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
Nov
  29
7:30 PM - 7:30 PM
 
Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center (Theater J)
1529 16th St., NW, Washington DC 20036
The year is 1939 and Atlanta’s posh German Jews are preparing for Ballyhoo, their annual lavish country club ball.  The Freitag family hopes that the party of the year will be the chance for their daughters to meet their future husbands—but when their uncle brings home his new employee, a handsome Eastern European bachelor from Brooklyn, everyone must confront their own prejudices, desires, and beliefs.  Winner of the Tony Award for Best Play, The Last Night of Ballyhoo is an achingly beautiful,...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, DC, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Thu
Nov
  30
7:30 PM - 7:30 PM
 
Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center (Theater J)
1529 16th St., NW, Washington DC 20036
The year is 1939 and Atlanta’s posh German Jews are preparing for Ballyhoo, their annual lavish country club ball.  The Freitag family hopes that the party of the year will be the chance for their daughters to meet their future husbands—but when their uncle brings home his new employee, a handsome Eastern European bachelor from Brooklyn, everyone must confront their own prejudices, desires, and beliefs.  Winner of the Tony Award for Best Play, The Last Night of Ballyhoo is an achingly beautiful,...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, DC, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Fri
Dec
  1
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
 
University of Maryland (Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies - University of Maryland)
8270 Alumni Dr., College Park MD 20742
Daily life is complicated, dangerous, and full of yearning.The living and the dead; dreams and waking life coexist in an uneasy world overflowing with absurdity, humor, sadness and compassion. We encounter a strangely endearing group of imprisoned mis?ts hell bent on holding a mirror up to nature and smashing it into smaller shards. The only way they can free themselves is to allow the release of these stories, no matter the cost. Adapted from acclaimed Israeli author Etgar Keret's book of shor...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, Maryland, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  $25 - $50; Student/Youth: $10

 
 
Sat
Dec
  2
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
 
Washington Hebrew Congregation (Julia Bindeman Suburban Center)
11810 Falls Road, Potomac MD 20854
Bring your friends, aunts/uncles/cousins, and grandparents, too, and prepare to throw out the rules when Billy Jonas hits the stage. A Billy Jonas concert is funky folk music for the whole family. It's a musical conversation, a sonic celebration, and a splendiferous gathering of young and old. Get ready to participate, because at a Billy Jonas concert, the ensemble is…everyone! Learn more and purchase tickets at www.whctemple.org/Hanukkah.
Listed In:  Families, Maryland, Reform, Children/Teens/Family, Arts & Culture, Holiday/Shabbat (High Holidays, Chanukah, Passover), PJ Library Co-Sponsored, Social Events
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $20 per Family

 
 
Sat
Dec
  2
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
 
University of Maryland (Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies - University of Maryland)
8270 Alumni Dr., College Park MD 20742
Daily life is complicated, dangerous, and full of yearning.The living and the dead; dreams and waking life coexist in an uneasy world overflowing with absurdity, humor, sadness and compassion. We encounter a strangely endearing group of imprisoned mis?ts hell bent on holding a mirror up to nature and smashing it into smaller shards. The only way they can free themselves is to allow the release of these stories, no matter the cost. Adapted from acclaimed Israeli author Etgar Keret's book of shor...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, Maryland, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  $25 - $50; Student/Youth: $10

 
 
Sat
Dec
  2
8:00 PM - 8:00 PM
 
Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center (Theater J)
1529 16th St., NW, Washington DC 20036
The year is 1939 and Atlanta’s posh German Jews are preparing for Ballyhoo, their annual lavish country club ball.  The Freitag family hopes that the party of the year will be the chance for their daughters to meet their future husbands—but when their uncle brings home his new employee, a handsome Eastern European bachelor from Brooklyn, everyone must confront their own prejudices, desires, and beliefs.  Winner of the Tony Award for Best Play, The Last Night of Ballyhoo is an achingly beautiful,...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, DC, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Sun
Dec
  3
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
 
Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCC of Northern Virginia-Community Engagement Department)
11660 Plaza America Drive, Reston VA 20190
Come join Growing Jewish Families for a fun morning of PJ Library stories about the upcoming Jewish holiday of Chanukah and braid your own challah to take home and bake. Whole Foods provides the dough. You provide the creativity and sense of adventure. Bring your dough home to bake. RSVP with Jennifer.DeAngelis@Jccnv.org
Listed In:  Families, Northern Virginia, Arts & Culture, PJ Library Co-Sponsored, Social Events
Event Cost:  

 
 
Sun
Dec
  3
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
 
Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center (Family Engagement at the EDCJCC)
1529 16th Street NW, Washington DC 20036
This Chanukah we’re making room for latkes AND dosas! Come meet Pamela Ehrenberg, author of the new PJ Library® book, The Queen of the Hanukkah Dosas, and enjoy hands-on activities, crafts, cooking, singing, food, a mitzvah (good deed) project and take-home goodies. It’s a perfect morning for Jewish and interfaith families with children ages 3 and older. Brought to you by PJ Library, the Edlavitch DCJCC, Federation’s Jewish Food Experience®, Love and Religion interfaith programs and Milton Got...
Listed In:  Families, Interfaith, DC, Non-denominational, Children/Teens/Family, Arts & Culture, Culinary, Holiday/Shabbat (High Holidays, Chanukah, Passover), PJ Library Co-Sponsored
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $10, $15 after December 1

