DC Chanukah Happenings 5775!

Courtesy of mybergen.com

The winter season is upon us- the weather is occasionally colder and icier, 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. 16 to sundown Dec. 24.
Check these out!

DCJCC Chanukah Party
Drop by the DCJCC for family fun, including a moon bounce, games, crafts and more!
Sunday, December 14, 10 am, $10-$15

Chanukah at the Ellipse
American Friends of Lubavitch starts off the holiday season with this annual ceremony on the White House lawn
Tuesday, December 16, 4 pm, tickets required

Hanukkah Happy Hour on the Hill
Annual young adult shindig sponsored by several Jewish organizations, this year at both Capitol Lounge, and Hawk and Dove. Collection boxes at both sites for donations to local charity.
Tuesday, December 16, 6 pm, free

Festival of the Daughters
Sixth & I brings Rabbi Sarah Tasman to Not Your Bubbe’s Sisterhood to talk about the Book of Judith and the North African tradition, Chag HaBanot, for honoring her, and Jewish women everywhere.
Wednesday, December 17, 7 pm, $10-$12

Chanu-Comedy: A Festival of Laughs
Stop by Sixth & I for an amusing show featuring Rachel Bloom and Danny Jolles.
Saturday, December 20, 8 pm, $20-$23

Celebrate Purim in 5771!

Graphic Courtesy of Crystal Cloud Graphics

Graphic Courtesy of Crystal Cloud Graphics

Purim starts next weekend, a festive holiday of rejoicing, yet again, in the fact that we (the Jews) have survived an attempt at persecution. Though not as noticeable to the outside world as, say, Chanukah, it is definitely as fun—allowing people of all ages to dress up, eat special sweets, and wave noisemakers called groggers as the Megillah (book of Esther) is read out enthusiastically.

…but you don’t have to wait until the 14th of Adar to dress up as your favorite Biblical character (or maybe you do :P) Enjoy these local offerings of Purim-related festivities to get you in the mood!

Note: An old favorite of mine, the Jewish Study Center’s the Latke-Hamentasch debate, took place this Wednesday. I didn’t attend, but I have a feeling that the latkes won out as usual. *bites off a corner of her hamentasch and sulks* 😛

Sunday, March 13

Purim Carnivals
Adat Reyim

Wednesday, March 16

Hamentaschen Baking
7 pm
Join DCJCC’s Jean Graubart in making this signature Purim treat (and so much better than latkes. :P)
$7 for members, $10 for non-members

Friday, March 18

Moishe House DC Purim Party
RSVP to njkaresh@gmail.com for this young adult friendly event. Check out last year’s photos of hamentaschen making!

Shabbat Around the World-Purim!
6:30 pm
Hope all families with young kids got tickets to this Sixth & I Persian dinner followed by storyteller Noa Baum leading kids in a Purim schpiel!
Sold out

Saturday, March 19

Purim Celebration
7 pm
Jews United for Justice heralds in the story of Shushan with a traditional service and Megillah reading at the Church of Pilgrims.

Kehilat Shalom Purim Celebration
7:30 pm
Featuring a Megillah reading, costume party, and special silent auction!

Adas Israel Purim Services and Spiel
8:30 pm
Adas Israel rolls out big guns with a spiel written by David Smolar, and special guests FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus, and CBS News correspondent Dan Raviv.

Purim Unplugged
8:45 pm
Sixth & I and DC Minyan team up for a traditional Megillah reading and after party! Bring some mishloach manot (Purim baskets) to be donated to a local food bank.

Purim Party at MesorahDC
8:45 pm
It’s a full house at Sixth & I as MesorahDC also convenes for a Megillah reading, and after party with live music by the Mountain Boys!

Masquerade & Mischief Purim Party
9 pm
DCJCC’s GLOE throws their signature bash, featuring a special appearance by the DC Cowboys, an open bar, and, from my experience, some of the best costumes of the night!
$20 for members/under 25s/limited income, $25 regular price

Purim Masquerade Ball
9 pm
WHC 2339 parties at the City Tavern Club with a masked ball for young professionals. Admission includes a free drink, hors d’oeuvres, and hamentaschen! 😛
$32 members, $40 non-members

Kesher Israel Purim Spiel
9:30 pm
Kesher Israel, the only synagogue located in the heart of Georgetown, hosts its annual spiel, preceded by a children’s costume contest (9 pm.) Click above for past performances!

YP Wine and Cheesentaschen
10 pm
Traditionally the most popular Purim hangout for young professionals, YP@AI gives you cheese, wine, and plenty of socialization!
$5 for members, $10 for non-members

Sunday, March 20

Purim Celebration for Children and Adults
9:30 am
The Jewish Primary Day School celebrates with a costume parade, Israeli dancing, and the story of Esther!

Purim Around the World
1:30 pm
Celebrate a kid-friendly globe-trotting Purim theme at JCCGW with the sand dunes of the Sahara Dessert, ice fishing in Antarctica an Australian-themed kangaroo race and more!
$10 per family of 4/$15 per family of 5 and up

Rock’n’Roll Purim Party with Reb David
Am Kolel celebrates Purim with a Middle Eastern veggie pot-luck at Garrett Park Town Hall.

