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MakomDC 2021-2022

Shutafut – Partnership:
The Exponential Power of Togetherness in Jewish Text and Practice

This year MakomDC will deeply examine the idea of what it means to be in religious partnership.

How much space do we, can we, and should we make for others on our paths? 

How do we open up our hearts, minds and institutions to ideas outside of ourselves while  holding fast to our core principles? 

Who and what do we let into our bounds, and how do we decide? 

How do we re-emerge from some version of isolation into shared, partnered, space? 

This exploration will take place in both form and content, studying sacred texts and experiences with institutional partners who will bring new perspectives and grow and stretch our learning. 


Makomdc (Learning & Immersion)

Beit Midrash Partnership (Torah Lishma – Shamayim)

Each month, we will bring in premier teachers from a beit midrash center from around the world, and will learn with and from their wisdom and expertise. Learn from these master scholars in conversation with Adas clergy and all of you.

November Learning with Hadar + JMCW/Briyut
Facilitated by Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt

"​​Mindfulness and Musar: Choosing Growth"
Yitzhak Bronstein

Tuesday, November 9 at 7:30pm | Join us in the Gewirz Beit Am or Click to Join Virtually

How can mindfulness practice help us identify the areas in which we have potential to grow?  A teaching from the 20th century mussar leader, Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler will challenge us to reflect on ourselves in newfound ways. 

"​​Is God Inside Us?"
Yitzhak Bronstein

Tuesday, November 16 at 7:30pm | *ONLINE ONLY: Click to Join Virtually

The hasidic masters taught that divinity can be found inside of ourselves and everything around us. What might that mean on a practical level? How can it inform the ways we relate to our bodies? Through a body meditation informed by a teaching of the Piaseczna Rebbe, we will practice relating to our bodily sensations as sacred. 

"​​The Joy of Withholding Judgement"
Yitzhak Bronstein

Tuesday, November 23 at 7:30pm | *ONLINE ONLY: Click to Join Virtually

One of the foundational pillars of mindfulness is being able to relate to our present experience with nonjudgmental awareness. Through the teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, we will explore the tremendous challenge of relating to others and ourselves nonjudgmentally—as well as the joy which emerges from doing so. 

December Learning with the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) 
Facilitated by Rabbi Sarah Krinsky

Class with Rabbi Jan Uhrbach
"God of the Faithful, God of the Faithless" - Belief and Doubt in Prayer

Tuesday, December 7 at 7:30pm | Click to Join Virtually

Do we need "faith" in order to pray? Can synagogue services be worthwhile and meaningful even if we're not sure what we believe?  We are hardly the first generation to struggle with contradictions among our intellectual beliefs, traditional Jewish liturgy, and the act of prayer. What do Biblical and rabbinic texts about prayer, and the prayerbook itself, teach us about these conflicts, and how can they help us connect to prayer even in times of doubt or faithlessness? Rabbi Jan Uhrbach brings a passion for prayer to the JTS community. Through her work as founding director of the Block / Kolker Center for Spiritual Arts, she develops and oversees programs and discussions, as well as prayer services on Shabbat and festivals, for the JTS community and the general public.

Class with Rabbi Gordon Tucker
Tuesday, December 14 at 7:30pm | Click to Join Virtually

As vice chancellor for Religious Life and Engagement, Rabbi Gordon Tucker focuses on enhancing Jewish life at JTS, enriching our study of Judaism with the joy and deep understanding that only lived experience can provide. A leading scholar and interpreter of Conservative Judaism, he also articulates the enduring power of JTS’s compelling approach to Jewish law and Jewish life, while strengthening JTS's religious leadership through partnerships with organizations in the Conservative Movement and beyond.

January Learning with the Shalom Hartman Institute
Facilitated by Rabbi Elianna Yolkut

Class with Rabbi Elianna Yolkut and Hartman RLI Senior Rabbinic Fellows
Tuesday, January 4 at 7:30pm | Click to Join Virtually

Join Rabbi Yolkut and two other Hartman RLI Senior Rabbinic Fellows from 3 different denominations in a lively and engaging roundtable discussion as they present 3 texts on how partnership manifests in Jewish wisdom and their lives.  

