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Adult Learning Institute (ALI)

Course Schedule


Contact:,  703.537.3068;,  703.537.3066

ALI is the J’s adult lifelong learning center. Its mission is to provide intellectually stimulating, enjoyable, and engaging opportunities to expand your mind and your knowledge with other adults of all backgrounds and ages.

ALI Winter 2017 Semester
Monday, January 9 - Tuesday, April 4

For course descriptions and to download the
registration form, click here.

We are very pleased to announce that beginning this semester, we will be partnering with Temple Rodef Shalom (TRS) in Falls Church to offer ALI classes there, as well as at the J. The first class being held at TRS is The Unfinished War: Perspectives on the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Six-Day War. Please note the location when registering.

Inclement Weather Policy:

If Fairfax County schools are closed, ALI classes are canceled. If schools have a delayed opening, classes will be held at the regularly scheduled time.


Registration for the Winter 2017 semester is now open. Please take a moment to review the courses below and sign up for one (or more!) of these fabulous opportunities to continue your lifelong learning with us!

You may register at any time by submitting your registration form and payment to the JCCNV front desk.

By Mail
Mail completed registration form with payment, payable to “JCCNV,” to Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, 8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax, VA 22031.
By Phone
Call the JCCNV front desk at 703.323.0880 and be prepared to give a credit card number to secure your place in the course.
Register online at


The Unfinished War: Perspectives on the Fiftieth Anniversary of
the Six-Day War
Mondays, January 23–February 13 (4 weeks)
(snow make-up date Monday, Feb. 27)
Location: Temple Rodef Shalom, 2100 Westmoreland Street, Falls Church
Instructors: Col. Yaron Formoza, Military Attache, Embassy of Israel; Jack Sztrigler, Director of Strategic Outreach, Embassy of Israel; Jennifer Raskas, Director of the Israel Action Center, Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington; Na’ama Gold, JCCNV-JAFI Shlicha; and Robert Budoff, Co-Chair, Virginia Commission and Executive Committee Member, Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington
The Six-Day War, in June 1967, was pivotal in the history of Israel and its neighbors, changing the political, diplomatic, military and psychosocial landscape completely. The shortest war in recent memory has had seismic effects that resonate profoundly, even today, fifty years later. Many current issues, such as Israel’s relationship with the Arab states and the Palestinians, Israel’s borders, the status of Jerusalem, prospects for peace, the special U.S.-Israeli relationship and Russian influence in the region, to name a few, have substantially been reshaped by those momentous days in 1967. To commemorate the war’s fiftieth anniversary, this course will offer several different perspectives on the war’s continuing impact on Israel domestically, regionally, and globally.
Fee: $48/ $32 J member
Code: #7967

Beyond Books: Discovering the Many Services at Your Public Library

Tuesday, January 24
(snow make-up date Tuesday, Jan. 31)
Instructor: Mohammed Esslami, Branch Manager, George Mason Regional Library
Your public library is far more than a mere depository of books to borrow or use for reference purposes. It offers a myriad of other services of which most people are not aware. Participants in this workshop will learn about all of the free services available through the Fairfax County Public Library system. The instructor will demonstrate how best to navigate the catalog, utilize readers’ advisory services, and learn about other online services. Discover all of the services which make the library a fabulous place for learning, exploring, and building relationships.
Fee: $18/ $12 J member
Code: #8004

Jewish Geography: The Jewish Community of Costa Rica

Tuesday, February 7
(snow make-up date Tuesday, Feb. 14)
Instructor: Rabbi Michael Holzman, Spiritual leader of Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation
This edition of our Jewish Geography series will feature the Jewish community of Costa Rica. You may be surprised to learn that Costa Rica has a thriving, vibrant Jewish community with a fascinating history. Rabbi Michael Holzman, who served as the rabbi of B’nei Israel Congregation, a reform congregation in the capital city of San Jose, will share his first-hand account of Jewish life in Costa Rica.
Fee: $18/ $12 J member
Code: #8005

The Evolution of Christianity from Judaism

Part I: Religious Ideas in Transition—The Books of the Maccabees
Tuesdays, March 7–28 (4 weeks)
(snow make-up date Apr. 4)
Instructor: John Rybicki, Biblical scholar and historian
This course will examine the evolution of Jewish religious thought into Christianity. Part I, consisting of four sessions, will focus on the Books of the Maccabees. These texts, of varying authority in both Jewish and Christian thought and scriptural canon, indicate that some doctrines of the early Christians were not entirely new and, in fact, were “borrowed” from a thread of developing Jewish thought that came to an abrupt halt after the destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple in 70 CE (Common Era). Part II, How Christianity Lost Its Jewish Roots, will be offered in the spring and will study the next phase of the transformation, the development of an institutionalized Christianity apart from Judaism. Part I is not a prerequisite for Part II.
Fee: $48/ $32 J member
Code: #8006

An Exodus of Hope: Sephardic Roots of the Sarajevo Haggadah
Tuesday, March 7–21 (3 weeks)
Instructors: Lauren Granite, Ph.D., Director of Education, North America for Centropa, the Central Europe Center for Research and Documentation and Les Bergen, M.B.A., retired engineer and federal financial professional; treasurer, Southern Jewish Historical Society; lecturer and guide, Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington
The Sarajevo Haggadah, written in Spain in the 14th century, is perhaps one of the most famous Jewish books in the world. A religious and cultural icon, its history is replete with mystery and intrigue. Its survival is nothing short of remarkable — from the expulsion of Spanish Jews in the Inquisition, resurfacing in Italy and later Sarajevo, hidden from the Nazis during World War II, and then surviving war in the Balkans in the 1990s. This three-session course will explore the travels of the Sarajevo Haggadah, why it is so unique and valuable, what it tells us about Sephardic Jewish life, and how it has become a symbol of interreligious respect and cooperation. The course will also include multi-media presentations featuring real-life stories of Sephardic Jews living in the Balkans.
Fee: $36/ $24 J member
Code: #8007



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8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax, VA 22031
Phone: 703.323.0880 • Fax: 703.323.1993

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