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
 
Thu
Jan
  17
12:00 PM - 2:30 PM
 
Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCC of Northern Virginia)
8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax VA 22031
Presented by librarians from The City of Fairfax Regional Library and other staff Join us for our annual program with librarians from the City of Fairfax Regional Library. They will present new and interesting reads for 2019. Both fiction and nonfiction books will be introduced and discussed. The books recommended and reviewed in past years were wonderful reading experiences! Bring your Fairfax County Library System card to be able to check out some of these books after the program! Coffee, te...
Listed In:  Boomers, Seniors, Northern Virginia, Arts & Culture, Social Events
Event Cost:  Free; Fee: $5/ Free member

 
 
Thu
Jan
  17
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
 
6125 Montrose Rd., Rockville MD 20852
Please join Israel Forever, Masa Israel Journey, Bender Jewish Community Center, and the Jewish National Fund for a community celebration of the land of Israel. This event is open to all ages. • Learn about ways to get to Israel on a Masa program • Hear from an Israeli who grew up on a kibbutz and a former lone soldier about their experiences • Write a letter to a lone soldier serving in the Israel Defense Forces • Get the chance to plant a tree in Israel • Treat yourself to a selection of Tu B...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Families, Teens, Maryland, Arts & Culture, Holiday/Shabbat (High Holidays, Chanukah, Passover), Israel
Event Cost:  

 
 
Thu
Jan
  17
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
 
Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington DC (Washington Jewish Film Festival)
7235 Woodmont Ave, Bethesda MD 20814
The Washington Jewish Film Festival Year Round programming presents: Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People Dir. Oren Rudavsky | 84 min | 2018 Documentary, English Thursday, January 17 7:30 PM Bethesda Row Cinema - 7235 Woodmont Ave, Bethesda, MD Joseph Pulitzer spoke of “fake news” over 100 years ago and fought the dangers that the suppression of news augured for democracy long before our present threats to press freedom. Director Oren Rudavsky’s (The Ruins of Lifta, A Life Apart: Hasidism...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, Maryland, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $13.50

 
 
Fri
Jan
  18
10:45 AM - 2:45 PM
 
Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCC of Northern Virginia)
8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax VA 22031
This mid-nineteenth century house, outbuildings, and barn will host us for a wonderful “full” tea — really, a delicious lunch! The farm, in Falls Church, was once part of a pre-Revolutionary War plantation. Today, Cherry Hill is furnished to reflect the times when the Blaisdell family lived there. The property was involved in the Civil War and was crossed many times by Union troops and Confederate Rangers. William Blaisdell was one of 26 men who voted against secession in Falls Church. Joseph an...
Listed In:  Boomers, Seniors, Northern Virginia, Arts & Culture, History/Education, Social Events
Event Cost:  $25 - $50; Fee: $48/ $43 member (includes bus,tour,talk,tea)

 
 
Sat
Jan
  19
7:45 PM - 10:30 PM
 
Tikvat Israel Congregation
2200 Baltimore Road, Rockville MD 20851
Two Contemporary Israeli Films Set for Showing at Rockville Synagogue Tikvat Israel Congregation will show the best of recent Israeli cinema with two films preceding commentary by an Israel official. Scheduled for showing are “Shelter” on Jan. 19 and “Redemption” on Jan. 26. Both films will be screened at 7:45 p.m. Admission for synagogue members is $12 for one film ($20 for both) and $15 per show for non-members. Students with an ID are charged $5. Advance tickets may be purchased at www.tikv...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, DC, Conservative, Arts & Culture, Israel
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $15

 
 
Jan 20 - Jan 21
Multiple times available
 
Beth El Hebrew Congregation
3830 Seminary Road, Alexandria VA 22304
The fundraiser for the used book sale is January 20-21 2019 from 9 am to 5pm at Beth El Hebrew Congregation in Alexandria. We hope to see you there!
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Seniors, Northern Virginia, Reform, Arts & Culture, Fundraising/Philanthropy
Event Cost:  

 
 
Mon
Jan
  21
9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
 
Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCC of Northern Virginia)
8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax VA 22031
In conjunction with Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service and the spirit of community that this day inspires, Volunteer Fairfax proudly presents this program that gives families the opportunity to participate in a number of meaningful projects. Visit volunteerfairfax.org to register. Registration opens on December 17th!
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Families, Seniors, Teens, Northern Virginia, Arts & Culture, Social Events, Volunteer
Event Cost:  Free; Free

 
 
Mon
Jan
  21
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
 
6125 Montrose Rd., Rockville MD 20852
Spend your Day of Service at the J! Start the day at our Kids Mega Challah Bake service project with Chabad of Potomac, where we will make 2 challahs per person, one to keep and one to give to Interfaith Works ($15 fee). Baking will be followed by a dance performance and story reading inspired by the life of Martin Luther King Jr. in the Kreeger Theater.
Listed In:  Families, Maryland, Arts & Culture, Volunteer
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $15

