Shabbat & Holidays

Shabbat and Holidays at the EDCJCC

Programs available for families and individuals of all ages.

Upcoming Events

Pride of Purim: GLOE Masquerade Party
Mar 23 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm


Saturday, March 23 at 7:00 PM
at Mission Dupont

Join GLOE for a night of drag, drinks, dancing, and a celebration of Purim. Come dressed in drag or other costume for the queerest annual Purim Party that always brings a huge, fun crowd!

We’ll have lots of great food, and discounted drinks at a private bar. More details to come. We can’t wait to see you there!

Tickets: $10/person

Interested, but nervous because you don’t know anyone yet? We’ll connect you with a friendly GLOE community member in advance. Contact GLOE Program Manager Ariel Weinstein. Feel free to forward to a friend as well.

Exploring Exodus: A Pre-Passover Day of Learning with the Hadar Institute
Apr 7 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Join the EDCJCC and the Hadar Institute for an afternoon workshop focused on themes associated with Passover and freedom and redemption.
The Hadar Institute is an educational institution that empowers Jews to create and sustain vibrant, practicing communities of Torah learning, prayer, and service. This program will include a plenary and breakout sessions full of cross-cultural, passionate discussions open to all, regardless of a participant’s background or affiliation.


1:45 pm—2:00 pm Doors Open and Registration
2:00 pm—3:00 pm Plenary Session with Rabbi Shai Held
3:00 pm—3:15 pm BREAK
3:15 pm—4:15 pm Breakout Sessions with Rabbis Avi Killip and Avi Strausberg
4:15 pm—4:45 pm Dvar Torah by Rabbi Avi Strausberg and Wrap Up


General Admission: $18
Student Admission: $10
Click on the TICKETS button on the right to register!

We request a registration fee to help cover the costs of the program. If this is in any way a hardship please email Darya.


The Defeat of Chaos, The Triumph of Life, and the Dream of a Compassionate Society (Or, What Is the Exodus Really About?) with Rav Shai Held
In this session, we’ll examine the biblical portrayal of Yetziat Mitzrayim (the Exodus) with new eyes.  We’ll see how the Torah interprets what’s really at stake in the battle between God and Pharaoh and why God’s victory over the tyrant is so essential.  Then we’ll see how the Torah sets out to build a society that is the antithesis of Egypt, one that has internalized the lessons of oppression and degradation and chosen a life oriented by compassion and solidarity instead

First Ladies of Redemption: Miriam, Tzipora, and the Possibility of Supportive Sisterhood  with Rav Avi Killip
Moses’s sister and wife are central figures in the story of the Exodus.  What was the relationship between these women? Through the lens of ancient and modern midrash,  we will explore lesser known narratives of these sisters-in-law, and ask what they can teach us about the role of female friendship in the journey towards liberation.

The Necessity of Exile or, Why Backpacking Is A Good Thing with Rav Avi Strausberg
Often, we think of exile as something to avoid but from the outset, the experience of exile has been and continues to be key to Jewish identity formation.  In this session, we’ll explore Jewish texts on exile in order to reflect on the role of travel and journeys in our own identity formation. How far do we have to go in order to find ourselves?

4:15-4:45 Closing Dvar Torah with Rav Avi Strausberg


rabbi shai held headshotRabbi Shai Held–theologian, scholar, and educator–is President, Dean, and Chair in Jewish Thought at Hadar, where he also directs the Center for Jewish Leadership and Ideas. A 2011 recipient of the prestigious Covenant Award for excellence in Jewish education, Rabbi Held has been named multiple times to Newsweek’s list of the 50 most influential rabbis in America. He holds a doctorate in religion from Harvard; his main academic interests are in modern Jewish and Christian thought, in biblical theology, and in the history of Zionism. Rabbi Held’s first book, Abraham Joshua Heschel: The Call of Transcendence, was published by Indiana University Press in 2013; The Heart of Torah, a collection of essays on the Torah in two volumes, was published by JPS in 2017.


Rabbi Avi Killip

Rabbi Avi Killip serves as VP of Strategy and Programs and Director of Project Zug at Hadar. She was ordained from Hebrew College’s pluralistic Rabbinical School in Boston. She was a Wexner Graduate Fellow and holds a Bachelors and Masters from Brandeis University in Jewish Studies and Women & Gender Studies. She serves on the advisory board of ShmaNOW and the Jewish Studio Project.



Rabbi Avi Strausberg

Rabbi Avi Strausberg is the Director of National Learning Initiatives at Hadar, and is based in Washington, DC. Previously, she served as the Director of Congregational Learning of Temple of Aaron in St. Paul, Minnesota. She received her rabbinic ordination from Hebrew College in Boston and is a Wexner Graduate Fellow. She also holds a Masters in Jewish Education. Additionally, Avi has worked as a chaplain intern at Hebrew Senior Life and organized an anti-trafficking campaign as a rabbinic fellow at T’ruah. Energized by engaging creatively with Jewish text, she has written several theatre pieces inspired by the Torah and maintains a Daf Yomi haiku blog in which she writes daily Talmudic haikus. Avi is most grateful for her wife, Chana, and two children, Ori and Niv.

