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Adult Education

Adult Education at OT includes classes, lectures, and seminars that enrich the Jewish culture of our adult members. We invite you to check out our ongoing and upcoming classes, and special events below.

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Ongoing Classes | Upcoming Classes | Scholar in Residence | World of Hope TournamentPrevious Classes

Ongoing Classes

OT offers adult programs throughout the year. There is no fee unless specified. New students are welcome to join most continuing classes at any time.

Mishnah Study with Rabbi Kalender, Wednesdays, 9:15-10:15am, beginning in November (Date TBD). This class is currently on summer break and will return fall 2023. Gather each Wednesday morning to discuss the first Jewish law code. Join this lively group as we consider this core text for Jewish ethics, ritual, and theology. No prior knowledge necessary and the English translation is provided. In 5784/2023-24 we will continue studying Pirkei Avot (The Ethics of Our Ancestors), beginning with Chapter 3. Email Erin Dreyfuss to be added to the class list.

Torah Study Lunch and Learn, Thursdays, 12:00pm on Zoom. Explore the weekly parsha together. Email Erin Dreyfuss to be added to the class list.

Talmud Study with Rabbi Bedo, Fridays, 10:00am, beginning October 27. Join Rabbi Bedo to study this rabbinic conversation across the ages. We will primarily learn text in English. Email Rabbi Bedo to be added to the class list.

Rosh Chodesh Singing Circle, every Rosh Chodesh after evening minyan. Join Rabbi Bedo after minyan to sing new melodies for each new month. Check the calendar and announcements each month to confirm the singing circle date.

Upcoming Classes

Modern Midrash with Rabbi Bedo, 3 Wednesdays, November 8, 15 & 29, 7:00pm. Midrash is a prominent genre of early rabbinic interpretation, often associated with stories and “filling in” the gaps of the Torah. But who has the right to write midrash - only rabbis from the 3rd century? In this class we will examine texts written by modern and contemporary Jews who have lent their own voice to the midrashic canon. What questions are they asking about our sacred stories, and how are they answering these questions through stories, poetry, or song? Register here.

The Jewish Community of Northern Virginia by Susan & Shawn Dilles, Saturday, December 2, 7:00pm. How did the Jews end up in Northern Virginia? Authors Susan & Shawn Dilles use photographs to tell the story of the rich history, continued growth and broad range of Jewish life here. Registration coming soon.

Shacharit 101: Navigating the Shabbat Morning Liturgy with Rabbi Kalender and Rabbi Bedo, 7 Saturdays at 9:45am, December 2, December 16, December 23, January 6, January 13, January 20, February 3. Shabbat morning is made up of three services: Shacharit, Torah, and Musaf. Come on Shabbat morning to explore the meaning and choreography of Shacharit. This class will meet in the library and then return to the sanctuary to apply our new skills.

Birkat Hamazon: The Choose Your Own Adventure Prayer of Thanks with Debra Ackerman, 3 Mondays at 10:00am, December 4, 11 & 18. One of the delights of kiddush lunch is adding your voice or listening to the voices of others during Birkat Hamazon (Grace After Meals). Journey through this prayer of thanksgiving as we follow its many winding paths, exploring the ways the words can be adapted to the calendar and seasons, our joys and sorrows, and even the table we are sitting at and who is sitting with us?  This class will focus on the "why do we" of the prayer, rather than the "how-to" of the prayer. Register here.

The Minor Prophets with Rabbi Kalender, 3 Wednesdays at 7:30pm, January 10, 17 & 24. The “Minor Prophets” weren’t of minor importance – it’s merely a description of the length of the books. These 12 prophets raise serious timeless questions about the world, human interactions and especially, the Jewish people’s relationship with God. What does God demand/request of us and what happens when we succeed or fail? These prophets, in books ranging from 1 to 14 short chapters, offer a remarkable diversity of opinions in a variety of Jewish societies and these profound books speak powerfully to us today. Register here.

Body and Soul: When Two Become One with Rabbi Bedo, 3 Wednesdays at 7:00pm, February 14, 21 & 28. Greek philosophy has strongly influenced our understanding of the concepts of “body” and “soul,” suggesting they are two separate entities. But what do Jewish texts say about what ultimately makes us human? What are Jewish attitudes towards our physical beings, and what does our tradition think of the “soul,” assuming it even exists? Register here.

