Adult Education

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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. Hebrew can also be studied 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

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.

We welcome Merri Arian as our next scholar-in-residence on February 24-26, 2017. Professor Arian serves on the faculty of the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music and the Rabbinical School of the New York campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

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. Our 7th class started its study in the fall of 2015, and will be called to the Torah on Saturday, May 27, 2017.
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. Beginning in November 2017 the group is studying the classic work of Rabbi Eugene Borowitz, Renewing the Covenant: A Theology for the Post-Modern Jew. In this classic, Borowitz attempts to move liberal Judaism’s modern morally autonomous individual self towards a post-modern position that includes a degree of covenantal obligation. The group gathers on Mondays downtown.
Contact: Temple Micah Office

Feb. 6, 2017 Chapters 17 and 18
Feb. 27, 2017 Chapter 19
Mar. 6, 2017 Chapter 20 and Onward
Apr. 3, 2017 TBD
Apr. 24, 2017 TBD
May 8, 2017 TBD
May 15, 2017 TBD

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.

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.  Temple Micah will host the course beginning February 2, 2017. For more information or to enroll contact Rabbi Stephanie Bernstein.

Jewish Thinkers of the 20th and 21st Centuries

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.
Contact: Kol Isha

This year Kol Isha invites the entire community to study two foundational Jewish feminist thinkers – Judith Plaskow and Rachel Adler. We will consider the question of how a feminist perspective invites us to envision, in Plaskow’s words, “communal and religious transformation….”

Everyone is welcome. Sessions are scheduled on Sundays from 12:30 pm to 3 pm (unless otherwise noted).


Mar. 5, 2017 Plaskow, Chapter 3 (pp. 75-120)
Apr. 2, 2017 TBA
Apr. 15, 2017 Temple Micah Community Seder hosted by Kol Isha (note the Seder is on Saturday night)
May 7, 2017 Kol Isha Retreat


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 – 2 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.


Mar. 8, 2017   Muriel Wolf: Children and Lead Poisoning
Apr. 12, 2017   Heather Moran: Leading Jewishly in the Media World
May 10, 2017   Jerold Mande: Cancer – Navigating rapidly changing Science
Jun. 13, 2017   Owen Herrnstadt: Interacting with Europe regarding BDS?
Jul. 12, 2017   Daniel Brumberg:  Internal Politics and International Policy in Iran

Monday Morning Study Group

This study group, led by Rabbi Zemel, meets twice a month, and chooses a book on Jewish thought to explore together. Newcomers are always welcome. We are now reading Grounded: Finding God in the World-A Spiritual Revolution by Diana Butler Bass. Contact: The Micah Office

Feb. 27, 2017
Mar. 6, 2017
Apr. 3, 2017
Apr. 24, 2017
May 8, 2017
May 15, 2017

Parenting Discussion Groups

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 Morning Speakers Series

On select Sunday mornings we offer a speaker who addresses an area of contemporary Jewish life, identity and the Middle East.

Mar. 26, 2017 Reporting the News in a Post Truth Era, a panel discussion with Jodi Enda (CNN), Dana Milbank (Washington Post), Naftali Bendavid (Wall Street Journal), Elizabeth Bumiller (New York Times)
Apr. 23, 2017 Alexandra Zapruder will speak on her new book, Twenty-Six Seconds: A Personal History of the Zapruder Film
May 7, 2017 Liz Poliner will speak on her novel, As Close to Us as Breathing

Temple Micah Reads

Join us for book discussions with Rabbi Zemel. This year we’ve read and discussed Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger.

Apr. 8, 2017 Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild

Thursday Evening Mini-Courses with Rabbi Beraha and Rabbi Landau

Check your calendars each semester for start dates and topics for these mini-courses taught by Rabbis Beraha and Landau.  Each session runs for three weeks, with two mini-courses in the fall and two in the spring semester.  Past subjects have included Philosophy of Baruch Spinoza, Modern Jewish Literature, Early Essays of Martin Buber, Parashat HaShavua (weekly Torah portion), and Talmud Stories.
Jewish Law and Reform Judaism
February 28, March 7, March 14, 7:30 pm
Join Rabbi Beraha to explore the history and development of Jewish law and discuss how Reform Jews have historically engaged with the topic.
To Speak or Not to Speak: Ethical Speech in Jewish Tradition
March 23 and 307:30 pm
Join Rabbi Landau to explore what Jewish texts have to say about what we should (or shouldn’t) say.  We will look at some biblical examples, rabbinic thought, and contemporary applications.

 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