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
 
Tue
Oct
  16
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
 
Washington Hebrew Congregation
11810 Falls Rd,, Potomac MD 20854
This is a film that every teenager and parent needs to see. The Ripple Effect shares the true story of Kevin Hines, who at 19, attempted to take his life by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge. Incredibly, he survived and has spent the last 17 years on a mission to use his story to help others stay alive. This program is co-sponsored by UMTTR, and NAMI of Montgomery County.
Listed In:  College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Teens, Maryland, Non-denominational, Arts & Culture, Fitness & Wellness
Event Cost:  Free; Free

 
 
Wed
Oct
  17
10:30 AM - 3:30 PM
 
Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCC of Northern Virginia)
8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax VA 22031
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum with Special Exhibit: Americans and the Holocaust: “By the time Nazi Germany forced the world into war, democratic civilization itself was at stake. The US military fought for almost four years to defend democracy, and more than 400,000 Americans died. The American people —soldiers and civilians alike — made enormous sacrifices to free Europe from Nazi oppression. Yet saving Jews and others targeted for murder by the Nazi regime and its collaborators never...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Seniors, Northern Virginia, Arts & Culture, History/Education, Social Events
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; Fee: $16/ $10 member for bus transportation

 
 
Wed
Oct
  17
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
 
Jewish Study Center
2850 Quebec St, NW, Washington DC 20008
Like the Jewish community itself, Jewish museums are changing at a rapid rate. So are the stories they need to tell. We will discuss trends in American, European, and Israeli museums, possible new narratives, and their implications for future Jewish museum exhibitions, public programs, and online resources. Instructor, Avi Decter was the first professional director of what is now the National Museum of American Jewish History and was a founder of the Council of American Museums. He helped plan ...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, DC, Non-denominational, Adult Education, Arts & Culture, History/Education
Event Cost:  $10 - $24;  JSC, Adas members $15, others $20

 
 
Wed
Oct
  17
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
 
Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington DC (Theater J)
1101 Sixth Street, SW,  Washington, DC DC 20024
Tom and Amber, freshmen at Princeton University, seem to be on the same page about where their relationship is heading, until suddenly they aren’t. What begins as a casual hook up turns into a Title IX trial in which both students have everything to lose. Tackling the highly charged topic of sexual consent, this provocative new play by Anna Ziegler (Photograph 51) investigates the intersection of gender and race in campus politics today, offering a nuanced and psychologically rich portrait of a ...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Teens, DC, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Wed
Oct
  17
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
 
Bender JCC of Greater Washington
6125 Montrose Rd., Rockville MD 20852
On the Map (2016): English, 85 minutes, Documentary You’ll cheer the Maccabi Tel Aviv’s ’77 European win, a baseball team made up of Israeli & American players, as it captures the spirit of a nation triumphant against all odds. This event is partnered with the Foundation Of Jewish Studies, who will provide post-film speaker.
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Seniors, DC, Maryland, Arts & Culture, History/Education, Social Events
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $10, $12 @ door

 
 
Thu
Oct
  18
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
 
Bender JCC of Greater Washington
6125 Montrose Rd., Rockville MD 20852
Open House – featuring a gallery show, string trio and other live entertainment, along with a preview featuring the Cinema J season.
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Families, Seniors, Maryland, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Thu
Oct
  18
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
 
National Museum of American Jewish Military History
1811 R Street, NW, Washington DC 20009
Professor Leah Garrett joins us to discuss her book Young Lions: How Jewish Authors Reinvented the American War Novel for the inaugural talk in our Alan S. Brown scholar series. Young Lions: How Jewish Authors Reinvented the American War Novel shows how Jews, traditionally castigated as weak and cowardly, for the first time became the popular literary representatives of what it meant to be a soldier and what it meant to be an American. Revisiting best-selling works ranging from Norman Mailer’s ...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Seniors, DC, Adult Education, Children/Teens/Family, Arts & Culture, History/Education
Event Cost:  

 
 
Thu
Oct
  18
7:30 PM - 10:00 PM
 
Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCC of Northern Virginia)
2911 District Avenue, Fairfax VA 22031
For 18 years, Annual Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival has been celebrating the scope of Jewish life, culture, and identity on the big screen. Thanks to you, NVJFF is one of the largest cultural events in Northern Virginia. Single Tickets: $14 General Admission $12 J Members $9 Groups (15+ people, in advance only. Please call 703-537-3000) Passes: Festival Passes are available online and at the JCCNV Reception Desk until October 17th. Festival Pass: An all-inclusive festival experi...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Families, Interfaith, Seniors, Northern Virginia, Arts & Culture, Community-Wide/Festivals, Israel, Social Events
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $14 - General Admission $12 - J Members

