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

Criss-Crossing Communities Tree-Athlon Challenge
Jan 24 @ 4:30 pm

We invite you to join our online criss crossing communities’ event – a Tu B’shvat celebration with games and challenges. Raise a toast and celebrate Tu B’Shvat in a playful way with missions, questions and community fun.

Best for Everyone, ages 0-120

Co-hosted by IAC Washington DC, Bender JCCGW, Edlavitch DCJCC, Pozez JCC and Weinstein JCC

Bim Bom Bag: Tu B’Shevat Edition
Jan 25 @ 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm

We are excited to offer an exciting gift bag full of Tu B’Shevat themed arts & crafts activities to work on independently with your kid(s), a virtual place to share our creative crafts, read a story, and learn cool facts about the birthday of the trees. (Best for kids 2-6 years old)

Please note: In order to fulfill Bim Bom bag orders, registration closes firmly on January 20 at 11:30 PM.

Bag pick-up will take place on Monday, January 25 between 12:15 PM – 12:45 PM. If this time does not work for you please email Lindsay Kagin at to set up an alternative bag pick up/delivery.

The Zoom call will take place on Wednesday, January 27 at 4:30 PM. A zoom link will be sent out on January 25th to all who purchased a bag.

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.

DIY Tu B’Shevat Fruit and Cheeseboards
Jan 26 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Looking for a fun night-in activity?  Join the Edlavitch DC JCC and Honeymoon Israel for a fun night of cheeseboard making. Participants will learn about Tu B’Shvat and will be guided through making a holiday-inspired cheese and fruit board featuring some of the seven sacred species. During the interactive portion of the workshop we will cover what types of items to include on a cheeseboard, how to create a beautiful display, and how this knowledge can adapted for hosting in the post-covid future.

$12 per screen to participate. We will send out a list of items you will need to purchase if you would like to make the board along with us.

This Program is brought to you by the Edlavitch DCJCC, EntryPointDC Cooking Interest Tribe, Honeymoon Israel and JFamily at the Edlavitch DCJCC which is funded by The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and The United Jewish Endowment Fund.
Edlavitch DCJCC
Pajamuary Havdalah
Jan 30 @ 6:15 pm – 6:45 pm

Havdalah starts a new week with a multi-sensory experience, so join us and special guest reader, PJ Poppins, for a fun way to end Shabbat. You can bring a Havdalah candle, spice box and juice (get ideas for these) to join us to say the blessings.

To Register:

All month long, we will be collecting new pajamas (all sizes) to donate to local organizations so that their clients can be warm and cozy this winter, too. Find your local drop-off point, or the place to mail them, on our Padlet.

This initiative is a collaboration of the Bender JCC, Edlavitch DCJCC, Pozez JCC’s Growing Jewish Families, Honeymoon Israel, Capital Camps, Agudas Achim, PJ Library, and The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.

Intro to Judaism
Feb 1 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 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, including Shabbat and holidays, prayer, lifecycle rituals, ethics, and beliefs.

This class is ideal for learners with questions – whether you’ve never studied Judaism before in your life, you’re looking for a Hebrew School refresher, or you’re somewhere in between!

Mondays, February 1 – March 22, 2021, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM

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

Instructor: Rabbi JoHannah Potts
JoHanna Potts is the former director of The Department of Jewish Life and Learning at the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. Her teaching passion is to bring enjoyment to Jewish learning with a view towards empowering individuals to create lives of meaning through Judaism. Previously, she served as Director of Education at Temples Solel and Shalom, Director of The Primary School at Washington Hebrew Congregation, and Director of the Middle School at Gesher Jewish Day School. In 2006, she served as co-chair of the Conference for Alternatives in Jewish Education at Duke University. She has been involved with the DCJCC Jewish Women’s Project and helped coordinate and lead the group’s text study activities. JoHanna currently teaches the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning, the Heritage series, a Women’s Torah Study Group, and conducts teacher training workshops.

Please contact Amanda Herring by email with any questions. Before registering, make sure you are familiar with the JLL Registration Policies.