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The J's Adult Learning Institute (ALI)


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. 

Contact: Shari Berman, 703.537.3068, Marcia Gordon, 703.537.3066

Register Now!

We are pleased to announce our Fall 2019 line-up of classes! The semester begins on Sunday, September 8. Please take a moment to review the schedule below and sign up for one or more of these fabulous opportunities to continue your lifelong learning with us!  Please note that all courses will be held at the Pozez JCC unless indicated otherwise.

ALI-Temple Rodef Shalom Partnership
As part of our exciting partnership with Temple Rodef Shalom (TRS), we try to offer a course each semester on its Falls Church campus. 

Please feel free to bring a dairy or parve/meatless lunch to any class.  Coffee/tea will be served at all classes.


How to Register

You must be a J-Family or J-Journey member or have a J-Pass to participate in ALI classes held at
the J.

  1. Submit completed registration form and payment to the J’s Guest Services desk;
  2. Mail completed registration form with payment, payable to “Pozez JCC,” to 8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax, VA 22031; 
  3. Call the J’s Registrar at 703.537.3043 and be prepared to give a credit card number to secure your place in the course;
  4. Or register online at 



Judaism Redefined

Tuesdays, 10:30am–noon
October 29–November 19 (4 weeks)
Instructor: Rabbi Mendel Deitsch, Jewish Student Center at George Mason University
This is not a series of lectures; it is a series of interactive discussions. It is not a repeat of what you experienced in Hebrew school; it is fun, stimulating, deep, and relevant. It is not a time to listen; it’s a time to question. It is not geared to tell you what to think; it provides an opportunity to explore Judaism’s rich heritage at your own pace with you in the driver’s seat. This is a platform upon which participants explore central elements of Judaism that are relevant, interesting, and empowering for all Jews, irrespective of background, education, and level of commitment. By the end of this journey, you will have a richer appreciation for some of the core elements of Jewish heritage and identity, along with a deeper understanding of how these interface with modern life.
Fee:  $75 (includes book and course materials)
Code:  #10095


America’s Jewish Military

Mondays, November 4, 11 (2 weeks)

[Session I] Field Trip to NMAJM

Monday, November 4, 10:30am–2pm
Bus departs the J 10:30am; return approx. 2pm
Since colonial days, American Jews have served their country's military. Come hear their stories as told at the National Museum of American Jewish Military. In the first session of this two-part program honoring our Jewish soldiers and veterans, participants will travel to the NMAJM, also known as the Jewish War Veterans Museum in Washington, DC, for a tour and talk by docent Mike Rugel.
Fee:  $18 (includes transportation and snack); 10% discount for veterans
Code: #10096

[Session II] One Pilot's View of the War

Monday, November 11, 12:30pm–2pm

Ronald Markiewicz, veteran of the USAF, will give a stirring presentation on “One Pilot’s View of the War.” This special Veterans Day program is in collaboration with Thursday at the J and Project Welcome Home.
Coffee, tea, and a special dessert served
Fee:  No admission fee; open to the community
Code: #10097


Palette Knife Painting: Landscapes

Monday, November 18, 10:30am–12:30pm
Location: The J’s new Cultural Arts Center
Instructor: Nataliya Gurshman, Artist
In this 2-hour workshop, students will watch Ms. Gurshman demonstrate how to use a palette knife with acrylic paints and then try using it themselves to create beautiful, rich, textural paintings of their chosen landscapes. Elements of composition, proportions, tonal values and focal point will be covered during the workshop. No prior art experience is necessary, just a bit of courage and desire to learn something new! Please bring a photocopy of a landscape you have photographed (or from a book/magazine) and would like to paint (8”x10”). Each student will walk out with a finished original acrylic painting ready to be hung in his/her home.
Fee: $25 (includes art materials)
Register at Guest Services Desk or click here for tickets

Presented by ALI in collaboration with Cultural Arts


Jewish Geography: The Jews of Ireland

Tuesday, November 19, 12:30pm–2pm
Presented by Ambassador Daniel Mulhall, Embassy of Ireland
Ambassador Mulhall will speak about the fascinating history of the Jews of Ireland. In addition, he will discuss the many parallels between the Irish and Jewish peoples. The Ambassador will also talk about relations between Ireland and Israel and initiatives in the United States.
Fee: $5
Code: #10246

In partnership with Thursday at the J and the Embassy of Ireland

Introduction to Hebrew Calligraphy

Mondays, 10:30am–noon
November 25, December 2 (2 weeks)
Instructor: Alexandra Casser, soferet (Torah scribe)
Have you ever wondered how the Pentateuch (five books of Moses) was actually written down to form the Torah?  This class will teach you about the millennia-old art of Hebrew calligraphy with soferet  Alexandra Casser. Over two classes, students will learn about the duties and responsibilities of a scribe, the tools modern scribes use, and how to form the letters of the Hebrew script used to write Torah scrolls on parchment. This is a hands-on class where students will try their hand at calligraphy using chisel markers and paper.
Fee:  $40 (includes art supplies)
Code:  #10098
Presented with the Arts and Ideas Department


The History of Medicine: From Witchcraft to Robots

Tuesdays, 1pm–2:30pm
December 3–17 (3 weeks)
Instructor: Rita Way, retired nurse
Part 1 of this course will focus on prehistoric medicine through the rise of modern medicine. We will travel through time and history to learn how medicine has evolved from the days of witchcraft and medicine men to the era of modern medicine. We will highlight some of the themes and key milestones in the story of medicine and discuss the development of ideas about the causes of disease from Greco-Roman humoral theory up to the discoveries of germs and genes in the modern era. Rita will touch upon Jewish medicine in the context of its history.

