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
 
Wed
Aug
  15
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
 
Temple Rodef Shalom
2100 Westmoreland Street, Falls Church VA 22043
Summer Breeze Concert Series at Temple Rodef Shalom Each Wednesday in August from 11:00 AM - 12:00 Noon Open to the public; no RSVP necessary
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Families, Seniors, Northern Virginia, Reform, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Fri
Aug
  17
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
 
The Theatre Lab School of the Dramatic Arts
1529 16th St NW, Washington DC 20036
The Theatre Lab's Summer Acting Institute for Teens presents Polaroid Stories. A visceral blend of classical mythology and real life stories told by young people living on the streets, Naomi lizuka's Polaroid Stories journeys into a dangerous world where myth-making fulfills a fierce need for transcendence; where storytelling has the power to transform a reality in which characters' lives are continually threatened and devalued. Inspired in part by Ovid's Metamorphoses, Polaroid Stories takes p...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), GLBT, DC, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $10-$15

 
 
Wed
Aug
  22
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
 
Temple Rodef Shalom
2100 Westmoreland Street, Falls Church VA 22043
Summer Breeze Concert Series at Temple Rodef Shalom Each Wednesday in August from 11:00 AM - 12:00 Noon Open to the public; no RSVP necessary
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Families, Seniors, Northern Virginia, Reform, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Wed
Aug
  22
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
 
Embassy Of Israel
5612 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington DC 20015
This laugh-out-loud army-buddy movie combines screwball comedy, romance and music to create a film as hot as the Negev. Set as the Israeli army withdraws from Lebanon in 2000, this comedy tells the story of three bumbling Israeli reserve soldiers. As members of a military rock band, the trio find themselves stranded and alone in enemy territory when they discover the Israeli army has left them behind. They will have to work together in order to find their way out of enemy territory and back to ...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), DC, Arts & Culture, Israel
Event Cost:  

 
 
Thu
Aug
  23
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
 
Congregation Etz Hayim (Congregation Etz Hayim (Conservative))
2920 Arlington Blvd., Arlington VA 22204
Drop-in or come every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month! $10 payable at the door.
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, Northern Virginia, Conservative, Arts & Culture, Fitness & Wellness, Israel, Social Events
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $10

 
 
Fri
Aug
  24
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
 
Ms. Ellie Music (Adas Israel - shir a song location)
2825 Quebec Street NW, Washington DC 20008
Looking for something to do in the Fall with your little ones? Consider joining me for our 8th year (!) of Fall shir a song classes—early childhood music and movement classes designed for babies, toddlers, preschoolers accompanied by a parent or caregiver. We sing and dance to non-Jewish songs AND fun Shabbat and Jewish holiday songs, using finger plays, chants, percussion instruments, a variety of props, and dance and movement. Classes will be held on the following days and locations: Tuesday...
Listed In:  Families, Early Childhood Educators, Maryland, Non-denominational, Children/Teens/Family, Arts & Culture, Holiday/Shabbat (High Holidays, Chanukah, Passover), Parenting
Event Cost:  more than $50; $210/sibling and friend discounts available

 
 
Wed
Aug
  29
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
 
Temple Rodef Shalom
2100 Westmoreland Street, Falls Church VA 22043
Summer Breeze Concert Series at Temple Rodef Shalom Each Wednesday in August from 11:00 AM - 12:00 Noon Open to the public; no RSVP necessary
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Families, Seniors, Northern Virginia, Reform, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Sat
Sep
  1
8:00 PM - 10:30 PM
 
Temple Emanuel
10101 Connecticut Avenue, Kensington MD 20895
Please join our clergy on Saturday, September 1 for our annual Selichot service, beginning with the movie THE BAND'S VISIT at 8:00 pm followed by an inspiring candlelight Selichot service. THE BAND'S VISIT is about eight Egyptian musicians who comprise the Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra arrive by mistake in a small town in Israel's Negev Desert. Their booking set for a different city, and with no transportation out of the town or any hotels to stay at, the band settles at a restaurant o...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Families, Seniors, Maryland, Reform, Arts & Culture, Holiday/Shabbat (High Holidays, Chanukah, Passover)
Event Cost:  

 
 
