December 25 for DC Jews!

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

It’s that time of year again, when many of our compatriots are nestled under a fireplace with stockings and a big pine tree. But how can a Jew in DC spend Christmas? By eating Chinese food? (Actually, you can! ) Check out those, and other events below.

Friday, December 24

D24 Day of Service
All day event, DCJCC
Join over 1,000 volunteers in making Christmas a little bit brighter for those in need. Sign up for various projects, from delivering meals to wrapping gifts, and even donating blood. Come spread the holiday cheer.

Downtown Shabbat with Larry Paul and Robyn Helzner
6 pm, Sixth & I, $6
It may be the eve of the birth of Jesus for Christians, but for us it’s the holiest night of the week—Shabbat! Welcome in the Sabbath Queen with this popular DC service, followed by a Chinese food dinner. 😛

Matzoball 2010
9 pm, Eden and Café Asia, $25
Now at two locations, this hot dance party features various different types of dancing from hip hop to international, top 40 to retro, and a special ident has you hopping from one party to the other. One of the biggest nights of the season; thousands of people expected to celebrate!

Saturday, December 25

Christmas Day Chinese Feast and Movie
5:30 pm, Tony Cheng’s Mongolian Restaurant, $45
Indulge in the classic Jewish Christmas feast with fellow young professionals. Then head to the movies—this year, you have a choice between “Little Fockers” and “True Grit”! Optional after-party to follow.

17th Annual Gefilte Fish Gala Charity Fundraiser
8 pm, Muse Lounge, $5
Another Passover-themed event, join over 1,000 people at this split 20s/30s and 35-plus party to drink, socialize and give to charity, like the Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation! You can also win door prizes and drop off food for people in need.

Read last year’s entry here.

Note: This blog will be on hiatus for the next week, as I will be visiting family. Hope everyone celebrating has happy holidays!

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Upcoming Events: December 20-26

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, December 20-Friday, December 31

DCJCC Winter Fun Days
http://thejdc.convio.net/site/Calendar/657174979?view=Detail&id=125901

Monday, December 20

hideSPEAK: Evening with David C. Ward at the National Portrait Gallery
http://thejdc.convio.net/site/Calendar/657174979?view=Detail&id=126301

Tuesday, December 21

Brown Bag Lunch Series: The Coming Changes on Capitol Hill with Richard Foltin
http://www.jcouncil.org/site/Calendar/407088292?view=Detail&id=104301

Wednesday, December 22

Lubavich Center: Torah Study and Dinner
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/22/2010 7:00:00 PM&enddate=12/22/2010 8:00:00 PM&id=75&eventid=560231&recurrenceid=12932

EntryPointDC Night at The Kinsey Sticks Oy Vey in a Manger
http://thejdc.convio.net/site/Calendar/657174979?view=Detail&id=125463

Thursday, December 23

Tikvat Israel: Israeli Dance Marathon
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/23/2010 7:30:00 PM&enddate=12/23/2010 11:59:00 PM&id=75&eventid=558342&recurrenceid=0

DCJCC Gift Wrapping
http://thejdc.convio.net/site/Calendar/657174979?view=Detail&id=126202

Yachad Film Fest Films Announced
http://www.yachad-dc.org/OurCityFilmFestival.shtml

Friday, December 24

Winter Break Movie Mania
http://www.jccgw.org/articlenav.php?id=52

Matzoball 2010
http://www.jewishpro.com/eventdetail.php?id=41

Thirties and Forties Jewish Singles Sped Dating
http://www.prosinthecity.com/jewishevents.php#DC_9627

DCJCC Christmas Volunteering
http://thejdc.convio.net/site/Calendar/657174979?view=Detail&id=126183

DCJCC Blood Drive
http://thejdc.convio.net/site/Calendar/657174979?view=Detail&id=126241

Downtown Shabbat with Larry Paul and Robyn Helzner
http://www.sixthandi.org/EventDetails.aspx?evntID=484&dispDt=12/24/2010 6:45:00 PM

Saturday, December 25

JPN: Christmas Day Chinese Fest and Movie
http://www.jewishpro.com/eventdetail.php?id=46

JSC: Chinese Food and a Movie
https://www.google.com/calendar/render?eid=MTMycmdydm1raTZtdnFnbTFlY2FpM25rZXMgdW5ubHQyMzQyZTAwcWhuNGozY244ZWMwaTRAZw&ctz=America/New_York&gsessionid=OK&sf=true&output=xml