This program is a partnership between the Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center and the Hadar Institute.

Hadar Institute


Make Room for Matzah!
Apr 14 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Join us for a hands-on workshop to get ready for Passover and learn more about this tradition for your interfaith or Jewish family. Your family will make items to enliven your seder with hands-on projects, plus songs, stories and snacks. It’s a perfect morning for Jewish and interfaith families with children ages 3-6.

Co-sponsored by PJ Library, the Edlavitch DCJCC, Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School, and Love and Religion interfaith programs.

Sign up by April 12th, and it’s just $10.  All registrations after April 13th will be $15 per family and can be paid at the door.

Click on the TICKETS button to the right to register!

Milton Gottesman Jewish Day SchoolLove and Religion logo

12th Annual National Rainbow Seder
Apr 14 @ 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm


Join GLOE and Rabbi Avi Strausberg of the Hadar Institute for this 12th annual event to celebrate Passover through an LGBTQ lens.

Now in its twelfth year, the National Rainbow Seder is one of the nation’s largest and longest-running Passover seders for the queer Jewish community and its allies, co-presented by GLOE – GLBTQ Outreach & Engagement at the Edlavitch DCJCC and the Human Rights Campaign’s Religion & Faith program. Hosted inside the Equality Center ballroom at the HRC headquarters in Washington, DC, this year’s program will feature a full Passover seder complete with a specially-commissioned Haggadah (the Jewish text containing the Passover story) retelling the traditional tale of Jewish triumphs of resistance alongside the hard-fought progress made by the LGBTQ equality movement over the past decade since the National Rainbow Seder’s inception.

We’ll enjoy a special Passover meal as we read our own Haggadah and perform its festive rituals with the Jewish LGBTQ community and our friends.

4:30 – 5:00 PM | VIP/Mensch Reception
5:00 – 5:30 PM | Community Schmooze/Cocktail Hour
5:30 – 8:00 PM | Seder, with Dinner Program

Interested in helping with event setup? Please contact GLOE Program Manager Ariel Weinstein to volunteer.

Second Night Seder 2019
Apr 20 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

At the Seder, we find joy in intergenerational community, storytelling and song. This year, please join our wonderful community-wide Seder, the open, welcoming, pluralistic celebration of freedom you’ve come to expect from the EDCJCC.

Join us to meet new friends, partake in joyous singing accompanied by a guitar, and fascinating discussions. As always, the Seder will feature a delicious (and kosher) traditional Passover meal. Micah Hendler, founder and director of the Jerusalem Youth Chorus; and Ari Jacobson, songleader, actor, and singer/songwriter will be our Seder leaders.

Whether this is your first Seder or your 100th, there’s a place at our Passover table for you!

Click on the TICKETS button to the right to register!

Jewish life and ritual should never be cost-prohibitive. If the cost prevents you from registering, please contact Darya Watnick at 202-777-3259 or by email at to discuss payment plans or other alternatives.

Seder Leader Bios:

Ari JacobsonSong leader Ari Jacobson has been involved in music, Judaism, education, and various overlaps of the three for as long as he can remember. While studying music and theatre at UMass Amherst, he honed his song leading skills at URJ’s Eisner Camp in Great Barrington, MA. Since moving to the DMV three years ago, Ari has been happily providing music for the EDCJCC’s programs for all ages, from baby classes with the parenting center to pre-school music to various community events like this one. Also an actor and a singer/songwriter, Ari’s original music and more can be found on his website:

Micah HendlerMicah Hendler is a musical changemaker bringing Israeli and Palestinian youth together in the Jerusalem Youth Chorus to create a powerful singing community based on equality, respect, mutual understanding, and love.  Micah has founded, directed, sung with, or played with dozens of musical ensembles of varying global styles. Micah also played with Nava Tehila, the Jewish renewal musical community in Jerusalem, for five years, and takes inspiration from their music and methods. An award-winning vocal arranger, he always seeks to hear music from new perspectives, and strives to make his accessible and yet challenging. Micah was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 List for Music in 2017 for his groundbreaking work in musical conflict transformation. Micah and the Jerusalem Youth Chorus have been featured on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, in the New York Times, and in their viral music video, “Home” with Youtube superstar Sam Tsui, which are available online.

Seder FAQ

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 most readings in Hebrew also appear in English transliteration.

What about dinner? Is it kosher?
There is a delicious catered dinner at the community wide Seder. As with all Edlavitch DCJCC events, the food we serve is kosher, as well as this meal being kosher-for-Passover. It is a meat meal. And of course, dessert! Please let us know about any allergies in your registration.

We’re happy to provide ASL or other interpretation upon advance notice. The Edlavitch DCJCC building is wheelchair/mobility device accessible. If you need other accommodations to allow you to fully participate in the Seder (or simply have questions), please let us know in advance and we’ll be happy to help.

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 bring kids?
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 Darya or call 202-777-3259 so we can help!