Parenting Center

Parenting Center

The Parenting Center provides families with the support, guidance, and enrichment needed to raise young children in the city.  LGBTQ and straight, couples and single parents, Jewish and non-Jewish, biological and adoptive, people of all colors and abilities — all families are warmly welcomed.

Classes and programs are designed to meet the developmental and social needs of infants and toddlers (newborns through age 4), to create meaningful bonding experiences for caregivers, to provide Jewish family engagement opportunities, and to provide practical skills and solutions, advice, and community-building opportunities for parents and parents-to-be.

We offer a wide variety of Sunday and weekday classes for children ages 0-4 and their caregivers, Jewish family engagement programs, and workshops for parents, parents-to-be, and folks who want to be parents.

Upcoming Workshops

Beyond the Bump
Feb 9 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

6 Thursdays, February 9-March 16, 6:30–7:30 PM
$152 for the six-week session; EDCJCC Member Rate $122
Facilitated by Catherine Coogan, Ph.D.

Pregnant for the first time? Looking to create a community with other expecting moms to exchange ideas and find support? This group will meet weekly in person at the EDCJCC for six weeks to provide a safe and facilitated space for moms-to-be to discuss their experiences and learn from one another.  We will explore several topics, including: concerns about childbirth and parenting; balancing family with work outside the home; navigating new relationships with your partner, parents, and in-laws; and recognizing post (and pre)-partum depression and anxiety.  The group will be kept small so that connections can be fostered and maintained easily.


Family-Friendly Klezmer Brunch with Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra (IN PERSON)
Feb 12 @ 10:30 am – 12:30 pm

Family-Friendly Klezmer Brunch with Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra

Sunday, January 29
Brunch will be available at 10:30 AM before the concert. The concert kicks off at 11:30 AM.
Kids under 7 years old attend free of charge.

Do your children (or you!) crank up the volume when playing a favorite video game?  If so, then this February’s edition of the JxJ Klezmer brunch is for you!  We’re bringing in some special guests from the Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra (WMGSO) to present a unique program of video game music, all with Jewish connections.  There will be fun surprises for both gamers and lovers of music.  Ready, Player Echad!

There will be concert seating for those who want it, but children will not be expected to sit quietly — dancing is encouraged!

Presented in partnership with PJ Library

Parent Coffee: Gentle Sleep Secrets for Newborns (IN PERSON)
Feb 16 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Thursday, February 16, 10:00 AM

Join us for coffee, the company of other new parents, and a relaxed conversation about your baby’s sleep.  Gentle sleep coach Jessica Dodson of Starlight Sleep Coaching will discuss how sleep develops during infancy, why it can be so difficult and what you can do to make it easier for both you and your baby. Learn gentle steps you can take to help shape your child’s sleep from their earliest months and how to avoid common pitfalls that can lead to restless nights. Bring your questions – we’ll spend most of our time talking through participants’ specific situations.   Babies warmly welcomed!


Blending Traditions: A Workshop for Multiethnic Families
Feb 22 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Our Jewish community is diverse in many ways – including in cultural and ethnic background. This workshop helps couples from different cultural and/or ethnic backgrounds explore how they can blend their heritages together to create Jewish traditions that are meaningful to both of them. Like an ube hamantaschen, this process is unique to each couple and their journey. Join us for three facilitated sessions to explore the different strands of your identity and to create new aspects of Jewish practice that reflect your family’s story.

Week 1: February 22, 2023, 7:00-8:30 PM

Facilitator: Dee Sanae
Activist, community builder, and founder of Mosaic Visions Dee Sanae, a Black Japanese Jew, will lead a discussion about multifaceted identity and will help you create narratives of meaning around your own cultural and/or ethnic heritage(s).

Week 2: March 1, 2023 7:00-8:30 PM
Facilitator: Primrose Madayag Knazan
Food is an important component of cultural and ethnic identity. Hear from author, playwright, and foodie Primrose Madayag Knazan, a Filipinx-Canadian Jew, and create a unique family recipe that blends aspects of your cultures. This session will also include a cooking demo!

Although it isn’t required for the workshop we strongly recommend Ms. Knazan’s new book, Lessons in Fusion.

Week 3: March 15, 2023 7:00-8:30 PM
Facilitator: Dee Sanae
Ritual is deeply imbedded in all aspects of Jewish identity and many Jews perform Jewish rituals without necessarily attaching them to a belief in God. In this workshop, you will draw on the narratives that you created in the first week to design a ritual or a ritual object that brings together elements of your heritages.

While we understand that conflicts can come up we encourage every participating couple to do their best to attend all three workshops in this series.

Cost: $56 per couple
Please email Sonya at if cost is a barrier – we want everyone to be able to attend.

In partnership with the Bender JCC


NESTED Childbirth Education Boot Camp (IN PERSON)
Feb 26 @ 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Nested’s In-Person Childbirth Education (CBE) Boot Camp is a comprehensive class that will prepare you for your journey through labor, delivery, and the postpartum period!

In this class we will:

  • Review common third trimester issues and what to expect at your 36-week visit
  • Learn about the signs of labor, when to call your obstetrician, and what should be on your hospital bag packing list
  • Discuss each stage of labor and what can help alleviate and relax the mom, including options for pain management and potential interventions during the labor process
  • See what the hospital process will look like and what to expect from your healthcare team
  • Discuss the “typical” childbirth scenario  as well as how to prepare for the unexpected, including inductions, assisted vaginal births and c-sections.
  • Learn from experienced labor doulas as they demonstrate specialized comfort techniques to help with labor pain
  • Learn and practice tips, tricks and techniques for Prenatal Wellness: Pelvic Floor Health, Ergonomics & Exercises from a physical therapist

At Nested we know the importance of optimizing the physical and mental health of both parents during pregnancy and the postpartum period. With coping strategies, empowerment, education on diet & exercise and community resources, parents will leave feeling prepared for the doctor’s office, the delivery room and the trip back home.

We recommend taking this class on the earlier side of your pregnancy (24-39 weeks).

Note: 1 registration ticket allows for up to 2 people (1 ticket = 2 people) to attend the class and access the course resources.



The Parenting Center at the Edlavitch DCJCC has been my hub for everything kid-related from early pregnancy to post-delivery and now into the toddler years. In a transient city like DC, the EDCJCC plays a crucial role in fostering a sense of community among new parents. The people I met in my Beyond the Bump group and in classes such as Musical Infants, are some of my closest friends today. I love that our kids have been playing together from the very beginning and some of them are now entering preschool together. The resources the Parenting Center offers are phenomenal -- offering a supportive environment and much needed advice, holding helpful workshops for navigating parenting challenges, and providing engaging activities for infants and toddlers. I feel incredibly fortunate to have benefited from all that the EDCJCC has to offer!
Shannon, mom to a 4 year old