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THE JCCNV Adult Learning Institute (ALI)

Registration is open!

Please take a moment to review the links below and sign up for one (or more!) of these fabulous opportunities to continue your lifelong learning with us!

Contact: Shari Berman, 703.537.3068; Carla Rosenfeld, 703.537.3060; Marcia Gordon, 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.

Lunch: Please feel free to bring a dairy or parve/meatless lunch to any class.


ALI-Temple Rodef Shalom Partnership

We continue our partnership with Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church. As you look through the classes below, please watch for course location so you are aware of those being offered at TRS and be sure to note the location when registering.


Ways to Register

  • Register online here 
  • Submit completed registration form and payment to the JCCNV front desk
  • Mail completed registration form with payment, payable to “JCCNV,” to
    JCCNV, 8900 Little RiverTurnpike, Fairfax, VA 22031
  • Call the J’s front desk at 703.323.0880 and be prepared to give a credit card number


Winter-Spring Courses

Click here to download course schedule and registration form for JCCNV 6th Annual Used Book, CD, and DVD Sale (April 15-18, 2018)

In Search of Jewish Spirituality

Mondays, February 26–March 26 (4 weeks)
(no class Mar. 19)
New time: 10:30am–12pm
Location: the J
Instructor: John Rybicki, Biblical Scholar and Historian
Rabbi Daniel Gordis has written extensively on modern Judaism. His book God Was Not in the Fire (1992) is “a search for a spiritual Judaism.” In this series, the major themes of Rabbi Gordis will be explored, compared, and contrasted with other major modern Jewish philosophers. Subjects include God, sacred texts, ritual, the law, prayer, and ethics.
Fee: $72/ $48
Code: #8901


Science and Judaism

Mondays, February 26–March 12 (3 weeks)
Location: Temple Rodef Shalom, 2100 Westmoreland Street, Falls Church
Instructor: Maurice M. Mizrahi, Ph.D., retired Defense Department expert in science and technology and lifelong Judaism scholar and teacher
Dr. Mizrahi will present a three-part series on Science and Judaism. Is science in opposition to Judaism or complementary to it? Which typically Jewish attitudes influenced the development of science? How can we reconcile some accounts in the Torah with our modern understanding of how the universe operates? Come as we explore the answers to these thought-provoking questions.

Born in Egypt, Dr. Mizrahi has a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of Texas and worked in the Defense Department for 34 years, specializing in science and technology matters. He has always been fascinated by the interactions between his two main loves, science and Judaism.
Fee: $54/ $36
Code: #8902
Please enter promo code on the cart payment screen for online registration.


The Artist's Mirror

Monday and Tuesday, March 19 and 20
Monday, 10am-11:15am, at the J
Tuesday, 9am–3pm, depart the J for National Gallery
Instructor: Linda Meer, Docent, National Gallery of Art
In Monday’s introductory lecture, Linda will discuss the influence of art in changing or affirming the society which produced it. On the National Gallery of Art tour, we will examine the concept of the "Artist's Mirror" in paintings from the collection. Class size is limited to 19.

10:15am–noon: Exhibits in West Building
noon–1pm: Lunch in Cascade Café
(on your own)
1pm–3pm: Discover twentieth
century art from the roof sculpture garden, to Calder gallery, to 1940–1960s art, and especially the impact of the Jewish artist on the American art scene (artists who escaped the war in Europe by settling in New York) and early Picasso
(if time).
3pm: Board bus to JCC

Linda Meer retired after a long career teaching high school English. For the last nine years, she has led student tours at the National Gallery of Art.
Fee: $48/ $36 member (includes
Code: #8904