Thu
Sep
  6
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
 
Bender JCC of Greater Washington (Bender JCC: Goldman Art Gallery)
6125 Montrose Rd., Rockville MD 20852
Inspired by the movement launched in New York City, photographer Melissa McGowan captures the many faces of our JCC community. From babies to senior adults, this exhibit illustrates the diversity of our community while exploring the common threads that connect us all. Join us for a special reception where you will experience the stories behind the faces you pass in the halls. Join us for the opening reception with the Photographer and Humans. Show on display in the Gallery from September 7 – O...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Interfaith, Seniors, Maryland, Arts & Culture, Social Events
Event Cost:  

 
 
Fri
Sep
  7
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
 
Ms. Ellie Music (Adas Israel - shir a song location)
2825 Quebec Street NW, Washington DC 20008
Looking for something to do in the Fall with your little ones? Consider joining me for our 8th year (!) of Fall shir a song classes—early childhood music and movement classes designed for babies, toddlers, preschoolers accompanied by a parent or caregiver. We sing and dance to non-Jewish songs AND fun Shabbat and Jewish holiday songs, using finger plays, chants, percussion instruments, a variety of props, and dance and movement. Classes will be held on the following days and locations: Tuesday...
Listed In:  Families, Early Childhood Educators, Maryland, Non-denominational, Children/Teens/Family, Arts & Culture, Holiday/Shabbat (High Holidays, Chanukah, Passover), Parenting
Event Cost:  more than $50; $210/sibling and friend discounts available

 
 
Wed
Sep
  12
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
 
Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington DC (Theater J)
2700 F Street NW, Washington, D.C. DC 20566
Set in Vienna in 1938 and London during the Blitzkrieg, The Pianist of Willesden Lane tells the true and inspiring story of Lisa Jura, a young Jewish pianist whose dream of making her concert debut at the storied Musikverein concert hall is dashed by the onset of World War II. Despite devastating personal loss, music enables Jura to endure and pursue her dreams. Performed by Jura’s daughter, Grammy-nominated pianist Mona Golabek, The Pianist of Willesden Lane combines enthralling story telling w...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Seniors, DC, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  more than $50; $44-$74

 
 
Thu
Sep
  13
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
 
Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington DC (Theater J)
2700 F Street NW, Washington, D.C. DC 20566
Set in Vienna in 1938 and London during the Blitzkrieg, The Pianist of Willesden Lane tells the true and inspiring story of Lisa Jura, a young Jewish pianist whose dream of making her concert debut at the storied Musikverein concert hall is dashed by the onset of World War II. Despite devastating personal loss, music enables Jura to endure and pursue her dreams. Performed by Jura’s daughter, Grammy-nominated pianist Mona Golabek, The Pianist of Willesden Lane combines enthralling story telling w...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Seniors, DC, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  more than $50; $44-$74

 
 
Thu
Sep
  13
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
 
Congregation Etz Hayim (Congregation Etz Hayim (Conservative))
2920 Arlington Blvd., Arlington VA 22204
Drop-in or come every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month! $10 payable at the door.
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, Northern Virginia, Conservative, Arts & Culture, Fitness & Wellness, Israel, Social Events
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $10

 
 
Thu
Sep
  13
8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
 
Bender JCC of Greater Washington
6125 Montrose Road, Rockville MD 20852
Where did Yaweh come from? Much has been written about the roots of Israelite religion in the mythology of the Northwest Semitic world. Yet a significant, alternate notion is rooted in the Hebrew Bible that instead connects Yahweh with the south – a persistent association with “Teman,” “Seir,” and “Paran” as described in Deuteronomy and the Book of Judges, and by the prophet Habakkuk. As preserved in the Hebrew Bible, these traditions suggest there were worshippers of a God named Yahweh who p...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Seniors, Maryland, Adult Education, Arts & Culture, History/Education
Event Cost:  $1 - $9; $10 General Admission; $8 JCC members

 
 
Fri
Sep
  14
8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
 
Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington DC (Theater J)
2700 F Street NW, Washington, D.C. DC 20566
Set in Vienna in 1938 and London during the Blitzkrieg, The Pianist of Willesden Lane tells the true and inspiring story of Lisa Jura, a young Jewish pianist whose dream of making her concert debut at the storied Musikverein concert hall is dashed by the onset of World War II. Despite devastating personal loss, music enables Jura to endure and pursue her dreams. Performed by Jura’s daughter, Grammy-nominated pianist Mona Golabek, The Pianist of Willesden Lane combines enthralling story telling w...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Seniors, DC, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  more than $50; $44-$74