Purim Carnivals
Temple Emanuel

Upcoming Events: January 24-30

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, January 24

Interfaith Couples Community

Three Classic Midrashim: Talmud as Hypertext

Theater J Middle East Festival: Railroad to Damascus

Tuesday, January 25

Jewish Cooking 101: Comfort Foods

Contemporary Kabbalah: The Madonna Phenomenon vs Jewish Renewal

Jews in America: Insiders and Outsiders

Wednesday, January 26


ADL: Confronting Intolerance Around the World

Rhythms and Purposes of Jewish Living

You May Already Know 100 Words of Hebrew

Gallery Exhibit Opening: What Was There to be Seen

Books for Prisons

Jubilee Jobs

Hatha Yoga Winter 2011

Thursday, January 27-Sunday, January 30

Temple Beth Ami: Israeli Festival of the Arts

Thursday, January 27

9500 Liberty screening

Virginia Insiders’ Briefing

Genesis II: The Story of the First Jewish Family

Israeli Literature as a Window to Israeli Society

American University: Mindy Weisel and Dafna Kaffeman in conversation

Friday, January 28-Saturday, January 29

Adat Shalom: Exploration of the Hassidic Spirit Shabbaton

Friday, January 28

Tikkun Leil Shabbat

Downtown Shabbat with Larry Paul and Robyn Helzner

Corcoran Gallery of Art: Ariel Quartet

Saturday, January 29-Sunday, January 30

Har Shalom: Once Upon a Mattress

Saturday, January 29

Har Shalom: Services with Active Minds

Adas Israel: Swings!Dance

Sunday, January 30

JCC of NoVa: Poker Tournament

Yeshiva of Greater Washington: Annual Banquet

National Gallery of Art: Pianist Victor Goldberg

Artist in Conversation: Carolyn Bernstein

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.

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

Upcoming Events: August 23-29

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, August 23

B’nai Tzedek: Family Fun Day
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=8/23/2009 10:00:00 AM&enddate=8/23/2009 1:00:00 PM&id=75&eventid=337944&recurrenceid=0

The Kosher Hypnotist Family Entertainment
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=8/23/2009 1:30:00 PM&enddate=8/23/2009 3:00:00 PM&id=75&eventid=361554&recurrenceid=0

Ice Cream Social at North Virginia Hebrew Congregation
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=8/23/2009 2:00:00 PM&enddate=8/23/2009 4:00:00 PM&id=75&eventid=355105&recurrenceid=0

MCSS Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

GesherCity Newcommer Brunch

GLOE Pool Party

YP@AI All Fired Up

Tuesday, August 25

Stopping Wage Theft: Know Your Rights in the Work Place

Israeli Dance for Kids
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=8/25/2009 7:00:00 PM&enddate=8/25/2009 10:00:00 PM&id=75&eventid=363077&recurrenceid=0

Wednesday, August 26

JEDCHAI JEHMS: Jewish Energy Healing Monthly Sessions
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=8/26/2009 7:00:00 PM&enddate=8/26/2009 9:00:00 PM&id=75&eventid=346484&recurrenceid=8332

DCJCC Blood Drive

Jubilee Job Skills Training

Friday, August 28

Shabbat Hoppin at DC Moishe House

Robyn Helzner Shabbat Service
http://www.sixthandi.org/EventDetails.aspx?evntID=73&dispDt=8/28/2009 6:45:00 PM

Temple B’nai Shalom “Sip and Schmooze”
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=8/28/2009 7:00:00 PM&enddate=8/28/2009 9:30:00 PM&id=75&eventid=363033&recurrenceid=0

Saturday, August 29

JCCA at Montgomery County Back to School Fair

Shirat Hanefesh: Exploring Shabbat Prayer Through Meditation
http://www.shalomdc.org/calendar/index.aspx?startdate=8/29/2009 9:00:00 AM&enddate=8/29/2009 9:45:00 AM&id=75&eventid=360920&recurrenceid=8962

Zero Hour at Theatre J $30 Preview

Jewish Arbor Day a call for “Going Green” in the 21st century

Pita, chickpeas, fruit and wine were on my menu for the Tu BShevat seder. / photo by Rachel Mauro

Pita, chickpeas, fruit and wine were on my menu for the Tu B'Shevat seder. / photo by Rachel Mauro

The Christians may be gearing up for St. Valentine (and everyone else for candy hearts and store-bought cards) but Jews get to settle down for our own holiday! Starting last sunset and going til the next one, we’re in the midst of Tu B’Shevat.

Tu B’Shevat has its origins in biblical Israel; it signaled the tax season through looking at the aging of trees. It is not mentioned in the Torah and is certainly not one of the bigger holidays within the religion.

But in this day and age of growing concern for environmental issues, some Jews have revamped Tu B’shevat to speak to “going green.” So on Monday night, I attended my first Tu B’Shevat seder, sponsored in part by Shomrei Adamah of Greater Washington, local ecological advocacy group.

The two-hour seder featured music, fruit (much of it from modern-day Israel), wine, and information. We heard from a Jewish organic farmer living in Prince George’s County. We watched a clip from a Faith in Place documentary about a Chicago Muslim community reaching out to sustainable farmers.

I also picked up Shomrei Adamah’s “Green and Just” guidebook with sustainable living tips for DC-area Jewish families, a ditto of pro-nature blessings and religious quotes from Orthodox group Canfei Nesharim, and parsley seeds for planting that, if properly cared for, will be grown in time for our next seder.

Other co-sponsors of the Tu B’Shevat seder were Israeli Harvest, Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light, Teva Learning Center, Moishe House in Silver Spring, Birthright Israel NEXT, The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, Jews United for Justice, and AVODAH: Jewish Service Corps.

The event was held at Sixth & I (which by the way, has a twitter account now! Check them out!) Several dozen people attended.

Crossposted to The Examiner

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!