Lifelong Learning


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 Lifelong learning is one of the three pillars of our Jewish Values. We are each encouraged to engage in spiritual and intellectual growth, throughout our lives, in order to both bring us closer to God and to enrich our personal and Jewish lives.
   Here at Agudas Achim, we strive to support the embrace of this principle by providing our congregational community with access to a rich selection of topical insights from many diverse and distinguished sources of learning.
   We offer programming for various levels of background and education, from entry level novice through the deeply immersed, in order to address the needs of the broadest possible cross-section of our community. And, more than that, we urge each of you to explore the many offerings you can find on the events calendar of this website,  and engage.


Talmudic Passages Every Jew Should Know
Thursdays | Jan 4, 11, 18, 25; Feb 1, 8, 15, 22; Mar 1, 8, 15, 22 | 7:00 p.m.
Rabbi Steven Rein
We will examine a dozen texts that pertain to the practice of contemporary Jews. Topics to be studied include (among others): gender, kashrut, Hanukkah, bar/bat mitzvah, suffering, and mourning. Each text will be examined and texts have been chosen to challenge "common widsoms" and offer different perspectives on each of these crucial topics.

Spring 2018 Classes

Seeing a Sound: Revelation at Sinai in the Bible and Jewish Tradition
Thursdays| Apr 26, May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 | 7:00 p.m.
   Gearing up for Shavuot we will explore the nature of Torah and the status of halakhah, asking questions such as: Can an observant Jew be a biblical critic,open to findings about the Bible that seem non-traditional or even anti-religious? Can modern biblical criticism actually bolster traditional understanding of the place of law in Jewish life? Through a close examination of revelation and command in Exodus and Deuteronomy and in the writings of Heschel and Rosenzweig, we will find surprising parallels among biblical, rabbinic, and Hasidic debates about revelation.

Ritual Classes

Jewish Ritual:  The Basics
Wednesdays | October 18, 2017 - April 28, 2018
7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

  In this third year of a 3-year course, we will be studying for a group B'nai Mitzvah ceremony that will take place on April 28, 2018.  Our focus will be divided between Torah and Haftarah study, the basic "how to's" for honors on the bima, leading parts of the service, and some study of Torah and Haftarah trop.  All are welcome to join the class.  Please sign up by calling the office 703-998-6460 or emailing Hazzan Dienstfrey at



Daf HaShavua – Weekly Talmud Study
Fridays | 9:00 -10:00 a.m.
Rabbi Steven Rein

       “And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because on it God ceased from all the work of creation that God had done” (Gen 2:3). Shabbat, the most sacred day of all, has been adorned with the aura of legend; it is a day of rest and sanctity, God’s gift to all of us. The laws, narratives, and theology of Shabbat will crystalize in our study of Masekhet Shabbat – Tractate Shabbat. (No prior Talmud study required; texts will be in English)

Shulhan Ivrit – Conversational Hebrew
Wednesdays | Beginning Oct 18 | 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Miri Bernovsky

       Learn and practice conversational Hebrew. Come to one session or come to all to deepen your connection with Israel and the Jewish people by speaking Hebrew.

Israeli Film Series
Wednesdays | Nov 29, Dec 13, Jan 31, Feb 21, Mar 21, Apr 25, May 30, Jun 27 | 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Miri Bernovsky
    Join your fellow film lovers and Agudas members for the 2017/2018 AAC Israeli Film Series, a notable selection of Israeli films. All films will include a brief introduction and discussion with our Shlicha.  All films will either be in English or have English sub-titles.

Israel Book Club
Thursdays | Nov 2, Dec 7, Jan 4, Feb 1, Mar 1, Apr 5, May 3, Jun 7 | 10:00-12:00 p.m.
Miri Bernovsky

    Inspire a lasting personal connection to Israel through Israeli Literature. Each month we will engage in meaningful dialogue about Israeli History, reflect on the personal hopes and dreams from Jewish authors, share thoughts on the triumphs and tragedies of Israeli heroes, and celebrate our passion for reading and learning about the meaning of Israel through the written word.
All books will be read in English.

Library Lunch and Learn
Thursdays | Nov 9, Dec 21, Jan 18, Feb 15, Mar 15, Apr 19, May 17, Jun 21 |12:00 p.m.
    Members of the senior staff take turns leading an hour of study and discussion on topics ranging from Israeli poetry to the history of cantorial music to Talmudic tales. Bring your parve/dairy lunch and join the fun! Visit the AAC Calendar for this month's topic.