Adas Israel Breaks Ground for Renewal & MakomDC

David and Elie of Adas Israel ready with their shovels for the Ground Breaking Ceremony.

This past Sunday October 14, Adas Israel, home of the legendary Young Professional’s Shir Delight Shabbat Service (averaging roughly 300 YP’s per Shabbat), officially broke ground for its monumental renovation project. Get ready for a new Adas and an entirely new experience of ‘synagogue.’

So here’s the deal… Judaism is not a museum relic to be ‘observed’ casually twice a year on the High Holidays.

Judaism is, it can be, a living, breathing tool for enhancing our experience of our lives in the 21st century.  Judaism was ahead of its time 3,000 years ago and, despite the common misconception, it still is.  It is a unique, powerhouse mechanism for coming together as a community, for exploring HUGE ideas, and for making a connection to something greater than us, however you define it.

With that, the spiritual powerhouse team at Adas is enormously excited to reveal the creation of MakomDC (Place DC), an innovative Jewish learning and engagement center and coffeehouse-style gathering place for the 21st Century.  The center will be housed within a progressive, state-of-the-art, Beit Midrash (House of Study), currently being built as part of the historic renovation project for the 2850 Quebec Structure, one block east of the Cleveland Park Metro.

MakomDC is an utterly immersive experience and modern social magnet for contemporary Jewish life.  Take Jewish learning and throw it in the pot with the bustling energy of a modern coffee-house as well as a participatory speaker jam at a downtown open-mic night – and you get MakomDC.  Regularly scheduled programs, speakers, and events will be announced in the coming year.  Upon completion, it will be one of the only progressive, non-Orthodox, and technologically equipped Jewish Houses of Study in the world.

The future Beit Midrash of Adas Israel.

This new space will feature comfortable seating and tables for lively discussion, books and technology, coffee and snacks, speaker jams, art, engaging sessions, and interactive prayer services.

Witness Jewish texts accessible everywhere in multi-media formats, from traditional books to modern computer and internet technology, all surrounded by breathtaking Jewish art and imagery.  Picture groups of people in animated conversations, as well as young people busy surfing the web on laptops.  Adas is now both a place to hang out and connect, as well as a place to learn and to pray, which is what a synagogue should be.  The new center will regularly feature world renowned speakers presenting a variety of shiurim (lessons) from all over the world, followed by individual Havruta (one to one) sessions exploring a wide variety of topics and ideas, using an array of intellectual sources ranging from ancient Jewish texts to modern scientific periodicals.

The Adas lobby and worship areas will be opened up, modernized, and filled with natural light, so the vibe will be all about the experience of deep connection to prayer and wonder and timelessness.

There is something for everyone and everyone is welcome.  That’s Judaism.  In a world filled with divisiveness, that’s ahead of its time.

The Grand Opening Festival, tentatively scheduled for October 2013, will feature musical performances, weekend-long engagement sessions, food, booze, and schmooze.  Stay Tuned via Facebook/adasisraeldc and www.adasisrael.org.

B’Shalom.