Shara Siegfeld

ALBANY–Congregation Beth Emeth’s Come In and Learn series will examine “Jews and the History of Messianism” in a weekly, seven-part program beginning Wednesday, Dec. 8.

The hour-long sessions will explore the fascination of Jews with the coming of the Messiah and the messianic age, looking at several false messiahs and what made the people of different eras yearn for the Messiah.

Shara Siegfeld, director of lifelong learning at Beth Emeth, will lead the discussions, which will take place at noon each Wednesday through Jan. 26 except for Wednesday, Dec. 29.

“We will be exploring where the notion of a messiah stems from in Jewish text and looking at some charismatic leaders who inspired a significant following but ultimately were deemed to be false messiahs,” she said.

Siegfeld said that she picked the topic because it is one of personal interest.

The head of Beth Emeth’s religious school, Siegfeld has a master’s degree in Jewish educational leadership from Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion and a master’s certification in Israel education from The George Washington University.

Proof of vaccination and masks are required for in-person attendance. The Zoom, link is, password CBE. The programs also may be accessed via live stream at Information may be obtained by contacting Deb Sokoler at, or 518-436-9761, ext. 230.