Missed my article in ARJE Achshav? Read it here:
For over 25 years a group of dedicated, devoted, and
enthusiastic adults meet every Sunday morning at Lakeside Congregation
for Adult Enrichment. We begin the morning with a small group for
weekday t’filah. We also host a lox and bagel brunch and then we get
down to business as we meet for 90 minutes; we have about 30 speakers
over any school year. Sometimes we have a theme that takes us through a
whole year and occasionally we just have monthly topics.
The weekend before Thanksgiving, we hosted Jim Kenney from Common
Ground in Deerfield, Illinois, who spoke about “Reflections on the 2016
Election.” We had over 100 people in attendance and for our small
congregation of 300 families that is a great turnout. How did this adult
education solidify and continue to grow over the years? This is not an
easy question but one I can attempt to answer.
• We call our Sunday morning lectures “Adult Enrichment” which we
hope will signal to our congregants and community attendees that these
lectures are not meant to be a class. You can come one week and miss the
next 3 weeks because our classes do not build one upon the other.
Occasionally we have a series of 2 or 3 sessions on one topic but all
Sunday mornings can stand on their own.
• We depend on dynamic speakers and if they are enjoyed one year we
bring them back, if not the next year, perhaps in a few years.
• We set the calendar for Adult Enrichment 8-10 months in advance.
Speakers are sometimes surprised that we are full for the year in
• We plan our topics and speakers by September and then have a bookmark
with all of our speakers ready to pass out at the High Holy Days.
• We budget for the speakers.
• We ask our participants to help defray the cost of the lox and bagel brunch by being a “sponsor” once or twice a year.
I am very proud of our program and excited every Sunday morning to
see so many adults coming into the building to participate in this
program. Both my rabbi and I do one or two Sunday mornings and then we
find exciting speakers in our community. This adult study has fostered
friendships, spearheaded social action projects and helped us to move
forward many different agendas including ritual or even taking a trip to
One of our upcoming Adult Enrichment Sunday programs is “the
Plight of the Refugee; how you can make a difference in the refugee
crisis.” We are planning on sponsoring a refugee and working with HIAS
and what a great way to start this campaign. I am getting ready even now
to plan more Adult Enrichment programs as I look forward to 2017-2018.
Come for the lecture and brunch; stay for the friends!