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MakomDC 2022-2023

Seeds of Wisdom

On the heels of 2 ½ years of an evolving pandemic, economic and political challenges we want to join together in community and learn texts that drive us, inspire us and help us to grow spiritually and religiously. Create your own garden of Jewish meaning and wisdom by joining together with a community of learners to access touch points of Jewish wisdom shared by Rabbis Holtzblatt, Alexander, Krinsky and Yolkut and special scholars and guests. The classes will be a chance for a deep dive  into Jewish ideas and texts that ground and inspire us and we hope will also inspire you too. 


Makomdc (Learning & Immersion)

Cultivating Wisdom


Learning the Torah of Resilience from the Talmud to the Mystics with JMCW
Taught by Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt

Tuesdays at 7:30pm in the Biran Beit Midrash

                            *NEW DATE & Times: Series #2: Tuesdays, May 30 at 7:30pm

Everyday lately seems like another wave of bad news from the war in Ukraine, to the climate emergency, to the state of politics in the United States and abroad.  How do we face troubling times with an open heart and a resilient spirit?  Our rabbis faced a world that was in tumult and continued to innovate, re-charge, find their footing and carry on.  How do we learn from their experiences?

In this 2 part (3 week session) we will explore stories from the Talmud, the Zohar and the teachings of the mystics on building a resilient spirit.  All texts will be provided in both Hebrew and English.  We will study the contexts in which these texts were written, how the rabbis and mystics approached their struggles and how we might integrate resilience into our own lives. 

From Antiquity Until Today: Claiming  Our Rabbinic Heritage In Form and Content
Taught by Rabbi Aaron Alexander

Tuesdays at 7:00pm in the Biran Beit Midrash
Series #1 Layers of Life & Law: Exploring the Talmudic Sugya (November 1st, 8th, 15th at 7pm)
Series #2 Literature of Lore & Love : Exploring the Mind of Midrash (February 7th, 14th, 21st at 7pm)

There is simply no detaching modern Jewish life from its ancient rabbininc foundation. The challenge has also been opening up the depth of these texts to those of us untrained in the technical, academic, medieval, and modern methods of learning rabbininc literature. 

In 2 three-week  sessions (one in the fall  and one in the spring) we will closely learn selections of Talmud and Midrash (in the original w/ translations provided), unpacking them with  tools scholars have developed and used throughout history to better understand what the original authors, editors, and redactors created & intended. We’ll explore the layers of a Talmudic passage (sugya), and the genres of Midrash–halakhah (law), aggadah (lore), and mashal (parable)--in order to not only understand the many forms of rabbininc literature, but also mine them for the content that inspires our religious lives.

BaBayit - Building a Jewish Home
Taught by Rabbi Sarah Krinsky

Click Here to Register
Wednesdays from 7:30pm-9:00pm
11/16/2022, 12/7/2022, 1/11/2023, 2/8/2023, 3/8/2023, and 4/19/2023

While much of currently Jewish life takes place in institutions (synagogues, schools, camps, etc), the heart of Jewish living is often the home. This course is designed to help explore, explain, bolster and create practice and rituals centered in the home, with expansive understandings of the myriad of “Jewish homes” that make up the fabric of our community. 

Each of the six sessions will focus on a practical aspect of Jewish life. Topics will include: living Jewish space, creating a Jewish kitchen, observing Jewish time, and practicing Jewish ritual. 

Alumni of the 2021-2022 Intro Judaism class are especially invited to come together for dinner beforehand to socialize and stay connected with one another.

The Spirituality of Emotions: Explore Texts Dealing with Anger, Joy, Despair and Hope
Taught by: Rabbi Elianna Yolkut

Sundays at 10am, In-Person Biran Beit Midrash
Series #1: October 23rd, October 30th, November 6th | Series #2: April 16th and 23rd

The sustained uncertainty, grief and fear of the last several years has left many of us unsure of how to harness our emotions towards hope, possibility, growth and anchoring. With an ever changing reality we vacillate between a myriad of emotions. So what does Judaism think about and ask of us when it comes to our emotional well being? What are we to do when anger burns inside of us in our personal lives? How do we navigate the global anger coursing through the world today?  How can we cultivate a heart of joy? What happens when we are blocked by life circumstances and joy seems elusive and distant?  How do we find hope in dark periods of time? 

Join Rabbi Yolkut for two 3 week sessions (In-Person) in which we will explore how the tradition deals with the universal and challenging myriad of human emotions and how they intersect with a religious and spiritual world view. Study texts (translations provided) from the Torah all the way through modernity that ask these questions and offer deep exploration of the panacea of emotions we all experience.Gain some practical skills to work on cultivating an intentional spiritual life.

Makomdc (Learning & Immersion)

Sustaining Growth


Boker Ohr Shabbat Study

Shabbat Mornings at 8:30am, Resumes Fall 2022
In Person Only
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. 

Friday Parsha Study with Adas Clergy

Fridays at 10am
Click Here to Join the Class

Join Rabbis Holtzblatt, Alexander, Krinsky and Yolkut for an in-depth look at the weekly Torah portion. We will explore the parsha through multiple lenses including Hassidut and mysticism, the Talmud, traditional Torah commentaries, and modern thinkers as we explore making meaning out of our most sacred Jewish texts. 