17th Annual Gefilte Fish Gala Charity Fundraiser
http://www.prosinthecity.com/jewishevents.php#DC_9644

Adat Reyim: Tot Shabbat
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/25/2010 10:00:00 AM&enddate=12/25/2010 11:00:00 AM&id=75&eventid=552323&recurrenceid=12789

Shaare Torah: Tot Shabbat
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/25/2010 10:15:00 AM&enddate=12/25/2010 10:45:00 AM&id=75&eventid=432227&recurrenceid=10400

Beth El: Shabbat Nitzanim Serices
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/25/2010 10:30:00 AM&enddate=12/25/2010 11:00:00 AM&id=75&eventid=384145&recurrenceid=9375

Magen David: Bingo
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/25/2010 7:30:00 PM&enddate=12/25/2010 9:30:00 PM&id=75&eventid=560436&recurrenceid=0

Adat Shalom: Lost Islands screening
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/25/2010 7:30:00 PM&enddate=12/25/2010 9:30:00 PM&id=75&eventid=561168&recurrenceid=0

Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy: Salah Shabbati Screening
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/25/2010 7:30:00 PM&enddate=12/25/2010 9:30:00 PM&id=75&eventid=559767&recurrenceid=0

Sunday, December 26

Torah School 16th Annual Gala Banquet
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/26/2010 6:00:00 PM&enddate=12/26/2010 9:30:00 PM&id=75&eventid=500190&recurrenceid=0

Around Town for DC Chanukah 5771!

Happy belated Chanukah! A week after the oil has abated and I have a slideshow for you! Featuring events around town, including a Sixth & I/Birthright Jewmongous Chanukah Party, a DCJCC/everyone else Hanukkah Happy Hour on the Hill, and a couple of other surprises! For the first time, embedded straight from Flickr. 😀

Also available via Facebook; click here to see.

Upcoming Events: December 13-19

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, December 13

Damon Linker and The Religious Test: Why We Must Question the Beliefs of our Leaders
http://www.sixthandi.org/EventDetails.aspx?evntID=467&dispDt=12/13/2010 7:00:00 PM

American University: The Mountain and the Wall: Mount Herzl and the Western Wall as Changing Symbols of Commemoration in Israel
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/13/2010 4:00:00 PM&enddate=12/13/2010 5:00:00 PM&id=75&eventid=557625&recurrenceid=0

J-Fed event with Ambassador Mekoaur and Robert Satloff
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/13/2010 6:15:00 PM&enddate=12/13/2010 9:15:00 PM&id=75&eventid=516629&recurrenceid=0

Adat Shalom: Is 2011 a Year of Decision for the Middle East?
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/13/2010 7:30:00 PM&enddate=12/13/2010 9:00:00 PM&id=75&eventid=556552&recurrenceid=0

Tuesday, December 14

2010 District 16 Parlor Meeting
http://www.jcouncil.org/site/Calendar/291523218?view=Detail&id=104262&whence=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jcouncil.org%2Fsite%2FPageServer

Adas Israel: Gan HaYeled Open House
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/14/2010 9:30:00 AM&enddate=12/14/2010 11:00:00 AM&id=75&eventid=550804&recurrenceid=0

Hadassah Lunch and Learn Scholar Series with Haleh Esfandiari
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/14/2010 11:30:00 AM&enddate=12/14/2010 12:00:00 PM&id=75&eventid=515666&recurrenceid=0

Authors Out Loud: Rodger Kamenetz
http://thejdc.convio.net/site/Calendar/975078087?view=Detail&id=125467

Wednesday, December 15

Sixth & I and BBI Trivia Night
http://www.sixthandi.org/EventDetails.aspx?evntID=486&dispDt=12/15/2010 7:00:00 PM

Har Shalom: Screening of “Every Time We Say Goodbye”
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/15/2010 12:00:00 PM&enddate=12/15/2010 2:00:00 PM&id=75&eventid=557916&recurrenceid=0

Thursday, December 16

Pre-Birthright Orientation for DC Participants
http://www.birthrightisrael.com/site/Calendar/5637725?view=Detail&id=209762&whence=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.birthrightisrael.com%2Fsite%2FPageServer%3Fpagename%3Dnext_local_dc_calendar

Friday, December 17

Shabbat Hoppin’ with Tikkun Leil Shabbat
http://www.birthrightisrael.com/site/Calendar/5637725?view=Detail&id=209804&whence=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.birthrightisrael.com%2Fsite%2FPageServer%3Fpagename%3Dnext_local_dc_calendar

