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
View All Events
 
Sun
Feb
  25
10:30 AM - 1:30 PM
 
Temple Sinai
3100 Military Rd. NW, Washington DC 20015
This year's authors are Morra Aarons-Mele (Hiding in the Bathroom: An Introvert’s Roadmap to Getting Out There - When You’d Rather Stay Home), Dina Gold (Stolen Legacy: Nazi Theft and the Quest for Justice at Krausenstrasse 17/18, Berlin), Anna Solomon (Leaving Lucy Pear) and Alexandra Zapruder (Twenty-Six Seconds: A Personal History of the Zapruder Film). The discussion is moderated by Lynn Sweet, award-winning journalist and Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times. Cost is $28, in...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Seniors, DC, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  $25 - $50; $28

 
 
Sun
Feb
  25
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
 
Howard Community College
10901 Little Patuxent parkway, Columbia MD 21044
Playwright Susan McCully’s original production about Baltimore’s famed Cone sisters, “All She Must Possess,” will premiere at Rep Stage, the professional regional theatre in residence at Howard Community College (HCC). Dr. Claribel and Miss Etta Cone, daughters of German-Jewish immigrants, could have lived tranquil, appropriate lives as respected Victorian ladies. Instead, the iconic duo voraciously collected art and curios from around the world. The unassuming Etta, often overshadowed by her si...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, Maryland, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Sun
Feb
  25
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
 
Beth El Hebrew Congregation (Beth El Inclusion)
3830 Seminary Road, Alexandria VA 22304
Beth El Hebrew Congregation is proud to present the acclaimed film "The Finishers" on Sunday, February 25th at 4 pm in a sneak-peek preview event for the 2018 ReelAbilities Film Festival of Northern Virginia, which is powered by the Jewish Community Center of Northern VA. Julien is a wheelchair-bound teenager whose family is gradually falling apart under the strain of his disability. He is the apple of his mother's eye, yet he yearns for the approval of his bitter father, Paul, a former athlete....
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Families, Seniors, Special Needs, Northern Virginia, Adult Education, Children/Teens/Family, Arts & Culture, Parenting
Event Cost:  Free; Free; RSVP required

 
 
Sun
Feb
  25
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
 
Signature Theatre
4200 Campbell Ave, Arlington VA 22206
Robbie Schaefer, of acclaimed folk/rock/indie band Eddie From Ohio, crafts a touching and funny world premiere musical portrait about father, son, and the space between them. A master storyteller, Robbie journeys from his Jewish father’s immigration to the United States, to his childhood in India, discovering his passion for music, and raising a family. Entwined throughout is his cherished relationship with his father and the discovery of his father’s haunted past during World War II. Enriched...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Families, Seniors, Northern Virginia, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  more than $50; $40 - 89

 
 
Sun
Feb
  25
7:30 PM - 7:30 PM
 
Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington DC (Theater J)
1529 16th Street NW, Washington DC 20036
She's America's favorite sex therapist! But before she became Dr. Ruth, Karola Siegel had to flee Germany in the Kindertransport, become a sniper in Jerusalem, and survive as a single mother in America.  Starring Naomi Jacobson, this heartwarming one-woman show is written by the author of Theater J’s Freud’s Last Session. Filled with humor and honesty, Becoming Dr. Ruth is a triumphant and life-affirming story of a girl who found her own unique place in the world. Directed by Holly Twyford.
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, DC, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Mon
Feb
  26
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
 
Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington DC (Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center)
1529 16th Street NW, Washington DC 20036
Narrative non-fiction is writing based on fact but built with the traditional elements of story. It’s a popular genre, allowing writers to observe the world, explore what they’re curious about, and then transform it into a compelling narrative to engage and challenge the reader. In five two-hour sessions, participants will learn and practice the craft of writing narrative non-fiction through forms such as personal narrative, memoir, and persuasive essay. The class will learn and practice inter...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, DC, Adult Education, Arts & Culture, History/Education
Event Cost:  more than $50; $200

 
 
Mon
Feb
  26
7:30 PM - 7:30 PM
 
Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington DC (Theater J)
1529 16th Street NW, Washington DC 20036
She's America's favorite sex therapist! But before she became Dr. Ruth, Karola Siegel had to flee Germany in the Kindertransport, become a sniper in Jerusalem, and survive as a single mother in America.  Starring Naomi Jacobson, this heartwarming one-woman show is written by the author of Theater J’s Freud’s Last Session. Filled with humor and honesty, Becoming Dr. Ruth is a triumphant and life-affirming story of a girl who found her own unique place in the world. Directed by Holly Twyford.
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, DC, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Tue
Feb
  27
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
 
