Adult Classes

Adult Jewish Learning Opportunities

Hebrew Classes  |  Judaics Classes  |  Torah Study  |  Rodef Chochma (Adult B’nai Mitzvah)  |  Sacred Sparks: Meditation & Learning  |  Special Programs

Under the leadership of our Adult Education Committee, we are building a community of adult learners who, through their Jewish learning, will live more purposeful and fulfilling lives and help shape a better world. We offer a wide array of educational opportunities for adults — programs that enhance our skills and add to our understanding of Judaism and the world — all within the matrix of Jewish values. From weekly Torah study to baking challah together to learning biblical Hebrew, our members engage in educational experiences and celebrate traditions that link the ancient wisdom of Judaism to our 21st-century lives.

Please contact Cantor Allen Leider, for more information on our education programs. 

Hebrew Classes

Rodef Shalom offers Hebrew classes for all interests and skill levels. See our offerings below:

In our Biblical Hebrew classes, students learn the grammar and vocabulary to enable them to read and translate the Bible and then apply the knowledge to studying biblical texts together. There are three levels: Beginning, Intermediate, and Continuing. Beginners start with the aleph-bet and learn basic verb forms and grammar. Intermediate students continue in the same textbook and learn more advanced grammar concepts and vocabulary. Continuing students meet monthly in an ongoing class where they read and translate biblical texts.

The beginners are introduced to the Hebrew letters, vowels and learn reading the basic blessings and prayers. Basic prayers are explained.  No previous knowledge in Hebrew is needed.

For more advanced students who can read Hebrew, new prayers and blessings are introduced. This class starts with a short review of reading easier prayers, in order to evaluate what level the class will be.

For those more interested in learning to speak Modern Hebrew phrases without learning how to read Hebrew, we offer a fun and active class in Conversational Hebrew.

Judaics Classes

Mussar is both group study and personal practice. It is a thousand-year-old Jewish system for personal growth, with guidelines to help you live a more meaningful and ethical life. If you’ve ever wondered about how Jewish values can guide your daily life and inform your interactions with others, Mussar provides such a path for living. We will explore together what Jewish tradition has to teach us about traits such as humility, patience, trust and equanimity. Feed your soul and bring greater holiness to your everyday living. You’ll enjoy working on the remaining middot in our text, Everyday Holiness.

The Introduction to Judaism Course provides an opportunity to learn about Jewish history, traditions, holidays and life cycle ceremonies. Over this 18 week course participants will gain comfort and familiarity with Jewish symbols, holidays, theology and core beliefs, life cycle celebrations, the Hebrew Bible and other sacred texts, history, antisemitism, Zionism and Israel, Jewish food, blessings, music, and more. Introduction to Judaism is designed for individuals and couples wishing to explore Judaism, whether they are Jewish or not, as well as for those individuals considering becoming Jewish.

Contact Cantor Allen Leider, Director of Lifelong Learning, for more information.

The Taste of Judaism course, supported by the Union for Reform Judaism, is a free three-session course, open to members and the unaffiliated – Jews or non-Jews – all are welcome. The course is for those who would like to explore or re-explore the core foundations of Jewish tradition or for those who may be searching for an entrée into Jewish life. We cover the Jewish perspective on spirituality/God, values/Torah and community/Israel. The course is offered twice each year.

Torah Study

How do we seek answers to the big questions about life, God, our place in the world, who we are? Under the tutelage of our rabbis and cantors, we begin with the basics.

In Torah Study, every Saturday morning at 9:00 AM, we read, contemplate, and explicate the words of our Torah, words that have defined us for millenia. We share our thoughts, opinions, and perspectives, and enjoy a lively discussion.

Please contact Otto Adelman before 3:00 PM each Friday for the Zoom link.

Rodef Chochma (Adult B'nai Mitzvah)

The Rodef Chochma (Pursuer of Wisdom) program is Temple Rodef Shalom’s version of a group Adult B’nai Mitzvah, an opportunity for adults to learn the skills to be called to the Torah.

Each class member will read from the Torah and will also lead the congregation in prayer in a group Shabbat service.