The Divine-Human Partnership: Rabbinic Theology and the Radical Call for Human Empowerment and Responsibility with Rabbi Lauren Berkun
Tuesday, January 18 at 7:30pm | Click to Join Virtually
In this session, Rabbi Lauren Berkun, Vice President of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, will explore the rabbinic theology of divine-human partnership. Through midrashrim about Abraham, we will examine God’s need for human leadership and engagement with Tikkun Olam. How can ancient rabbinic concepts about the mutuality of the divine-human relationship inform our understanding of human purpose and our contemporary relationships? We will especially focus on how this theology might shape a new model of the Israel-Diaspora relationship.

Upcoming Monthly Learning

February Learning Facilitated by Rabbi Aaron Alexander
Tuesdays, February 1 and 15 @ 7:30pm
Click to Join Virtually

*Partner To Be Announced Shortly

March Learning with the Institute for Jewish Sprituality (JMCW/Briyut)
Facilitated by Rabbi
Lauren Holtzblatt

Tuesdays, March 1 & 15 @ 7:30pm
Click to Join Virtually

April Learning with Sefaria
Facilitated by Rabbi Sarah Krinsky

Tuesdays, April 5 and 12 @ 7:30pm
Click to Join Virtually

May Learning with Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies
Facilitated by
Rabbi Elianna Yolkut
Tuesdays, May 3 and 17 @ 7:30pm
Click to Join Virtually

Makomdc (Learning & Immersion)

Partnership in Eretz Yisrael (Torat Olam – Aretz)

Click Here to Register

Partnership in Eretz Yisrael takes and demands many facets - partners on the ground, partners across borders, partners in America. We will explore these elements and their complexities through monthly cohort-based learning groups that will generally meet on 2nd or 4th Tuesday evenings. Each of the 4 groups will be led by Adas clergy and outside facilitators. A closing siyyum will be held on June 12 for all group participants to gather together.

Conversations L’Shem Shamayim
with Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt & Rabbi Shira Stutman
Dates and Time TBD
This group will be formed around individuals who have lots of Israel experience, knowledge and passion, but want to engage productively with those who embody deeply different narratives. Group size limited.

Hartman iEngage
with Rabbi Elianna Yolkut
Tuesdays, In-Person @ 7:30pm, 11/30, 12/21, 1/25, 2/22, 3/22, 4/26, 5/24, 6/7
Merging a brand new Hartman curriculum, Foundations,  focusing on homeland, diaspora and their intersection in Jewish thought with the popular iEngage series participants will explore the meaning of homeland and diaspora, peace and conflict in Israeli/Palestinian reality through a Jewish lens and the multiplicity of values                                    that animate our attitudes and actions. Group size limited.

Book Club
with Rabbi Aaron Alexander
Tuesdays, Virtually @ 12pm, 11/9, 12/14, 1/11, 2/8, 3/8, 4/12, 5/10
Over the course of the year we’ll explore, discuss, and partner in understanding foundational pieces of literature, philosophy, analysis and narrative covering a broad range of authors, from Early Zionists, to Palestinian storytellers, & modern day scholars.

*Books to be purchased or checked out of library by participants. Finances should not be prohibitive. Please be in touch with Rabbi Alexander if you need assistance.

  1. Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth (Noa Tishby)
  2. Can We Talk About Israel?: A Guide for the Curious, Confused, and Conflicted (Daniel Sokatch)
  3. Jerusalem 1913: The Origins of the Arab/Israeli Conflict (Amy Marcus) 
  5. The Wondering Jew: Israel and the Search for Jewish Identity (Micah Goodman) 
  6. Apeirogon: A novel (Colum McCann)
  7. The Hilltop (Assaf Gavron) 
  8. Dancing Arabs (Sayed Kashua)

101 Class
with Rabbi Sarah Krinsky
Thursdays, Virtually @ 12pm, 11/11, 12/9, *Tue 1/11, 2/10, 3/10, 4/14, 5/12
If you’ve always wanted to enter the conversation, but haven’t known where to start, this is for you. We will delve thoughtfully into the historical movements, pivotal events, and foundational ideas from the last 150 years that brought us to this current moment. Group size limited.

Makomdc (Learning & Immersion)

Additional Learning Opportunities

Friday Parsha Study with Adas Clergy

Fridays at 10am
Click Here to Join the Class

Join us for an exclusive in-depth look at the Torah portion. On alternating Fridays Rabbi Holtzblatt will explore the parsha through the lens of Hassidut and mysticism, Rabbi Alexander will use the Talmud as the prism for the                             weekly reading, and Rabbi Krinsky will teach the hidden recesses of the Parsha’s passages and discover its                                         meaning and relevance. 