 
 
Wed
Jan
  23
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
 
Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCC of Northern Virginia)
3830 Seminary Rd, Alexandria VA 22304
Inclement Weather Policy If Fairfax County schools are closed, our Adult 55+ program held at Beth El is canceled. If schools have a delayed opening, we will hold our program at the regular time. Winter Film Series: Hidden Figures 2016 | 2h 7 min | Biography, Drama, History In honor of Martin Luther King Day, we will show this film about the incredible story of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson — brilliant African-American women working at NASA — who calculated by hand the com...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, Northern Virginia, Arts & Culture, History/Education, Social Events
Event Cost:  $1 - $9; $5/person

 
 
Wed
Jan
  23
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
 
6125 Montrose Rd., Rockville MD 20852
On a summer day in 1945, an Orthodox man and his grown son arrive in a village in Hungary while the villagers prepare for the wedding of the town clerk’s son. The townspeople – suspicious, remorseful, fearful, and cunning – expect the worst and behave accordingly. Why have the Jews come to their village? Have they returned to reclaim their property? In this beautifully shot black & white film, Director Ferenc Török paints a complex picture of a society trying to come to terms with the recent hor...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Seniors, Maryland, Arts & Culture, History/Education
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $10

 
 
Wed
Jan
  23
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
 
Embassy Of Israel
5612 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington DC 20015
One Show Only! “The final scene seeps into your consciousness… In those final seconds, the movie combines cinematography with divine intervention, and makes it all look real. ” – Richard Stellar, The Wrap During the Six-Day War, an Israeli sergeant and an Egyptian soldier encounter each other in an abandoned UNEF post in the Sinai desert on the day after the Israeli/Egyptian cease fire. During an ensuing firefight both men get trapped in the abandoned post; the Israeli on the ground floor, the...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, DC, Arts & Culture, Israel, Politics
Event Cost:  

 
 
Thu
Jan
  24
12:00 PM - 2:30 PM
 
Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCC of Northern Virginia)
8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax VA 22031
Noon: Lunch (bring dairy or parve/meatless) 12:30pm: Program Presented by: Natalie G. Neviasky, art historian and publisher Rockwell's 60 year unstoppable career in art and illustration made him one of the most successful, famous, and beloved American illustrators of the 20th century. Join us for this very “colorful” program with slide presentation. Ms. Neviasky calls her programs “Edutainment.” Have fun while learning and reminiscing with this visually stunning presentation and discussion. C...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Seniors, Northern Virginia, Arts & Culture, History/Education, Social Events
Event Cost:  $1 - $9; Fee: $8/ $3 member

 
 
Sat
Jan
  26
7:45 PM - 10:30 PM
 
Tikvat Israel Congregation
2200 Baltimore Road, Rockville MD 20851
Two Contemporary Israeli Films Set for Showing at Rockville Synagogue Tikvat Israel Congregation will show the best of recent Israeli cinema with two films preceding commentary by an Israel official. Scheduled for showing are “Shelter” on Jan. 19 and “Redemption” on Jan. 26. Both films will be screened at 7:45 p.m. Admission for synagogue members is $12 for one film ($20 for both) and $15 per show for non-members. Students with an ID are charged $5. Advance tickets may be purchased at www.tikv...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, DC, Conservative, Arts & Culture, Israel
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $15

 
 
Sat
Jan
  26
8:00 PM - 10:30 PM
 
Congregation Har Shalom (Har Shalom Players)
11510 Falls Road, Potomac MD 20854
Join the Har Shalom Players for an evening of entertainment! Based on the popular comic strip by Harold Gray, Annie has become a worldwide phenomenon and was the winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The beloved book and score by Tony Award winners, Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, features some of the greatest musical theatre hits ever written, including "Tomorrow." With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone's hearts despit...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Families, Seniors, Teens, Maryland, Conservative, Children/Teens/Family, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $18/child (12 & under), $22/adult

 
 
Sun
Jan
  27
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
 
Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington
6301 Montrose Rd, Rockville MD 20852
The Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Washington (JGSGW) will present Write and Publish Your Family History with Online Print-on-Demand presented by Beth Galleto. Writing and publishing a book is one way to preserve the results of your genealogy research and share them with family members and others. But such a project is daunting. Having published four books about her family, JGSGW member Beth Galleto will talk about how to do it yourself. If you have already published your own books, ple...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Seniors, Maryland, Adult Education, Arts & Culture, History/Education
Event Cost:  $1 - $9; $5