 
 
Thu
Oct
  18
7:30 PM - 10:00 PM
 
Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington DC (Washington Jewish Film Festival)
1529 Q St NW, Washington DC 20036
Charlotte Gainsbourg turns in an exuberant performance as Nina, Romain Gary’s overbearing single mom, and César-winner Pierre Niney plays the illustrious author in this filial love story adapted from Gary’s eponymous autobiographical novel. Hounding the boy at every turn—from his childhood in Poland, to his adolescence in the South of France, to his WWII adventures as a bombardier—Nina continually brags to everyone she meets that her son will become a great writer, a war hero, a French ambassado...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, Maryland, Arts & Culture, Parenting
Event Cost:  

 
 
Thu
Oct
  18
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
 
Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington DC (Theater J)
1101 Sixth Street, SW,  Washington, DC DC 20024
Tom and Amber, freshmen at Princeton University, seem to be on the same page about where their relationship is heading, until suddenly they aren’t. What begins as a casual hook up turns into a Title IX trial in which both students have everything to lose. Tackling the highly charged topic of sexual consent, this provocative new play by Anna Ziegler (Photograph 51) investigates the intersection of gender and race in campus politics today, offering a nuanced and psychologically rich portrait of a ...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Teens, DC, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Thu
Oct
  18
7:30 PM - 7:50 PM
 
Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCC of Northern Virginia)
2911 District Avenue, Fairfax VA 22031
An inspiring journey behind one woman's ambitious project to create the entire Torah, in needlepoint. Over 1,000 stitchers in almost 20 countries each stitched a portion, hoping that the final work becomes a traveling museum exhibition.
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, Northern Virginia, Arts & Culture, Social Events
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $14 / $12 J Members

 
 
Thu
Oct
  18
8:00 PM - 9:40 PM
 
Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCC of Northern Virginia)
2911 District Avenue, Fairfax VA 22031
The Last Suit Pablo Solarz | Drama | 92 min | Spain, Argentina | 2017 | Spanish with English Subtitles Abraham Burszteins kids have sold his Buenos Aires residence and planted him in a retirement home. But Abraham survived the Holocaust, made a successful life in a foreign land, and isn't about to fade away so quietly! Instead, he's planned a one-way trip to the other side of the world to find the man who years earlier saved him from certain death. Generously sponsored by Anita and Steve Dien...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, Northern Virginia, Arts & Culture, Social Events
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $14 / $12 J Members

 
 
Thu
Oct
  18
8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
 
Congregation Har Shalom (Peace Mountain Theatre Company)
11510 Falls Road, Potomac MD 20854
A Shayna Maidel tells the story of two sisters - one a survivor of Nazi concentration camps, the other brought up as an American - as they reunite in New York in 1946 after years of separation. In the course of a heartrending evening, they achieve the intimacy that transcends the theatrical event. Playwright Barbara Lebow's play is a deeply personalized story of sisterhood, family and a crisis of faith. A Shayna Maidel will be performed over three weekends in October: Thursday, October 11; Sat...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Families, Seniors, Maryland, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $24/door; $22/advance; $12/students; $18/groups

 
 
Fri
Oct
  19
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
 
Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCC of Northern Virginia)
2911 District Avenue, Fairfax VA 22031
For 18 years, Annual Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival has been celebrating the scope of Jewish life, culture, and identity on the big screen. Thanks to you, NVJFF is one of the largest cultural events in Northern Virginia. Single Tickets: $14 General Admission $12 J Members $9 Groups (15+ people, in advance only. Please call 703-537-3000) Passes: Festival Passes are available online and at the JCCNV Reception Desk until October 17th. Festival Pass: An all-inclusive festival experi...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Families, Interfaith, Seniors, Northern Virginia, Arts & Culture, Community-Wide/Festivals, Israel, Social Events
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $14 - General Admission $12 - J Members

 
 
Fri
Oct
  19
10:30 AM - 10:45 AM
 
Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCC of Northern Virginia)
2911 District Avenue, Fairfax VA 22031
Wendy's Shabbat Rachel Myers | Documentary | 10 min | USA | 2017 | English Friends usher in the Sabbath by candlelight, with challah bread and grape juice (no wine at Wendy's) to complement their chicken nuggets and fries. Shabbat is typically observed at home with family, but here these seniors share in the celebration of their religion at Wendys. This is a story of rediscovering the joys of community again in older age, and in the longing for ritual, however unorthodox it may appear.
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Seniors, Northern Virginia, Arts & Culture, Social Events
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $14 / $12 J Members