Monday nights just got more meaningful for Emet’s Couples Division with the launch of a new series of classes. Held at the Emet Center, these lectures are geared towards smaller groups than the popular monthly workshops and are part of the continually expanding offerings for couples at all stages of marriage. While Emet hosts programs at shuls and college campuses throughout Queens, situating this initiative at the organization’s more intimate space was essential. “The idea for this class came about because we’re always looking for ways to connect more meaningfully with our couples and to allow them to connect with one another,” said Sara B., Program Director. “We wanted to give them a class that they would not only look forward to, like a date night, but that would also allow them to learn and grow together. We already have women’s classes, men’s classes, couples workshops, and Zoom classes, but it was time for something more consistent and personal for our couples.”
The debut evening began with couples mingling with friends and enjoying a light dinner. Rabbi Akiva Rutenberg, Emet’s Director & Co-founder who is also a licensed clinical social worker, then had the group enthralled with a timely and relevant lecture. The theme of his class was “The Key to Successful Relationships: Intentionality,” and the discussion intertwined marriage, Judaism and Shavuot. “I spoke about the importance of being intentional in all of our relationships to make them better. The greatest parallel is the relationship between husband and wife and the relationship between the individual and Hashem. In terms of marriage, this means taking the time to understand what our spouse needs and trying to see the world from their perspective,” he explained. “The same thing is true for our relationship with Hashem. The word kavana in davening means to be intentional in our thoughts. Matan Torah on Shavuot shows the closest relationship between the Jewish people and Hashem since receiving the Torah is compared to being under the chuppah. I emphasized that it is not about the quantity of experiences in a relationship but the quality of intentional experiences.”
There was a real sense of warmth and appreciation among the couples. “The first class was such a beautiful experience,” Sara B. added. “Many of the couples have children and it is difficult for them to find the time to learn. We hope this brings inspiration to their lives and gives them the tools to bring more Torah concepts into their homes.”
The series continues with Rabbi Binyamin Yuhanan on May 1, Rabbi Mordechai Kraft on May 8, and Rabbi Nissim Musheyev on May 15.
For further information about Emet programs visit EmetOutreach.org, and to experience Emet’s comprehensive video library of Torah lectures visit EmetTorah.com.