Neshama Center

The Neshama Center for Lifelong Learning, a collaborative project of B’nai Tikvoh-Sholom and the Mandell Jewish Community Center, offers multi-week courses as well as single session programs and workshops. The Hebrew word “neshama” means “soul” and is related to the word “neshima,” meaning “breath.”  At Neshama, we invite people of all backgrounds to take a breather from the fast-paced world in which we live, and join us for inspiring, creative, joyful Jewish learning.

Register now for courses by emailing: or by calling: 860-243-3576. Classes meet at BTS (180 Still Road on the West Hfd/Blmfld line) or at The Mandell JCC (335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hfd).

For updates, please visit the Neshama Center for Lifelong Learning Facebook page!

Please take the opportunity to… 

Challenge your mind ~ Feed your soul ~ Express yourself ~ Connect with others

Tangling with Talmud

Wednesdays at 10:30-11:30 am; beginning January 9th at the Mandell JCC
Free. Donations welcome.
Instructor: Rabbi Cantor

The Talmud is a rich and lively conversation among many generations. Passionate arguments about law and justice are intertwined with wild stories and musings about the meaning of life. Come participate and add your own voice. No experience necessary! Drop-ins welcome.

Friends of Yiddish

2nd Sunday of each month @ 10:30 am at the Mandell JCC
Jan. 13, Feb. 10, March 10, April 14, July 7
Coordinator: Barbara Katzman
Free. Donations welcome.

An informal, mostly English bi-lingual drop-in social group which meets to hear a guest speaker, have a discussion and maybe absorb a Yiddish word or two. Plus, a nosh. Open to all.

Is Social Justice Jewish? The Roots & Development of Tikkun Olam

Five Monday evenings: March 25, April 1, 8, 15, 29; 7:00-9:00pm
At the Mandell JCC
Tuition: $180; $100 for Neshama Patrons
To register please contact the B’nai Tikvoh-Sholom office at 860-243-3576 or

Most Americans understand the term tikkun olam to mean “repairing the world,” and associate it with the Jewish imperative to pursue social justice. Lately, though, heated arguments have arisen within the Jewish community about the importance and centrality of tikkun olam. With this recent controversy as a point of departure, we’ll quickly move back in time to explore the Biblical roots of tikkun olam, its evolution in rabbinic literature, and mystical makeover in Lurianic Kabbalah. We will also examine larger questions regarding the role of social justice in Judaism, including the following: What Jewish teachings – from Torah, the prophets, the rabbis – inspired social welfare programs in medieval/pre-modern Jewish communities? What are the differences between social welfare and social justice? How did Jews participate in social justice movements in the modern era? Was that a manifestation of their “Jewishness”? What makes social justice Jewish? How did the term tikkun olam become ubiquitous? At the conclusion of the course, we’ll return to the original controversy and consider whether our deeper understanding of tikkun olam has changed our views in any way. Please note that both primary and secondary sources will be used for this course and will be provided by the instructor. All sources will include English translations. This class is meant to be highly participatory. Come join Rabbi Cantor on this exciting learning journey.

Neshama goes to the movies!
Watch for Neshama programs @ the Mandell JCC Hartford Jewish Film Festival (3/7-3/17)

Partners in Creation presents “Midrash and Monoprints” (March 31st )

Neshama classes are held at:
B’nai Tikvoh-Sholom, 180 Still Road, Bloomfield
(on the West Hartford/Bloomfield line, at the corner of Mountain Road)
and the Mandell JCC, 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford.
To register for classes/workshops, call (860)-243-3576 or email
The Neshama website page is at
Find us on Facebook at Neshama Center for Lifelong Learning
or B’nai Tikvoh-Sholom BTS: The Learning Place

Neshama is growing – we invite you to grow with us!

Comments are closed.