Congregation Har Shalom
11510 Falls Road, Potomac MD 20854
Congregation Har Shalom, in partnership with RespectAbility, is proud to present the acclaimed film “Spectrum: A Story of the Mind” in a sneak-peek preview event for the 2018 ReelAbilities Film Festival of Northern Virginia, which is organized by the Jewish Community Center of Northern VA. “Spectrum” made its world premiere at the United Nations General Assembly and won the CINE Golden Eagle Award for Best Documentary Short. The film explores the inner sensory experience of autism. While autism...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, Special Needs, Maryland, Conservative, Advocacy, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Tue
Feb
  27
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
 
Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington DC (Washington Jewish Film Festival)
1529 Q Street NW, Washington DC 20036
In this hit from the Tribeca Film Festival, a young writer (Zosia Mamet, HBO’s Girls, The Kids Are All Right) is forced to reflect on her first relationship when she inadvertently moves into her ex-boyfriend’s apartment building. Like a true New Yorker, she keeps the apartment. The move prompts her to try on many roles, including spy, hopeful lover, casual acquaintance, disgruntled neighbor, and friend. Mamet shines in each new phase, and gives a charming and deeply moving performance as a woma...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, DC, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $13

 
 
Wed
Feb
  28
12:00 PM - 12:00 PM
 
Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington DC (Theater J)
1529 16th Street NW, Washington DC 20036
She's America's favorite sex therapist! But before she became Dr. Ruth, Karola Siegel had to flee Germany in the Kindertransport, become a sniper in Jerusalem, and survive as a single mother in America.  Starring Naomi Jacobson, this heartwarming one-woman show is written by the author of Theater J’s Freud’s Last Session. Filled with humor and honesty, Becoming Dr. Ruth is a triumphant and life-affirming story of a girl who found her own unique place in the world. Directed by Holly Twyford.
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, DC, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Thu
Mar
  1
7:00 PM - 9:30 PM
 
Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington DC (Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center)
1529 16th Street NW, Washington DC 20036
This event is intended for participants to attend the entire scheduled time/series.
Class Description Do you imagine fantastic stories and scenarios in your head? Do you hear vivid characters talking to each other wish individual voices? Do you wish you had the tools and skills to put these scenes and dialogues down on paper? Join us for our first ever dramatic writing class, taught by award-winning playwright Renee Calarco, and try your hand at playwriting. The class wil...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, DC, Adult Education, Arts & Culture, History/Education
Event Cost:  more than $50; $260

 
 
Thu
Mar
  1
7:30 PM - 7:30 PM
 
Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington DC (Theater J)
1529 16th Street NW, Washington DC 20036
She's America's favorite sex therapist! But before she became Dr. Ruth, Karola Siegel had to flee Germany in the Kindertransport, become a sniper in Jerusalem, and survive as a single mother in America.  Starring Naomi Jacobson, this heartwarming one-woman show is written by the author of Theater J’s Freud’s Last Session. Filled with humor and honesty, Becoming Dr. Ruth is a triumphant and life-affirming story of a girl who found her own unique place in the world. Directed by Holly Twyford.
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, DC, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Thu
Mar
  1
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
 
Signature Theatre
4200 Campbell Ave, Arlington VA 22206
Robbie Schaefer, of acclaimed folk/rock/indie band Eddie From Ohio, crafts a touching and funny world premiere musical portrait about father, son, and the space between them. A master storyteller, Robbie journeys from his Jewish father’s immigration to the United States, to his childhood in India, discovering his passion for music, and raising a family. Entwined throughout is his cherished relationship with his father and the discovery of his father’s haunted past during World War II. Enriched...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Families, Seniors, Northern Virginia, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  more than $50; $40 - 89

 
 
Fri
Mar
  2
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
 
555 11th Street NW, Washington DC 20004
What do the most ravishingly beautiful actress of the 1930s and 40s and the inventor whose concepts were the basis of cell phone and bluetooth technology have in common? They are both Hedy Lamarr, the glamour icon whose ravishing visage was the inspiration for Snow White and Cat Woman and a technological trailblazer who perfected a radio system to throw Nazi torpedoes off course during WWII. Weaving interviews and clips with never-before-heard audio tapes of Hedy speaking on the record about her...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Seniors, DC, Arts & Culture, History/Education
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $12.50

 
 
Fri
Mar
  2
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
 
Signature Theatre
4200 Campbell Ave, Arlington VA 22206
Robbie Schaefer, of acclaimed folk/rock/indie band Eddie From Ohio, crafts a touching and funny world premiere musical portrait about father, son, and the space between them. A master storyteller, Robbie journeys from his Jewish father’s immigration to the United States, to his childhood in India, discovering his passion for music, and raising a family. Entwined throughout is his cherished relationship with his father and the discovery of his father’s haunted past during World War II. Enriched...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Families, Seniors, Northern Virginia, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  more than $50; $40 - 89