Local synagogue vandalized- community comes together

Antisemitism reared it’s ugly head on Monday morning as B’nai Shalom congregation in Olney was found painted with hateful graffiti, The Washington Jewish Week reported.

With such touches as swastikas, Nazi slogans in both English and German, and coins scattered along the ground, possibly a reference to the money-grubbing Jews stereotype, the shul’s president believes this assault to be more high up than the work of rebellious teenagers.

Two other houses in the neighborhood were also vandalized, and officials now believe that the number “1488” that appeared among the graffiti is a reference to a white supremacist group, according to The Gazette. People with any information about this crime are encouraged to call the Investigative Services Division at 240-773-5500.

Meanwhile, B’nai Shalom has erected a commemoration page on it’s own website. This moving testament features photos of the hate-graffiti and the clean up, various news coverage, and notes of support from the community. To donate to the synagogue for repairs and extra security, click here.

Upcoming Events: July 26-August 1

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!

Monday, July 26

Brown Bag Lunch Series: Arthur Lenk

Tuesday, July 27

Workshop: Popular Education

Membership Meeting

Mother’s Circle
http://www.sixthandi.org/EventDetails.aspx?evntID=201&dispDt=7/27/2010 6:30:00 PM

An Acoustic Evening with Matt Kearney
http://www.sixthandi.org/EventDetails.aspx?evntID=384&dispDt=7/27/2010 8:00:00 PM

Ohr Kodesh: Israeli Dance for Children
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=7/27/2010 6:30:00 PM&enddate=7/27/2010 10:00:00 PM&id=75&eventid=501991&recurrenceid=0

Screening of Eli and Ben

Wednesday, July 28

6th in the City Running Club
http://www.sixthandi.org/EventDetails.aspx?evntID=382&dispDt=7/28/2010 6:30:00 PM

Interfaith Couples Workshop

Friday, July 30

Street Soccer USA

Thursday, July 29

Ward 1, Candidate Forum

Deadline for Shabbat Cluster Registration

Saturday, July 31

Israeli Folk Dance Workshop/Marathon
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=7/31/2010 2:00:00 PM&enddate=7/31/2010 5:00:00 PM&id=75&eventid=495531&recurrenceid=0

Sunday, August 1

Feed the Hungry

Tifereth Israel Prospective Member Wine and Cheese
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=8/1/2010 4:00:00 PM&enddate=8/1/2010 5:30:00 PM&id=75&eventid=501984&recurrenceid=0

Entry Deadline for 21st Annual Washington Jewish Film Festival

Chillax with Happy Hour and your Local Jewish Magazine!

Leah kitty peruses the latest issue of Moment Magazine / photo taken by Rachel Mauro.

Care to escape the heat for drinks and summer fun? Try Moment’s happy hour from 5:30 to 11:30 pm at One Lounge! Featuring socialization, prizes, and a revered magazine on Jewish culture.

I’d be going to Moment’s first happy hour myself, but unfortunately I’ve come down with a cold. Full disclosure: I am now volunteering at Moment and helping them with a digital archiving project for their 35th anniversary. I’ve gotten to sift through magazines dating back to 1975, proving that Moment, which was started by Elie Weisel and Leonard Fein, has always had its pulse on Jewish culture and education.

Moment includes columns, features and other content delving into all aspects of Jewish life, including conversion and intermarriage, women and gay issues, Jewish advocacy in the Diaspora and Israel, and my personal favorite, profiles of Jewish communities abroad.

The latest issue, which came out a few weeks ago, features articles covering such topics as: gender segregation on some Israeli busses, profiles of the Borscht Belt and other Jewish entertainment staples, an Ask the Rabbis section on asking questions, poetry and book reviews, a profile of the Jewish community in Myanmar, and more. Really a detailed and thoughtful look at the spectrum of the Jewish world!

For more information on Moment, click here.

Upcoming Events: July 19-25

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!

Monday, July 19

GLOE Volunteering Food and Friends

Wednesday, July 21

Montgomery County Council At Large Candidates’ Forum

JCC of GW Book Discussion
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=7/21/2010 4:00:00 PM&enddate=7/21/2010 5:50:00 PM&id=75&eventid=460415&recurrenceid=0

DCJCC Blood Drive

Moment Magazine Young Professionals Happy Hour

Thursday, July 22

Drive-In Movie: Caddyshack
http://www.sixthandi.org/EventDetails.aspx?evntID=391&dispDt=7/22/2010 7:00:00 PM

Adas Israel: Community Portal Feedback Session
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=7/22/2010 10:00:00 AM&enddate=7/22/2010 11:00:00 AM&id=75&eventid=492573&recurrenceid=0

Turkish Coffee and Fortune Telling

Friday, July 23

Tikkun Leil Shabbat

Downtown Shabbat with Larry Paul and Robyn Helzner
http://www.sixthandi.org/EventDetails.aspx?evntID=73&dispDt=7/23/2010 6:45:00 PM

B’nai Tzedek: BBQ and Barchu
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=7/23/2010 6:00:00 PM&enddate=7/23/2010 8:00:00 PM&id=75&eventid=492529&recurrenceid=0

Saturday, July 24

Shaare Torah Tot Shabbat
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=7/24/2010 10:15:00 AM&enddate=7/24/2010 10:45:00 AM&id=75&eventid=432222&recurrenceid=10400

Shabbat Nitzanim Services
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=7/24/2010 10:30:00 AM&enddate=7/24/2010 11:00:00 AM&id=75&eventid=384140&recurrenceid=9375

Sunday, July 25

Jewish Thirties/Forties Speed Dating in Bethesda

Olney Jewish Festival
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=7/25/2010 1:00:00 PM&enddate=7/25/2010 5:00:00 PM&id=75&eventid=481240&recurrenceid=0

Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation Ice Cream Social for Prospective Members
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=7/25/2010 2:00:00 PM&enddate=7/25/2010 4:00:00 PM&id=75&eventid=491064&recurrenceid=0

DCJCC Emery Shelter Visit

Spend your summers at Jewish camps in DC!

Graphic courtesy of FreeClipArtNow.com

Now that the summer’s halfway over, what better time to regret what you can’t change? 😛

When I was a pre-teen, I spent two 2-week sessions at Camp Moshava in northern Maryland. I only remember small details, but when I started getting interested in my Jewish heritage as a young adult, it helped ground me in a common experience. 😛

Jewish summer camps seem to be a shared experience for much of American Jewish youth throughout these past several decades. It gives kids the chance not only to connect with their peers, but with cultural, religious, and/or Israeli shared heritage. Here is a list of camp options for kids in the DC area.

Capital Camps

Located in Waynesboro, Pa., this overnight camp accepts kids from 2-7 weeks. Their “village” system groups allow for special, age-appropriate programming. Standard activities include everything from arts and crafts to athletics. Kids between 3rd and 12th grade are welcome, with the older teens being counselors-in-training. The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington often holds seminars here year-round!

Camp JCC

Largely a day camp, the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington offers both traditional camp experiences on it’s Rockville campus and specially tailored ones, including creative arts, sports, and the new MITZVAH Corps for social service.

DCJCC Summer Day Camps

The Washington Jewish Community Center opens its Dupont facility to Jewish and non-Jewish kids for a bevy of summer fun in programs like Ruach (Spirit) Camp, Karate and Yoga programs, and field trips to other attractions in DC.

For more information on Jewish camps in North America, check out The Foundation for Jewish Camp.

Upcoming Events: July 12-18

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, July 11-Sunday, July 18

Am Kolel Jewish Meditation Retreat
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=7/11/2010 6:00:00 PM&enddate=7/18/2010 12:00:00 PM&id=75&eventid=471789&recurrenceid=0

Monday, July 12

Support Immigrant Rights Association

Tuesday, July 13

Effective Ways to Use the Media to Build the Movement

Mother’s Circle
http://www.sixthandi.org/EventDetails.aspx?evntID=201&dispDt=7/13/2010 6:30:00 PM

Hebrew Classes

Wednesday, July 14

Knit and Nosh

GLOE Wine Tasting Class

Authors Out Loud: Rich Cohen

Thursday, July 15

Hunger Action

New Jerusalem—Open Caption

Friday, July 16

Shabbat Hoppin Summer Style

Temple B’nai Shalom “Eat, Stay, Pray”
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=7/16/2010 5:45:00 PM&enddate=7/16/2010 9:30:00 PM&id=75&eventid=498597&recurrenceid=0

Club Getaway J-Vacation

Saturday, July 17

Bar, Lounge and Nightclub Tour of Dupont

Sunday, July 18

Rocknoceros with the Great Zucchini
http://www.sixthandi.org/EventDetails.aspx?evntID=355&dispDt=7/18/2010 10:30:00 AM

