Congregation Albert is committed to lifelong learning by also offering a broad spectrum of opportunities for adult learners. A brochure is published three times a year with course descriptions and class times.

Ongoing opportunities include “Introduction to Judaism,” Shabbat morning Torah Study, an annual Scholar-In-Residence, a Conversion Seminar, Holiday Workshops and Hebrew classes.

For more information, contact:


Rachel Sternheim

(505) 883-1818



January 10 -12                                   

Irwin Kula-Scholar in Residence

More information TBA


Rabbi Irwin Kula is a disruptive spiritual innovator and rogue thinker. A 7th generation rabbi he is Co-President of Clal–The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership a do-tank committed to making Jewish a Public Good. A thought leader on the intersection of innovation, religion, and human flourishing, Irwin has worked with leaders from the Dalai Lama to Queen Noor and with organizations, foundations, and businesses in the United States and around the world to inspire people to live with greater passion, purpose, creativity and compassion.

Named one of the leaders shaping the American spiritual landscape, he received the 2008 Walter Cronkite Faith and Freedom Award for his work “toward equality, liberty and a truly inter–religious community” and has been listed in Newsweek for many years as one of America’s “most influential rabbis.” He is the Co-founder and Executive Editor of The Wisdom Daily.


A popular commentator in both new and traditional media, Irwin is the author of the award-winning book, Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life (2006), creator of the acclaimed film, Time for a New God (2004), and the Public TV series Simple Wisdom (2003), and is co-founder with Craig Hatkoff and Clay Christensen of the Disruptor Foundation.


Lunch and Learn with Rabbi Paul Citrin

Israeli Writers Break the Silence

Class begins on January 14

Israel is criticized for its attitudes toward and treatment of Palestinians. Some say Israel practices a conspiracy of silence regarding the Arabs. Actually, Israeli writers have been frontal and vocal in reflecting back to Israeli society its opinions and its actions. In our quest to understand that there never has been a silence in Israel on these issues, we will look at the work of a wide range of Israeli fiction writers, poets and publicists. Our goal will be to discover how Israeli writers struggle to help Israel retain its humanity in the context of hatred, hierarchy, warfare and history.


6 weeks on Tuesdays:

January 14, 21, 28. February 4, 11, and 18

12:00 – 1:30 pm

Congregation Albert

Bring your own lunch

$50.00 course fee (tuition assistance available, contact





January 15                                         

Introduction to Judaism begins Wednesday evenings

At Congregation Albert



Open Mind


January 23                      

Transformative Women Writers:
Janet Gaines PhD

Janet will talk about transformative women writers-eight female authors who have changed the landscape of writing and publishing for women. Her subjects include Japan's Lady Murasaki Shikibu, who wrote the world's first novel about a thousand years ago, to Rachel Kadish, winner of the 2017 Jewish National Book Award, as well as George Eliot, Emily Dickinson, Virginia Woolf, Margaret Mitchell, Alice Randall, and Colette. 

Janet taught in the English Department at UNM for 35 years, specializing in the Bible as Literature, Women of the Bible, Mythology, and Jewish and Holocaust Literature. She has authored several books and articles on biblical subjects, including Music in the Old Bones: ezebel Through the Ages (which was the national Jewish Book-of-the-Month Club selection) Forgiveness in a Wounded World: lonah's Dilemma, and "Lilith: Heroine or Harridan?" 

February 27

Safety & Security–Traveling Around the World:
Leslee Richard

Travel anywhere can be intimidating but there are tricks to make it easier and more fun. Join Leslee Richards, co-owner of Sun Tours, as she discusses the best ways to prepare for and enjoy your travels, no matter where they lead you. Packing tips, using your cell phone, staying healthy, group versus independent trips and more will be covered. 

Leslee Richards was the manager and co-owner for Lieber's Luggage for over 30 years. She now co-owns Sun Tours, a group travel company, with her husband Frank Fine. She has extensively traveled in Europe, Asia, Africa and the United States. 

March 26

The New Mexico Women's Suffrage Movement:
Naomi Sandweiss 

In the year of the 100th anniversary of suffrage, learn about the fascinating individuals who fought for the women's vote in New Mexico, and the strategies that they employed. 

Naomi Sandweiss writes and presents on the history of resilient people and courageous communities. Naomi is the author of Jewish Albuquerque in addition to numerous articles. She serves as Executive Director of Parents Reaching Out, a statewide non-profit organization. 

April 30

Pitfalls & Lessons: Learning From Our Past:
Rabbi Harry Rosenfeld 

Is it "those who forget the past are doomed to relive it" or "I wish it were the good old days"? Our technology driven fast-paced world makes us long for a time that may or may not have existed. What is the price we pay for living in these times? 