Weekday Torah with Sisterhood

Monthly, 3rd Tuesday at 10:30am
Weekday Torah with Sisterhood is an engaging approach to traditional text study that offers participants the opportunity to study and discuss challenging texts and ideas. Students of all levels and backgrounds are welcome. Please contact Marilyn Cooper with questions, or if you would like a link to the Zoom Torah study class.

Intro to Judaism

Wednesdays at 7:30pm-9pm | Closed for this year
September 14, 2022‒March 29, 2023

Are you interested in exploring Jewish tradition from the ground up, with master Jewish teachers? Have you been wondering about the core beliefs and practices that animate the Jewish religion? Are you looking to integrate your experience of God and prayer into the rhythm of your life?

This course is designed to give you the raw materials with which to appreciate and access Jewish tradition. Whatever it is you may be seeking, we offer a safe space for acquiring the experiential and intellectual knowledge that allow you to deepen your own religious life. Topics include, but are not limited to:

The World of the Bible | Ritual exploration | Life cycles (Birth, Marriage, Death) | Shabbat (The Sabbath) | Prayer and Liturgy
Jewish Holidays | Israel | Theology

Note: This class will be a hybrid of virtual and in-person learning. Most sessions will meet on Zoom, with monthly in-person gatherings at Adas.

*New this year! For those interested in celebrating an Adult B’Nai Mitzvah, this is the class for you. Every 4 weeks our ABM cohort will meet with a member of the clergy to learn the skills to read Torah, Haftarah and blessings with a culmination ceremony on Shabbat morning Smith service in the late Spring. 

*350 for Individuals, $450 for Couples *Scholarships available

This course is taught through a collaborative educational partnership with the Miller Introduction to Judaism Program of American Jewish University.

Makomdc (Learning & Immersion)

Sponsored by the Annie Bass Yellen Scholarship Fund

Rabbi Lila Kagedan

May 13th, 2023 at 1pm, After Kiddush
Only to do justice And to love goodness, And to walk modestly with your God: Racial and Social Disparities in Health: What Can The Prophets Teach Us?

There is strong evidence that race/ethnicity and social determinants of health impact outcomes for patients across the globe significantly. A better understanding of the structure of these relationships/associations will improve outcomes for patients and health and wellness in communities. Judaism is a faith tradition that cares deeply about health and healing as well as equality and access to healthcare. In this session, we will explore themes of bioethics, in the context of racial and social disparities and determinants of health through a Jewish lens, guided by the wisdom of our prophets.

Makomdc (Learning & Immersion)

Mendelson Scholar Series 


Dr. Simcha Gross

November 5th, 2022
Social History of the Rabbis and in memoriam and honor of Professor Halivni.

Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin and Rabbi Avram Israel Reisner

January 21st, 2023
Yishuv Ha’Olam: The First Mitzvah You Never Heard Of: On Sustainability and Jewish Law

Dr. Judith Hauptman

March 4th, 2023
On New Halacha in Surrogacy

Makomdc (Learning & Immersion)

Deepening Our Connection to Israel: Listening to the Voices and Stories of our Land and Our People


Book Club with Rabbi Aaron Alexander (Virtual)

Click Here to Register

Book Club is held every 2nd Tuesday of the month (3rd tuesday in April due to Passover) from 12pm-1pm
Nov 8, Dec 13th, Jan 10th, Feb 14th, March 14th, April 18th, May 9th.

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.

How do we love Israel?  with Rabbi Shira Stutman

Click Here to Register and Learn More

In person Wednesdays at 7pm-8:30pm on 11/30, 12/14, 1/4 , 1/18, 2/1, 2/15, 3/1
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.

Makomdc (Learning & Immersion)

New Voices of Learning


Shabbat Lunch and Learn
Womens’ Voices: Opening Up the Scholarship of Jewish Women

Saturdays at 12:15pm in the  Biran Beit Midrash
10/22, 12/10, 2/11, 4/22

Join Rabbi Yolkut as she explores some of the most important Female Voices in the world of Jewish Thought and Scholarship including but not limited to Nechama Leibowitz, Avivah Zorenberg and Dr. Judith Hauptman and a new compilation of modern Midrashim dirshuni. We will explore these unique voices and study together - bring your lunch and come to the Biran Beit Midrash for learning, gathering and lunch. 

Weekly Torah Bite

After Daily Minyan Wednesdays Biran Beit Midrash (begins the week of October 19th) 
Join Rabbi Yolkut for a quick 20 minutes exploration the Torah commentary of the Netziv - Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Yehuda of Berlin, the preeminent Lithuanian scholar and his commentary on the weekly Torah portion. 

Deep Dive Davening (Learning Prayer Experience)

Shabbat mornings 9:45am-10:45am in the Biran Beit Midrash 
October 22nd, November 12, December 10 , January 21, February 11th

Join Rabbi Yolkut to explore the siddur (prayerbook), learn together in depth crucial prayers in our Shabbat morning service and ask the question of how and why in the Jewish prayer experience. Unpack spiritual notions in the davening and try to understand the structure of the siddur and its purpose in moving us through a series of religious and spiritual ideas.

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. 

Tue, June 6 2023 17 Sivan 5783