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Petaluma's Inclusive Center for Jewish Life

Classes & Workshops

Lecture Series: Israel From Many Perspectives

Alternate Wednesdays Jan 22 thru Mar 18, 7–8:30 pm
Learn about Israel today through the voices of experts across the political spectrum. This five-part, bi-weekly series led by Rabbi Ted Feldman is free and open to BIJC members and guests. 


Jan 22: First class led by Rabbi Ted Feldman, introduction and opening remarks.

Feb 5: Combatants for Peace is a non-profit volunteer organization of ex-combatant Israelis and Palestinians, men and women, who have laid down their weapons and rejected all means of violence. The Combatants work towards a two-state solution in the 1967 borders, OR any other mutually agreed upon solution that will allow both Israelis and Palestinians to live in freedom, security, democracy and dignity in their homeland. American Friends of Combatants for Peace serves as the Combatants' fiscal sponsor in the USA and an education and fundraising arm to support their work.
We will host Beth Schuman, executive director of American Friends of Combatants for Peace, and two Combatants, Ismail and Galia.

Feb 19: J Street: American Jews and Israel: The Ever-Changing Relationship. Rabbi Andrew Straus, J Street's Deputy Northwest Regional Director will discuss the most recent Mideast Peace Plan announced by the White House. 
"As Israel prepares to go to her 3rd elections in just one year, we reflect on how has our relationship with Israel has changed over the years and what the future might bring. We will examine some of the hows and whys of this change and how J Street is a reflection of that change."

Rabbi Straus joins J Street after a successful career as a congregational rabbi, primarily in California and Arizona. Most recently, he was the rabbi of Temple Adat Elohim of Thousand Oaks, CA and before that served as the interim director of education and associate rabbi at Central Synagogue in Manhattan.

Mar 4: Dr. Ziv Rubinovitz: Strike Three, You're Out? Israeli Elections 2020: Preliminary Analysis. 
"Israel is holding its third election in one year. We will analyze the run-up to the election, the campaign, and the results. We will discuss scenarios for the formation of the new coalition and government and what these results might imply for Israel's future, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and other regional matters. The "Deal Of the Century" will most likely be discussed as well."

Dr. Ziv Rubinovitz is a political scientist with expertise in Israeli foreign policy and U.S.-Israel relations. Rubinovitz earned a Ph.D. from the University of Haifa. He is a Teaching Fellow from the Israel Institute and visiting professor at Sonoma State University.

Mar 18: As of March 12, 2020, the March 18 installment, AIPAC, has been cancelled until further notice. The AIPAC regional office in San Francisco has closed its doors due to concerns about the COVID-19 virus and instructed its employees not to travel. We will reschedule the program when it is appropriate to do so. If you have registered for the class, you will not need to re-register.

Our final guest (date to be determined) will be Rachel Urman, Pacific Northwest Synagogue Initiative Director from America's bipartisan pro-Israeli lobby group, AIPAC (American Israeli Public Affairs Committee). The mission of AIPAC is to strengthen, protect and promote the U.S.-Israel relationship in ways that enhance the security of the United States and Israel.

B’nai Israel Jewish Center, 740 Western Ave., Petaluma, CA, is the oldest Jewish community between San Francisco and Portland, OR. Led by Rabbi Ted Feldman, B’nai Israel is an inclusive community for Jewish life, addressing the cultural, religious, spiritual, educational and social needs of all who wish to identify with the Jewish community of Petaluma and the surrounding areas.

Recurring Study Opportunities

Shabbat Lunch 'n' Learn

Twice monthly, 12:30-2 p.m.
Many people find a deep satisfaction and joy in the quest for knowledge and the experience of engaged learning. Shabbat is a rich time to relax, share food, and come together in community to study Jewish wisdom.

Twice a month Rabbi Feldman conducts a learning session after services. Beginning this Shabbat, he will be teaching from sections of a work called Ein Yaakov. This text, a compilation of the spiritual and inspirational teachings from the Talmud, was a the subject of Sunday morning for many Sundays at BIJC. This study opportunity will allow these teachings to enhance our Shabbat experience in our community.

Check our calendar or weekly announcements for upcoming Lunch 'n' Learn sessions.

Individual Study and Direction

Rabbi Feldman is available to set up individual courses of study, including for those interested in exploring basic Judaism.

You may reach Rabbi Feldman at 707-765-2937 or

Thu, April 9 2020 15 Nisan 5780