Our program offers adults a unique opportunity to gain an introduction to Jewish thought, practice and ritual. Classes are held about twice a month and are taught by our clergy.

Topics include liturgy and prayer, holidays, lifecycle, theology, Reform Judaism, etc. In addition, students work on their Hebrew reading ability in concurrent or private classes and/or tutorial sessions. The Hebrew component is a separate component to the Rodef Chochma curriculum. The class is designed to create community through learning, mitzvot and social opportunities.

Please contact our Clergy Assistants for more information.

Sacred Sparks: Meditation & Learning

Explore how Jewish meditation can help quiet your mind, keep you centered, and bring a greater sense of spirituality to your life.

 Join us monthly for a personal exploration on a Jewish theme such as joy, loving, kindness, gratitude, or connection to nature. Each session will include learning, personalization of the theme, and a short, guided meditation to internalize what we hope to manifest in our lives.


No meditation experience is required. Great for adults and teens! Minimum attendance is required. We’ll typically meet on a Wednesday evening from 7:00 – 8:30 PM; visit the Temple calendar to register for our next session.

Special Programs

The Adult Ed Committee supports a variety of programs, all involving Jewish topics or issues, that endeavor to broaden our experience through learning.  This can be through single lectures by exceptional speakers, panel discussions on topics of general concern, or multiple-session meetings and classes. Members of TRS are encouraged to offer suggestions for speakers and programs through any of the Adult Ed Committee members. Some of our offerings include:

Temple Rodef Shalom is pleased to welcome world-renowned scholars to our congregation, from time to time, to share their expertise and research.

Food4Thought typically meets on a Tuesday morning and allows Temple members to hear perspectives on a variety of topics – from current events and issues hot off the presses to our clergy sharing insights through a Jewish lens.

Love movies? Then join us for Havdalah and a lively discussion of a Jewish-themed film.

Dining in Together is a monthly virtual presentation on a weekday evening and features a speaker on current events relevant to Jewish audiences.

Offered several times a year, speakers share their expert opinions in a conversational format.

Consult the calendar for all our upcoming Adult Jewish Learning opportunities. For more information about our Adult Jewish Learning, contact Cantor Allen Leider, 703-532-2207.

Original heading text:

Extraordinary knowledge must be informed by transcendent values. The cultivation of such knowledge begins with shared conversations, collaborative instruction, and the willingness to open our minds to inspiration and guidance – within the context of the timeless ethics, morals, and principles of Judaism. Temple Rodef Shalom offers a wide array of educational opportunities for adults – programs that enhance our skills and add to our understanding of Judaism and the world – all within the matrix of Jewish values. From weekly Torah study to baking challah together to learning biblical Hebrew, our members engage in educational experiences and celebrate traditions that link the ancient wisdom of Judaism to our 21st century lives. Learning is a lifelong privilege and a sacred task.

Heading Text from Cantor from April 2022 (?):

Students of learning increase peace in the world. (Talmud, Brachot 64a)

At Temple Rodef Shalom, we are building a community of adult learners who through their Jewish learning, will live more purposeful and fulfilling lives and help shape a better world. We offer a wide array of educational opportunities for adults – programs that enhance our skills and add to our understanding of Judaism and the world – all within the matrix of Jewish values. From weekly Torah study to baking challah together to learning biblical Hebrew, our members engage in educational experiences and celebrate traditions that link the ancient wisdom of Judaism to our 21st century lives.

Goals for Adult Learning – our program:

  • Provides a continuum of learning with entry points for beginners as well as seasoned scholars
  • Provides opportunities for daytime and evening learning
  • Appeals to a broad range of interests and learning styles
  • Increases the number of adult learners in our congregation
  • Provides learning that leads to a deeper sense of personal purpose and meaning
  • Fosters Jewish literacy and stimulates curiosity
  • Builds community and deepens interpersonal connections

Our program is rich with scholarly lectures, formal and informal study, discussion groups, Judaic classes, Hebrew classes, and other unique learning opportunities offer our members various ways to enrich spiritual and intellectual growth.

Consult the calendar for all our upcoming Adult Jewish Learning opportunities. For more information about our Adult Jewish Learning, contact Cantor Allen Leider, 703-532-2207.

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