TanenbaumCHAT Teaches


TanenbaumCHAT Teaches is excited to be back and in person – and this time it’s the Parent Edition! This phenomenal, curated selection of sessions will be taught by members of our school’s stellar roster of educators and staff. 

You'll have the option of selecting from one of four classes on February 28 and May 2, and our pre-Passover Special will be held on March 21.  The sessions will run from 7:00PM to 9:00PM and will be held in school. Light refreshments will be available from 8:00PM onwards.

The sessions cost $18 in advance or $25 at the door. Advance registration is strongly encouraged so that teachers may prepare and have sufficient materials.

Scroll down for the 2023 schedule and courses offered.

Tuesday, May 2, 2023, at 7:00PM


Subject: English
Teacher: Suzanne Socken '93
Topic: Tell my story: how art transcends time and imbues life with meaning

Course Outline:

In this talk, we will look at excerpts from both classic and modern literature to explore the idea of how art endures across time and offers human beings unique insights into life.


Subject: Jewish Studies
Teacher: Zev Steinfeld 
Topic: Analysing Tanach and pop culture 

Course Outline:

The Tanach is a text that has inspired individuals for thousands of years in myriad ways.  We will study a few examples of musicians who were inspired by biblical themes and elements, where they stayed true to the text and where they took creative licence.


Subject: Israel Engagement
Teacher: Shira Meirman  
Topic: Women in Israeli society

Course Outline:

In this interactive lecture we will examine various dilemmas and issues surrounding women in Israeli society in the public, governmental-military and cultural spheres. This is an opportunity to learn about the current discourse regarding women's rights in Israel and the progress that has been – and will continue to be – made in pursuit of Israeli gender equality.


Subject: Photography 
Teacher: Daniel Malen
Subject: Level up your photography game

Course Outline:

The person behind TanenbaumCHAT’s official social media pages will offer up tips and tricks for levelling-up your photography game. Using his own travels and kid as a jumping off point, Daniel will highlight ways in which you can improve your photos and capture genuine and unique moments with your camera or phone. (Bring an actual camera if you have one, but a phone camera will also suffice!)

Past Events: Tuesday, February 7, 2023, at 7:00PM


Subject: Art
Teacher: Melissa Dubin
Topic: Mixed-media floral painting

Course Outline:

Join this fun evening of art-making suitable for beginners as we explore some of the properties of watercolour paints. We will then work together to create a loose, free-flowing background and then use some ink drawing techniques to create a mixed media floral painting.


Subject: Engineering
Teacher: Mark Rottman
Topic: Interactive problem-solving

Course Outline:

Engineers engage in a wide variety of fields – such as civil, mechanical, computer, biological, chemical and mechatronics. The common thread tying all engineers together is the ability to tackle problems efficiently and find solutions. During this session, you’ll put on your “engineering hat” and have the opportunity to consider the qualities that make strong problem solvers, solve new problems, and learn to apply known solutions.



Subject: Jewish Ethics 
Teacher: Amy Goldsweig
Topic:  Is free speech a Jewish value? 

Course Outline:

With the help and wisdom of writings by Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform rabbis, we will explore whether or not free speech is a Jewish value and how this informs our understanding of the Jewish ethical system in general. No promises that we'll answer any of the questions!


Subject: Jewish Studies
Teacher: Rabbi Shlomo Gemara
Topic:  The Gaon who saved Jewish History

Course Outline:

In 922 CE, varying calendar calculations led to two different dates for Passover in Israel and Babylon. A political altercation over who had the right to make decisions about Jewish issues ensued – until Saadia, a young and relatively unknown scholar, took the decision into his own hands. Who was this rising star who became known as "Saadia Gaon," (genius), what contribution did he make to the survival of the Jewish community, and what can he teach us about the complex Jewish identity issues of the present? In this session, we will study Jewish history, the evolution of Halacha (Jewish Law), and learn about one of the most fascinating figures in our tradition.

Past Events: Tuesday, February 28, 2023, at 7:00PM


Subject: Archeology of Israel
Teacher: Rachel Urowitz '89 
Topic: Unearthing the truth: archaeological fakes and forgeries in the Land of Israel

Course Ouline:

It is rare to find an ancient inscription in an archaeological excavation and even rarer to uncover an inscription with the names of ancient Jewish figures. The market to buy and sell these antiquities has led to many high-quality forgeries and fakes, creating a problem for archaeologists and scholars trying to reconstruct the Jewish past. Join us as we explore the evidence and learn about the impact of fakes and forgeries on our understanding of Jewish history.


Subject: Conversational Hebrew 
Teacher: Tom Rimon
Topic: A taste of Hebrew

Course Outline:

This conversational Hebrew experience is for the foodies amongst us. First, we will identify some of our favourite Israeli menu items. Next, we’ll experiment with useful dialogue and handy vocabulary as together we read, write, and express ourselves orally in Hebrew. By the end of the evening you’ll be set to place an order – in Hebrew – in a restaurant.


Subject: Drama
Teacher: Ryan Peters '09
Topic: Judaism in musical theatre

Course Outline:

As one song in Monty Python’s Spamalot goes, “You won’t succeed on Broadway if you don’t have any Jews!" Jews and Judaism have both made an indelible impact on musical theatre since the genre’s inception, and they have continued to shape its evolution over the past century into modern musical theatre today. Come learn about the history of Judaism in musical theatre and some Jewish show-tunes, composers, playwrights, characters, and themes!


Subject: Art 
Teacher: Melissa Dubin
Topic:  Come for a fun and creative evening of printmaking!

Course Outline:

Linocut Printmaking - Come for a fun and creative evening of printmaking! You will learn how to consider positive and negative space when designing a linocut print.  No experience is needed!  By the end of the evening, you will have learned a new art-making technique, and you will have created a series of prints to take home with you!-- 


Subject: History
Teacher: Dr. Nicholas Maes
Topic: The Dreyfus Scandal: The Jew as a symbol of reform?

Course Outline:

The Dreyfus trial shocked France and all of Europe. Jewish historians see in this scandal the seeds of modern antisemitism and the impending Shoah. While there is much truth to this interpretation, the scandal represented so much more. It was nothing less than a battle for the soul of France and Europe as a whole and posed the question, through the figure of this persecuted Jew, whether modernity or the old traditions would prevail in the West.

Past Event: Tuesday, March 21, 2023, at 7:00PM: Pre-Passover Special!


Subject: Jewish Studies 
Teacher: Dr. Jonathan Levy
Topic: Stepping up to the Seder plate

Course Outline:

Consider this pre-Passover class with Head of School, Jonathan Levy, a “why we do what we do” Seder primer. For example, if you’ve ever wondered about when the Haggadah was actually written, or exactly why we drink four cups of wine, or the true significance of three matzahs, or even which parts of the Seder have nothing to do with Pesach, this session is for you!