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12 Jewish Questions: A (Re)Introduction to Adult-Level Judaism

Do I need to believe in God to be Jewish? What happens after we die? How do Where is God in times of tragedy? How do I rest when I have no time? As adults, we all have questions about being Jewish, and many of us are still searching for answers.

Despite years of religious school as children, many of us are unsure how to find meaning in our faith and culture as adults, and issues that may not have been relevant to us decades ago suddenly are filled with new meaning when viewed from an adult perspective.

12 Jewish Questions: A (Re)Introduction to Adult-Level Judaism is a learning community for adults – Jewish and non-Jewish – who have questions about Jewish identity, beliefs, culture, and customs. It's an environment to discover (and rediscover) the relevance of Judaism in our lives.

This 12-week course, which includes dinner, meets Monday nights at Washington Hebrew Congregation (3935 Macomb Street NW, Washington, DC 20016) from 7:00 - 9:00 pm. 

Our Fall 2019 course will begin on Monday, October 21.

The cost of this course is $150 for WHC members; $180 for non-members.

Fall 2019 Registration Now Open!!
Click here to register.


12 Jewish Questions is made possible by the generous support of Washington Hebrew Congregation and the Bernstein Family Foundation.

In the words of past participants:

"I'm not Jewish, so I didn't have many expectations coming into 12JQ. My fiance and I initially planned to only attend a handful of classes since life gets so busy. But I found the classes to be genuinely engaging, interesting and educational. We ended up coming to every class and 12JQ became something to look forward to each week. I'm grateful that we decided to attend because I feel like I'll have a much better understanding of Judaism when we attend holidays or get the kids into Hebrew school."

"I think the biggest thing this class did for my partner and I is share the sense that "we are not alone" as we look to discover our Judaism together. Many experiences from the classmates really opened our eyes too, and Rabbi Miller was the perfect person to keep us engaged and contributing. I can't imagine this class/program without him! More specifically, there were many highlights and moments that will stand out to me for a long time, particularly our discussion about death, our approach to racy topics like sex, and the careful way we looked at items in which many people could easily disagree. I just really loved the small sense of community we had built together with each week."


Frequently Asked Questions

I slogged through 10 years of religious school. Will I get anything from this class?

Yes! This class is taught to match your experience and maturity as an adult. It’s kind of like how the books you read now are not the same books you read in middle school - you’re more mature now, and you have different interests. Similarly, this class will discuss Judaism in the context of your adult life, addressing issues that weren’t relevant as a child but are now. We asked adults how we can shape this class so it’s relevant to you, and we want to tackle the aspects of Judaism that are most confusing. Washington Hebrew’s overall goal in “(re)introducing” Judaism is to explore the motivations behind our religious identities and uncover the depth that Judaism has to offer.

Do I need to be a member of Washington Hebrew Congregation to take advantage of the "12 Jewish Questions" class?

No. Washington Hebrew is proud to offer this learning opportunity to anyone in the D.C. area who is interested in deepening their understanding of Judaism.

How much does it cost?

The course costs $150 for WHC members; $180 for non-members, which will cover dinner at each class, course materials, a Shabbat dinner at Washington Hebrew Congregation, and many other class-related expenses. The true cost of "12 Jewish Questions" is $240 per person. Through the generosity of Washington Hebrew Congregation, and the Bernstein Family Foundation, we are able to offer a significantly subsidized price for this class. Additional financial assistance may be available upon request by emailing Marsha Humphries or calling 202-895-6303.

I am not Jewish, but I am interested in learning more about the Jewish religion, history, practices, and culture. Will I be in way over my head?

Absolutely not! This course is designed for anyone who wants to learn more about Judaism as an adult.

What if I am Jewish but don’t know anything about Judaism? Will I have trouble following along?

This course is designed to provide an excellent and accessible overview of the basics for those new to Jewish learning (or for those who are still recovering from religious school!).

Class Schedule

October 21
Why are Jews called "People of the Book"?

October 28
Can a person really change?

November 1 (Friday Night)
How do I rest when I have no time?

November 4
What is Jewish about sex?

November 11
Why is anti-Semitism on the rise?

November 18
How do I pray?

November 25
Do you need to believe in God to be Jewish?

December 2
How is Judaism linked to the State of Israel?

December 6 (Friday Night)
What kinds of Jews are there?

December 9
What happens after I die?

December 16
Where is God in times of tragedy?

December 20 (Friday Night)
What does the Jewish future look like?