Upcoming Events: August 31-September 6

Shavua Tov! Below, I’ve compiled a list of Jewish events I’ve found to be going on next week. Hope you had a nice Shabbat. Please feel free to comment with any others, and I will add them. See you around town!

Sunday, August 31-Monday, September 1

Labor Day 2008 Study Retreat: The Dr. Harvey H. Ammerman Memorial Study Retreat

Wednesday, September 3

B’nai B’rith/Sixth & I Trivia Night

J on Demand Presents: Keeping the Faith and Trivia Night

Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington Book and Author—Herzl’s Journey

Thursday, September 4

The Imprint of Jewish Law on American and Other Legal Systems

Taste of Israel Party-Georgetown Israel Alliance

Friday, September 5

MesorahDC Shabbat Service and Dinner at Sixth & I

Ruach Minyan Service at Adas Israel

Wine and Cheese Social and Shabbat Services at Adat Reyim

Saturday, September 6

Elul Workshop at Kol Ami

Extended Shabbat at Olam Tikvah

Back to School for Adult Jewish Education!

Graphic courtesy of Clipart Of.com

Graphic courtesy of Clipart Of.com

Building off of my last post, here’s a little bit of what you can expect from area institutions offering adult Jewish education courses this fall. Time to sharpen your pencils!

The Jewish Study Center

The Jewish Study Center was founded in 1978 as a nonprofit institute aimed at creating adult education initiatives for the D.C. area Jewish community. Their mission is to offer a wide breadth of hands-on learning experiences. JSC offers three semesters of 15-20 courses per year for approximately 300 students per semester. Classes this fall include a Rosh Hashanah mini-session, a Chanukah seder, ethnic cooking classes and Kosher wine tastings, book reading, book writing and comic book lectures, Jewish rituals, the Israel Lobby and the Middle East, Jewish culture locally and around the globe, and much more.

Classes will be held at St. Maragaret’s Episcopal Church, Sixth & I, Adas Israel, the DCJCC, and all over town. Find more information here!

The Foundation for Jewish Studies

Founded in 1983, FJS offers in-depth studies with the intention of fostering knowledge and faithfulness to the ideals of Judaism. Programs persist more or less year-round, and include The Lunch & Learn Bible Series, Community Heritage Lectures, The Distinguished Scholars Series, Weekend Study Retreats, and the Bible Study Center.

Classes will be held at The Dennis and Phillip Ratner Museum, the Pearlstone Center, the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, Ohr Kodesh Congregation, and Sixth & I.

The Partnership for Jewish Life and Learning

Operated in conjunction with the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, PJLL reaches out to Jews of all ages for educational and other community-sharing experiences. Classes this season include The Florence Melton Adult Mini-School of Greater Washington, The Jewish Heritage Program, the Me’ah Program, Judaism – An Owner’s Manual, The Golden Age: Jews and Arabs in Spain, Jewish Leadership Institute, Book Talk, Am Echad, J-Dentity, Capital Kabbalah, Big Questions Salon and J-Book Writer’s Camp.

Locations are PJLL Headquarters, Temple Beth Ami, the JCC of Greater Washington, the DCJCC, and The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. Find more information here.


And if you’re still holding onto those dog days of summer, then never you fear! D.C. area Birthright alums over the age of 21 have the chance to join the Reverse Mifgash Retreat! Israeli Birthright alums will be joining us from Sept. 12 to 14 at Capital Camps for some good ol’ campside fun. Registration closes on the 5th, so sign up today!

Shabbat Shalom!

The Jewish Study Center heralds in a new executive director

Courtesy of Pastiche Family Portal

Courtesy of Pastiche Family Portal

The new school year is just beginning and D.C. organization, The Jewish Study Center, has more than re-vamped classes to offer. Four-year Executive Director Rachel Miller is on her way out, and a few days ago, Beth Adler, her replacement, got in touch with the group via email.

“I have always felt that it is not coincidental that the Jewish New Year and the school new year fall so close together,” wrote Beth, who has been involved in Jewish education for the past 15 years. “Although most people see spring as the time of rebirth, having worked in education for so long, autumn is the time of auspicious beginnings for me. So these new beginnings, both the personal and the communal are sure to be blessed.”

Rachel also got in touch through email, promising everyone that she’d remain active in JSC as a student.

The Jewish Study Center was one of the main reasons I decided to start this blog. After attending some of their great lessons on cooking and Yiddish literature and etc., I knew it would be a shame to let my thoughts and newly acquired knowledge just gather dust in my head. The org’s been relatively quiet this summer as they took a break and looked for new staff, but now you can find their fall programming here. (pdf file) You’ll be sure to catch me at the Rosh Ha-Semester Kick-off event where Beth will be on hand to introduce herself!

For more information on JSC, email Beth at beth@jewishstudycenter.org or join the Facebook group here.

Upcoming Events: August 24-30

Shavua Tov! Below, I’ve compiled a list of Jewish events I’ve found to be going on next week. Hope you had a nice Shabbat. Please feel free to comment with any others, and I will add them. See you around town!

Sunday, August 24

JewishROC Classic Kabbalah 102 Seminar

Congregation Sha’are Shalom Annual Picnic

B’nai Tzedek: Family Fund Day Carnival

Adas Israel Sunday Afternoon at the Park Congregational Picnic

Young Professionals Kesher Holocaust Museum Visit

Bicycling Cluster – Grosvenor to Needwood

Monday, August 25

JFGW: Lawyers Lunch & Learn Election Debate

Tuesdays, August 26

JIRS: Jewish Stories for Younger Children

Young Professionals Kesher Supper Club

Saturday, August 30

JUFI Labor Day Havdalah and Dessert

D.C. High Holiday Tickets 5769

Courtesy of Crystal Cloud Graphics

Courtesy of Crystal Cloud Graphics

Need tickets for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur this year, but aren’t affiliated with a synagogue? Area organizations out there can help you—and even offer discount tickets if you’re under the age of 35!

Vicki Sitron, director of the DCJCC’s young professional group, GesherCity, has organized a list of discounted tickets here. Though Rosh Hashanah is still over a month away, you better hurry before these things are sold out!

One condition—you have to be a member of GesherCity to be eligible. GesherCity provides a variety of social events, both at the DCJCC and in smaller member-organized “clusters” of specific activities. Each week, Vicki sends out an email so you can see what’s coming up. Join by clicking here!

For those of you over 35, The Jewish Information Referral Service (JIRS) provides a list of area synagogues giving tickets to non-members. You can request that list by emailing jirs@shalomdc.org.

Upcoming Events: August 17-23

Shavua Tov! Below, I’ve compiled a list of Jewish events I’ve found to be going on next week. Hope you had a nice Shabbat. Please feel free to comment with any others, and I will add them. See you around town!

Sunday, August 17

GesherCity Good Reads Cluster Meeting

Monday, August 18

DCJCC Film Screening of “Julia Mia”

Tuesday, September 19

Sixth & I evening with author, Diane Ackerman

Wednesday, August 20

Young Professionals Kesher Outdoor Movie At Strathmore (Evan Almighty)

Thursday, September 21

Sixth & I book lecture, “Introduction to Islam for Jews”

Friday, August 22

Wine and Cheese Social after Shabbat service at Congregation Adat Reyim, Springfield, VA

Shabbat Dinner with Rabbi Steinlauf

The front of Adas Israel Synagogue on Friday evening before Shabbat.  / photo taken by Rachel Mauro

The front of Adas Israel Synagogue on Friday evening before Shabbat. / photo taken by Rachel Mauro

It’s not every day that a synagogue gets a new senior rabbi, so when Adas Israel chose former New Jersyian, Gil Steinlauf, for the post, they decided to welcome him in style. Seriously, Friday’s event- Kabbalat Shabbat and dinner with the young professionals group- was only the tip of the iceberg; he still has a week of welcome to get through. Quite the working environment if I do say so myself; almost makes me wonder if it’s too late for me to attend rabbinical school. 😉

Like Rabbi Steinlauf, I am also a new member to Adas Israel and when we shook hands this evening, we joked about being in the same boat. But what impressed me most (keep in mind that Adas has easily a thousand or more members, methinks,) is that he remembered me by name, because earlier in the day, he’d left me a message of welcome on my work phone. (:-O) Ok, no questions needed. This guy’s a keeper!

It was standing room only by the end of the Shabbat service in the Miller chapel followed by dinner for 80 downstairs. The scrumptious meal included chicken, its vegetarian counterpart, cucumber salad, green beans, roasted potatoes, rice, and whole wheat challah (first I’ve ever sampled.) We sat at cozy tables of 10, and I got to talking with my neighbor about last week’s trivia contest. All thanks to the hoppin’ life of Jewish D.C.!

After dinner, Rabbi Steinlauf talked a little Torah- he urged us to ponder the meaning of “mitzvot” at our tables followed by a short room discussion. To end the evening, our voices soared as we “bensched” (sang) the grace after meals. All in all, I’m really looking forward to my year as a member.

Rabbi Steinlauf was joined by his family, wife Rabbi Batya Steinlauf, and children Noah and Meirav. And for those of you young professionals interested in joining Adas Israel’s vibrant community- check out the new, reduced “twenty-something” rates! Contact Elie Greenberg at egreenberg@adasisrael.org for more information.

Shabbat Shalom!

Upcoming Events: August 10-16

Shavua Tov! Below, I’ve compiled a list of Jewish events I’ve found to be going on next week. Hope you had a nice Shabbat. Please feel free to comment with any others, and I will add them. See you around town!

Sunday, August 10

Tisha B’av—services at most area synagogues

GesherCity Bicycling Cluster Social Ride

GesherCity Brunch with the Sisterhood Cluster

GesherCity Fairfax Cluster Board Game Night

Monday, August 11

Sixth & I Grizzly Bear Performance

Gesher Jewish Day School Board Meeting

Wednesday, August 13

Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society: Help Tutor New Immigrants

Friday, August 15

Young Jewish Leadership Concepts Rafting Weekend

Adas Israel Young Professional’s Shabbat Dinner

Saturday, August 16

Young Professionals Kesher Comedy Club in Bethesda

August Trivia Night

Dozens of young professionals pack the fellowship hall at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue for the start of trivia night. / photo taken by Rachel Mauro

Dozens of young professionals pack the fellowship hall at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue for the start of trivia night. / photo taken by Rachel Mauro

One of the nice things about going to a monthly trivia contest where you rack up tickets to see Adele in concert is that the next time the event rolls around, you don’t care so much about winning. …oh, who am I kidding; I would have loved to see Grizzly Bear for free. 😛 But it just wasn’t meant to be!

On Thursday evening, I joined well over a hundred of my peers at Sixth & I for the fourth installment (facebook link) of this summer series… quite the suave way to keep our brains functioning in all of this humidity! This event was co-sponsored with B’nai B’rith Young Leadership.

The questions were varied, ranging from geography to pop culture to Olympic history, given current events. Though my team, “The Kosher Cookies,” didn’t beat out the other dozen or so in play, we boosted ourselves up by doing successively better with each coming round. There’s all sorts of ways to come out as a winner!

And as brain food, we dined on pizza, falafel, cookies, and beer, as this was an over-21 event. I’m glad I didn’t stop for dinner after work!

All in all, it was an enjoyable evening. Nothing like relaxing with a bunch of peers, and burshing up on the ol’ factoids.

The next young professionals trivia night will be taking place on Wednesday, September 3. For more information, or to R.S.V.P., contact Aaron Weintraub at aweintraub@sixthandi.org. Hope to see you there!

Birthright Israel NEXT Community Service at SOME

This quaint-looking building, located in northwest Washington, D.C., serves meals to between 700 and 1000 homeless people per day.  / photo taken by Rachel Mauro

This quaint-looking building, located in northwest Washington, D.C., serves meals to between 700 and 1000 homeless people per day. / photo taken by Rachel Mauro

Birthright Israel NEXT is perhaps one of the most versatile groups for young professionals, at least in the D.C. area. Beyond an extensive list of lectures, happy hours, and other programming, they also provide an outlet for community service. (facebook link)

One of those occasions happened to be Sunday morning, when about a dozen Birthright alums joined various other staff and volunteers at So Others Might Eat, otherwise known as SOME.

Using our formidable teamwork skillz, we were able to man the dining hall for two half-hour rounds of lunch. I myself served coffee, and later helped set tables, only having to do small tasks, for others were always ahead or behind with the fork to my napkin, and etc.

Though we were very busy, staff, volunteers, and patrons alike were more than friendly, and time passed very quickly. I’d definitely reccomend SOME to local readers looking to give back to the community in a tangible way.

Beyond a full time food kitchen, SOME also offers healthcare, therapy, rehabilitation programs, transitional and long term housing, job training and more to some of the District’s neediest residents. Click here to find the org on Facebook, and here for D.C.’s Birthright Israel group. More community service opps should be coming up soon!