Habitat for Humanity Interfaith Ice Cream Social
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=7/18/2010 4:00:00 PM&enddate=7/18/2010 6:30:00 PM&id=75&eventid=498467&recurrenceid=0

Ketubah Club White Water Rafting

Jewish Historical Societies Seek to Honor Our Chaplains at Arlington National Cemetery

Graphic courtesy of FreeClipArtNow.com

A few weeks ago, I got an email from The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington. Perhaps most well known for their cultivation of Washington’s oldest surviving synagogue, the organization is now turning its head to a future development. They are looking for 100 contributors to raise $10,000 for a monument honoring Jewish chaplains. The monument will be erected on Chaplains Hill (where clergy service members from other faiths are honored) at Arlington National Cemetery.

Jews have served American military interests since The Revolutionary War. Now, along with The Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington, JHGW is fleshing out other sites of Jewish interest around this important military resting place.

For more information on Jews in the army, check out the also locally-based National Museum of American Jewish Military History. To donate to the monument, click here.

Upcoming Events: July 5-11

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!

Monday, July 5-Friday, July 9

Ramp It Up Session II

Wednesday, July 7

Little Flippers I and II

Washington Nationals vs San Diego Padres game

Friday, July 9

6th in the City Shabbat
http://www.sixthandi.org/EventDetails.aspx?evntID=385&dispDt=7/9/2010 6:30:00 PM

Shir Delight

Saturday, July 10

Torah Yoga Tot Shabbat
http://www.sixthandi.org/EventDetails.aspx?evntID=265&dispDt=7/10/2010 10:00:00 AM

Shabbat Nitznanim Services
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=7/10/2010 10:30:00 AM&enddate=7/10/2010 11:00:00 AM&id=75&eventid=384015&recurrenceid=9373

Sunday, July 11

Sixth in the City Running Club
http://www.sixthandi.org/EventDetails.aspx?evntID=382&dispDt=7/11/2010 10:00:00 AM

http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=7/11/2010 7:00:00 PM&enddate=7/11/2010 9:00:00 PM&id=75&eventid=474871&recurrenceid=8716

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival: Jewish Culture in Unusual Places

Smithsonian building / image courtesy of Wikipedia

I wrote a post in this vein last year for The Examiner, and now I wanted to bring it over here!

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival takes place every summer, bringing amazing world cultural events to the National Mall! Every year has specific themes, and in 2010 they are focusing on Mexico and Asian Pacific Americans.

Doubtless the festival will do a great job covering many aspects of these communities. But allow me to help out! It is a personal passion of mine to show to the world that Jews are more than migrated Eastern Europeans. Jewish culture has touched almost every region of the world, and of course, visa versa. So let’s begin.


Last year, a columnist wrote for DC-based Moment Magazine about traveling to his childhood home in Jewish Mexico City. In it, he writes of a group of Eastern European immigrants who arrived in Mexico rather than the United States. Like up north, the first generation scraped by slowly as immigrants, moving in the suburbs in time for their children to take advantage of higher education and lucrative careers. The columnist, Illan Stevans, remembers a thriving Jewish community, complete with synagogues, community centers, and the Centro Deportivo Israelita where he played soccer. The ethnic community thrived, but was self-contained. With only 45,000 Jews in the country, Stevans describes his childhood home as “invisible.”

As an adult, he stumbles upon the Sephardic Jewish community, those who arrived in Mexico much earlier than the Ashkenazim (also similar to the United States,) as medieval “conversos,” those forced to outwardly convert to Catholicism in Spain, but secretly practiced Judaism, often to their peril. There are also Mizrahi, or Jews of Middle Eastern descent in Mexico…Stevans describes the groups as “cordial but distant.” Largely united, and picked upon from the gentile outside, by their love for Israel, they still remain separate.

This is merely a bare-bones summary of the article. Click the link to read the author’s personal remembrances, plus more details on the neighborhoods, foods, and culture of Jewish Mexico.

Asian Pacific Americans

When most people think of Asian American Jews, they probably jump to children who have been adopted or blended families. And of course, all of these children are Jewish, and making an impact on the American Jewish community in their own way.

According to The Pew Forum’s U.S. Religious Landscape survey (PDF), less than one percent of all Jews are of Asian descent. However, organizations for Jews of color reach out to them, including The Jewish Multicultural Network, Tapestry, and Kulanu.

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival resumes on Thursday, July 1 and goes until Monday, July 5. For more information, check out their Facebook page.