MEMBERSHIP SPECIAL! Leap into Savings by February 29, 2020. Pay $0 activation fee (Save $29), $0 enrollment fee (Save $99) and receive complimentary fitness assessment. See the J-FIT Health Club page for details.

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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

ALI Winter–Spring 2020 Course Schedule
Register Now!

We are pleased to announce our Winter–Spring 2020 line-up of classes! 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.
  • Lunch
    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 member or have a J-Pass to participate in ALI classes held at the J.
    - Submit completed registration form and payment to the J’s Guest Services desk;
    - Mail completed registration form with payment, payable to “Pozez JCC,” to 8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax, VA 22031; 
    - 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;
    - Register online by searching the class code.


Israeli Music 101

Tuesdays, February 4, 11, 18 (3 weeks)
Instructor: Shy Ashkenazi, Pozez JCC Shaliach (Emissary)
In its essence, music expresses the local and contemporary culture of a given place. Israeli music is no different. Join our new emissary from Israel, Shy Ashkenazi, as he takes you on a journey through the music that personally impacted him to become a singer-songwriter, the protest music of Israel throughout its seven decades of existence, and the expressions of faith and religion surprisingly found in the country’s pop music. Through videos and his guitar, Shy will use music and song to open up a unique window into Israeli society. 
Fee: $42 for entire series/ 
$15 per individual session
Code: #10291



More Adventures in Book Collecting

Tuesday, February 25 (snow date: March 3)
Instructor: Stuart Endick, retired attorney and avid book collector with three decades of experience collecting antiquarian books
Avid book collector Stuart Endick provides a brief overview and refresher on the ABCs of book collecting and illustrates the pleasures of the hobby by sharing some of the fun stories and books from his collection. These include a book by a celebrated “bad” Victorian poet, inscriptions that reveal stories tied to the Titanic and a forgotten American eccentric, a bookplate and markings possibly related to the founding of the United Nations, and “tipped-in” correspondence from Emily Dickinson’s colorful advisor and editor. The topics covered will include judging book condition, identifying first editions, decorative covers and fine bindings, clues to a book’s provenance and past life, and collecting childhood nostalgia. 
Fee: $15
Code: #10292



Author Talk - Before and After Loss: A Neurologist’s Perspective on Loss, Grief, and Our Brain

(in collaboration with Thursday at the J and the J’s Community Engagement Department)
Thursday, February 27, 12:30pm–2pm
Presented by Lisa M. Shulman, MD, professor of neurology at the University of Maryland and author
In Before and After Loss, neurologist Dr. Lisa Shulman describes a personal story of loss and her quest to understand the science behind the mind-altering experience of grief. Part memoir and part scientific discovery, this moving book combines Shulman’s perspectives as an expert in brain science and behavior, with her experience as a clinician, caregiver, and widow. Drawing on recent studies of emotional trauma, she explains how the mind, brain, and body respond and heal following traumatic loss. The experience of loss not only applies to the death of loved ones, but also a range of difficult life experiences including a new diagnosis, a divorce, an assault, or financial instability. The “fog of confusion” after loss reflects the brain’s protective response to trauma and can be reversed by interventions (journaling, dream interpretation, mindfulness, and spiritual practices) that help us integrate difficult times into our life story. Shulman’s frank and empathetic account helps readers regain their emotional balance by navigating the passage from the disorientation of loss to healing and growth. Dr. Shulman’s book, Before and After Loss will be available for purchase at the event, and she will be happy to sign purchased copies.
Fee: $5 
Code: #10293



Introduction to the Short Story

Mondays, March 9, 16 (2 weeks), 1pm-3pm
Instructor: Professor Lisa Leibow, MA
Students will read short stories like writers, examining form and structure, to make informed decisions when crafting their own stories. This is a hands-on writing lab where participants will complete writing exercises inspired by the stories we read together. Students will leave this course with drafts of scenes, segments, and tools to help them complete a short story of their own. This course is for writers of all levels! Readings will be provided in advance of the course.
Fee: $60 (includes readings)
Code: #10526



Israeli Medical Clowning

Tuesday, March 10, 12:30pm–2pm
Instructor: Shy Ashkenazi, Pozez JCC Shaliach
Did you know that Israel is known for being at the forefront of medical clowning? In this class we will learn some basic clowning tools such as juggling, miming, body work, making balloon animals, etc. In addition, we will explore how clowning demonstrates important Jewish values such as Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), Bikkur Cholim (visiting the sick), and Tzedakah (righteousness/charity), through worldwide Israaid and missions.
Fee: $14
Code: #10527



The Duke Street Corridor: African American Life in the 19th & 20th Centuries

Tuesday, March 17, 1:30pm–3pm
Instructor: Audrey Davis, Director, Alexandria Black History Museum
This class will cover a significant portion of Alexandria’s African American history, including slavery. Ms. Davis will enlighten students on the life of local African Americans during the 19th Century and early part of the 20th Century. Her lecture will include the slave trade in Northern Virginia; Alexandria was known as an important processing center. This class is highly recommended for those going on the trip to the Freedom House Museum and Gadsby’s Tavern on March 24.
Fee: $14 ($12 for those going on the 3/24 trip)
Code: #10534