Friday Night Shabbat Services with MesorahDC
http://www.sixthandi.org/EventDetails.aspx?evntID=421&dispDt=12/17/2010 6:30:00 PM

Saturday, December 18

Saturday Morning Shabbat Services with MesorahDC
http://www.sixthandi.org/EventDetails.aspx?evntID=422&dispDt=12/18/2010 9:30:00 AM

DCJCC: Opening Night for “Oy Vey in a Manger”
http://washingtondcjcc.org/center-for-arts/theater-j/on-stage/10-11Season/kinsey-sicks/

Sunday, December 19

Illuminated Photo Safari: White House, Washington Monument, National Christmas Tree and National Menorah
http://www.jewishpro.com/eventdetail.php?id=44

JSC: Sushi Making with a Jewish Twist
https://www.google.com/calendar/render?eid=MDNjbWlpaXAxZWRla2FwbXQxN2dpbXFsM2MgdW5ubHQyMzQyZTAwcWhuNGozY244ZWMwaTRAZw&ctz=America/New_York&gsessionid=v-bfgrGvBBY2wE7MMhoacw&sf=true&output=xml

JewishROC Annual Fundraiser
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/19/2010 5:30:00 PM&enddate=12/19/2010 9:30:00 PM&id=75&eventid=528167&recurrenceid=0

Camp Gan Israel and Chabad of Silver Spring’s Parenting Event
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/19/2010 8:00:00 PM&enddate=12/19/2010 8:30:00 PM&id=75&eventid=558305&recurrenceid=0

Ketubah Club Ice Skating
http://www.adasisrael.org/articlenav.php?id=59

“Judios en el espacio” shows subtle humor at the Washington Jewish Film Festival

Image courtesy of WJFF

Sometimes when I think of familial comedy, my mind automatically jumps to the Focker franchise. The premise of these stories always revolve around outlandish scenarios in order to paint Robert De Niro as the straight man and Ben Stiller as the schlemiel.

But in other countries, I’m finding, it’s all a bit more subtle. Tuesday night, I headed to AFI Silver Theater to watch such a movie that was part of the Washington Jewish Film Festival. “Judios en el espacio” (Jews in Space), an Argentinian film, relies on character interactions for humor. The crotchety old grandpa who poisons himself has a voice message daring people to leave him a message when he might drop dead before returning it. His estranged daughters talk about one sister’s recent conversion to Orthodoxy—the youngest sister mumbles nonchalantly, “I’d rather have cancer.” Protagonist Tito, a 26 year old man, endures his co-worker’s jibes about “wanting to be related to him” as a way of illuminating their lust for his cousin and all-around object of desire, Luciana.

The story begins with a prologue when Tito and Luciana are young children performing in a play that transports the Passover story to outer space. Dressed as Luke Skywalker and playing the part of Moses, Tito freezes on stage. Later that night, he catches Luciana stealing something from his mother’s drawer when they were supposed to be hunting for the afikomen. Sixteen years later, Tito’s lack of assertiveness and Luciana’s kleptomania continue to be main themes of the story, but they don’t overtake the main plot—how the two cousins attempt to create a Passover seder of old for their estranged family and ailing grandfather. It was truly a touching story as well as comedic.

“Judios in el espacio” was co-sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina and the U.S. Embassy of Argentina. It is one of eight Argentinian films featured in the festival this year, and the second one I’ve covered, following last year’s review of “La Camera Obscura.”

The Washington Jewish Film Festival continues until Dec. 11. Click here for more information.

Upcoming Events: December 6-12

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!

Chanukah continues until Dec. 8
Click here for upcoming holiday events.

Washington Jewish Film Festival Continuing Until Dec. 12
http://washingtondcjcc.org/center-for-arts/film/WJFF/

Monday, December 6

Andrew Bird concert
http://www.sixthandi.org/EventDetails.aspx?evntID=448&dispDt=12/6/2010 8:00:00 PM

Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation Speakers Series: Ezra Klein
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/6/2010 8:00:00 PM&enddate=12/6/2010 9:30:00 PM&id=75&eventid=551863&recurrenceid=0

Tuesday, December 7

Meeting with Wal-Mart Developer to discuss “Healthy Communities” initiative
http://www.jufj.org/event/meeting_developer_foulger_pratt_about_plans_build_wal_mart_ward_4

