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

Oct
18
Mon
Intro to Judaism
Oct 18 @ 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 Mondays, October 18 – December 6, 2021

Cost:
General Registration: $200
Discounted Member: $170
Interfaith Couples Workshop Alumni: $150
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.

Oct
21
Thu
Bim Bom Bags: Fall Flavors
Oct 21 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 lindsayk@edcjcc.org if you have questions.

Shabbat/Havdalah: Buy your bag by Wednesday 10/13 for pick up between 10/17 – 10/21, online gathering Thursday 10/21 @4:30

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.

Nov
4
Thu
Ambassador Martin Indyk in conversation with Susie Gelman
Nov 4 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Ambassador Martin Indyk in conversation with Susie Gelman @ Zoom

Ambassador Indyk’s newest book Master of the Game: Henry Kissinger and the Art of Middle East Diplomacy, to be released October 26, delves into the history of Henry Kissinger’s diplomatic negotiations in the Middle East. Join the EDCJCC in partnership with the Israel Policy Forum in an illuminating conversation between Ambassador Indyk and Susie Gelman, activist, local DC philanthropist, and board chair of the Israel Policy Forum.

More on the book:

More than twenty years have elapsed since the United States last brokered a peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians. In that time, three presidents have tried and failed. Martin Indyk—a former United States ambassador to Israel and special envoy for the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in 2013—has experienced these political frustrations and disappointments firsthand.

Now, in an attempt to understand the arc of American diplomatic influence in the Middle East, he returns to the origins of American-led peace efforts and to the man who created the Middle East peace process—Henry Kissinger. Based on newly available documents from American and Israeli archives, extensive interviews with Kissinger, and Indyk’s own interactions with some of the main players, the author takes readers inside the negotiations. Here is a roster of larger-than-life characters—Anwar Sadat, Golda Meir, Moshe Dayan, Yitzhak Rabin, Hafez al-Assad, and Kissinger himself.

Indyk’s account is both that of a historian poring over the records of these events, as well as an inside player seeking to glean lessons for Middle East peacemaking. He makes clear that understanding Kissinger’s design for Middle East peacemaking is key to comprehending how to—and how not to—make peace.

Support your local bookstore and get 10% off by using code SPECIAL10.

More on the Author:

Martin Indyk is a distinguished fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a former U.S. ambassador to Israel, assistant secretary of state for Near East Affairs, and special assistant to President Clinton. Previously, Indyk was executive vice president of the Brookings Institution, where he had also served as vice president and director of the Foreign Policy program and the founding director of its Center for Middle East Policy. He served as President Obama’s special envoy for the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations from July 2013 to June 2014. He lives in New York.

More on Susie Gelman:

A graduate of Harvard University and Georgetown University Law Center, Susie has been board chair of the Israel Policy Forum since 2016. Susie served for three terms as president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, one term as Federation’s campaign co-chair, and is a lifetime member of the Federation’s Board of Directors. She was the inaugural chair of the Birthright Israel Foundation and served as a member of its board as well as the Taglit-Birthright Israel Planning Committee. Susie is a past president of the Georgetown Day School Board of Trustees, where she served on the board for twelve years. She is also the past president and on the board of the Goldman Environmental Foundation. Susie and her husband, Michael, live in Chevy Chase.

Nov
8
Mon
Let’s Talk About God
Nov 8 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

 

lets talk about god

This class is a 5-part series on Mondays from 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
November 8 – December 6

What does Judaism actually say about God? What happens if we don’t believe in God, or if we question the kind of God whom we might meet in the Bible?  Does Judaism require a belief in God the way other religions do?  Join this five-session deep-dive into Jewish theology, belief, and struggles with God, and with what God represents.  We will explore God-texts from the biblical layer, to the Talmudic and Midrashic layers, Kabbalah, Hasidism, and beyond.  We will also compare the “Jewish God” to the “Christian God” and to the ways that Divinity appears in other religious streams. No previous background in Jewish text-study or Hebrew is required, but come prepared to discuss, to respectfully argue, and wrestle with God–in our time-honored Jewish way!

Cost: $118
$25 discount for EDCJCC members and members of Kol Shalom synagogue 

rabbi steinlaufTaught by Rabbi Gil Steinlauf:  Rabbi Gil Steinlauf is a nationally recognized spiritual leader who innovatively combines bold vision and grounded wisdom to steward and evolve communities and organizations. Rabbi Steinlauf is currently the director of the Hineni Institute for LGBTQ Jewish Leadership in Washington, D.C. and is the Rabbi at Kol Shalom in Rockville, MD. He joined Adas Israel Congregation as senior rabbi in 2008 and currently serves as Senior Rabbinic Advisor. He is also the co-creator of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism’s “Innovation Labs” for synagogue renewal. Rabbi Steinlauf is widely respected for his success in re-envisioning the nature of Adas Israel, the largest and oldest Conservative synagogue in Washington, DC, and has pioneered a national paradigm shift that lifts up innovative modes of study and exploration of meaning as central in synagogue and organizational life. 

 

Dec
2
Thu
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 lindsayk@edcjcc.org if you have questions.

Shabbat/Havdalah: Buy your bag by Wednesday 10/13 for pick up between 10/17 – 10/21, online gathering Thursday 10/21 @4:30

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.

Dec
8
Wed
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.  

REGISTER FOR THIS WORKSHOP