Part II will be offered in the spring — stay tuned!
Fee: $45
Code:  #10099


A Taste of Melton

Monday, December 9, 12:30pm–2pm
See more details in the Sept.–Nov. Voice newsletter


Bridge Lessons

(Beginner and Intermediate levels), Beginner Mah Jongg Lessons

A minimum of 4 students is required for bridge and mah jongg lessons. Contact Shari if you are interested. 

Language Classes


New! Introduction to Russian

October 24–December 19 (8 weeks; no class Nov. 28)
Instructor: Helen Getter, New Americans Group Coordinator
This is a course for beginners. You will learn the alphabet, basic grammar, and vocabulary for survival needs. The students will be able to exchange greeting phrases, give and understand personal information, and survive in a Russian-speaking country while traveling for pleasure or on a business trip. You will also be introduced to Russian culture and history, and have fun. Some homework will be assigned; no textbook required.
Fee: $120
Code: # 10276



Fridays, Noon–1pm
September 6–November 1 (8 weeks)
Instructor: Ms. Barbara Sontz received her BA in French, with a minor in Secondary Education at Queens College, New York. She continued her graduate studies with a Master’s Equivalent of 30 credits at Queens College. She taught French Levels I and II at Louis Pasteur Junior High School in New York for 15 years.

This is a beginner class for those just starting their French adventure or wanting to review basic French. Topics to be covered are pronunciation, conversational vocabulary, and basic grammar. You will be speaking French from day one! We will be using a wonderful guide book called “Painless French” to reinforce our lessons, and short review exercises will be assigned. The book can be purchased on Amazon or at Barnes & Noble.
Fee:  $95
Code: #10100



Private and semi-private lessons at all levels are available.
Instructor:  Einat Cohen
Conversational classes need a minimum of 4 registered students. Contact Shari for more information or to express interest in taking a Hebrew class.
Fee:  $50/hour private; $40/hour per person semi-private
Code: #800


Conversational Hebrew I

Sundays, 5:30pm–7pm
September 8–November 17 (8 weeks; no class on Sept. 29, Oct. 13, 20)
Instructor: Einat Cohen
Whether you are interested in learning how to speak Hebrew for travel, business, or personal pleasure and growth, this class focuses on simple spoken Hebrew. The lessons are planned for students with little or no knowledge of conversational Hebrew or the aleph-bet.
Fee: $180
Code: #10234



Instructor: Dr. Michael Gorman received his BA, MA, and Ph.D. from American University and continued his studies at the National University of Mexico.

Spanish I

This beginner class is for those who are brand new to the Spanish language or have had a little bit of Spanish in their past. You will learn the alphabet, basic vocabulary and simple phrases for conversational use, and develop basic skills. There are no textbooks, no homework, and no tests; just come to class ready to learn and have fun.

Session I 

Mondays, 12:30pm–2pm
September 9–October 28
(5 weeks; no class Sept. 30, Oct. 14, 21)
Fee:    $75
Code: #10101

Session II

Mondays, 12:30pm–2pm
November 4–December 16 (7 weeks)
Fee: $105
Code: #10247


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.

Session I 

Wednesdays, 12:30pm–2pm
September 4–October 30 
(8 weeks; no class Oct. 9)
Fee:    $120
Code: #10102

Session II

Wednesdays, 12:30pm–2pm
November 6–December 18 (6 weeks; no class Nov. 27)
Fee:     $90
Code:  #10248


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.


Wednesdays, 2:30pm–3:30pm
September 4–October 30 
(8 weeks; no class Oct. 9)

Session II

Wednesdays, 2:30pm–3:30pm
November 6–December 18
(6 weeks; no class Nov. 27)
Fee:    $60
Code:  #10249



Instructor: Norman Buder

Yiddish:  Level I

Wednesdays, 1pm–2:30pm
September 4–October 30 (8 weeks; no class Oct. 9)
This class is for true beginners who have no knowledge of Yiddish, other than perhaps a few words or common expressions in use today. Students will be introduced to the Yiddish alphabet and to the principles of reading Yiddish phonetically at an elementary level. We will also learn some rudiments of conversation, e.g. asking and answering simple questions like: "What is your name?"; "How are you?"; "Where do you live?"; "Where do you work?” etc.
Fee:    $75
Code:  #10229

Yiddish:  Level II

Join this class if you have some knowledge of Yiddish and would like to continue to learn to speak and read the language.

Session I
Mondays, 2pm–4pm
September 9–October 28 
(5 weeks; no class Sept. 30, October 14, 21)
Fee:    $62
Code: #10104

Session II

Mondays, 2pm–4pm
November 4–December 16 (7 weeks)
Fee:     $87
Code:  #10250



Contact Us

Adult Learning Institute, Trips, Programs

For Inquiries

or email: 
Pam Wiener

J Rides

For Inquiries

or email: 
J Rides

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©2019 Pozez Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia
8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax, VA 22031
Phone: 703.323.0880 • Fax: 703.323.1993

Pozez Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. EIN: 54-1145849

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