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Isaiah Together

Isaiah Together is about connecting congregants through small groups around shared interests, hobbies, and/or demographic. These groups are led by trained Temple Isaiah members and meet as often as the members of the group wish, usually once a month. We hope that the conversations and activities that happen within the groups will enrich congregants’ lives in meaningful ways and also strengthen their ties to each other and to the Isaiah community.

Below are our current small groups based on interests and needs/stages of life. If you are interested in joining a group, contact the Group Guide at the email provided, or Rabbi Jill Perlman at or Matt Emmer at Don’t see a group that fits you? Start one! Contact Rabbi Perlman or Matt Emmer to learn more and get started.


Difficult Conversations: Right, Wrong, and Righteous
A New Isaiah Together Study Group for the Fall

Jewish tradition values argument. Beyond the old joke "two Jews, three opinions," our tradition records and respects disagreements over Jewish law, elevating the rabbis' debates into "makhloket l’shem shamayim," arguments for the sake of heaven.

But our arguments today can feel hellish rather than heavenly. How, in such fraught times, can we really listen to each other when we can barely read the daily newspapers? With passions running high, can we engage in debate and still be a mensch?

This fall, we hope to explore these debates with Difficult Conversations: Right, Wrong, and Righteous, a compelling new discussion series around the Jewish art of disagreement.  

We will look at how we should respond when someone else’s stand challenges our core beliefs, how we can keep lines of communication open across growing divides, and how we can engage in thoughtful discourse even when we disagree.  We will examine some of the causes of the current ideological rifts and their effect on the Jewish community, as well as why diversity of opinion is so important and what we can learn about ourselves from moments of friction. We will approach these questions through ancient and contemporary Jewish texts, as well as texts from outside our own tradition.

Each discussion group will have about 10-15 participants, led by congregants who have been trained as facilitators. Groups will meet weekly in a group member’s home or at the Temple for four weeks, between the week of October 8 and the week of October 29. If you’ve participated before, you know that Isaiah Together small groups can be a great way to both reconnect with old friends and branch out and meet new folks in a meaningful and intimate way.  We welcome people of all different backgrounds, and no experience or familiarity with Jewish text is required or expected.

Register Here!

Achim - George Foote

Achim (meaning 'brothers') is a men's discussion group. It was started with a recognition that, in our culture, men are often reluctant to publically share their innermost fears and feelings which are historically carried in silence. The discussion offers a format where the participants share their personal stories and experiences which relate to a particular topic. It is open to all men in the general Jewish community.  We have 4 events/meetings a year.

Art Potpourri – Joan Lester and Judy Palmer

Artists, Sunday painters, museum goers–let’s get together! Our group is  interested in "meet, draw and share." We are looking for folks who would enjoy sketching in good company, indoors or outdoors, depending on the season.

Biking – David Lees

We always start from the Temple, and unless otherwise noted, at 9:00 am, and aim to finish before Noon.  We often have two groups: one doing a slower, shorter (~6 mile) ride and a the second group doing a faster (~11 mph), longer (~25 mile) ride.  Both groups share the start of route together and the longer ride stops for a snack/coffee. No signup required, just be ready to ride at 9 AM. Our tentative dates for the 2018 season are 5/13, 5/27, 6/3, 6/17, 7/8, 7/22, 8/5, 8/19, 9/9, 9/23, 10/7, 10/21, 11/4, 11/11, 12/2, 12/9. 

Community Quilting - Evy Megerman

Quilters work together on a project for the Temple or as a fundraiser.

Daytime Book Group [SISTERHOOD] - Carole Goldberg

Mondays monthly; 10:00 am to noon. All are welcome.  We choose our books and meeting times as we go along.

Discussions After Dinner [BROTHERHOOD] - Lester Gardner

Discussion after Dinner is an interactive conversation on a topic that shapes our lives (e.g., The loss of privacy in American Society, How to develop friends and community as an adult, What rules do you live by?) There will be no religious spin to these topics or discussions. Your opinions is welcome or simply listen to others. We meet every other Monday at 7-9pm with refreshments.

Divorce Peer Group - Rabbi Jill Perlman

If you are currently going through a divorce or have recently gone through a divorce, please consider joining a group of fellow travelers on this journey to talk through the process. This group will be peer-led; it is not a support group. Contact Rabbi Perlman, who will put you in contact with the group leaders. 

Evening Book Group [SISTERHOOD] - Carol Sacerdote

Mondays monthly; coffee 7:30 pm , discussion 8-9:30 pm. Open to all Sisterhood members. 

