Following the service on most Shabbat mornings, Beit Emanuel hosts an interesting and informed speaker on a thought-provoking topic, usually – but not always – related to Jews or Judaism. Sessions have proved so popular that guests need to come early to be assured of a seat. Some speakers are our own members talking about their passions, and some are outsiders with specialist expertise. Sessions last an hour, starting at 11.15 am in the boardroom (at the back of the Slome building alongside the main synagogue), and usually include a discussion session. A light brunch is served. Non-members are welcome. Free to members and non-members.
Popular sessions in the past have covered such subjects as:
- Jewish literature, contemporary Hebrew lilterature, Holocaust literature
- Ethical issues such as vegetarianism, gay rights, political activism
- Jewish architecture, synagogue architecture, Israeli architecture
- Jewish liturgical music, Yiddish folk music
- Researching Jewish ancestry, Jewish migration to South Africa
- Jewish history including the history of Zionism, the history of the Jewish scribal tradition
- Women in the Jewish biblical tradition
- Jews and psychology: Are Jews more prone to depression?