Readings in the Book of Joshua with Susan Kristol, 3 Tuesdays at 7:30pm, March 12, 19 & 26. The book of Yehoshua (Joshua) narrates the entry of the people of Israel into Canaan—the culmination of God’s covenant with Abraham. We will look at the challenges involved in taking possession of the land without Moses as leader. In what ways is this book a new beginning? How does it look back to the Torah as a guide? Register here.

A Summer of Mass Murder by George Eisen, Sunday, May 5, 7:00pm. In commemoration of Yom HaShoah, author George Eisen, shares his book, which weaves together the stories of victims, perpetrators and bystanders to explore the fate of Hungarian Jews in 1941. Register here.

Book Discussion with Rabbi Kalender: God in Search of Man by Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Sunday, May 19, 6:30pm. Join a discussion of this classic text in modern Jewish theology. Heschel explores God's search for man - the notion of a Chosen People, an idea which he writes, "signifies not a quality inherent in the people but a relationship between the people and God." Register here.

Scholar in Residence

Scholar In Residence: Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin
Friday-Sunday, February 9-11

Rabbi Cardin is an author, environmental activist, director of Jewish Life at the Baltimore JCC and founder of the Jewish Women's Resource Center. Learn with her after dinner Friday night, d’var Torah and post-lunch lecture Saturday, and brunch discussion Sunday.

Weekend Schedule

Shabbat Dinner & Lecture, Friday, February 9

Kabbalat Shabbat & Dinner at 5:45pm
Lecture approximately 8:15pm

Shabbat Morning D'var Torah & Afternoon Discussion, Saturday, February 10

Brunch & Teaching, Sunday, February 11 at 9:45am

World of Hope Pickleball Tournament

Sunday, May 5

Say goodbye to golf and hello pickleball! Save the date Sunday, May 5. Keep an eye on the calendar for pickleball clinic dates to learn to play and improve your skills!

Previous Classes

Click the class titles below to watch some of our past class offerings.

Scholar in Residence 2023: Bex Stern Rosenblatt, February 3-5, 2023
   Download the Scholar in Residence Friday night handout
   Download the Scholar in Residence D'var Torah handout
   Download the Scholar in Residence Shabbat afternoon handout
   Download the Scholar in Residence Sunday brunch handout

Scholar in Residence: Jennifer Billinson, PhD, Sundays, March 27 & April 3, 2022
  Download the presentation from week 1

Israel Speaker: Gadeer Kamal-Mreeh, Sunday, March 27, 2022

Women in the Bible with Susan Kristol, Mondays, February 28, March 7, April 4, 2022
  Download the Women in the Bible class resources from week 1
  Download the Women in the Bible class resources from week 2
  Download the Women in the Bible class resources from week 3

European Jews, Jewish Europe with Rabbi Viki Bedo, Wednesdays, January 19-February 9, 2022

On Rockingham Street discussion with David Kuney, Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Judaism in Popular Culture Revisited with Debra Beland Ackerman, Mondays, November 8-22, 2021

Dear Rabbi, I Have a Question with Rabbi Viki Bedo, Wednesdays, October 13-November 3, 2021
  Download the Dear Rabbi class resources from week 1
  Download the Dear Rabbi class resources from week 2

Tikkun Leil Shavuot, Sunday, May 16, 6:30-8:00pm, 2021

Us and Them with Debra Beland Ackerman, Fridays, April 9-23, 2021

Exploring Judaism's Denominational Divide with Rabbi Brett Isserow, Mondays, February 22-March 15, 2021
  Download the Denominational Divide class resources from week 1
  Download the Denominational Divide class resources from week 2
  Download the Denominational Divide class resources from week 3
  Download the Denominational Divide class resources for week 4

Scholar in Residence: Dr. Rachel B. Gross, Sundays, February 21 & 28, 2021

Psalms with Susan Kristol, Fridays, January 22-February 5, 2021
  Click here to download the Psalms class resources

Film Discussion of Shared Legacies: The African-American Jewish Civil Rights Alliance, Sunday, December 20, 2020

Elijah: The Man, the Myth, the Legend, Fridays, October 16-December 11, 2020

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Religious Freedom, Sunday, November 29, 2020

Torah Study, Thursdays at 12:00pm

Talmud Study with Rabbi Bedo, Fridays at 10:00am


Co-Chairs Sharyn Stahl and Ellen Katkin

Wed, September 27 2023 12 Tishrei 5784