Researching Ancestors from Galicia, Austria-Hungary

Thursday, March 26, 7pm–8:30pm
Presented by Michelle Tucker Chubenko, Research Team Lead and genealogist, Legacy Tree Genealogists
Discover resources to research the multi-ethnic Province of Galicia in Austria-Hungary. Learn what records are available to assist you in determining your immigrant ancestor's home village in today's Poland and Ukraine and how to locate church records, cadastral maps and more to research your family.
Fee: Free to all
RSVP:, 703.537.3068 or John Turbyfill, 

This program is in collaboration with Fairfax Genealogical Society

Bucharest Diary: Romania’s Journey from Darkness to Light

Monday, March 30, 12:30pm-2pm
Presented by Ambassador Alfred H. Moses, author
Alfred H. Moses served as the U.S. ambassador to Romania from 1994-1997. In his memoir, Ambassador Moses explains the complicated history of the Balkans with a brief tutorial on the development of Romania, including the fate of its Jews as borders and alliances changed. Bucharest Diary: An American Ambassador’s Journey is filled with intriguing accounts and anecdotes of the diplomacy that helped Romania recover from decades of communist rule and become a member of NATO and the E.U. Books will be available for purchase and signed at this event.
Fee: $14
Code: #10528
Presented in partnership with the Jewish Book Council



Pre-Civil War Politics: Why did it happen?

Tuesday, March 31, 10:30am–12:30pm
Instructor: Christopher Pugsley, attorney and historian
Most people study the Civil War by looking at the battles and politics of the time. A better approach might be to ask… why did the Civil War happen and why were the Confederate States so intent on leaving the Union? These questions can be answered by going back to 1776 and the Declaration of Independence, to 1787 and the Constitution, and finally to the “band-aid style” fixes to the doctrine of slavery. Through this class, we will gain a better understanding of these factors and how this war could have been avoided.
Fee: $14
Code: #10529



The JFK Assassination: Myths & Facts

Mondays, April 6, 13 (2 weeks)
Instructor: Donald Jeffries, author and researcher
There has been great mystery surrounding and attention given to President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Don Jeffries analyzes this seminal event for us. The official story will be scrutinized as well as the evidence of conspiracy. Come learn about the myths and disinformation surrounding the assassination of the 35th U.S. president and discover how it impacted the decades that followed, its connection to other important events, and why it remains a significant issue in today’s political world.
Fee: $30
Code: #10530



The Prophetic Messianic Expectation

Tuesdays, April 28, May 5, 12, 19 (4 weeks)
Instructor: John Rybicki, biblical scholar and historian
In the writings of the Hebrew prophets, there is a promise of a messianic period when Israel will be restored to its glory… the light of the world leading all nations and people to the One True G-d.  Is this expectation meant to be understood as an earthly or apocalyptic kingdom, to be established spiritually at the end of time? Within this course we will examine these writings and interpretations of them, in an attempt to understand the meaning of the messianic promise.
Fee: $56
Code: #10532



Two-Part Art: Art Appreciation 101 and Gouache Painting

Mondays, May 4, 11 (2 weeks), 10:30am–12:30pm
Location: The J’s Smith-Kogod Cultural Arts Center (check-in at the J’s Guest Services Desk in the main building first)
Instructor: Len Garon, artist
Len Garon will explain how the Old Masters used a “Secret Alphabet of Design” to compose their creations. Knowing this will help you appreciate the artist’s decision-making process in the pieces that you view. Len will demonstrate these principles at the end of the first session. In session two, Len will review the alphabet so you can apply these ABCs to your own painting of a landscape; you may incorporate animals/people. Please bring a favorite photo/picture to paint with gouache-opaque watercolor (handles like oil) onto a small canvas. Limited to 18 students.
Fee: $36/Course; Individual Sessions -- $15/1st session only, $25/2nd session only (includes art supplies)
Code: #10533



Beyond Vital Records – Additional Sources to Trace Eastern European Ancestry

Sunday, May 17; 1pm-2:30pm
Presented by Lara Diamond, President of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Maryland and blogger
European borders were fluid so one family’s records may be in many languages and multiple archives. This talk examines one family that lived in the area spanning the Ukraine/Romanian border but which has been Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Soviet Union, and Ukraine. Multiple record sources were used to reconstruct this family.
Fee: Free to all
RSVP:,  703.537.3068 or John Turbyfill,  

This program is in collaboration with Fairfax Genealogical Society


Language Classes and Game Lessons

A minimum of 4 students is required for all language classes and game lessons. Contact Shari if you are interested.



Instructor: Einat Cohen
Private and semi-private lessons at all levels are available. 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



Spanish 1

January 6 –February 24 (8 weeks)
Mondays, 2pm-3:30pm
Instructor: Dr. Michael Gorman received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from American University and continued his studies at the National University of Mexico.
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.
Fee: $120
Code: #10525



Yiddish Level 2

January 6–February 24 (8 weeks)
Mondays, 2pm–4pm 
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: $90
Code: #10524



Beginning Bridge 2.2

January 6–February 24 (8 weeks)
Mondays, 3:15pm
Prerequisites: Bridge 2.1 or prior bridge experience
Jumpstart the new year with three indispensable Doubles: Takeout, Negative and Penalty. Review concepts covered in Bridge 2.1.
Fee: $175
Code: #10504



Intermediate Bridge

January 8–February 26 (8 weeks)
Wednesdays, 3:15pm
Prerequisites: Bridge 2.1 or prior bridge experience.
Continue your 2/1 adventure with the Balancing Double and New Minor Forcing. Get to the right contracts in 2020 and keep opponents from theirs.
Fee: $175
Code: #10503



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©2020 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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