“The Foundation for Jewish Studies aims to strengthen commitment to Judaism and the Jewish people through its network of adult education programs in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. The knowledge and love of Judaism is the strongest motivation for supporting Israel and our religious and philanthropic institutions locally, nationally, and internationally.”
Rabbi Joshua O. Haberman
Founder and Chairman
The Foundation for Jewish Studies is the largest independent provider of Jewish adult education in the Greater Washington area. Each year we offer more than fifty different occasions to meet with, discuss, and learn from top educators. In the last year, we drew over 1,000 people to our programs, including over 100 that attended weekend study retreats. Even more individuals are interested in our programs given the thousands of households on our mailing lists.
The Foundation for Jewish Studies seeks to stimulate engagement with Jewish texts, promotes philosophical discussion about Jewish culture, life, and spirituality, and is working to ensure the longevity of the Jewish faith and tradition. Judaism is more than a set of laws and dictates. It is more than the printed word or recited chant. Judaism lives up to the caliber of its character through active engagement and participation in the learning process. Our programs foster discussion in addition to imparting knowledge. Our programs are provocative and innovative. In this environment, the question is often more important than the answer.
Far from being oblique or irrelevant, the tenets of Judaism are important in light of the ethical dilemmas that daily confront humankind. The world we live in abounds with great moral questions. What are the causes and limits of a just war? How do we balance the tensions between science and religion? How do we calculate the “worth” of a human life in order to decide when to imperil it? Great debates – philosophical and policy-oriented – deserve to be had on each of these issues, and the Foundation for Jewish Studies serves a critical role in the community by providing opportunities for such exchanges. If we are to send new generations into a world where the questions only get harder and situations more complicated, we have to ensure they are equipped with the critical thinking skills, religious training, and knowledge of Judaism to meet these demands.