Celebrate Our Local Teacher-Treasures at ROUTES

By Avi West

In a commentary on the Song of Songs, tradition maintains that “Teachers and students are society’s most beautiful ornaments!”  On November 5th, a sample of sacred Jewish jewels will be on display at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. On that day, in a Federation program of adult Jewish learning called ROUTES, local Jewish teachers will be sharing wisdom and inspiration with the Greater Washington Jewish community. Rabbis, academics, social entrepreneurs, Jewish innovators and the next generation of educational leaders answered the call to enrich our lives through sharing favorite texts, discussing issues of Jewish life and identity, and helping us engage with compelling ideas.

At ROUTES, both the experienced learner and those who want to dip their toes in the water for the first time will find sessions that use Jewish topics to bring new meaning and relevance for our 21st century lives.  Participants will have the opportunity to learn from fabulous teachers and presenters representing diverse segments of our community.  We are so proud to provide a setting where rabbis who are orthodox, conservative, reform, reconstructionist, renewal, and independent can teach under one big tent. Experts from local organizations will lead sessions on aspects of Jewish life that affect us all [sustaining the environment, navigating complex family relationships, our responsibility to immigrants, exploring our personal relationship to Israel].  Noted academics from the Jewish studies departments of our local universities and day schools will present on topics sure to expand our ideas about Jewish rituals, identity and history.  First person stories about overcoming addictions, helping refugees, rebranding Judaism in America and in Israel, and empowerment through philanthropy will expand our horizons about human courage, resilience, and creativity. Opportunities to explore the attitude of gratitude, to learn how to juggle life priorities, rediscover the healing ritual of mikvah and all manner of spirituality will strengthen your mind/body connection.  And participants will see, hear, taste, and touch on new ways to connect to Judaism using food, Jewish travel, music, and movement.

Federation wants to rock your Jewish world, expanding what it means to learn, live, and grow Jewishly. Washington D.C. is perhaps one of the most powerful, sophisticated, and well-educated cities.  World renowned politicians and celebrities pass through this city on a regular basis. But Judaism reminds us that “The real guardians of a state are the teachers.” (Talmud Yerushalmi, Hagigah 1:7) Come to ROUTES on November 5th to celebrate our amazing local teacher-treasures who are our spiritual first-responders.  See the session offerings and presenter bios.

Walk-ins are welcome! All walk-ins will be charged $54 to register, and will be able to select their session schedule dependent on availability.