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

VIRTUAL BOOK TALK: By the Grace of the Game with author Dan Grunfeld in conversation with David Litt
Nov 30 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Tuesday, November 30 | Virtual | Signed Books available from Politics & Prose by pre-order using discount code Special10

Join the EDCJCC for a book launch and discussion with author Dan Grunfeld, whose book By the Grace of the Game is a multi-generational family epic detailing history’s only known journey from Auschwitz to the NBA. Dan’s DC sports legacy comes from his father, Ernie Grunfeld, former president of the Wizards. This book and author event make a perfect Chanukah gift!

About the Book:

Book Cover_By the Grace of the Game.jpegFrom the grips of the Nazis to the top of the Olympic podium, from the cheap seats to center stage at Madison Square Garden, from yellow stars to silver spoons, this complex tale traverses the spectrum of the human experience to detail how perseverance, love, and legacy can survive through generations, carried on the shoulders of a simple and beautiful game.

“Prepare to be moved and inspired by the powerful reflections he shares in this book.” – Adam Silver, NBA commissioner

“This book is a profound and inspirational reminder of why you should never give up.” – Bernard King, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, four-time NBA All-Star

“Once I started to read this book, I couldn’t put it down.” – Wolf Blitzer, CNN anchor and host of The Situation Room

About the Author:

Author photo_Dan Grunfeld.pngDan Grunfeld is a former professional basketball player, an accomplished writer, and a proud graduate of Stanford University. An Academic All-American and All-Conference basketball selection at Stanford, Dan played professionally for eight seasons in top leagues around the world, including in Germany, Spain, and Israel. Dan’s writing has been published more than 40 times in media outlets such as Sports Illustrated, The Jerusalem Post, and NBC News. Dan earned his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2017 and lives with his wife and son in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he works in venture capital.

About the Interviewer:

Litt Headshot.pngDavid Litt entered the White House as a speechwriter in 2011, and left in 2016 as a senior presidential speechwriter and special assistant to the president. In addition to writing remarks for President Obama on a wide range of domestic policy issues, David served as the lead joke writer for several White House Correspondents’ Dinner monologues. Since leaving government, David’s work has appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe, among others, and from 2016 to 2018 he was the head writer and producer for Funny Or Die D.C. He is currently a contributing writer for The Guardian and a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice, and he has developed TV pilots for Comedy Central and ABC. David’s New York Times bestselling memoir, Thanks, Obama: My Hopey Changey White House Years, was published in 2017. His second book, Democracy in One Book Or Less: How It Works, Why It Doesn’t, and Why Fixing It Is Easier Than You Think, was published in June 2020.

This is event is cosponsored by 3GDC 3GDC

Bim Bom Bags: Fall Flavors
Dec 2 all-day

Bim Bom Bags: Fall Flavors
Optional Zoom events will be Thursday  October 21, December 2 at 4:30 PM
Best for Ages 2-6

The Edlavitch DC JCC is proud to present Bim Bom Bags, fall flavors! We will be delivering bags full of Jewish themed crafts, learning and more. In October, receive a bag full of Shabbat and Havdalah awesomeness. Our fall finale will be a Chanukah bag with contents to light up your holiday. We hope you will then join us for an online gathering (optional) to share your work and learn more about the holidays with families from across the DMV! Email if you have questions.

Chanukah: Buy your bag by Wednesday 11/24 for pick up between 11/28 – 12/2, Online gathering Thursday 12/2 @4:30

Fee: Each bag is $18


This program is brought to you by the Edlavitch DCJCC, Bender JCCGW, and Pozez JCC of NoVA along with PJ Library Greater Washington.

Jews of Color and Multiracial Jewish Families Chanukah Celebration
Dec 2 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Jews of Color and Multiracial Jewish Families Chanukah Celebration @ Edlavitch DCJCC Parking Lot

You are invited by community members Jordan Bookey and Heather Capell Bramble, Mosaic Visions, Khazbar, and the Edlavitch DCJCC to celebrate Chanukah in fellowship with Jews of Color and multiracial Jewish families in the DMV. It may be chilly outside, but latkes, candle-lighting, music, crafts, and friendly conversation will keep us warm!


Thursday, December 2, from 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
We kindly request all participants RSVP in order to attend. Please click on the “register” button to be taken to the evite or follow this link directly.


Edlavitch DCJCC COVID-19 Policy: All visitors over the age of 12 entering the EDCJCC’s building are required to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test within 72 hours. Participants at outdoor events will not be checked for vaccination status, but it is our hope that regardless of where we gather, we continue to prioritize the health and safety of our community. We request outdoor masking for events where children under the age of 12 are present. For more information, visit

Shabbanukah at Union Market
Dec 3 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Shabbanukah at Union Market @ Union Market

Join us for candle lighting, songs, and games outside of Union Market in Northeast DC. Grab your own latkes at Buffalo Bergen and specialty cocktails from Suburbia or pre-order your “Oy to the World” bag from Union Market with a percent of proceeds donated to the EDCJCC. Special D’var Torah from Amanda Herring, Director of Jewish Life and Learning.

All are welcome!

This program is co sponsored by the EDCJCC And Union Market.
Welcoming Jewish Children (VIRTUAL)
Dec 8 @ 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm

How do I welcome my baby into the Jewish community? What’s a mohel and how do I find one? How are the traditional welcoming rituals similar and different for boys and girls? When and how do I announce the baby’s name?  Join EDCJCC Children and Families staff Lindsay Kagin and Miriam Szubin — who have welcomed two girl and three boy babies between them — for a virtual workshop on Jewish rituals, traditions, and options for a bris (a Jewish religious male circumcision ceremony) and simchat bat (celebration of a daughter). You’ll walk away with information, resources, and connections to a community of other parents-to-be of Jewish babies.

Please note that we define “Jewish baby” however you do! All are welcome.  


Intro to Judaism
Jan 11 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Intro to Judaism - Spring SessionCome 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!
This session will be 7 sessions on Zoom and one in person session, the instructor will be in touch to confirm the date and location of your in-person session.

Dates: 8 Tuesdays, January 11 – March 1, 2022

General Registration: $200
Discounted Member: $170
Recent Birthright or Honeymoon Israel Alumni $150

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.

Tu B’shvat and Climate Change: An Interactive Experience
Jan 17 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

What: Join the Edlavitch DCJCC, Interfaith Power and Light, and the Jewish Earth Alliance for a very special Tu B’Shvat Seder where we’ll celebrate the holiday through the lens of the Jewish responsibility to be stewards of this planet. We will tackle the issue of methane gas use and why it’s environmentally harmful, we’ll eat some holiday treats and explore their symbolism, we’ll get inspired through music and song, and together, we’ll take direct action to fight climate change.

When: Monday, January 17, 2022, 7:00-8:00 PM

Registration: Participation is free but registration is required to receive the link to join the webinar. Please click on the red “Register” icon in order to proceed to registration.

Questions? Email Amanda at