Halloween Fun and Do You Believe In Magic?

This delectable spread magically disappeared by the end of our discussion / photo taken by Rachel Mauro

This delectable spread magically disappeared by the end of our discussion / photo taken by Rachel Mauro

In my quest to find a Jewish way to spend Halloween (other than the obvious, of course—observing Shabbat,) I was most enthused to try my hand at Sixth & I’s latest dialogue program Thursday night. Co-sponsored with the newest tribe magazine, Guilt & Pleasure, and local Heeb hangout, Moishe House DC, this event brought GWU professor, Gayle Wald, to a group of young professionals for a moderated discussion on magic, superstition, and spirituality.

Due to the intimate roundtable setting, I didn’t go about snapping my camera, but here’s a pic of the food. For an event where we were just promised “wine and cheese,” there were four cheeses, Israeli wine, Twizzlers, hot cocoa, cupcakes, donut holes and more. Complimentary copies of Guilt and Pleasure were available for our perusal as well. I was certainly impressed; huggles to you all!

The two-hour conversation was lively and engaging. Though participants didn’t linger on the issue of magic for that long, we touched on various intellectual pursuits—including physics, anthropology and philosophy. We talked about “old country” superstitions, controversial rituals like circumcision, the place of God in Judaism, and the labeling of “fringe” societies as witches or that ilk. Hopefully all little girls dressed up in black will get extra candies from these folks tomorrow. 😛

But beyond my glibness, I must give my kudos to a fascinating discussion conducted by my own peers. I am always grateful to Sxith & I for providing such a pluralistic environment where young Jewish professionals can show our true passion and brainpower.

In other news of applauding this organization, InterfaithFamily.com has just re-published Washington Jewish Week’s article on the synagogue opening its doors to a multicultural and multiracial congregation. It’s always so heartwarming to read of Jews finding a spiritual home!  Check out the Jewish Multiracial Network for more on this underrepresented sub-group within our culture.

For those of you celebrating, happy Halloween, and to all of you, Shabbat Shalom!

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Upcoming Events: October 26-November 1

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, October 26

Election ’08: Agenda? What Agenda?
http://thejdc.convio.net/site/Calendar?view=Detail&id=102781

Congregation Olam Tikvah Blood Drive
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=181353

Hadassah Book and Author Luncheon
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=16272

B’nai Israel’s Men’s Club Health Fair
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=198824

JewishROC Oral Law Seminar
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=198502

NextGen NeXus Program
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=202471

JCCGW’s Building Israel: A Family Workshop
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=204195

The Coming of Israeli Environmental Revolution
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=204125

Monday, October 27

Rita Moreno in Concert
http://thejdc.convio.net/site/Calendar/2036551749?view=Detail&id=102981

Ethics and War Reading Series
http://geshercity.org/c/portal/layout?p_l_id=PUB.1080.4&p_p_id=8&p_p_action=0&p_p_state=maximized&p_p_col_id=column-1&p_p_col_pos=1&p_p_col_count=2&_8_struts_action=%2Fcalendar%2Fview_event&_8_eventId=3636

YPK Trivia Night at Fado
http://www.jewishfriends.org/calendar.html#1027

Reflections on Israel
http://www.jcouncil.org/site/Calendar/1546485747?view=Detail&id=102061

Lawyers, Lunch and Learn Program
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=193996

Introduction to Judaism
http://www.jewishstudycenter.org/classes/index.htm#8

Deep Ancestry: Inside the Geographic Project with Spencer Wells
http://www.sixthandi.org/Events.htm#DeepAncestry

Tuesday, October 28

Doing the Right Thing: Jewish Ethics in the Modern World
http://www.sixthandi.org/Classes.htm#Ethics

Grandma’s Favorites: Chicken and Knishes
http://www.jewishstudycenter.org/classes/index.htm#12

Jewish Stories for Younger Children
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=127539

Variations Ladino: A Voyage into the Heart of Judeo-Spanish Heritage
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=187293

From the Bible to Broadway: Thee Thousand Years of Jewish Music with Barry Serota
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=201000

Wednesday, October 29

Yael Naim Concert
http://www.birthrightisrael.com/site/Calendar/1311449806?JServSessionIdr001=00ofaz2hl1.app17a&view=Detail&id=119801&whence=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.birthrightisrael.com%2Fsite%2FPageServer%3Fpagename%3Dnext_local_dc_announce

JewPedia
http://www.sixthandi.org/Classes.htm#Jewpedia

Jewish Cultures Around the Globe
http://www.jewishstudycenter.org/classes/index.htm#17

Author David Grossman Event
http://thejdc.convio.net/site/Calendar?view=Detail&id=101681

