Jewish Life

Leo & Anna Smilow Center for Jewish Living and Learning

Connect with Jewish life and culture your way through innovative and inclusive programs exploring modern life, social justice, culture, and more.

Upcoming Events

Apr
9
Thu
EDCJCC Virtual Second Night Seder 2020
Apr 9 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Due to COVID-19, we’ve had to rethink Seder 2020.

This year, Jewish Life & Learning and GLOE – the Kurlander Program for GLBTQ Outreach and Engagement, have joined forces to bring our community seders to the safety of your homes. Our community seder will be the same open, welcoming, pluralistic celebration of freedom you’ve come to expect from the EDCJCC – but this year it’s virtual!

Throughout the seder, there will be opportunities for sharing in small groups, building community, and reflecting together or individually. Throughout the Seder, we will break out into small “tables” of people to allow for socializing. When you register, you will be able to request to be at an  EntryPointDC (20s and 30s young professionals) table or a GLOE table or to list another family/friend group.

As always, we welcome interfaith, LGBTQ, and other traditionally marginalized voices to our virtual seder table. This year’s seder will be led by Amanda Herring, Manager of Jewish Life and Learning at the EDCJCC; Ari Jacobson, song leader; and members of the GLOE Committee.

We will go through the steps of the Seder, skipping over the meal, and then break into our tables at 8:00 PM where you’ll have the chance to eat over video or go offline to eat with your household. We will provide resources for completing the prayer after the meal and the search for the Afikomen on your own after the meal.

Click on the TICKETS button to the right to register and get the login information!

Seder Leader Bio:

Amanda Herring, MA
Manager of Jewish Life and Learning

Amanda joined the EDCJCC in January 2020, she has been educating through immersive experiences and food-related programming for the past ten years in Virginia, DC, and New York. She completed her master’s in Experiential Education and Jewish Cultural Arts at the George Washington University and her undergraduate studies in Political Science, Jewish Studies, and International Studies at Virginia Tech. Amanda has worked at Hillel, Birthright, OneTable and most recently started a publishing company designing educational tools for Jewish Educators, she is the co-creator of The Jewish Planner. Amanda is thrilled to bring her passion for Jewish education, sustainability, and embodied experiences to the EDCJCC.

Seder FAQ

Joining by Zoom:
Try to log in about 5 minutes before Seder starts to ensure you’re all set up. Make sure you have adequate lighting on your face, not behind you creating shadows. You will be on mute when you enter, and unless you’ve been asked to lead a portion of the Seder, we ask you to remain on mute as long as we are in a full group. When you go to your breakout rooms, you’ll be unmuted and can share at your virtual “table”.

Do I have to be Jewish to attend? (Observant? Old? Young? Ashkenazi? Sephardic? etc.)
Nope. We welcome everyone who would like to join our community-wide Seder and celebrate Passover’s lessons of freedom! In fact, every year, we have a beautiful mix of people. Some are Jewish, some are not. All are welcome, and (if they choose) can easily participate in a variety of ways – singing, reading, discussing ideas, or just generally being among the community.

What if I don’t read Hebrew?
Not a problem. Most of the Seder is in English, and readings in Hebrew also appear in English transliteration.

Is there a dress code? What should I wear?
There is no official dress code. Most people dress as they would for a family Seder or holiday – dressed nicely, a little dressed up, but not overly formally. (For many people that could mean a button-down or sweater, a skirt/dress, a jacket, slacks, etc. Most people do not wear jeans.) Please wear what feels appropriate to you to celebrate the holiday.

Is it appropriate to have kids in the room?
Yes! The Seder is not specifically a “kids” Seder, but our atmosphere is fun and festive! We welcome all who would like to participate.

Was your question not answered? Email Amanda so we can help!

Apr
16
Thu
Third Thursday Book Group
Apr 16 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Join a group of book lovers at the EDCJCC. We meet on the third Thursday of every month (except July and August) from 10:30 AM to 12 PM for a lively discussion of one book. The group chooses our readings which include both fiction and non-fiction. Participants are welcome to attend as many or few sessions as they can. The schedule for the next six months is:

1/16: Sally Mann, Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs
2/20: Viet Thanh Nguyen, Nothing Ever Dies
3/19: Herta Muëller, The Appointment
4/23: Steve Stern, Book of Mischief
5/21: Jacquelin Woodson, Another Brooklyn
6/18: James H. Cone, The Cross and the Lynching Tree

All meetings except 2/20 will be in the Polinger Room. 2/20 will be in the Salzberg library.  For further information contact janeflax@gmail.com

Counting the Omer: The Healing Power of Counting During COVID-19
Apr 16 @ 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Join Amanda Herring, Manager of Jewish Life & Learning, for a deep dive into the counting of the Omer.

