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Kol Ami — The Northern Virginia Reconstructionist Community

Adult Education

ADULT EDUCATION 2021-2022

Kol Ami offers a variety of educational programs and social opportunities for adults.  There is never an end to interesting things to study related to Judaism! If you’d like to suggest a program for Kol Ami, please let us know.  Kol Ami’s Adult Education programming is open to non-members by pre-registration only. Please click HERE to register.

Kol Ami is offering a number of adult learning opportunities this year.  Please contact our Adult Education Chair, Michael Jawer, to learn more about them, via .

Weekly Torah Study with Rabbi Bruce Aft:

Join Kol Ami online for a weekly lunchtime Torah study with Rabbi Bruce Aft, focusing on the commentaries of Rabbis Jonathan Sacks and Abraham Twerski.  Sessions will be held on Wednesdays, noon to 1 pm, starting on September 29. Please register to receive the Zoom link as well as links for readings and any schedule changes during the year. Come to as many or as few sessions as you wish. No prior Torah knowledge is necessary — come as you are!

To Register, please click HERE.

Encountering Judaism

A year-long class for people interested in knowing more about Jewish culture, beliefs, history, and practices, starting October 17, 2021 and running through June 2022.   Meetings will be held on Sunday at 11 am every other week.  Plans are to have an introductory outdoor meeting with masks and social distancing, and occasional outdoor meetings, but to hold most subsequent classes on Zoom until pandemic conditions permit safe in-person indoor meetings.

We anticipate this class will be of interest to several different kinds of people:

  • Those raised Jewish who have been seeking more substantial Jewish education – and Jewish education more welcoming of questions and diverse opinions – than what they received growing up.
  • Non-Jewish family members and friends of Kol Ami members who want to know more about Judaism, so they can craft more knowledgeable and creative interfaith lives.
  • People who feel called to Judaism and are considering conversion.  (Kol Ami is pleased to sponsor people through the conversion process and welcome them into the Jewish people.)

The curriculum will take shape as we learn more about class members’ backgrounds and interests.  We plan to cover topics including Jewish holidays, Jewish cultural history and practices both from ancient times and in the US, Jewish values and beliefs, Jewish prayer and religious practices, and controversies and debates in Jewish life today.  We’ll be using a combination of presentations, large and small group discussions, and experiential learning.  As a Reconstructionist Jewish community, Kol Ami is anti-racist, supports full religious rights and participation of girls and women, and is LGBT-affirmative.  In this class, all points of view, and – especially – all questions are always welcome.

The class is free for Kol Ami members (including those in the “friend” category).  Others will be asked to consider making a donation of $180 for the year.  No one who would like to participate will be turned away for financial reasons.

To Register, please click HERE.

Our Kitchen Sink Series:

Our adult education series covers a range of topics and presenters.  Information on our 2021-2022 series will be posted in October.  Here’s what we learned last year:

— December 6, 2020, 10 am:  A virtual tour of the Jews in Space exhibit at the Jewish Museum of Maryland, organized by Jason Weiss.

— December 20, 2020, 11 am:  Book/Brunch/Bingo with Kol Ami’s Mike Jawer.  Insights from Mike into his latest book, Sensitive Soul – an exploration of how emotion ‘seeds’ people’s personalities and quite extraordinary abilities.

—  January 2, 2021, 7 pm:  Jews and Science Fiction, led by Herb Levy.

—  January 16, 2021, 10 am to Noon: On the Shabbat of Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend, please come to a joint Kol Ami -Shirat HaNefesh service led by Rabbi Gilah, with guest speaker Dr. Marc Dollinger, author of the book Black Power, Jewish Politics, speaking on “1619, 1654, 2020: Jews and Racism.”

— March 14, 2021:   Kol Ami was pleased to co-sponsor a lecture by Dr. Marc Brettler via the Haberman Institute for Jewish Studies, entitled Biblical and Modern Perspectives on the Haggadah. 

— April 14, 21, 28, 2021:  Kol Ami spearheaded a three-part discussion group with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, Rock Spring United Church of Christ, and Arlington Church of the Brethren.  The topic:  a new book by Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler, The Bible With and Without Jesus: How Jews and Christians Read the Same Stories Differently.  

–May 23, 2021, 11 am-12:30 pm:  Kol Ami welcomed Rabbi Sarah Tasman for a workshop entitled Creating New Rituals for Life Transitions. 

June 13, 2021, 11 am – 12:15 pm:   A brunch discussion on the Future for  Jews in America with guest speaker Ron Kampeas, Washington Bureau Chief, Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA).

Contact Kol Ami

P.O. Box 1801, Annandale, VA 22003
Phone: 571-336-5544
Rabbi's Study: 202-364-3006

Where We Meet

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington
4444 Arlington Blvd.
Arlington Blvd. (Route 50) & George Mason Dr.
Arlington, VA 22204
View Map & Directions

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