The Arab/Israeli Conflict through a Generational Lens

Tuesday, April 3, 10:30am-noon
Location: The J
Instructor: Aaron Bregman, Teacher of Middle East, European, and American History at Charles E. Smith Day School; former Curriculum/Program Manager of The David Project
How does history get told and how does this affect and influence our understanding of the world around us (particularly focused on the Arab/Israeli Conflict)? How do students today view the conflict compared to other generations? Why is it important to understand the past before looking ahead to the future? Why are younger Jews less interested in Israel and can Israel’s relationship with today’s youth in the Diaspora be improved? This class will look at the conflict through a generational lens – how those born before “creation” (May 14, 1948) view the struggle versus those born after, as well as how younger Jewish adults feel about Israelis and Palestinians today in light of the history, peace process and present day events.
Fee: $18/ $12 member
Code: #9044


Beginning Bridge III

Wednesdays, April 4–May 23 (8 weeks)
Location: The J
Instructor: Yen DeAnda, ACBL accredited, Ruby Life Master
Learn more conventions to advance your game: Help Suit Game Try, Drury, Defense against Suit Contracts, Cappelletti, Shape Matters, Sandwich NT, Reverses, Jacoby 2NT, New Minor Forcing, Fourth Suit Forcing, and the Unusual NT.

Yen has been teaching bridge to people of all ages since 2012 and is active in projects that promote bridge in the local community.
Fee: $135/ $120 member
Code: #8899 


Say “Hello” to Alexa

Tuesday, April 10
Location: the J
Instructor: Gary Bennett, Chief Tech, TechMedic4U
We will explore the personal assistant devices from Amazon featuring Alexa. The products include the Amazon Dot, Echo, Tap, and Show. These Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled devices can play music requests, provide info, weather, traffic, news, and keep calendars and contacts. They can call or message friends or family. They can read you audio books, too. They are compatible with iPad, iPhone, and Android mobile devices. We will look at this family of devices and the differences between them, as well as price ranges, availability, and how to set them up and use them. We will have a device set-up demonstration.

Gary Bennett has worked as a corporate trainer for MS Windows and Office as well as helping individuals solve computer and consumer electronics problems for the last 30 years. Since retirement, he has been teaching technology courses for Apple, Android, and PC products at OASIS and Asbury Methodist Village. He also started Techmedic4U last year, which provides in-home technology problem-solving and one-on-one tutoring for adults over 50.
Fee: $18/ $12 member
Code: #8905


How to Set Up and Use iCloud

Tuesday, April 10
Location: the J
Instructor: Gary Bennett, Chief Tech, TechMedic4U
Apple iCloud is a program that allows you to share your photos, calendars, contacts, reminders, bookmarks, and music between your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Windows PC. So, for example, if you take a picture on your iPhone it will automatically show up on your iPad, Mac, or Windows computer. In this course, we will set up an iCloud account (for those that don’t already have one), set up iCloud for your individual preferences, and explore its benefits and features. Please bring the devices you wish to set up with iCloud (iPhones, iPads, Macbooks and Windows laptops). If you don’t have an Apple ID username and password, please come a half hour early to have us assist you in setting them up.
Please see Gary’s bio in Say “Hello” to Alexa class description.
Fee: $18/ $12 member
Code: #8906


How Jewish Values Help Us Cope with Adversity

Tuesday, April 24
Location: The J
Instructor: Rabbi Gordon Fuller, Executive Director of the Foundation for Jewish Studies and author
As we age, life presents us with all kinds of challenges. Those of us in the "sandwich generation" feel these challenges even more keenly. Come and learn how a rabbi and a cardiologist use Jewish values and their life experiences to help guide us through real life crises. Rabbi Fuller will be available after the program to sign copies of his book, Coping with Adversity.
Fee: $18/ $12 member
Code: #9040

Creative Writing One-Day Workshop

Sunday, April 29
Location: the J
Instructor: Professor Lisa Leibow, JD, MA
Find your creative writing inspiration! In this two-hour workshop, participants will complete writing exercises using prompts and activities during class. This is a hands-on writing lab, where students will complete writing exercises that emphasize various creative writing techniques such as dialogue, physical description, and sensory details. Ideally, students will leave this course with a new scene or segment of a story, as well as with a wealth of inspiration for their writing in general.