Shopping for Gd…at Wegman’s!
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/7/2010 9:15:00 AM&enddate=12/7/2010 10:30:00 AM&id=75&eventid=490936&recurrenceid=0

The Military Siddur—and Soldiers’ Prayers
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/7/2010 7:00:00 PM&enddate=12/7/2010 8:15:00 PM&id=75&eventid=536465&recurrenceid=0

Wednesday, December 8

Shabbat Hoppin’ with Seniors
http://www.birthrightisrael.com/site/Calendar/480193149?view=Detail&id=209650&whence=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.birthrightisrael.com%2Fsite%2FPageServer%3Fpagename%3Dnext_local_dc_calendar

Andrew Bird encore concert
http://www.sixthandi.org/EventDetails.aspx?evntID=451&dispDt=12/8/2010 8:00:00 PM

District 20 Parlor Meeting
http://www.jcouncil.org/site/Calendar/894438150?view=Detail&id=104264&whence=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jcouncil.org%2Fsite%2FPageServer

B’nai Tzedek: Why is my Child Acting like That?
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/8/2010 9:30:00 AM&enddate=12/8/2010 10:45:00 AM&id=75&eventid=507933&recurrenceid=0

Har Shalom: Countdown to 2012
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/8/2010 12:00:00 PM&enddate=12/8/2010 2:00:00 PM&id=75&eventid=557915&recurrenceid=0

Thursday, December 9

Girls are a Girl’s Best Friend
http://www.sixthandi.org/EventDetails.aspx?evntID=464&dispDt=12/9/2010 7:00:00 PM

Oliver Sacks reading
http://www.sixthandi.org/EventDetails.aspx?evntID=479&dispDt=12/9/2010 7:00:00 PM

BBYO Gala Celebration
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/9/2010 6:00:00 PM&enddate=12/9/2010 10:00:00 PM&id=75&eventid=528186&recurrenceid=0

Friday, December 10

6th in the City Shabbat with Rick Recht
http://www.sixthandi.org/EventDetails.aspx?evntID=468&dispDt=12/10/2010 6:30:00 PM

Tikvat Israel: New Member Service and Dinner
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/10/2010 6:30:00 PM&enddate=12/10/2010 8:00:00 PM&id=75&eventid=554446&recurrenceid=0

Adas Israel: Oneg with Sari Horwitz
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/10/2010 8:00:00 PM&enddate=12/10/2010 9:30:00 PM&id=75&eventid=553191&recurrenceid=0

Commemoration of 40th Anniversary of Soviet Jewry Vigil
http://www.jhsgw.org/programs/

Morning Muscle Fitness
http://thejdc.convio.net/site/Calendar/634324186?view=Detail&id=126045

Saturday, December 11

Torah Yoga Tot Shabbat
http://www.sixthandi.org/EventDetails.aspx?evntID=265&dispDt=12/11/2010 10:00:00 AM

Shaare Torah Tot Shabbat
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/11/2010 10:15:00 AM&enddate=12/11/2010 10:45:00 AM&id=75&eventid=432243&recurrenceid=10401

Shabbat Nitzanim Services
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/11/2010 10:30:00 AM&enddate=12/11/2010 11:00:00 AM&id=75&eventid=384020&recurrenceid=9373

Gesher Jewish Day School PJ Party
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/11/2010 6:30:00 PM&enddate=12/11/2010 7:00:00 PM&id=75&eventid=519839&recurrenceid=0

Hebrew Home Centennial Gala
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/11/2010 6:30:00 PM&enddate=12/11/2010 9:00:00 PM&id=75&eventid=490329&recurrenceid=0

Har Shalom: Steve Dropkin Concert
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/11/2010 7:30:00 PM&enddate=12/11/2010 9:30:00 PM&id=75&eventid=552397&recurrenceid=0

Sunday, December 12

J-Fed’s Super Sunday Fundraiser
http://www.birthrightisrael.com/site/Calendar/480193149?view=Detail&id=209901&whence=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.birthrightisrael.com%2Fsite%2FPageServer%3Fpagename%3Dnext_local_dc_calendar

JSSA Fundraiser: A Tribute to Frankie Valli
http://www.jssa.org/calendar?p_p_id=events_WAR_eventsportlet&p_p_lifecycle=0&p_p_state=maximized&p_p_mode=view&p_p_col_id=column-2&p_p_col_count=1&_events_WAR_eventsportlet_view_cmd=view_event&_events_WAR_eventsportlet_redirect=%2Fweb%2Fguest%2Fcalendar&_events_WAR_eventsportlet_eventId=1034633

