Upcoming Events: December 28-January 3

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

Sunday, December 28

Chanukah on Ice

Wednesday, December 31

New Year’s Eve Gala: A Salute to America

New Year’s Eve Passport to the World Gala

Ring in the New Year with Theodore Bikel!

Around town with photos of D.C. Chanukah parties!

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate, and Happy Chanukah to my fellow Jews!  Hope everyone had a wonderful day.

I’ve attended three Chanukah parties so far and though we’re only half way through, I believe I’ve reached the end of my run. 😦  I hope that the rest of you enjoy the remaining festivities, some of which you can find detailed here.

In the meantime, I’ve taken a bunch of photos that I would like to share!  Please enjoy this collection from Young Professional Kesher’s No Limit Texas Dreidel Chanukah Party, the lighting of The National Menorah on the White House lawn and Hanukkah Happy Hour on the Hill.

Note: WordPress is a meanie and won’t let me embed, so view the slideshow by clicking here.

Here’s to hoping for a great Chanukah part two!

Cross-posted to The Examiner

Upcoming Events: December 21-27

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

The Week of Chanukah!
For detailed information on various events, click below

Sunday, December 21-Wednesday, December 24

USY International Convention

Sunday, December 21

Lighting of the National Menorah (B’nai B’rith Young Leadership will also be attending)

Rekindling the Chanukah Flames: Infusing New Techniques into your Chanukah Festivities

Chef Spike’s Latke Mania

A Magical Chanukah

Good for the Jews

Monday, December 22

The Chanukah Seder

Chanukah Happy Hour on the Hill

Ori Gerscht “Black Box” Solo Exhibition

Emerging Jewish Writers Awards

Greenlight: Green Chanukah Celebration

Wednesday, December 24

Matzoball 2008

Gefilte Fish Gala Charity Fundraiser

Thursday, December 25

December 25 Day of Service

Christmas Day Chinese Fest and Movie

Chanukah Celebrations:

Friday, December 26

Cantor Larry Paul and Robyn Helzner Shabbat

Saturday, December 27

Club Ei8ght on the Sixth

Chanukah Feast in Concert

D.C. Chanukah Happenings 5769!

Graphic courtesy of Kaboose, Inc.

Graphic courtesy of Kaboose, Inc.

The winter season is upon us- the weather turns cold and icy and people begin to count the days until they get a little time off from work or school. Why not warm yourself by the kindling Chanukah lights? Local Jewish groups are getting ready to roll out the red carpet for this well-known religious holiday, which will take place this year from sundown Dec. 21 to sundown Dec. 28.

Check these out!

Young Professionals Kesher Hanukkah Party
Celebrate Hanukkah with music, drinks, latkes and other snacks! Also includes charity drive and No Limit Texas Dreidel Tournament. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue
Saturday, December 20, 7 pm, free for members, $10 for non-members

Christmas/Chanukah Walking Tour of Washington DC with Menorah Lighting Ceremony and National Christmas Tree
Holiday walking tour of D.C., followed by a lighting ceremony at the National Menorah. Ends with a tour of the White House lawns and 50 Christmas trees decorated in honor of the US.
Sunday, December 21, 3:30-6:30, $20

Rekindling the Chanukah Flames: Infusing New Techniques into your Chanukah Festivities
Author Meredith Jacobs of “The Modern Jewish Mom’s Guide to Shabbat” speaks at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue of ways to enjoy Chanukah and find meaning in its festivities as a family.
December 21, 11 a.m., free

The Chanukah Seder at Sixth & I
…is it time for matzah and the four questions of Passover? No, but join in this Jewish Study Center event to get all your questions answered with writer/producer Dave Smolar.
December 22, 7-8:15 p.m., $20 in advance, $25 at the door

Hanukkah Happy Hour on the Hill
Co-sponsored with various local Jewish groups, visit the Washington, D.C. Jewish Community Center site to sign up for a night of good drinks and Hanukkah revelry. Warm winter items accepted for charity! 319 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Monday, December 22, 6-9 p.m. $5

DC: Hanukkah Worldwide- Club Ei8ght on the 6th
Featuring Israeli hip hop, dancing, menorah lighting, a martini bar and more! Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, co-sponsored with Birthright Israel NEXT
Sunday, December 27, 10 p.m.-2 a.m., $8 in advance, $10 at the door

I’ve made plans to be at the YPK party, Hanukkah Happy Hour, the National Menorah Lighting, and Club Ei8ght. I hope to see you all there!

Happy holidays to everyone celebrating. I hope that they are filled with light.

Upcoming Events: December 14-20

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

Sunday, December 14

Jewish Washington Living History Performance

Nice Jewish Girls Gone Bad Performance

Chanukah Festivals:

DCJCC’s Programs:

Monday, December 15

Greater Washington Interfaith Power Awards

Tuesday, December 16

J-Fed’s Caring Division Agency Visit

Mort Goldberg: Last Laugh Cartoons

Faith-Based Diplomacy: Bridging the Religious Divide

Wednesday, December 17

Chanukah Concert with Zemer Chai

Archeology Lecture: Deities in the Biblical World

Thursday, December 18

Akbar Ahmed at DCJCC’s Katzen Arts Center

Friday, December 19

DC Noontime Series with Councilman Cheh

Children’s Chanukah Programs:

MLK Shabbat: Visions of Justice and Freedom

Saturday, December 20

Community Chanukah Party at Kehilat Shalom

YPK’s Chanukah Party

Pharaoh’s Daughter sings at North American Rabbis for Human Rights Conference

Gratuitous bad cell phone camera shot of Pharaohs Daughter / photo taken by Rachel Mauro

Gratuitous bad cell phone camera shot of Pharaoh's Daughter / photo taken by Rachel Mauro

Sponsored this year at Adas Israel, the second North American Conference of Rabbis for Human Rights is centering around world issues, Jewish and Gentile alike. To compliment this focus, Pharaoh’s Daughter, a band that mixes Hassidic, Sephardic, Arabic, Mizrahi and more gave the Monday night performance to the largely filled Smith Sanctuary. And YP@AI was allowed to go for free! 😀

I first heard of Pharaoh’s Daughter in 2003 when they performed at a summer Jewish retreat that I attended. Sitting in the audience now, everything felt different than that evening—from the weather to the location to where I was in life. But it didn’t take much to transport me back to the wild hills of California where, like here, Basya Schechter led her group through Hassidic chants, Ladino ballads, and energetic drum sessions.

I have to give particular kudos to Meg Okura, who was rockin her violin. Honestly; most of the time, I feared she might break it with the amount of vigor she possessed, but the passionate, energetic sound was out of this world.

Following the concert, which lasted around an hour and 15 minutes, young professionals were invited upstairs for the regular schmoozing and socializing. Hopefully, much fun was had by all.

Pharaoh’s Daughter is based in New York, but they are known the world over. I highly suggest that you look them up if they are in your area! Check out their MySpace page for more.

Upcoming Events: December 7-13

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

Sunday, December 7 – Saturday, December 13

Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s Super Week

DCJCC’s Annual Jewish Film Festival

Sunday, December 7-Tuesday, December 9

Rabbis for Human Rights Conference

Sunday, December 7

Habonim Dror Camp Moshava Open House

Jewish Coalition Against Domestic Abuse Annual Tribute

JYPI Service Learning Project

Tzfat: Mystical Magnet of Israel

Mah Jong Magic Tournament

All Fired Up for Chanukah for LGBT Families

December Dilemma: Workshop for Interfaith Families

Monday, December 8

11th Annual Women to Watch

Rob Satloff Lecture at Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation

D.C. Winter ’08/’09 Trip Orientation for Participants

Pharaoh’s Daughter Concert at Adas Israel

Tuesday, December 9

Hadassah Lunch and Learn Scholar Series

Jewish Seated 20s and 30s four-minute dating singles party

Annie Leibovitz Lecture Sold Out

NoVa State Legislators’ Reception

YPK Happy Hour at Union Jack’s

Wednesday, December 10

Torah Codes: Lecture

Rekindling the Chanukah Flames: Infusing New Techniques into your Chanukah Festivities

Educators’ Symposium on Jewish Life

Are Ritual Mitzvot Commandments?

Thursday, December 11

Jews and Shoes

JCC of GW Israel Lecture

6th in the City/B’nai B’rith Trivia Night

Friday, December 12

JCC of GW Politics Talk

D.C. Metro Shabbat Hoppin with Rick Recht

Sixth & I Family Shabbat

Friday, December 13-Saturday, December 14

United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Regional Biennial

Alan Morinis Shabbaton

Saturday, December 13

Chabad Shul of Potomac Women’s Circle Ultimate Girls’ Night Out

Oldies Israeli Folk Dance Party

No Rock Like You: Songs for the Jewish Soul

Challenging Conversations: Interfaith Marriages within Judaism

Graphics courtesy of Free Clip Art Now

Graphics courtesy of Free Clip Art Now

In an attempt to get down and gritty with some of the most controversial elements of Judaism, Sixth & I and the Partnership for Jewish Life and Learning teamed up to create the Challenging Conversations lecture series, to be officiated by Dr. Erica Brown, adult education director at PJLL.

Wednesday’s session, as you might have guessed, dealt with intermarriage. While we were serenaded by Sixth & I’s entertainment guest of the night, we watched a segment of documentary film, Mixed Blessings: Thinking about Interfaith Relationships, followed by a discussion of these families on the personal and the overall scales.

I have to say that I was impressed with my “classmates,” most of whom were in interfaith relationships (and some even dragged along their partners. :P) Most of the couples were Jewish/Christian, but we also had a Muslim, a Hindu-turned-atheist and if I may be glib, an in-married Israeli who perhaps is in an “interfaith relationship” with our highly Christian country. 😛

Some people were dating, others were married, and most everyone seemed to be very passionate about hashing these issues of identity out either with their loved ones, their parents, or themselves. Dr. Brown provided a warm and plural environment where we could see every angle of how to raise children, the changing face of American Judaism, etc., but we were not judged—indeed, we were welcomed back—after finding love outside of the tribe.

Of course, I am in love with non-Jew (or anyone, unless you count Rabbi Brad Herschfield. :P) I don’t often talk about being the child of an intermarried couple and I’m even less comfortable speaking about it. 😛 But at least I was able to contribute something to the conversation, rambly though it was. Perhaps I ought to just stick to my articles on InterfaithFamily.com (there should be one upcoming for the Christmas/Chanukah season!) 😀

Challenging Conversations will return in January with a lecture on Jews and homosexuality, followed for two consecutive months with Jews and diversity and Jews and money. For more information, you can find them on Facebook here.

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