Boker Or Shabbat Study

Shabbat Mornings at 8:30am
Click Here to Join the Session

The Boker Or Torah study group meets Saturday mornings at 8:30 a.m. with the weekly portion as its focus. Join our clergy and community over zoom each week for an engaging, text-based conversation on the week's parsha,                               before Shabbat services. *Note: Zoom meeting will begin before Shabbat starts. All participants who would like                                to join the class before Shabbat and leave their devices open for Boker Or study may do so. 

Intro to Judaism
Wednesdays at 7:30pm-9pm | Click Here to Register
Aug 25, 2021 - Apr 2, 2022

Join the Adas rabbis fo a year of deep, inspiring learning. As of now, the plan is for the class to be a hybrid of virtual and in-person learning. Several times throughout the class, we break from the official material for “small group processing” sessions. These sessions give students the opportunity to reflect on their experience in the class and on how the material is showing up in their personal, spiritual and religious lives. 

Intro to Judaism 2.0 with Rabbi Krinsky
Wednesdays at 7:30pm-9pm | Click Here to Register
11/3/21, 1/12/22, 3/23/22, 5/11/22

This course is designed for alumni of Intro to Judaism. Each of the four sessions will focus on a practical aspect of Jewish life, incorporating the learning from the Intro class into everyday routines and spaces. Topics will include: living Jewish space, creating a Jewish kitchen, observing Jewish time, and practicing Jewish ritual.

Seven Circles: A new course for committed, engaged, or newly married couples
with Rabbi Sarah Krinsky

This class will meet seven times, each at Adas from 7:30-9PM | Click Here to Register
Oct 27, Nov 17, Dec 22, Jan 26, 2022, Feb 23, Apr 13 & May 25

Seven Circles is a program for committed, engaged, or newly married couples that pairs Jewish text learning with relational exploration and reflection. Each session will be centered around an element of a Jewish wedding ceremony, and will begin with learning and discussion about that ritual. These elements are then thematically connected to aspects of a couple’s relationship, including conflict, intimacy, merging families, and financial decisions. Guided by the wisdom of a clinical therapist, the second half of each session will be focused on contemplation and conversation between and among couples about these parts of their relationships. The goals of these sessions is for couples to engage with Jewish text and learning, to explore aspects of their relationships, and to form connections and friendships with others in a similar stage of life. 

Building Blocks: An in person skills intensive on gaining access to Jewish texts in the original language and format
October 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th at 7:30pm & January 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th at 7:30pm
Click Here to Register

Join Rabbi Yolkut for two four week skills based intensives and explore the basic building blocks of Jewish learning in the original Aramaic and Hebrew. You will get the chance to study basic vocabulary and terminology, cut your teeth in learning texts in the original and by doing so gain access to new rabbinic text materials. Study in Chavruta and small groups guided by Rabbi Yolkut on how to learn Jewish texts in their original, expose yourself to the challenge of complex concepts in rabbinic thought and the joy of learning how to learn! This class will include folks at different levels and will be great for beginners *(basic Hebrew knowledge very helpful) and those that are more advanced.

Makomdc (Learning & Immersion)

Study Scholarship Fund

The Michael Stern Adult Torah Study Scholarship Fund
Click Here to Apply!

The Michael Stern Adult Torah Study Scholarship Fund is intended to assist members of Adas Israel who seek to advance their understanding of the Jewish faith, in particular through study of our foundational texts together with commentaries from antiquity to the present.

Applicants may seek support to engage in any level of learning - from introduction to Judaism classes to advanced text courses. There is no age restriction for applicants. The award limit under most circumstances is $500 per participant.

Examples of organizations that offer relevant courses of study include the Jewish Study Center, Hadar, Svara, the Brandeis Bardin Institute, the National Havurah Committee including its Summer Institute, the Haberman Institute for Jewish Studies, and Aleph Beta. 

The Fund is jointly administered by Rabbi Kerrith Solomon and Rabbi Sarah Krinsky who are happy to entertain any questions you may have. Applications should be sent to them. The program is ongoing. Applications for 2021 and 2022 will be received and considered on a rolling basis. The application form is below. 

Michael Stern z”l was one of Adas Israel’s own great sages. He engaged in Torah study for its own sake, advancing to the level of “master teacher,” a designation conferred in 2018 by our senior rabbis.

His family has created the Fund to honor Michael’s lifelong love of learning and teaching. 

Wed, December 1 2021 27 Kislev 5782