Beth Chai: The Greater Washington Jewish Humanist CongregationBeth Chai: The Greater Washington Jewish Humanist Congregation

Adult Education

All programs begin at 10 am and end at noon, unless otherwise indicated. View the Beth Chai Calendar here which includes each week's adult education topics.


Adult Ed meets for two hours almost every Sunday that the Beth Chai Sunday School is in session — more than 20 days per year. This allows the adults to be in class at the same time as the children, even taking the same break to share bagels and coffee.

Burning Tree Elementary School, 7900 Beech Tree Road, Bethesda, MD. Bagels and coffee provided. Programs are free for members, guests, and prospective members.

Program Overview:

For 2015-16, the Adult Education Committee is organizing Adult Education around three broad themes. We will ask Art to speak once per month and to address these themes in his remarks. We also intend to make these sessions – where appropriate – opportunities to apply the topic to our congregation in an interactive way. These themes and commensurate potential topics may overlap; the breakdown is intended to help us organize the program.

Theme One: ​What does it mean to be a humanist Jew?
Purpose(s):​To explore the meaning of our choice to be in this independent Humanist congregation, to deepen our connection to Judaism and other faith-traditions, and to help new members understand the purpose of Beth Chai.
Potential topics:

  1. Interfaith dialogues with other congregations/leaders

Theme Two: ​Secular topics and discussion.
Purpose(s):​To engage knowledgeable congregation members and experts in dialogue about relevant and timely issues; to explore implications of secular topics to Humanist Judaism.
Potential topics:
  1. Changing nature of region and country (including immigration) and how we as a congregation connect.
  2. Secular topics by congregation experts, e.g., science, law, education
  3. Media view of Mideast conflict from other countries

Theme Three:​Jewish History/culture/issues
Purpose(s):​To deepen our understanding of our history and culture.
Potential topics:
  1. Yiddish
  2. Israel/middle east, including recent Iran deal
  3. Jewish/Muslim relations
  4. Jewish life in other cultures/countries
  5. Anti-semitism in Europe and elsewhere
  6. Holocaust
Please contact Joshua Starr,