Ma’alotDC (High School)



"Teens ascending to Jewish adulthood with a love of Jewish tradition, community and a strong sense of Jewish self-identity"


Adas Israel’s Ma’alot DC Hebrew High School program for 7th-12th graders engages post b‘nai mitzvah students in Torah study as they begin to explore Judaism as young adults. The staff and faculty at Adas Israel work hard to create an environment that promotes community and socialization so that students continue to strengthen existing relationships and build new ones in these important developmental years of self discovery. Every session begins with a dinner that starts with Hamotzi and ends with Birkat Hamazon, blessings after meal. Israeli and Jewish music and socializing makes for an enticing atmosphere for teens.


Using Jewish texts and drawing from our rich tradition, the Ma'alot DC faculty and staff give students the opportunity to look at Jewish sources that have shaped Jewish life and practice for centuries and to understand them in a personal way. Our faculty, which includes members of the clergy, act more as facilitators giving students the chance to interact with one another and to understand important Jewish issues through the eyes of each other. Ma'alot DC serves as a great bridge that brings together students from Day School and Religious School backgrounds. Our teachers build relationships with our students that continue long after the students go to college. Every year we involveShinShinim, Israeli teens who become part of our high school community teaching classes and sharing Israel with our students

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  ‚ÄčThe goals of the Ma'alot DC Program @ Adas Israel are:

  1. 1) To keep post b’nai mitzvah students connected to the Jewish community during a time that is critical to Jewish development and identity.
  2. 2) To give students the tools and knowledge so that they are prepared to succeed as Jews and individuals on college campuses and beyond.
  3. 3) To expose students to Jewish texts and sources that they can respond to and apply to their life and experiences.
  4. 4) To create ahavat yisrael, a love for Israel in our students while giving them a safe and non-judgmental forum for discussing difficult and often confusing issues related to the modern state of Israel.
  5. 5) To create experiences for students where they can put their values into action throughtikkun olam and advocacy work related to social justice issues and dilemmas.
  6. 6) To expose students to Jewish texts that have informed our tradition for centuries and to do it with a modern lens that speaks to the world of our teens.
  7. 7) To empower teens to be leaders in the Adas Israel and larger Jewish community.
  8. 8) To provide students with the opportunity to hone their Hebrew skills and to build a foundation for conversational Hebrew.

What do our 12th graders have to say when they leave our program?

Graduates resize“When I was going through a difficult time in my personal life, my friends at Adas Israel and the teachers were there to support me and were accepting of who I was and where I was in my life.”

“All the colleges I applied to were very impressed that I had stuck out an extracurricular program in my synagogue through 12th grade.”

“The teachers helped us with the college application process. Guy Ziv wrote me a recommendation and gave me great advice.”

“We have been together since the preschool and we will always be friends wherever our paths take us.”

“I loved studying Jewish text with the Rabbis and having discussions about what it means to us”.

“Sometimes I would have a busy week with tests and sports and I had to miss Hebrew School. The teachers always understood and it was always cool for us to come back when things slowed down.”

Ma'alot Leadership:

winter2008067As many students are aware, one of the many “fringe benefits” you get from returning to Adas after your Confirmation year is the opportunity to join the popular Jewish Leadership class, which Guy Ziv has taught – on and off – since joining the Adas faculty in 1996. As we begin the school year, we're interested in finding out who among you will be interested in participating in this exciting program this year.

The program in a nutshell:
We will meet approximately every 3 weeks at Adas for approximately 1.5 hours per session. The purpose of this class is to help you develop a wide range of leadership skills while gaining expertise on a particular topic of concern to the Jewish community. We will explore various sides of the issue (to be determined in the first meeting); engage in conversation and debate with one another; engage expert guest speakers; formulate a coherent set of talking points; and lobby Members of Congress (House and Senate) and their aides.


maalot last dayThis course is geared towards those of you who are interested in politics and wish to hone your leadership skills in an applied manner. Unfortunately, we may not be able to accommodate everyone. Space is limited and preference will be given to 11th & 12th grade students.There is no additional cost for this course, but we may collect a modest sum from each of you to cover your meals, assuming we meet over lunch.

If you are interested in enrolling, or if you have any questions or concerns, email Guy Ziv with the subject heading “Adas Leadership Class.”

Leadership Class 2009-2010 student Julia Peck wrote an article about her experience that was featured in the June 9, 2010 issue of the Washington Jewish Week: "Taking Tikkun Olam Seven Metro Stops" 


A Wider Circle January 27 2013Our madrichim program is a teen leadership program for students in 8th through 12th grade. Madrichim hold a number of different leadership roles in our religious school, from assisting teachers in classrooms to helping in our education office and library. Students also assist the High Holy Day children's programming.

Our program is aimed at engaging our madrichim in a meaningful and positive way. We are holding open 40 identified positions for our program this year, to be filled on a first come first serve basis. Students must be enrolled in Maalot DC or a Jewish day school program in order to participate. Because this is a USY leadership program, first priority will go to 9th-12th graders. There are a limited number of spots available to 8th graders. Application deadline is August 20.


Compressed KotelMadrichim can choose to hold this position for service learning hours or for pay. If you would like to get paid, you must be at least 14 years old and obtain a DC work permit. If you prefer service learning hours, please read and understand your secular school’s service learning requirements and guidelines.

If you have questions or would like to learn more about the madrichim program, please contact Rich Dinetz.


Abe and Minnie Kay Israel Experience

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The Abe and Minnie Kay Israel trip is a heavily subsidized two-week Tikkun Olam focused Israel experience for rising 11 graders in the Ma'alot DC program at Adas Israel. The students spend their 10th grade year studying and preparing for their journey and return in the 11th grade year to share their experiences with the community.

Click here to read an article in the Washington Jewish Week about the Abe and Minnie Kay Israel Experience,
our new trip to Israel for our 10th Grade students! 

Enjoy this slideshow from a recent Kay Israel trip: