Arts & Education

The Jewish community of Greater Washington has a wide array of Jewish educational and cultural events from workshops and lectures, theater to film, from literature to food, from dance to art and much more.

Below are calendar listings with information about our fun and interesting educational and cultural events . On the right are other resources to help enrich your Jewish cultural life. To find activities targeted to your other interests, you can search the full calendar by clicking on “Search All” and selecting specific ages or interests.

If you need information on items not included on this page, please contact Jconnect via email at info@jconnect.org or through the Contact Us page.

We know you will enjoy these programs so we encourage you to go check them out!  Visit us often because new events are posted all the time.

The Non-Stop Jewish Cultural Scene

Interested in Jewish cultural events? The DC area hosts many festivals and cultural events throughout the year.

Hosted every January/February is the Washington DC Jewish Film Festival. This festival brings films with a variety of Jewish themes from around the world to the DC area. It offers a glimpse of the Jewish world and its history in a low-cost, low-barrier format. The festival screens films from across the world, including the US, Israel, Argentina, Germany, France, the UK, Australia, Austria, Russia, Poland, Nigeria, Denmark and Serbia. There are comedies, dramas, documentaries and even a pub crawl down U Street. The yearly Northern Virginia International Jewish Film Festival, held in March this past year, screened films from the US, Israel, England, The Czech Republic, Poland and Germany.

February is Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month, part of which is “Reelabilites” film festival, sponsored by the JCCs of Greater Washington and Northern Virginia, Sunflower Bakery Washington Society for Jewish Deaf, and many others. The festival presents award-winning films, accompanied by discussions and other engaging programs which bring together the community to explore, discuss and celebrate the diversity of our shared human experience. “Reelabilities” films will be screened at several venues throughout the Greater Washington DC area.

Another festival showcasing local talent and talent from afar is the Israeli Dance Festival DC, which takes place in the spring. Dance troupes with performers who range from middle-school-age to middle age, take the stage and bring Jewish and Israeli culture – old and new – to life.

The Washington Jewish Music Festival, held in May, brings Jewish musicians and groups from around the world. With performances at the DCJCC and around the community, the festival hosts pop, broadway, jazz, klezmer, folk and children’s music.

The Capital Fringe Festival, held every July, may seem an unlikely place to find Jewish arts, but each year, among the self-selected presenting artists, are invariably a cadre of Jewishly themed works. In 2012 the festival brought the innovative “The Dybbuk Between Two Worlds” puppet show  and in 2013 featured "Fallbeil," a drama that tells the story of two young women — one confronting Nazi Germany, the other faced with the ongoing Middle East conflict, and Jerusalem-born and-raised storyteller Noa Baum with her inspiring "Impossible to Translate But I’ll Try —True-Life Israeli Stories." Be sure to check the festival website for a schedule of productions.

The Jewish Folk Arts Festival is a family-friendly day of Jewish music, story-telling, dance, workshops, artisans and crafts. This Washington area favorite is the Mid-Atlantic's largest celebration of Jewish art, music, and culture, and is held every-other  year, usually in the fall.

November is Jewish Book Month and the JCCs of Greater Washington and Northern Virginia host simultaneous book festivals at the beginning of the month.  A little earlier, in October, the Washington DC JCC hosts the Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival. These festivals bring in some of the most sought after authors to present their latest work.

Can’t wait for a festival to bring you the latest in Jewish arts? The DC area has plenty of year-round venues to choose from. The critically acclaimed Theater J stages productions from the best and most innovative playwrights. Hailed by The New York Times as The Premier Theater for Premieres,” and nominated for over fifty Helen Hayes Awards, Theater J proves, season after season, that Jewish culture has a “distinctive urban voice and social vision

Sixth & I Historic Synagogue offers a unique mix of religious, spiritual, educational and entertaining programming. Their “multi-denominational and non-membership approach” attracts young professionals (as well as families and baby boomers) to “timely, resonant, provocative, and affordable programs with authors, musicians, politicians, comedians, filmmakers, journalists, actors, chefs, and other thought leaders.”

For music lovers, the Washington Performing Arts Society brings classical performers to some of the largest venues in the area, like the Kennedy Center and Strathmore. Many of these performers were raised and trained in Israel, like Itzhak Perlman, Inon Barnatan, Amit Peled and Shai Wosner.  Pro Musica Hebraica is “an organization dedicated to bringing neglected Jewish music to the concert hall.” Their previous performances have highlighted Modern European Music, Interwar music, a Yiddish winter journey, Baroque Jewish music, Russian Jewish music, and more. For a more intimate setting, the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington hosts the “Artists of Excellence” series and several concerts each year. These concerts bring renowned artists and rising stars to an affordable and accessible venue.

