC. Learn a new language, take a literature course to discuss current affairs, or, be part of the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning. It’s always a good time to learn something new!

For more information contact Sue Potechin
Adult Education & Cultural Programs Manager • (613) 798-9818 ext. 254

  1. To register click on the purple Login/Register* tab at the top right of the page and follow the prompts.
  2. All of the below courses and lectures will be held via Zoom. After registering you will receive your Zoom invitation the day before classes begin.
  3. Course registration is stopped three days before courses/lectures begin.

*You cannot register for Melton courses through the SJCC. 



K’lal Yisrael: Embracing Small Jewish Communities of Canada

St. John Jewish Historical Museum (on Zoom)

Tuesday, January 18th 1:00 pm EST
Speaker: Katherine Biggs-Craft, Executive Director and Curator

This presentation is the first in a series in search of small Jewish communities across Canada. We will explore how the Saint John Jewish community came to be — from the arrival of British cigar makers in 1858, through immigration from Eastern Europe in the 1890s through the 1920s, and the arrival of Holocaust survivors in the late 1940s. We will learn how it thrived from the 1920s to the 1960s by looking at the role of the synagogue, participation in organizational activity, growth of businesses, military service, family, and community life.

To register and to receive the Zoom link, contact Sue Potechin at

BIO: Katherine Biggs-Craft holds Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in history from the University of New Brunswick. She joined the Saint John Jewish Historical Museum when it opened in 1986 and became its curator in 1998, on the retirement of Museum founder, Marcia Koven. Over the past 34 years, Katherine has created many museum exhibits, developed online exhibits, organized extensive archival collections, greeted thousands of museum visitors, organized events and educational programs, supervised dozens of summer students and generally managed to keep the Jewish Museum operational. The Saint John Jewish Historical Museum plays a key role in preserving and sharing the Jewish history of Saint John.

Proportional Representation (on Zoom)

Tuesday, January 18, 2022 at 7:30 pm
Speaker: Peter Black

This presentation will present the merits of our current first past-the-post voting system and proportional representation. PR is used in the majority of democracies around the world, including Israel.

To register and to receive the Zoom link, contact Sue Potechin at

BIO: Peter Black has post-graduate degrees in economics and political science. He spent his career undertaking policy analysis with the Saskatchewan and federal governments. Once retired, he joined Fair Vote Canada, a not-for-profit organization that advocates in favour of a voting system called Proportional Representation (PR). He is currently an elected member of the Executive of the Fair Vote Canada Chapter in the National Capital Region.


Hebrew Chug (on Zoom)

Want to practice your conversational Hebrew but you don’t have anyone to practice with? Join Sue for a weekly informal hour of conversation and an opportunity to meet other Hebrew speakers. (Not intended for fluent speakers)

Thursdays 5:00 to 6:00 pm
January 6 – March 17
$36 SJCC Members •  $45 Non Members
Instructor: Sue Potechin

Hebrew Beginner Level 2 (on Zoom) ​

A continuation of Hebrew Beginner Level 1, participants will practice their conversational Hebrew with some minimal reading.  You will develop better control of your Hebrew vocabulary and focus on comprehension and pronunciation, expanded greetings, numbers (regular and ordinal), conjugations in present tense and more.

Thursdays, 1:30 am – 3:00 pm
January 13 – March 3 (8 weeks)
$150 SJCC Members •  $165 Non Members
Instructor: Ella Dagan

Intermediate Yiddish Conversation Circle (on Zoom)

For lovers of Yiddish. Classes are conducted at an intermediate level.

Wednesdays 2:00 – 3:15 pm
January 5 – March 30 (12 weeks)
$40 SJCC Members •  $40 Non Members
Instructors: Ellen Caplan and Judith Weinman


Six Plays in Six Weeks (on Zoom)

We will read and analyze six great plays from ancient times to the twentieth century: Euripides’ Trojan Women, Shakespeare’s Othello, Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, Chekov’s The Cheery Orchard and Shaw’s Pygmalion.  The texts of the plays are freely available on the Internet.  We will discuss the plays in their historical, literary and dramatic contexts, as well as in terms of their enduring relevance to the present day.

Thursdays, 1:30 – 3:00 pm
January 13 – February 17
$150 SJCC Members •  $165 Non Members
Instructor: Gefen Bar-On Santor


Cheers to Art! (In person)

Paint a little, schmooze a little and booze a little. Join us for 6 weeks of clever creations and friendly faces. From tiny art to book art and a glass or two; Bring a friend to join the fun and to create along with you! No skills required. Fee (TBD) includes supplies and refreshments.

Tuesdays, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
March 1, 8, and 15; April 5, 12, and 19
Instructor: Carlie MacPherson

Melton Registration

Please click here to register for Melton programs via their website. 
All fees are in USD.


Beyond Borders: The History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict – Part 1

Examine maps, media documents, original speeches and the famous “Balfour Declaration” with new eyes, as we study the roots of the conflict between Jews and Arabs over the modern State of Israel. These 10 sessions encompass the return of the Jews to the land, the role of the British, the Cold War, the rise of Palestinian nationalism, the 1967 War, and the post-1967 vision for a “Greater Israel” — including the initial rise of Islamic fundamentalism. From religion and culture to history, politics, economics, identity, and survival, the material is designed to encourage discussion and debate, challenging learners to appreciate the basis of the claims made by all sides. 

Wednesdays, 10:00 – 11:30 am (10 weeks)
January 19 – March 23
Instructor: Angus Smith
On Zoom only

Love, Loss and Wisdom

Discover, during this six-week course, the Jewish responses and rituals that take us through mourning and arrive at a place of healing. When death inevitably enters our lives, Jewish wisdom and ritual can help us cope with heartbreak and loss, the anguish of why suffering exists. We will also seek to understand the big questions of what Judaism says about life after death and its understanding of messianic times. With a wider lens, we gain a context with which to better understand our moments of anguish as individuals and as a community. 

Thursdays, 7:00 – 8:30 pm (6 weeks)
Date TBA
Instructor: Rabbi Steven Garten
On Zoom only

Jewish Medical Ethics

Human cloning; Genetic identity; Assisted suicide; Surrogacy; Significant progress – but thorny ethical issues. Modern medical advances can improve and prolong life but also raise dilemmas about its sanctity and dignity – and Judaism has a lot to say about it. This 10-session course explores the positive, negative, beneficial, and detrimental aspects of the new technologies in the medical field and the wisdom Judaism offers us in our encounters with them. The course was designed and written by world-renowned medical ethicist, Rabbi Elliot Dorff, PhD (author of Matters of Life and Death: A Jewish Approach to Modern Medical Ethics). 

Mondays, 9:30 – 11:00 am
April 4 – June 20
No class on May 23 (Victoria Day) or June 6 (Shavuot)
Instructor: Rabbi Eytan Kenter
Multi-Access (On Zoom and In-person)