Lisa Leibow earned a master’s degree in writing with a concentration in fiction from Johns Hopkins University. She has taught writing at Northern Virginia Community College, University of Maryland University College, and at Johns Hopkins University.
Fee: $30/ $25 member
Code: #8907


Entries from a Jewish Admiral’s Log Book: The View of the Navy from an Aircraft Carrier Captain’s Chair
In partnership with OLLI

Tuesday, May 1
Location: the J
Presented by: Vice Admiral Herman Shelanski
This special program features Vice Admiral Herman Shelanski who will reflect on the role of diversity in enhancing US Naval capabilities. The United States Navy is ready to fight at sea to protect America with Special Forces and its Marine Corps partners. Although the Navy uses amazing technology to achieve its ends, the real capability of the Navy is in the diversity of sailors and those who lead them. This lecture will give a perspective on the life of the sailors and the leadership that serves them.

Vice Admiral Herman Shelanski is the 40th Naval Inspector General with a decorated career of naval service. He is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College, the Navy Nuclear Power School and Prototype, the Naval Reactors Commanding Officer Nuclear Engineer Course, and the Naval War College.
Code: #9045
This event is free.


An Introduction to the Global Refugee Crisis through a Jewish Lens
(a joint program of ALI and Thursdays at the J)

Thursday, May 10
12:30pm-2pm (bring a parve/meatless or dairy lunch at noon to eat & schmooze)
Location: The J
Instructor: Rabbi Rachel Grant Meyer, Director of Education, HIAS (formerly known as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society)
With more than 65 million displaced people and refugees worldwide, we are currently in the midst of the worst refugee crisis in history. As Jews, we have a historical connection to this issue. After a short history of HIAS, this interactive presentation will explore the refugee experience as we look at the connection between contemporary stories of displacement and our personal and communal stories. We will ground ourselves both in a shared understanding of the refugee crisis, as well as the Jewish values connected to welcoming the stranger. Learners will come away prepared to take further action, if they wish, on behalf of refugees across the globe.
Coffee, tea, and dessert provided.
Fee: $5/ Free member
Code: #9046


Language Classes


Instructor: Dr. Michael Gorman received his BA, MA, and Ph.D. from American University and continued his studies at the National University of Mexico. He is a professor at Northern Virginia Community College and previously taught at George Mason University.

Spanish II

This continuing class is for those who have taken the Spanish I class at the J or have some knowledge of the language. You will continue to develop your skills and also review previous material. There are no tests, homework, or grades. Textbook is optional.

Session I
Wednesdays, January 3–February 21 (8 weeks)
Location: the J
Fee: $145/ $110 member
Code: #8908

Session II
Wednesdays, March 14–May 2 (8 weeks)
Location: the J
Fee: $145/ $110 member
Code: #8909

Session III
Wednesdays, May 9–June 13 (6 weeks)
Location: the J
Fee: $110/ $85 member
Code: #8910

Spanish III 

This continuing class is for those who have taken the Spanish II class at the J or equivalent experience. This is a conversational class and includes grammar. You will continue to develop your skills and also review previous material. There are no tests, homework, or grades. Textbook is optional.

Session I
Wednesdays, January 3–February 21
(8 weeks)
Location: the J
Fee: $96/ $72 member
Code: #8911

Session II
Wednesdays, March 14–May 2
(8 weeks)
Location: the J
Fee: $96/ $72 member
Code: #8912

Session III
Wednesdays, May 9–June 13
(6 weeks)
Location: the J
Fee: $72/ $54 member
Code: #8913



Level II
Session I
Mondays, February 12–April 2 (8 weeks)
Location: the J
Instructor: Norman Buder
Join this class if you have some knowledge of Yiddish and would like to continue to learn to speak and read the language.
Fee: $80/ $70 member
Code: #8914

Session II
Mondays, April 23–June 25 (8 weeks)
(no class May 21, 28)
Location: the J
Instructor: Norman Buder
Join this class if you have some knowledge of Yiddish and would like to continue to learn to speak and read the language.
Fee: $80/ $70 member
Code: #8915


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

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