The Baltimore Jewish Times reports on Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, a cornerstone institution of the D.C. Jewish community (see this blog’s header image; that’s the entrance. :P) The article goes to great length to describe the colorful history and multi-faceted programming of the synagogue; it’s really worth a read.
To quote a small portion:
Part performance venue, community center, meeting space and house of worship, Sixth & I defies the Jewish community — or anyone else, for that matter — to pigeonhole it. It’s a synagogue (in a rapidly regentrifying area) without a congregation or a rabbi, committees, dues or building campaigns; a concert/lecture venue with an aron kodesh and Jewish ritualistic flourishes; and a Jewish community of sorts that isn’t always necessarily Jewish and doesn’t always have Jewish content in its programming.
The founders and staffers consider their institution representative of an organic, pluralistic, post-denominational, new world order in the Jewish realm, a setting where virtually anyone — especially young, unaffiliated Jewish professionals living in transient downtown D.C. — would likely feel comfortable, despite the synagogue and institutional trappings.
On some nights, that might mean that MesorahDC, an Orthodox chavurah for young Jewish professionals, might have services or classes there. Another night, there might be a Matisyahu concert or a talk by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon. Or an open mic comedy night, or a sold-out symposium on the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, featuring the leading intellectual lights of the nation’s capital.
The breadth and scope of programming is extensive, exhaustive and eclectic. “Sixth & I is the place to go for thinky lectures and edgy shows,” wrote Lavanya Ramanathan, assistant editor of The Washington Post Style section.
…stay tuned to this blog to hear more about the intriguing programming offered at this unusual center of Jewish life. To join the weekly listserv, e-mail PR and Marketing Associate, Rachel Sandor, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Facebook groups for Sixth & I are located here and here.
Kudos to The Fundermentalist for directing me to this story.