All the festivals, venues and organizations mentioned above give the DC area its rich and varied Jewish cultural flavor. However you never know who will pop up in the most unexpected of places. Matisyahu at the 930 club… Amir Gwirtzman at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage…Benny Sharoni at Blues Alley…Israeli films at the East Street Cinema. Check with Jconnect regularly to find upcoming cultural events in the DC area.  Better yet – sign up to receive our weekly emails and you’ll never miss a thing.

Upcoming Events

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Tue
Feb
  21
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
 
7751 Alumni Drive, College Park MD 20742
An experience like no other. Wrestling with questions of how to find love while unable to love herself fully, Fertile goes on an unforgettable journey of self-discovery - a journey that is alluring and enticing. This one woman show will blow you away. Actress Ramona Alexander brings energy, nuance, and "impressive talent" to the title role, while seamlessly switching back and forth between portrayals of all the characters in Fertile's life - from a nerdy girl scout leader to a witch doctor, a ...
Listed In:  College (Late Teens/Early 20s), GLBT, Women & Girls, Maryland, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  
 
 
Tue
Feb
  21
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
 
Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center (Washington Jewish Film Festival)
1529 16th Street NW, Washington DC 20036
The Last Laugh is a feature documentary that proceeds from the premise that the Holocaust would seem to be an absolutely off-limits topic for comedy. But is it? History shows that even the victims of the Nazi concentration camps themselves used humor as a means of survival and resistance. Still, any use of comedy in connection with this horror risks diminishing the suffering of millions. So where is the line? If we make the Holocaust off limits, what are the implications for other controversial ...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, DC, Arts & Culture, Community-Wide/Festivals, History/Education
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $13
 
 
Wed
Feb
  22
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
 
Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center (Theater J)
1529 16th St., NW, Washington DC 20036
The How and the Why - a new play about womanhood, family, & survival of the fittest, from the writer of the hit TV shows The Affair and House of Cards. This exhilarating and keenly perceptive play about science, family, and survival of the fittest grapples with the choices faced by women of every generation. Emotion and evolution collide on the eve of a prestigious conference when an up-and-coming evolutionary biologist wrestles for the truth with an established leader in the field. The air crac...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, Women & Girls, DC, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  
 
 
Wed
Feb
  22
8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
 
Bender JCC of Greater Washington (JCCGW: Biblical Archaeology Forum)
6125 Montrose rd, Rockville MD 20852
Power, Politics and Palaces: The Architectural Innovations of King Herod Lisa Kahn | George Mason University When Caesar Augustus appointed Herod as King of the Jews, the political and physical landscape of Judea was bleak. Herod, however, crafted a personal agenda that was to transform his country and his place in history. Reviled for great cruelty, this king is now also recognized for his daring architectural innovations. Herod rebuilt the Temple in Jerusalem and created the thriving port C...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Seniors, Maryland, Arts & Culture, History/Education, Israel
Event Cost:  $1 - $9; $10 general admission
 
 
Thu
Feb
  23
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
 
Bethesda Jewish Congregation
6601 Bradley Boulevard, Bethesda MD 20817
Wine and Design! Create your custom piece of Judaica which is sure to become a treasured family heirloom. You paint your pottery, then All Fired UP! brings it back to their studio to glaze and fire in their kiln. About two weeks later your finished project is delivered to BJC for you to pick up. And the wine? Bring your own bottle of white wine or beer. No red wine is allowed. Light noshes and non-alcoholic drinks will be provided. $40 for BJC Members, $45 for Non Members. A minimum of ...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, Maryland, Arts & Culture, Social Events
Event Cost:  $25 - $50; $40 BJC members; $45 non-members
 
 
Thu
Feb
  23
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
 
Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center (Theater J)
1529 16th St., NW, Washington DC 20036
The How and the Why - a new play about womanhood, family, & survival of the fittest, from the writer of the hit TV shows The Affair and House of Cards. This exhilarating and keenly perceptive play about science, family, and survival of the fittest grapples with the choices faced by women of every generation. Emotion and evolution collide on the eve of a prestigious conference when an up-and-coming evolutionary biologist wrestles for the truth with an established leader in the field. The air crac...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, Women & Girls, DC, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  
 
 
Sat
Feb
  25
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
 
Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center (Theater J)
1529 16th St., NW, Washington DC 20036
The How and the Why - a new play about womanhood, family, & survival of the fittest, from the writer of the hit TV shows The Affair and House of Cards. This exhilarating and keenly perceptive play about science, family, and survival of the fittest grapples with the choices faced by women of every generation. Emotion and evolution collide on the eve of a prestigious conference when an up-and-coming evolutionary biologist wrestles for the truth with an established leader in the field. The air crac...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, Women & Girls, DC, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  
 
