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
 
Mon
Jul
  22
12:15 PM - 2:00 PM
 
Pozez JCC of Northern Virginia
8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax VA 22031
News in Review Roundtable; 4th Monday each month (ongoing) Coordinated by Mimi Rosenberg It is your turn to speak! Bring your educated opinions on a timely news event. A lively discussion on selected topics will be moderated by various facilitators. Come share your viewpoints and opinions. Coffee and tea will be provided. Fee: Included in J-Family and J-Journey memberships. One day membership upgrades are available for $10 to J-Pass cardholders; $20 for general admission.
Listed In:  Boomers, Seniors, Northern Virginia, Arts & Culture, History/Education, Politics, Social Events
Event Cost:  Free; members - free; $20 - general

 
 
Wed
Jul
  24
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
 
Embassy Of Israel
5612 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington DC 20015
One Show Only! “Thanks to Folkenflik’s performance, the many conflicts tearing at Menachem’s soul have the texture of truth, pain and confusion. ” – Sarah Ward, Screen Daily Menachem (Moshe Folkenflik), a former frontman for a rock band, is now religious, and a father to a six-year-old. When his daughter is diagnosed with cancer, he must find a creative solution to fund the expensive treatments. He reunites his band for one last tour. The journey to save his daughter exposes old wounds and allo...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), DC, Arts & Culture, Israel
Event Cost:  

 
 
Fri
Jul
  26
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
 
Pozez JCC of Northern Virginia
8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax VA 22031
Trip to Annapolis, MD – Ground and Water Tours with Lunch We will have a special summer day in Annapolis including a guided tour of the Maryland State House, a scenic Severn River cruise with views of the US Naval Academy and boxed lunch on board the boat. After the cruise, enjoy a ground tour of historic Annapolis and the WWII Memorial from our own bus. Fee: $84 (includes bus transportation, tour of the State House & WWII Memorial, boat tour with boxed lunch — sandwich, side, and dessert — ...
Listed In:  Boomers, Seniors, Maryland, Arts & Culture, History/Education, Politics, Social Events
Event Cost:  more than $50; $84

 
 
Tue
Aug
  6
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
 
National Museum of American Jewish Military History
1811 R Street, NW, Washington DC 20009
Beginning at age 13, TM Garret became attracted to White Nationalist groups. He joined the White Supremacist movement and founded a series of skinhead bands with names like Celtic Moon, Wolfsrudel (Wolfspack) and Höllenhunde (Hounds of Hell). Later he became a member of a German Ku Klux Klan faction and formed his own KKK group. Today, Garret is an anti-racist activist and lives in Horn Lake, Mississippi. He is the founder and organizer of the annual Memphis Peace Conference. He works with the ...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Interfaith, Seniors, DC, Arts & Culture, History/Education
Event Cost:  

 
 
Sep 4 - Sep 29
Multiple times available
 
Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington DC (Theater J)
1529 16th Street NW, Washington DC 20036
From an extraordinary collaboration of international artists comes Love Sick, the critically-acclaimed new musical that fuses a thrilling original score, Middle-Eastern harmonics, dazzling choreography, and an inspired story of passion and awakening. Based on The Song of Songs, Love Sick tells the story a young wife in a lifeless marriage who discovers she has a secret admirer. Intrigued, she begins a mysterious, dizzying journey of sexual and personal empowerment. Love Sick’s creative team inc...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, DC, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  $25 - $50; $34-64

 
 
Tue
Oct
  29
5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
 
Jewish Foundation for Group Homes
5301 Tuckerman Ln, North Bethesda MD 20852
Save the date for the 36th Annual JFGH Gala! This is always an evening to remember, and we invite you to share the date with your friends. Details to follow; dietary laws observed.
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Seniors, Special Needs, Maryland, Arts & Culture, Fundraising/Philanthropy
Event Cost:  

 
 
Nov 6 - Nov 10
Multiple times available
 
6125 Montrose Rd, Rockville MD 20852
Join the Bender JCC for our Fall Arts Festival featuring The Lessans Family Literary Series, Cinema J and the Goldman Art Gallery.
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Families, Interfaith, Seniors, Maryland, Arts & Culture, Community-Wide/Festivals, Fair/Expo
Event Cost:  

 
 
Nov 6 - Nov 10
Multiple times available
 
Bender JCC of Greater Washington (Bender JCC: Gildenhorn/Speisman Center for the Arts)
6125 Montrose Road, Rockville MD 20852
Coming soon
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Couples, Families, GLBT, Interfaith, Seniors, Singles, Special Needs, Women & Girls, Teens, Early Childhood Educators, DC, Maryland, Northern Virginia, Conservative, Havurot/Minyanim, Humanist, Non-denominational, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, Reform, Adult Education, Children/Teens/Family, Arts & Culture, Community-Wide/Festivals, Fair/Expo, History/Education, Israel, Networking, Social Events, Volunteer, JWRP
Event Cost:  

 
 
Dec 5 - Dec 8
Multiple times available
 
Israel American Council - Washington DC
3555 S Ocean Dr, Hollywood FL 33019
This fall, the Annual IAC National Conference will bring together more than 3,000 leaders, influencers and activists from the U.S., Israel, and around the world. The IAC National Conference – one of the largest and most high-profile gatherings in the Jewish world – will feature change makers across a range of fields, from business and philanthropy, to technology and education, to politics and social change. Together, we will explore five essential and interrelated topics for the Jewish people: ...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Interfaith, Seniors, DC, Children/Teens/Family, Leadership Development, Professional Development, Arts & Culture, Fair/Expo, Israel, Networking, Politics, Social Events
Event Cost:  

 
 
Mar 11 - Mar 15
Multiple times available
 
6125 Montrose Rd, Rockville MD 20852
Join the Bender JCC for our Spring Arts Festival featuring yhe Lessans Family Literary Series, Cinema J, and the Goldman Art Gallery.
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Families, Interfaith, Seniors, Maryland, Arts & Culture, Community-Wide/Festivals, Fair/Expo
Event Cost:  

 
 
Sun
May
  3
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
 
Bender JCC of Greater Washington
6125 Montrose Rd, Rockville MD 20852
Israel Fest
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Families, Seniors, Teens, Maryland, Arts & Culture, Fair/Expo, Israel, Social Events
Event Cost: