Adult Education

adult ed header blue

Temple Micah creates opportunities for Jewish learning that challenge, engage, and inspire each member of our community to live a more fulfilled human and Jewish life. Our adult learning offerings include formal classes and lectures, seminars led by Temple Micah professional staff, and lay-led study groups. Group study takes place throughout the week and weekly on Shabbat. We welcome the ongoing growth and reinvention of this learning, including the creation of new groups by our members.

Our educational offerings for adults also include an array of subject matter. Our two-year adult B’nai Torah class consists of a program of Hebrew and Torah studies. Students of all ages can also study Hebrew at home via Skype, in classes of various levels, or in our lay-led Hebrew poetry study group. Lectures, seminars and study groups consider the Torah and the rest of the Bible from diverse perspectives. Other learning venues–led by staff, clergy, and community members–take up Israel and the Middle East, Zionism, prayer and worship, spirituality, philosophy, Jewish holidays, Reform Judaism, Judaism in modern America, and anything else our community encounters in its life together.

Click the program titles below for more information:

Aaron Altschul Scholar in Residence Weekend

February 20-22, 2019 with Andrea Weiss, Rabbi, Ph.D,

Dr. Andrea Weiss serves as Associate Professor of Bible at the New York campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. She was ordained at HUC-JIR/New York and received her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. She served as Associate Editor of The Torah: A Women’s Commentary (URJ Press, 2008), which won the Jewish Book Council’s 2008 Everett Family Foundation Jewish Book of the Year Award.

Aaron M. Altschul was a devoted member and leader of Temple Micah. He was a serious lifelong student of Judaism as well as an internationally renowned biochemist. After his death in 1994, the Temple Micah Board dedicated an annual scholar in residence weekend in his memory. Every March we invite a learned scholar to teach us, as we honor Altschul’s many contributions to our community.

Adult B’nai Torah Class

Taught by Cantor Meryl Weiner, the Adult B’nai Torah class meets weekly on Tuesday evenings over the course of two years, during which participants learn to read Hebrew and prayer texts, study Kabbalat Shabbat and Shabbat morning services, and study and chant from the Torah. No prior knowledge of Hebrew is required. Class discussions promote community building and include explorations into theological questions. Participants will be called to the Torah during a Shabbat morning service at the end of the two year period.
Contact: Cantor Meryl Weiner

Adult Skype Hebrew Tutoring

Make dramatic strides in Hebrew fluency by learning Hebrew outside the classroom. Spend 15 minutes a week in a one-on-one Skype session with a tutor who will help you reach your personal goals.
Contact: Rabbi Beraha

Downtown Discussion Group

This study group, led by Rabbi Zemel, chooses a book on Jewish thought to explore together. Be in touch with the office for this fall’s book. Last year we read Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari. The group gathers on Mondays downtown.  Contact: Temple Micah Office


Hebrew Poetry

Following the oneg for morning services generally on the first and third Saturdays of each month, this lay-led group reads In Hebrew and translates and discusses in English the poetry of Yehuda Amichai and other modern Israeli poets. These poets use biblical, prayer, and contemporary Hebrew in a manner that is accessible and extremely insightful on many levels to those with even limited Hebrew knowledge.  No preparation required. Contact: Hebrew Poetry.

Hebrew Short Stories

Following the oneg for morning services on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month, this lay-led group reads in Hebrew, and translates and discusses in English, contemporary short stories by Israeli authors. Stories are selected for their literary merit and accessibility to those with an intermediate knowledge of contemporary written Hebrew. The discussion ranges from a review of Hebrew vocabulary and grammar to interpretation of the story’s meaning. Registered participants receive a copy of each story in Hebrew (with selected vocabulary translated) in advance of meetings. Contact: Hebrew Short Stories.

Introduction to Judaism

The Union for Reform Judaism’s Introduction to Judaism course, taught at multiple synagogues in the DC area, is a 16-week class that provides an opportunity to learn about Jewish history, traditions, theology, holidays and life cycle ceremonies. 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. There is a fee for this course.  For more information or to enroll contact Rabbi Stephanie Bernstein.

