Adult Jewish Learning

Contact for
Adult Jewish Learning:

Cantor Allen Leider
(703) 532-2207

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.

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 (below the calendar is a listing of the variety of opportunities offered):

Torah Study

Shabbat mornings at 9:00 am, you will find a crowd gathered to study Torah. We engage in an informal study of Torah verse by verse.  This always leads to interesting discussion with a variety of opinions and perspectives shared. Drop-ins are more than welcome.  A light nosh of bagels and coffee are offered.


Introduction to Judaism

The Introduction to Judaism Course, provided by the Union for Reform Judaism, provides an opportunity to learn about Jewish history, traditions, holidays and life cycle ceremonies. Participants will gain comfort and familiarity with the symbols, liturgy, music, traditions and Hebrew blessings that accompany Jewish celebrations in the home and synagogue. A welcoming and engaging Reform rabbi teaches this in-depth course. 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. We welcome you to come learn about Judaism with us! Visit the Union for Reform Judaism site for information about an upcoming class.

Taste of Judaism

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.

Holy Sparks Meditation

Explore how Jewish meditation can help quiet your mind, keep you centered, and bring a greater sense of spirituality to your life.  Join our monthly meditation group facilitated by Cantor Leider. We’ll explore different styles of meditation in a comfortable setting. Great for adults or teens; no experience is needed.  We’ll meet on Wednesday evenings from 7-9 pm; visit the Temple calendar to the left for the date of the next meditation.

Biblical Hebrew

In the 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, with a new Beginning class starting every other year.

Beginning Biblical Hebrew

This class starts with the aleph-bet. Students learn the basic verb forms and enough basic grammar to enable them to read simple stories in Hebrew, to translate short texts, and to begin reading The Book of Ruth in simplified form. This takes about a year and a half of once monthly classes. The text book used is “The First Hebrew Primer: An Adult Beginners Path to Biblical Hebrew.

Intermediate Biblical Hebrew

This class continues working in the same text book on additional verb forms, more advanced grammar concepts, and vocabulary. It usually takes at least another year and a half to complete the text.

Continuing Biblical Hebrew

This class is for students who have completed Intermediate Biblical Hebrew, or who have enough knowledge of grammar and vocabulary to read and translate biblical texts. This class is on-going and meets once a month, usually on Sunday morning. The textbook used is “The First Hebrew Reader; Guided Selections from the Hebrew Bible.

Adult Hebrew

These eight week classes are taught for an hour and a half in the evenings and in the morning depending on the registration numbers by Na’ava Feder. Please contact Cantor Allen Leider for more information about upcoming classes.

Beginning Hebrew

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.

Advanced Hebrew

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.

Conversational Hebrew

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.

Rodef Chochma

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.  Visit our Rodef Chochma webpage.