What can we glean during this time of uncertainty about counting each day with intention?

Learn about the agricultural, historical, and spiritual elements of the period between Passover and Shavuot. The introductory class on April 16 is free and open to all, but registration is required.

The following six sessions will have a suggested donation price of $36 and will begin on Monday, April 20. We are trying to create a robust learning community! We will have time for partner sharing, personal reflection and journaling, and learning in virtual community. Sign up now to focus on your own spiritual wellness during this challenging time.

 

INTRO: Counting the Omer – the healing power of counting during COVID-19
Apr 16 @ 8:00 pm – 9:15 pm

omer

Join the Manager of Jewish Life & Learning, Amanda Herring, for a deep dive into the Counting of the Omer.

What can we glean during this time of uncertainty about counting each day with intention?

Learn about the agricultural, historical, and spiritual elements of the period between Passover and Shavuot. This is the intro class, it is free and open to all who register.

The following six sessions will have a suggested donation price of $36 and begin on Monday, April 20, we are trying to create a robust learning community! We will have time for partner sharing, personal reflection and journaling, and learning in virtual community. Sign up now to focus on your own spiritual wellness during this challenging time.

Apr
19
Sun
Virtual JFamily Discussion – Raising Kids in an Interfaith family / Predominantly Non-Jewish Community
Apr 19 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Join us for a discussion about the challenges of raising Jewish Children in an interfaith family / predominantly non – Jewish community. The Discussion will be lead by Marion Usher, Ph.D, Creator of Love and Religion: An Interfaith Workshop for Jews and Their Partners”, Author, “One Couple Two Faiths: Stories of Love and Religion”

The discussion is geared toward interfaith families but ALL Families are welcome. 

This program is brought to you by the Edlavitch DCJCC and funded by The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and The United Jewish Endowment Fund and the Marion Usher Fund at the EDCJCC.

Apr
20
Mon
Counting the Omer – the healing power of counting during COVID-19
Apr 20 @ 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm

omer

Join the Manager of Jewish Life & Learning, Amanda Herring, for a deep dive into the Counting of the Omer.

This is a six-class series: Mondays 7:00 PM – 8:15 PM
April 20, 27, May 4, 11, 18, and 25

What can we glean during this time of uncertainty about counting each day with intention?

Learn about the agricultural, historical, and spiritual elements of the period between Passover and Shavuot.

This is a cohort-learning course, please plan to attend all six sessions if you register in order to create a robust learning community! We will have time for partner sharing, personal reflection and journaling, and learning in virtual community.

Sign up now to focus on your own spiritual wellness during this challenging time.

Apr
21
Tue
Intro to Judaism Online
Apr 21 @ 7:30 pm – 9:15 pm

Intro to Judaism - Spring Session

Come explore the rich fabric of Judaism! Using traditional texts and modern examples, we will cover the fundamentals of Jewish life. Topics will include Shabbat and holidays, prayer, lifecycle rituals, ethics, and beliefs.

This class is ideal for all learners with questions. Whether you’ve never studied Judaism before or you’re looking for a Hebrew School refresher – or you’re somewhere in between – this class is for you.

Dates:
Tuesdays, April 21-June 9, 2020; 7:30 PM – 9:15 PM

Cost:
General Registration: $200
Discounted Member : $170
Interfaith Couples Workshop Alumni: $150/couple
Did you go on Birthright or Honeymoon Israel in the past year? Contact us to learn about special discounts for program participants.

JoHanna Potts is the former director of The Department of Jewish Life and Learning at the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and has been teaching Introduction to Judaism at the EDCJCC for six years. Her teaching passion is to bring enjoyment to Jewish learning with a view towards empowering individuals to create lives of meaning through Judaism.

Please contact Amanda Herring at (202) 777-3253 or send an email with any questions. Before registering, make sure you are familiar with the JLL Registration Policies.

Apr
27
Mon
Counting the Omer – the healing power of counting during COVID-19
Apr 27 @ 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm

omer

Join the Manager of Jewish Life & Learning, Amanda Herring, for a deep dive into the Counting of the Omer.

This is a six-class series: Mondays 7:00 PM – 8:15 PM
April 20, 27, May 4, 11, 18, and 25

What can we glean during this time of uncertainty about counting each day with intention?

Learn about the agricultural, historical, and spiritual elements of the period between Passover and Shavuot.

This is a cohort-learning course, please plan to attend all six sessions if you register in order to create a robust learning community! We will have time for partner sharing, personal reflection and journaling, and learning in virtual community.

Sign up now to focus on your own spiritual wellness during this challenging time.