makom learning experiences


MakomDC 2017-2018
Bridges and Boundaries: The Contours of Community
Learning, Living and Exploring in Adas Israel's Biran Beit Midrash
Over the course of the year, our rabbis and distinguished scholars will lead us in guided text study, conversations, and presentations that explore the Jewish tradition's essential teachings on defining holy community. Together we’ll navigate the particular values that bind us and the universal ideas that inspire us, and then think together about where they do and don’t intersect.


MakomDC Learning | November, January, March & May
Open Beit Midrash
The first Tuesday of the month will offer an Open Beit Midrash, a place to sit across the table from fellow seekers and explore the rich, sophisticated, sacred texts that have animated our people for so many years.
  MakomDC Keynote Scholar
The second Tuesday of the month will offer a keynote experience, featuring a dynamic scholar and master-teacher to explore the month’s topic, expanding and deepening the texts covered in the first week.
"The Text" Text Study
The third Tuesday of the month will explore transformative Jewish texts in their original Aramaic and Hebrew. That means we will break our teeth together and study with no translations but with lots of support from your peers and teachers.
  Shabbat Halakhah Learning
On Shabbatot over the course of the year,  (3rd Saturdays) Rabbi Alexander will give a text-based class, after kiddush in the BBM, using halakhah (Jewish life and living) as a prism through which to access our monthly topic.

MakomDC September Learning:

Preparing Our Hearts for the High Holy Days
Join MakomDC throughout the month of September as we turn our energy toward spiritual, intellectual, and emotional preparations for the upcoming Days of Awe.  

The TEXT: Explore Transformative Jewish Texts in Aramaic & Hebrew
Tuesday, September 5 @ 7:30pm

Dive deep into primary texts, while also attending the timeless wisdom of rabbinic judaism. Explore transformative Jewish texts in their original Aramaic and Hebrew with Rabbi Elianna Yolkut.

MakomDC / JMCW High Holy Day Mash Up
Tuesday September 12 @ 7:00pm Register Here

Join Rabbis Holtzblatt and Alexander for an evening of preparation as we approach the High Holy Days. This awe inspiring foundation to the Days of Awe will include options of text study, meditation, and spiritual "Return Again" tunes.

Post Kiddush Halakhah class with Rabbi Aaron Alexander
Saturday, September 16 @ 1:00pm, Post-Kiddush

Rabbi Alexander will give a text-based class,  using halakhah (Jewish life and living) as a prism with which to access this year's High Holy Day theme "Then like the dawn shall your light burst through".


Special Event:
“The Heart of Torah” Book Talk and Signing with Rabbi Shai Held 
In conversation with Jeffrey Goldberg, Editor In Chief of The Atlantic

Sunday, October 8 at 7:30pm Register Here

Please join us on Sunday, October 8 at 7:30pm as we host Rabbi Shai Held who will discuss his new book The Heart of Torah, in conversation with Jeffrey Goldberg, Editor in Chief of The Atlantic. Books available for purchase here and Rabbi Held will sign books at the end of the evening.

The Heart of Torah by Rabbi Shai Held has been ranking as the #1, #2 and #3 new release in Amazon's category of Torah and is now available for purchase. The work grows out of an intense labor of love and covers an extraordinary array of topics. Some of the core themes featured prominently are: the centrality of compassion and empathy in Jewish ethics, the predominance of divine love in Jewish theology, the primacy of gratitude and generosity in Jewish spirituality, and the lived experience of being summoned by God to lives of goodness and holiness. Co-sponsored by Sixth & I and the Washington Board of Rabbis.


2017-2018 Visiting Scholars:


Rabbi Sharon Brous 
Wednesday, November 15 @ 7:30pm
Rabbi Sharon Brous, the senior and founding rabbi of IKAR based in Los Angeles, is a leading voice in reanimating religious life in America and has previously been named #1 on Newsweek’s list of the most influential rabbis in America.

Rabbi Gordon Tucker
Tuesday, January 16 @ 7:30pm

Rabbi Gordon Tucker is a renowned Jewish philosopher and published writer currently serving as the Senior Rabbi of Temple Israel Center in White Plains, New York.

Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld 
Tuesday, March 13 @ 7:30pm
Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, Dean of the Rabbinical School at Hebrew College, is a prominent professor and editor who has frequently been listed as one of the top 50 most influential rabbis.

Rabbi Elie Kaunfer 
Tuesday, May 8 @7:30pm
Rabbi Elie Kaunfer, President and CEO of Mechon Hadar, is a distinguished theologian and author who is also the co-founder of the independent minyan, Kehilat Hadar. 

2017-2018 Mendelson Shabbat Scholars:

Rabbi Dr. Reuven Hammer 
Saturday, November 18 @1:00pm
Rabbi Reuven Hammer is a renowned Jewish scholar and lecturer who is one of the founders of the Masorti movement as well as the past President of the International Rabbinical Assembly.
  Rabbi Dr. Judith Hauptman 
Saturday, December 16 @1:00pm
Rabbi Judith Haputman, the E. Billi Ivry Professor Emerita of Talmud and Rabbinic Culture at the Jewish Theological Seminary, is a scholar who primarily researches the history of the Talmud.
Dr. Talya Fishman
Saturday, February 17 @1:00pm
Dr. Talya Fishman is a professor of Religious studies and modern intellectual history at the University of Pennsylvania whose work focuses on Judaism in the medieval and early modern periods.
  Rabbi Dr. Noah Bickart 
Saturday, April 21 @1:00pm
Rabbi Noah Bickert is an accomplished theologian and author currently working at Yale University as a Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Postdoctoral Fellow in the Program of Judaic Studies. 

Ongoing Learning – Additional Learning Options Throughout The Season:

The Text 2.0: In-Depth Halakhah (Jewish Law)
Dates: 10/31, 12/5, 2/6, 4/10 @ 7:30pm-9pm
Rabbi Alexander will lead learners in a textual exploration of a topic in Jewish Law, using original sources without translation. This series is designed primarily for those with previous experience studying classical rabbinic texts in hebrew/aramaic. 


Beginner's Hebrew Register Here
Sundays 10:30am – 12:00pm, Beginning Oct 22
Give yourself the gift of learning to read Hebrew. Whether you’ve never seen a Hebrew letter before, or you’re a little bit more advanced, these classes will help you reach your next skill level. Contact Marcia Miller for more information.


Friday Parsha Sudy
10:00am; Biran Beit Midrash
Please join us Friday mornings in the Biran Beit Midrash for an exclusive look at the weekly Parsha. On the first and second Friday of the month Rabbi Holtzblatt will explore the parsha through the lens of Hassidut and mysticism, and on third and fourth Fridays Rabbi Alexander will use the Talmud as the prism for the weekly reading.


Boker Or Shabbat Study
 The Boker Ohr Torah study group meets Saturday mornings at 8:30 a.m. with the weekly portion as its focus. Join our clergy and community in the Biran Beit Midrash each week for an engaging, text-based conversation on the week's parsha, before Shabbat services.

Makom in the Home
Adas has a long tradition of small group learning outside of the walls of the synagogue. Makom in the Home seeks to continue the Adas tradition of learning Torah in the inner walls of congregants’ homes. We will seek to add new groups to the already thriving chavurot, expanding the reach of the conversations that begin in the Biran Beit Midrash @Adas. Contact Marcy Spiro to get connected with a learning group.

What Do I Do Again? Study Session with Hazzan Rachel Goldsmith Register Here
Sundays @ 10:15am – 11:15am
First Session: 10/15, 10/22, 11/5
Second Session: 12/3, 12/10, 12/17 

Hazzan Goldsmith will be giving a series of classes on Sunday mornings. The first session courses will be a refresher of synagogue skills. If you have questions about the Shabbat service, where to go on the bimah, how the calendar or torah reading works, or why everyone else is standing up, this may be a good place to spend a few Sunday mornings. The second class of the series in December will be learning to read Megillat Esther for Purim!  If you know a little Torah trop, here’s your chance to expand your repertoire and participate in Purim services next March.