 
 
Sun
Dec
  3
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
 
Biblical Archaeology Society of Northern Virginia
2201 Westmoreland Street , Arlington VA 22213
Navigating Pompeii and the Development of Roman Cities Dr. Christopher Gregg The development of Roman cities in the Republic and Empire followed a number of strategies, ranging from architectural displays that demonstrated prosperity to an emphasis on structures that reflected the city’s status or ties to Rome. Using standard types of structures such as baths, basilicas, triumphal arches and colonnaded plazas, these Roman cities assembled inexhaustibly varied combinations of these elements to ...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Seniors, Northern Virginia, Adult Education, Arts & Culture, History/Education
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $7 members lecture; $10 general admission; +lunch

 
 
Sun
Dec
  3
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
 
Congregation Har Shalom
11510 Falls Road, Potomac MD 20854
Sheldon Low is one of the brightest young stars in Jewish rock music today performing rock concerts, ‘Light Up Shabbat’ services, seminars, and leading Artist-in-Residency weekends in Jewish communities throughout North America. Low has a strong fan base among youth audiences, playing over 100 shows per year and appearing at conventions, conferences, and Jewish festivals, as well as dozens of Jewish camps each summer. Widely known for his exhilarating live performances and services, Low regularl...
Listed In:  Families, Teens, Maryland, Conservative, Arts & Culture, Parenting, Social Events
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $10 pp /$20 per family/ $5 each for group of 20

 
 
Sun
Dec
  3
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
 
Bender JCC of Greater Washington
6125 Montrose Road, Rockville MD 20852
Combining technical mastery, expressive depth and performance experience, pianist Alon Goldstein, violinist Ilya Kaler, and cellist Amit Peled have joined forces to form one of the most exciting trios on the international scene. Each virtuoso member of the Tempest Trio has a successful solo career; together, they bring vitality to the concert stage with their dynamic musical interplay and collaborative spirit. They will be joined by violist Daniel Getz, a member of the Grammy Award-Winning Bosto...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Seniors, DC, Maryland, Northern Virginia, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  $25 - $50; $35 - $45

 
 
Sun
Dec
  3
7:30 PM - 7:30 PM
 
Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center (Theater J)
1529 16th St., NW, Washington DC 20036
The year is 1939 and Atlanta’s posh German Jews are preparing for Ballyhoo, their annual lavish country club ball.  The Freitag family hopes that the party of the year will be the chance for their daughters to meet their future husbands—but when their uncle brings home his new employee, a handsome Eastern European bachelor from Brooklyn, everyone must confront their own prejudices, desires, and beliefs.  Winner of the Tony Award for Best Play, The Last Night of Ballyhoo is an achingly beautiful,...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, DC, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Mon
Dec
  4
7:30 PM - 7:30 PM
 
Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center (Theater J)
1529 16th St., NW, Washington DC 20036
The year is 1939 and Atlanta’s posh German Jews are preparing for Ballyhoo, their annual lavish country club ball.  The Freitag family hopes that the party of the year will be the chance for their daughters to meet their future husbands—but when their uncle brings home his new employee, a handsome Eastern European bachelor from Brooklyn, everyone must confront their own prejudices, desires, and beliefs.  Winner of the Tony Award for Best Play, The Last Night of Ballyhoo is an achingly beautiful,...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, DC, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Tue
Dec
  5
6:30 PM - 9:30 PM
 
American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC Entwine)
1011 4th Street NW, Washington  DC 20001
Stories that connect & transport A mobile series of mixed-media events showcasing the diversity of global communities, from Ukraine to Rwanda, through immersive digital storytelling. Featuring original work by Creative Director Barrie Adleberg and Set Designer Samantha Figueira. Complimentary Light Bites & Drinks: Kosher Style
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, GLBT, DC, Advocacy, Arts & Culture, Social Events
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $20

 
 
Dec 6 - Dec 10
Multiple times available
 
Bender JCC of Greater Washington (Bender Early Childhood Center)
6125 Montrose Rd., Rockville MD 20852
Presented in partnership with the IAC, we are pleased to bring you a Gift Boutique, just in time for the holidays! Read your heart out this Chanukah! Enjoy a variety of children’s books, cookbooks and gift books! Israeli Artists will have their incredible artwork on display for all your holiday needs! Boutique Hours: - Wednesday, December 6: 8:00 – 10:00 AM | 3:00 – 6:00 PM - Thursday, December 7: 8:00 – 10:00 AM | 3:00 – 6:00 PM - Friday, December 8: 8:00 – 10:00 AM - Sunday, December 10: 9:0...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Families, Seniors, Maryland, Arts & Culture, Holiday/Shabbat (High Holidays, Chanukah, Passover)
Event Cost:  Free; Free