First Friday Torah Study [BROTHERHOOD] - Gil Benghiat

On (usually) the first Friday of the month, Rabbi Perlman leads a Torah Study group in a lively, participatory discussion. Anyone may drop in — women and men. The group does not read the “current” portion but instead is working its way through the Torah. No preparation or RSVP necessary. Brotherhood provides a bagel breakfast. Sessions start at 7:30 a.m. end by 8:30 a.m. The sessions this year will be held on Fridays, September 7, October 5, November 2, and December 7, 2018, and will continue next year on  January 4, February 1, March 1, April 5, May 3, June 7, July 12 (Second Friday), and August 2, 2019. 

Games [SISTERHOOD] - Abbe Smerling

Every other Friday at 12:30 pm. Please join Sisterhood members in the Temple library for about an hour and half of games. We play Taboo, Scattergories, Trivial Pursuit, Apples to Apples, Encore, Celebrity, Set, Speed Scrabble, Boggle, to name a few. New members are encouraged and we will teach newcomers. It is lots of laughs and is good to stretch the mind as well!

Knitzvah - Harriet Silverman

Knitting shawls and lap throws for congregants in need of care and support. There is a Monday group and a Sunday group. For more information, see the description here.

Mah Jongg [Beginners and Advanced Beginners, SISTERHOOD] - Randi Levine

Interested in learning to play mahjongg? Know the basics but would like to learn more and play regularly? We have options for this circle, depending on the interest level. We can do a new beginners class, meeting for 3 consecutive weeks to learn the basics and then continuing to practice together for as long as desired. We can also do a review class and then organize a regular game of those interested.

Meaningful Conversations - Paul Brown

Conversations about Reform Responsa. “Responsa” are rulings given by Rabbis to questions related to contemporary Jewish life and values. The questions are usually practical, and concern recent contingencies for which Jewish Law has made no direct provisions. 

Meditation and Mindfulness – Larry Fuhrman

This group will introduce Temple Isaiah members to a variety of mindfulness and meditative techniques within our Jewish tradition. We have planned an 8 session class, designed to help us achieve a greater sense of calmness, clarity of thought, spirituality, and ability to be more fully present in our daily lives. The meetings will last 90 minutes and will combine experiential learning with plenty of time for discussion. Meetings will be bi-weekly on Monday evenings beginning Oct. 31st at 7:30 in the chapel.

Movie-Goers – Susan Foote

Let’s go to the movies together! We will watch movies that are selected to meet the interests of the group with discussion to follow.

Playing Music Together – Rob Jacob

A get together of people who enjoy playing music together, more of a jam session than an organized band. If you play an instrument (even at a very modest level), you're invited to join us.

Mussar – Sue Tafler – FULL

Mussar - Eileen Kern – FULL

Mussar is a spiritual system of Jewish ethics that allows us to look and think deeply about how we live our lives. A new mussar group is forming this fall. The group is nearly full. Please contact Eileen Kern for more information. 

Photography - Scott Wolk

Get to meet and know people who enjoy photography, take photo-shoot walks, learn techniques.

Pot Luck Partiers [SISTERHOOD] - Sally Huebscher

Take part in pot luck suppers from the Jerusalem Cookbook and other Jewish themed books.

Pre-Retirement – Evelyn Silber and Suzanne Harris

Group for people thinking about retirement.

Shabbopic - Matt Emmer

A group of temple members and guests who will host and participate in pot-luck dinners and discussions every two months. The next Shabbopic dinner will be announced soon. Contact Engagement Specialist Matt Emmer for more information.

Single Parents in Their 40s and 50s - David Fleischer

A social group for members who are actively parenting and are not part of a couple. Join with other single parents in our Temple community to build community and have fun!

Theater - Pam Awrach

Are you a theater person? If you have interest in any aspect of theater, whether it's seeing plays together, performing, reading aloud scenes, improv, writing a play, or adapting a story for the stage or putting on a Purim Schpiel, join our new group!

Walking Group [SISTERHOOD] - Carol Sacerdote

By arrangement
We enjoy exercise and each other’s conversation, plus scenery and gardens on residential streets, conservation land and the bike path.  This group meets at Peet’s in Lexington center and walks for about an hour, weather permitting, year round.  Walk with us whenever you’re available.

Writing Workshop - Kathryn Prager

A supportive group to share ongoing (new) work and help us hone our craft.

Yiddish Anyone? [SISTERHOOD] - Elly Edelstein

Our Yiddish group meets once a month on various afternoons at 1 pm at members' houses. We share Yiddish stories and try to speak in Yiddish as much as possible. We do not meet during January/February/March.  Exact meeting times will be arranged according to participants’ schedules.

Thu, October 18 2018 9 Cheshvan 5779