The Two Faces of Jihad
http://www.jewishstudycenter.org/classes/index.htm#18

Jewish Writer’s Circle: Write Your Own Novel This Year
http://www.jewishstudycenter.org/classes/index.htm#19

Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation Pre-Election Program
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=192191

Seek the Peace of Jerusalem: Choral Concert
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=189169

Psalms Through the Fall
http://www.jewishstudycenter.org/classes/index.htm#20

Thursday, October 30

Interfaith Couples Workshop: Winter Session
http://thejdc.convio.net/site/Calendar?view=Detail&id=102481

Jewish Twenties and Thirties Halloween Party
http://www.jewishsocials.com/index.cfm?CityId=1&action=events&event_id=6073#Event6073

Do You Believe in Magic?
http://www.sixthandi.org/Events.htm#Magic

The Jewish Origins of the Israeli Army Lecture
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=198204

Real Estate Affinity Boat Cruise
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=193917

Israel Bonds Women’s Division Fall Event
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=175271

Friday, October 31

Halloween Graveyard Jam
http://www.jewishpro.com/eventdetail.php?id=36

Saturday, November 1

Temple Beth Emet Shabbat Services at Sixth & I
http://www.sixthandi.org/Services-Holidays.htm#BethEmet

Blogging for Examiner.com!

In this quest to further myself as writer/Jew/Web extraordinaire person, I have been accepted as Examiner.com’s D.C. Jewish Life blogger! You can find my page here. (Remember to click long and often cos that’s how I get paid! :P)

I’m excited to see what I can do with this! As I’ve stated on this blog before, my main goal is to serve the D.C. Jewish community, without which I would not have a platform to write at all. ❤ Please let me know what you want to hear about, both here and on Examiner.com.

Shabbat Shalom to you all!

Crossposted in part to Spring Awakening.

Three Martinis and Simchat Torah

Young professionals schmooze over snacks and martinis / photo taken by Rachel Mauro

Young professionals schmooze over snacks and martinis / photo taken by Rachel Mauro

On Tuesday evening, Jews around the world celebrated Simchat Torah, “Rejoicing in the Torah,” which commemorates the completion of the annual reading of the five Books of Moses. D.C.’s Adas Israel kicked it off in style with dancing, a children’s sing-along, and socializing for young adults.

The Three Martinis New Year’s Celebration is where hundreds of members of YP@AI gathered for food and drink. Beyond a sampling of chips, brownies and other snacks, we had our choice between three multicolored fruit martinis—apple, pomegranate, and citron. I tried the first, which was appropriately tinged bright green. 😛

The Torah makes its rounds through the party / photo taken by Rachel Mauro

The Torah makes it's rounds through the party / photo taken by Rachel Mauro

An hour and a half into our revelry, the clergy of Adas Israel weaved its way in, holding aloft a few Torahs like the one pictured here. They invited us to join the rest of the congregation in traditional singing and dancing to herald in this religious cycle. The festivities were rambunctious, including adults, children and everyone in between. Several Torahs were passed between participants for each boisterous song. I left after only a half hour or so, but the party was still goin’ strong!

For more information on YP@AI, contact Elie Greenberg at yp@adasisrael.org. I hope that all Jews reading this had a joyous holiday.

Upcoming Events: October 19-25

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, October 19-Tuesday, October 21

Reel Affirmations Video Hosting for the D.C. Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
http://www.sixthandi.org/Events.htm#Reel

Sunday, October 19

Making Strides Against Cancer Walk
http://www.jewishfriends.org/calendar.html#1019

B’nai Israel Men’s Club Political Forum
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=202211

Beth El’s Political Forum
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=189454

“Secular Humanistic Judaism: Its Ideals, Heritage, Practices, and Potential.” Lecture by Machar Rabbi Binyamin Biber
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=194567

Jews United for Justice Heschel Vision Awards
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=122818

Sheldon Low Concert at Temple B’nai Shalom
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=198553

Yachad Pottery Painting 2008
http://geshercity.org/c/portal/layout?p_l_id=PUB.1080.4&p_p_id=8&p_p_action=0&p_p_state=maximized&p_p_col_id=column-1&p_p_col_pos=1&p_p_col_count=2&_8_struts_action=%2Fcalendar%2Fview_event&_8_eventId=3572

Monday, October 20

Hadassah Training Wheels Program
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=189348

Active Retirees Program at Sha’are Shalom
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=199492

Congregation Olam Tikvah’s lunch in the sukkah
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=181352

Jewish Literature Lecture at American University
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=156792

Tuesday, October 21-Wednesday, October 22- Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah

Tuesday, October 21

Three Martinis New Year’s Celebration
http://www.adasisrael.org/yp/YP@AI%20Simchat%20Torah%20Martini%20Celebration%20-%202008.pdf

Thursday, October 23

Presidential Forum
http://www.jcouncil.org/site/Calendar/587240192?view=Detail&id=102021

Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington Concert in Memory of Daniel Pearl
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=192945

Friday, October 24

Shabbat with Cantor Larry Paul and Robyn Helzner
http://www.sixthandi.org/Services-Holidays.htm#paulhelzner

Saturday, October 25

Temple Beth Emet Shabbat Services
http://www.sixthandi.org/Services-Holidays.htm#BethEmet

Jewish Study Center Shul Hopping
http://geshercity.org/c/portal/layout?p_l_id=PUB.1080.4&p_p_id=8&p_p_action=0&p_p_state=maximized&p_p_col_id=column-1&p_p_col_pos=1&p_p_col_count=2&_8_struts_action=%2Fcalendar%2Fview_event&_8_eventId=3178

Sukkah Hop Around Washington, D.C.!

Dozens of young professionals gathered on Saturday evening for a lively Sukkot event put on by the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, Washington Hebrew Congregation, DCJCC’s GesherCity, and Birthright Israel Next. Lasting from 8 p.m. to midnight, we got to say prayers and shake the lulav, learn about the latest events put on by D.C.’s Jewish young professionals groups, and of course, imbibe in a variety of delicious food and drink, including Chinese, chips and salsa, desserts, sangria, and more. An optional after-party followed at Townhouse Tavern.

A special kudos to the bus drivers who shuttled us around to the three sukkahs that you can see below! And of course, none of this would have been possible without the responsible staffers who kept us on track even after a second or third round of drinks. Their dedication and care is amazing, and I hope it aided to everyone having a great time. I certainly did!

The pictures below are from Sixth & I, Washington Hebrew Congregation, and the DCJCC respectively. You can check them out through the end of Sukkot (Shemini Atzeret) this Tuesday!

Sixth & I Historic Synagogue's Sukkah / photo taken by Rachel Mauro Washington Hebrew Congregation's Sukkah / photo taken by Rachel Mauro The Washington, D.C. Jewish Community Center's Sukkah / photo taken by Rachel Mauro

Upcoming Events: October 12-18

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, October 12

Young Professionals Kesher goes to the Maryland Renaissance Festival
http://www.jewishfriends.org/calendar.html#1012

Community Leadership and Engagement Summit
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=15868

GLOE’s Come OUT and Decorate the Sukkah
http://thejdc.convio.net/site/Calendar?view=Detail&id=100481

Monday, October 13

Vanessa Ochs: Midrash, Now and Then
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=198841

Tuesday, October 14-Monday, October 20: Sukkot!

Read more about this holiday:
http://www.jewfaq.org/holiday5.htm

Tuesday, October 14

Olam Tikvah Tot Sukkot Service
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=181308

Wednesday, October 15

Jewish Seated Twenties and Thirties Four Minute Dating
http://www.jewishsocials.com/6072.html

Thursday, October 16

Legacy Benefactor Lunch at the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington
http://www.jhsgw.org/programs/

Talking Politics with the editors of The New Republic
http://www.sixthandi.org/Events.htm#Talkpol

Jewish Federation of Greater Washington Health and Professionals Program
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=187465

Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation Pre-Election Program
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=192109

Sukkot and Social Justice: :earning and Doing in Washington, D.C.
http://thejdc.convio.net/site/Calendar?view=Detail&id=100581

Friday, October 17

Congregation Sha’are Shalom Sukkot Festival Dinner
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=199516

Dinner in the Sukkah: Ruach Minyan at Adas Israel
http://geshercity.org/c/portal/layout?p_l_id=PUB.1080.4&p_p_id=8&p_p_action=0&p_p_state=maximized&p_p_col_id=column-1&p_p_col_pos=1&p_p_col_count=2&_8_struts_action=%2Fcalendar%2Fview_event&_8_eventId=3580

Saturday, October 18

DC Metro Sukkah Hop
http://www.birthrightisrael.com/site/Calendar/1604439085?JServSessionIdr001=ofo7hx60s1.app28b&view=Detail&id=123121&whence=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.birthrightisrael.com%2Fsite%2FPageServer%3Fpagename%3Dnext_local_dc_announce

Temple Beth Emet Shabbat services at Sixth & I
http://www.sixthandi.org/Services-Holidays.htm#BethEmet

Gaby Meyer Shabbat Performance at Am Kolel
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?id=75&eventid=192469