Harry Rosenfeld is the Rabbi of Congregation Albert and has a master's degree in Hebrew letters from Hebrew Union College. He was an adjunct professor at SUNY-Buffalo, Canisius College, and Alaska Pacific University. 


May 21

The Story Behind the Story:
Norma Libman 

Norma Libman will describe how she got some of her stories for the Chicago Tribune and how she did her research, including her interviews with 0.J. Simpson and Ann Landers, among others. She will also describe her discovery of a secret Chinese writing system and her research into the Crypto-Jewish community of the American Southwest. 

Norma Libman is a journalist and educator. She has had more than 500 articles published in newspapers nationwide, and has taught at colleges and universities in Illinois and New Mexico. Currently she lectures for OASIS and OSHER, adult education venues. 



February 6 –March 4                         

Mahloket Matters: The Beit Midrash Way

5 Tuesday evenings at 6:00 pm


Led by Rabbi Rosenfeld

Can text study of Biblical stories and their diverse interpretations empower us to engage more constructively in disagreements today?


One fact people across political divides today may still agree upon is that civil discourse between the political divides is turning less and less civil. Indeed, the sheer lack of desire to try to understand those with opposing political opinions (or political identities) and disagree constructively over critical questions is posing an existential threat to democracies around the world.


In response, the Pardes Center for Judaism and Conflict Resolution (PCJCR) has created a new initiative: Mahloket Matters: How to Disagree Constructively – The Beit Midrash Way. At the core of the traditional beit midrash, study hall, are havrutot, study pairs, critically studying together mahloket (also spelled machloket and makhloket), conflicting opinions, found on every page of classic Jewish texts. This methodology of studying text can be used to increase the desire and ability to understand and engage more constructively with conflicting political opinions today, improving civil discourse.


March 7- 8                                        

Sara Aroeste-Artist in Residence


March 7 Concert

March 8 Family Program


March 11 – April 1               

The Exodus by Richard Elliot Friedman-

A Conversation with Rabbi Rosenfeld & Jim Stewart


Richard Elliott Friedman’s The Exodus:
How it Happened and Why it Matters,
Harper One, New York, 2017


Facilitators: Rabbi Harry Rosenfeld and Jim Stewart
Unable to find physical evidence for the Exodus from Egypt until now, many archaeologists and scholars clam this mass migration is just a story, not history. Others oppose this conclusion, defending the biblical account.

Bible scholar and bestselling author, Richard Elliott Friedman cuts through the noise merging new findings with new insight. From a spectrum of disciplines, archaeological
breakthroughs, and fresh discoveries within scripture itself, he brings real evidence of a historical basis for the Exodus – the history behind the biblical story. The Exodus itself
is not a myth.


Friedman further demonstrates how the Exodus became the starting point of monotheism, the defining concept of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Moreover, it precipitated the foundational ethic of loving one’s neighbors – including strangers – as oneself.

Four Wednesday morning sessions, 11:00-12:30:

March 11 – Introduction and Chapters One and Two, History Recaptured and the Mystery of Egypt and the Exodus,
pp 1-84


March 18 – Chapters Three and Four, the Mysteries of Israel and Midian, and the Rest of the Story, pp. 85-146

March 25 – Chapter Five, the Mysteries of Babylon and the Emergence of One God, pp. 147 -196

April 1  – Chapter Six, the Mystery of Judah and Loving Ones Neighbor, pp. 197-216

Rabbi Harry Rosenfeld needs no introduction (just kidding)

Jim Stewart is a friend of Congregation Albert who regularly attends Torah Study. He is a Presbyterian elder trained in philosophy and religion, whose passion is biblical
studies and teaching. Before relocating to Albuquerque in 2017, he undertook a sabbatical year of full immersion and study at Temple B’rith Kodesh in Rochester, NY, focused on Jewish scripture, worship, theology, and practice. Following this, Jim pursued non-degree study of Hebrew Bible at the Colgate Rochester Divinity School. In addition to his participation in our congregation, he has taught several courses this past year at First Unitarian Church in Albuquerque and is an active member of the Historical
Jesus theological study group.


May 1 -3                                             

Rabbi Josh Holo—Scholar in Residence


Dr. Holo is the Dean of HUC-JIR's Skirball Campus in Los Angeles and Associate Professor of Jewish History.

He served as Director of the Louchheim School of Judaic Studies at USC from 2006-2010.


Dr. Holo's publications focus on Medieval Jews of the Mediterranean, particularly in the Christian realm. His book, Byzantine Jewry in the Mediterranean Economy, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2009.


Congregation Albert is a Reform  
synagogue, located n Albuquerque, 
Mexico. It was established in
1897. The synagogue is the oldest
Jewish organization of continued
existence in the state.

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