Jewish Thinkers of the 20th and 21st Centuries

JEWISH THINKERS IS ON HIATUS FOR THE SUMMER and will resume in the fall. On the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, Jewish Thinkers, a lay-led study group, meets after services to read essays of 20th and 21st Century Jewish Thinkers who grapple with fundamental questions of faith and religion using the formal tools called Theology. The group is currently studying Sayings of the Fathers, Pirkei Avot. Contact: Jewish Thinkers

Kol Isha (“A Woman’s Voice”)

Kol Isha is a community of study and practice which explores Judaism’s rich traditions and texts through the lens of women’s energies, interpretations, and images of the divine.  Kol Isha is open to all those who seek to deepen and enrich their Jewish knowledge and spirituality from a woman’s perspective.  Every year Kol Isha sponsors a Community Seder which uses a Haggadah written from a woman’s perspective.
Contact: Kol Isha

Lunch and Learn

Lunch and Learn is a monthly learning opportunity program sponsored by the Aging Together Team. An enormously popular Micah event, Lunch and Learn offers offer a vibrant, intellectually stimulating lecture accompanied by a home-cooked meal on the second Wednesday of the month from 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm in the downstairs social hall. Transportation is provided to those who request it. Register for the next one here!

Don’t miss out, view past Lunch and Learn lectures here.

Jul. 11, 2018 Doug Grob: Understanding China
Aug. 8, 2018  Tom Green: Revisiting Watergate
Sep. 12, 2018 Peter Lovenheim: The Attachment Effect
Oct. 10, 2018  Stan Shulman: Team Alaska In Vietnam
Nov. 14, 2018  Myra Sklarew:  Through the Archives of the Feet: Holocaust Memory in Lithuania
Dec. 12, 2018 Stacy Cloyd: Social Security: Past, Present and Future
Jan. 9, 2019 Alan Kraut: Anti Immigrant Sentiment throughout American History
Feb. 13, 2019 Margaret Henoch
Mar. 13, 2019 Peter Edelman: The Criminalization of Poverty
Apr. 10. 2019 Carla Peterson-Rosenbloom
May 8, 2019 Marianne Szegedy-Maszak: Charmed Lives:History, Family and Fate during Hungary’s Holocaust
Jun. 12, 2019 Juliet Eilperin
Jul. 10, 2019 Al From

Jun. 13, 2018 Yolanda Savage-Narva: Inclusivity: The Relationship between Blacks and Jews
May 9, 2018 Erica Perl: Carving Out Space for Creativity
Apr. 11, 2018 Jared Blum: The Anti-Defamation League
Mar. 14, 2018 Dana Milbank: What’s up in Washington?
Feb. 14, 2018  Cynthia Hogan: Transacting with the US government in the era of Trump
Jan. 10, 2018  Larry Cooley & Marina Fanning: Foreign Aid in an ‘America First’ World
Dec. 13, 2017 Rabbi Tamara Miller: The Rocky Road to the Rabbinate; a modern day Yentl
Nov. 8, 2017 Arthur Freeman: The Evolution of Hanukkah Lamp Design
Oct. 11, 2017 Stuart Schwartz: Behind the Scenes of Broadcast News
Sep. 13, 2017 Herman and Mary Schwartz: Music of Exile
Aug. 9, 2017 Karen Rosenbaum: The Air of Photography
Jul. 12, 2017 Daniel Brumberg: Internal Politics and International Policy in Iran
Jun. 13, 2017 Owen Herrnstadt: Interacting with Europe regarding BDS?


Monday Morning Study Group

This study group is led by Rabbi Zemel. Beginning Febraury 12, the group will read and discuss Richard Rorty’s Achieving Our Country.  For more information please contact: The Micah Office.


Parent Discussion Group

This discussion group for parents of children from birth through the teen years, led by Cantor Meryl Weiner and congregant Martha Adler, MSW, meets during Machon Micah on Sunday mornings. The group tackles issues such as interfaith families, risk taking, making mistakes, family dynamics, grief and death, gratitude, and more.
Contact: Cantor Meryl Weiner


Sunday Speakers Series

On select Sundays at 10:15 am we offer a speaker who addresses an area of contemporary Jewish life, identity and the Middle East.

Nov. 4, 2018  Steve Weisman: The Chosen Wars: How Judaism Became an American Religion

Dec. 2, 2018  Rachel Laser, executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State

Jan. 27, 2019 Diana Butler Bass: Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks

Feb. 10, 2019  Alan Ronkin: Facing Anti-Semitism in a Time of Division

Speakers this past year include:

  • Church and State Issues in America Today
    Daniel Mach, Director ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief
  • Small Town Jews and the Holocaust: Czechoslovakia and Hungary
    Dr. Marc Lee Raphael, Nathan Gumenick Chair of Judaic Studies, College of William and Mary
  • The Ten Commandments
    Dr. Leon Kass, American Enterprise Institute, Resident Scholar and Madden-Jewett Chair

 Torah Study Group

This lay-led group meets each Shabbat morning before services to explore the week’s Torah and Haftarah portions. There are refreshments and all are welcome to attend. Contact: Torah Study