 
Sun
Feb
  26
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
 
Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center (Theater J)
1529 16th St., NW, Washington DC 20036
The How and the Why - a new play about womanhood, family, & survival of the fittest, from the writer of the hit TV shows The Affair and House of Cards. This exhilarating and keenly perceptive play about science, family, and survival of the fittest grapples with the choices faced by women of every generation. Emotion and evolution collide on the eve of a prestigious conference when an up-and-coming evolutionary biologist wrestles for the truth with an established leader in the field. The air crac...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, Women & Girls, DC, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  
 
 
Sun
Feb
  26
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
 
Biblical Archaeology Society of Northern Virginia
3405 Payne Street, Falls Church VA 22041
How to Build a Greek Temple Dr. Lindley Vann All Greek temples might look the same - a rectangular building surrounded by colonnades - but the decoration would vary according to their location in the Greek world. The Doric Order of columns and decorative details was employed on the mainland, while the Ionic was found in the cities of Asia Minor and among the islands of the Aegean. The Greek architect worked within a one of these predetermined decorative vocabularies. The word architekton in anc...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Seniors, Northern Virginia, Arts & Culture, History/Education
Event Cost:  
 
 
Sun
Feb
  26
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
 
Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCC of Northern Virginia-Department of Cultural Arts)
8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax VA 22031
Jewish Plays Project Jewish Plays Project 3 New Plays | Audience Vote Jewish Plays Project (JPP) puts bold, progressive Jewish conversations on world stages. In 2016, the J presented its top three selections for audiences to vote for the Best Jewish Play of 2016! JPP returns to the stage with three new selections. It’s up to you to cast your vote and determine the Best Jewish Play of 2017. Tickets: $18 adults/ $14 J members, 65+/ $10 under 30
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Couples, Singles, Northern Virginia, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; Tickets: $18 adults/ $14 J members, 65+/ $10 under
 
 
Sun
Feb
  26
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
 
Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center (Theater J)
1529 16th St., NW, Washington DC 20036
The How and the Why - a new play about womanhood, family, & survival of the fittest, from the writer of the hit TV shows The Affair and House of Cards. This exhilarating and keenly perceptive play about science, family, and survival of the fittest grapples with the choices faced by women of every generation. Emotion and evolution collide on the eve of a prestigious conference when an up-and-coming evolutionary biologist wrestles for the truth with an established leader in the field. The air crac...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, Women & Girls, DC, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  
 
 
Mon
Feb
  27
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
 
Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center (Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center)
1529 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington DC 20036
The second program in our series is a screening of the film Get In The Way, The Journey of John Lewis. In 1965, the historic Selma March known as Bloody Sunday was a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement. John Lewis—now a revered U.S. Congressman, then a young student—co-led hundreds of peaceful marchers seeking voting rights for African Americans in the South. This is the first biographical film about Lewis, a respected legislator and elder statesman who continues to practice nonviolence i...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, DC, Advocacy, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $13.50
 
 
Tue
Feb
  28
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
 
Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center (Washington Jewish Film Festival)
1529 16th Street NW, Washington DC 20036
Adi Levi – the perfect father, husband, and son – thinks he may not have long to live so he decides, finally, to start enjoying himself. The problem is that he doesn’t know how. A chance encounter with Natalya – a stunning, free-spirited dogwalker – soon turns into a crash course on how to live life to full, and fall in love. A charming and funny new romcom from Israel, that will make you look at your lives anew.
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, DC, Arts & Culture, Community-Wide/Festivals
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $13
 
 
Wed
Mar
  1
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
 
Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center (Theater J)
1529 16th St., NW, Washington DC 20036
The How and the Why - a new play about womanhood, family, & survival of the fittest, from the writer of the hit TV shows The Affair and House of Cards. This exhilarating and keenly perceptive play about science, family, and survival of the fittest grapples with the choices faced by women of every generation. Emotion and evolution collide on the eve of a prestigious conference when an up-and-coming evolutionary biologist wrestles for the truth with an established leader in the field. The air crac...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, Women & Girls, DC, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  
 
 
Thu
Mar
  2
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
 
Sixth & I Historic Synagogue
600 I Street, NW, Washington DC 20001
From the acclaimed author of To the End of the Land comes A Horse Walks into a Bar, a searing short novel about the life of a stand-up comic as revealed in the course of one evening’s performance—comedy that will lean inexorably toward tragedy.
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), DC, Arts & Culture, History/Education, Israel, Social Events
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; Ticket:$16, Ticket & book: $30, 2 tix, 1 book: $42