SCHENECTADY– Congregation Gates of Heaven will offer an adult education series entitled “Israel Week Open Mic–Let’s Talk,” from April 18-25. The series will focus on advocacy, politics, and the future relationship between Israel and the United States. The sessions will be facilitated by Rabbi Matt Cutler and Arnold Rotenberg, director of congregational Jewish Living. All sessions are free to attend and will be held “virtually” via Zoom.

The sessions will be:

The Israeli Elections. Sunday, April 18, at 1 p.m. The  program will begin with a brief overview of the unique democratic system of the state of Israel and include a discussion of its strengths and challenges, the Israeli parliamentary democracy, right and left politics as understood by the Israeli public, and key differences between the Israeli and the U.S. systems. The session will conclude with an update on this year’s Israeli elections.

Hummus the Movie.” Sunday, April 18, at 7:30 p.m. The movie will be followed by a discussion.

The Abraham Accords. Tuesday, April 20, at 8 p.mIsrael has normalized its diplomatic relations with five Arab countries — Morocco, Sudan, Bahrain, and Dubai. Focus will be on these questions: What sparked this monumental change in Middle Eastern politics? Will more countries in the region normalize their relations with Israel? Why didn’t this happen earlier and what does this mean for the future of Israeli-Palestinian negations? Those interested in more information, may visit the congregation’s website prior to the session for links to a refresher about the Abraham Accords.

A “virtual” oneg Shabbat following the service. Friday, April 23, at 8:15 p.m.  The evolving relationship between America and Israel and the intersection of American and Israeli politics will be examined. The political transitions taking place in both countries and how Israel’s recent election may (or may not) dramatically change the country’s direction will be examined.

“Common Goal.” Sunday, April 25, at 7:30 p.m. A discussion will follow the movie.

Registration may be obtained on the congregation’s website at or by calling the temple office at 518-374-8173.