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!

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

Monday, December 20

hideSPEAK: Evening with David C. Ward at the National Portrait Gallery

Tuesday, December 21

Brown Bag Lunch Series: The Coming Changes on Capitol Hill with Richard Foltin

Wednesday, December 22

Lubavich Center: Torah Study and Dinner 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

Thursday, December 23

Tikvat Israel: Israeli Dance Marathon 7:30:00 PM&enddate=12/23/2010 11:59:00 PM&id=75&eventid=558342&recurrenceid=0

DCJCC Gift Wrapping

Yachad Film Fest Films Announced

Friday, December 24

Winter Break Movie Mania

Matzoball 2010

Thirties and Forties Jewish Singles Sped Dating

DCJCC Christmas Volunteering

DCJCC Blood Drive

Downtown Shabbat with Larry Paul and Robyn Helzner 6:45:00 PM

Saturday, December 25

JPN: Christmas Day Chinese Fest and Movie

JSC: Chinese Food and a Movie

17th Annual Gefilte Fish Gala Charity Fundraiser

Adat Reyim: Tot Shabbat 10:00:00 AM&enddate=12/25/2010 11:00:00 AM&id=75&eventid=552323&recurrenceid=12789

Shaare Torah: Tot Shabbat 10:15:00 AM&enddate=12/25/2010 10:45:00 AM&id=75&eventid=432227&recurrenceid=10400

Beth El: Shabbat Nitzanim Serices 10:30:00 AM&enddate=12/25/2010 11:00:00 AM&id=75&eventid=384145&recurrenceid=9375

Magen David: Bingo 7:30:00 PM&enddate=12/25/2010 9:30:00 PM&id=75&eventid=560436&recurrenceid=0

Adat Shalom: Lost Islands screening 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 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 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 7:00:00 PM

American University: The Mountain and the Wall: Mount Herzl and the Western Wall as Changing Symbols of Commemoration in Israel 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 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? 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

Adas Israel: Gan HaYeled Open House 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 11:30:00 AM&enddate=12/14/2010 12:00:00 PM&id=75&eventid=515666&recurrenceid=0

Authors Out Loud: Rodger Kamenetz

Wednesday, December 15

Sixth & I and BBI Trivia Night 7:00:00 PM

Har Shalom: Screening of “Every Time We Say Goodbye” 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

Friday, December 17

Shabbat Hoppin’ with Tikkun Leil Shabbat

Friday Night Shabbat Services with MesorahDC 6:30:00 PM

Saturday, December 18

Saturday Morning Shabbat Services with MesorahDC 9:30:00 AM

DCJCC: Opening Night for “Oy Vey in a Manger”

Sunday, December 19

Illuminated Photo Safari: White House, Washington Monument, National Christmas Tree and National Menorah

JSC: Sushi Making with a Jewish Twist

JewishROC Annual Fundraiser 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 8:00:00 PM&enddate=12/19/2010 8:30:00 PM&id=75&eventid=558305&recurrenceid=0

Ketubah Club Ice Skating

“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

Monday, December 6

Andrew Bird concert 8:00:00 PM

Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation Speakers Series: Ezra Klein 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

Shopping for Gd…at Wegman’s! 9:15:00 AM&enddate=12/7/2010 10:30:00 AM&id=75&eventid=490936&recurrenceid=0

The Military Siddur—and Soldiers’ Prayers 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

Andrew Bird encore concert 8:00:00 PM

District 20 Parlor Meeting

B’nai Tzedek: Why is my Child Acting like That? 9:30:00 AM&enddate=12/8/2010 10:45:00 AM&id=75&eventid=507933&recurrenceid=0

Har Shalom: Countdown to 2012 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 7:00:00 PM

Oliver Sacks reading 7:00:00 PM

BBYO Gala Celebration 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 6:30:00 PM

Tikvat Israel: New Member Service and Dinner 6:30:00 PM&enddate=12/10/2010 8:00:00 PM&id=75&eventid=554446&recurrenceid=0

Adas Israel: Oneg with Sari Horwitz 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

Morning Muscle Fitness

Saturday, December 11

Torah Yoga Tot Shabbat 10:00:00 AM

Shaare Torah Tot Shabbat 10:15:00 AM&enddate=12/11/2010 10:45:00 AM&id=75&eventid=432243&recurrenceid=10401

Shabbat Nitzanim Services 10:30:00 AM&enddate=12/11/2010 11:00:00 AM&id=75&eventid=384020&recurrenceid=9373

Gesher Jewish Day School PJ Party 6:30:00 PM&enddate=12/11/2010 7:00:00 PM&id=75&eventid=519839&recurrenceid=0

Hebrew Home Centennial Gala 6:30:00 PM&enddate=12/11/2010 9:00:00 PM&id=75&eventid=490329&recurrenceid=0

Har Shalom: Steve Dropkin Concert 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

JSSA Fundraiser: A Tribute to Frankie Valli

20s/30s Jewish Speed Dating

6th in the City Running Club 10:00:00 AM

Washington Hebrew Congregation: The Legacy of Russian Jewish Composers 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 7:00:00 PM&enddate=12/12/2010 8:30:00 PM&id=75&eventid=514424&recurrenceid=0

Handmade for the Homeless

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