20s/30s Jewish Speed Dating
http://www.prosinthecity.com/jewishevents.php#DC_9602

6th in the City Running Club
http://www.sixthandi.org/EventDetails.aspx?evntID=469&dispDt=12/12/2010 10:00:00 AM

Washington Hebrew Congregation: The Legacy of Russian Jewish Composers
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/12/2010 5:00:00 PM&enddate=12/12/2010 6:30:00 PM&id=75&eventid=552131&recurrenceid=0

Kesher Israel Centennial: Jonathan Safran Foer and Leon Weiseltier in Discussion
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=12/12/2010 7:00:00 PM&enddate=12/12/2010 8:30:00 PM&id=75&eventid=514424&recurrenceid=0

Handmade for the Homeless
http://thejdc.convio.net/site/Calendar/634324186?view=Detail&id=126221

DC Chanukah Happenings 5771!

Graphic courtesy of Kaboose, Inc.

Graphic courtesy of Kaboose, Inc.

Hey all! I decided to take an impromptu week off in order to finish another big writing project. 😀 But now it’s the middle of Chanukah! Local Jewish groups are rolling out the red carpet for this well-known religious holiday, which goes on until sundown Dec. 8. Check these out!

Shabbat Chanukah Dor V’Dor
Adas Israel all generations Chanukah experience
Friday, Dec. 3, 6 p.m. Free

Shalom Sesame Chanukah Celebration
Family friendly celebration leading up to a premiere screening of Chanukah: The Missing Menorah at JCCGW.
Saturday, Dec. 4, 6 p.m. $7 per person (family max $20)

The Ultimate Boogie Woogie Hanukkah Party
Kehilat Shalom party including professional DJ, games, food and more!
Saturday, Dec. 4, 6 p.m. $10 for adults, $7 for kids, free 2 and under

A JEWMONGUOUS Chanukah Party
Young adults aged 18 and up can enjoy Sean Altman’s Jewmonguous concert followed by a post-show party at Sixth & I.
Saturday, Dec. 4, 9 p.m. $20

Shalom Sesame at 16 and J
Premiere of Chanukah Sesame series with food, crafts and more!
Sunday, Dec. 5, 10 a.m. Family registration $16.50; member family registration $11.50

JCC of NoVa Chanukah Party
Featuring premiere of “Shalom Sesame,” menorah and dreidel making, a latke lounge, face painting, virtual Israel tour and mah jongg for adults, community service and more!
Sunday, Dec. 5, 1 p.m. $18 for families, $9 for individuals; $10 for member families, $7 for member individuals

Adat Reyim Chanukah Party
Chanukah celebration presented by preschool and religious school. Family themed event featuring music, latkes, jelly doughnuts, arts and crafts and more!
Sunday, Dec. 5, 1:30 p.m. $4 per child, $12 per family

NOVA Community Chorus Concert: Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus
NOVA Community Chorus presents Handel’s oratorio Judas Maccabaeus at Bishop Ireton High School.
Sunday, Dec. 5, 3 p.m. Free admission; donations encouraged

Latkes and Mojitos: The Hanukkah Seder
David Smolar presents The Hanukkah Seder, a musical performance to answer all of your Hanukkah questions at Adas Israel.
Sunday, Dec. 5, 6:30 p.m. $25 adults, $15 children

Hanukkah Happy Hour on the Hill
Annual soiree put on by various local Jewish groups. This year held at The Pour House and Hawk and Dove.
Monday, Dec. 6, 6 p.m. $5.

B’nai Tzedek: Community Menorah Lighting
B’nai Tzedek clergy leads a community Chanukah celebration and menorah lighting at Potomac Village Shopping Center.
Tuesday, Dec. 7, 5 p.m. Free

Ohr Kodesh Israeli Dancing Chanukah Party
Israeli dancing for kids and adults followed by a Chanukah treat!
Tuesday, Dec. 7, 6:30 p.m. $3 for kids under 12, $6 for students and members, $8 for adults, max $18 per family

Gesher Jewish Day School Chanukah Family Celebration
Gesher JDS presents The Odd Potato.
Wednesday, Dec. 8, 7 p.m.

NOVA Community Chorus Holiday Concert: Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus
Encore performance of Handel’s oratorio, this time at NOVA Community Chorus.
Thursday, Dec. 9, 7:30 p.m., Free; donations encouraged