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
 
Fri
Mar
  22
11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
 
Bender JCC of Greater Washington (Bender JCC: Children & Family Programs)
6125 Montrose Road, Rockville MD 20852
Join us for a monthly challah-making and music-filled session to share joyful Judaism from generation to generation. Connect with other grandparents while bonding with your grandbabies and having fun! Every month will offer different activities such as art and tikkun olam — but making challah and music making will always be included!
Listed In:  Boomers, Families, Seniors, Maryland, Children/Teens/Family, Arts & Culture, Culinary, Holiday/Shabbat (High Holidays, Chanukah, Passover), Parenting, PJ Library Co-Sponsored
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; Members: $10, General Public: $15

 
 
Sat
Mar
  23
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
 
Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington DC (Theater J)
37th and O Streets, NW, Washington, DC DC 20007
If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother! Written in 1898, Gordin’s story of power and pride revolves around Mirele Efros, a wealthy widow and clever business woman who wants to find a good wife for her son. When her children turn against her, Mirele experiences a fall of Shakespearean proportions. Wildly successful in its time, Gordin’s masterpiece of Yiddish theater shines in a scintillating new English translation. Produced in partnership with the Georgetown University Theater and Performance...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, DC, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Sun
Mar
  24
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
 
Ms. Ellie Music (Adas Israel - shir a song location)
2825 Quebec Street NW, Washington DC 20008
Join me for 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. Registration for the SPRING shir a song session is now open! Spring 2019 session: March to June Tuesdays at Adas Israel: April 2 - May 28 (8 classes) $175 9:30 & ...
Listed In:  Families, Early Childhood Educators, DC, Non-denominational, Children/Teens/Family, Arts & Culture, Holiday/Shabbat (High Holidays, Chanukah, Passover), Parenting
Event Cost:  more than $50; $175/8 classes, sibling & referral discounts avail

 
 
Mar 24 - Mar 26
Multiple times available
 
American Israel Public Affairs Committee
801 Mt Vernon Place NW, Washington MD 20001
The AIPAC Policy Conference is the largest gathering of pro-Israel activists. Over 18,000 people from all 50 states and all backgrounds come together for a three day educational, inspirational and empowering experience. On the third day we lobby our Members of Congress to support the partnership between the U.S. and Israel and to ensure that the friendship between the United States and Israel remains unbreakable.
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Interfaith, Seniors, DC, Adult Education, Leadership Development, Advocacy, Arts & Culture, Fair/Expo, History/Education, Israel, Leadership Development, Networking, Politics
Event Cost:  more than $50; $399 for AIPAC Club and $499 for Delegates

 
 
Sun
Mar
  24
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
 
6125 Montrose Rd, Rockville MD 20852
Meet local authors from the DMV area and hear first-hand as they describe and introduce their books. Learn more about the stories behind the stories, their inspirations, and upcoming projects. Bagels and coffee served. Come find your next must-read author! Appropriate for all ages and free to the public.
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, Maryland, Arts & Culture, Community-Wide/Festivals, Fair/Expo
Event Cost:  

 
 
Sun
Mar
  24
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
 
Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCC of Northern Virginia-Community Engagement Department)
8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax VA 22031
This event is intended for participants to attend the entire scheduled time/series.
Join Growing Jewish Families for a NEW program called Rhythm 'n Ruach! Led by Andrea Cate, certified Rhythm 'n Ruach facilitator, each week, you and your child will have a musical Shabbat adventure including a variety of hands-on experiences including: exploring exciting musical instruments, learning a Hebrew word, singing and dancing to Jewish and secular music, and learning Jewish values....
Listed In:  Families, Northern Virginia, Arts & Culture, Social Events
Event Cost:  more than $50; $180/child, $108/second child

 
 
Sun
Mar
  24
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
 
Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington DC (Theater J)
37th and O Streets, NW, Washington, DC DC 20007
If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother! Written in 1898, Gordin’s story of power and pride revolves around Mirele Efros, a wealthy widow and clever business woman who wants to find a good wife for her son. When her children turn against her, Mirele experiences a fall of Shakespearean proportions. Wildly successful in its time, Gordin’s masterpiece of Yiddish theater shines in a scintillating new English translation. Produced in partnership with the Georgetown University Theater and Performance...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, DC, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Sun
Mar
  24
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
 
Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington DC (Theater J)
37th and O Streets, NW, Washington, DC DC 20007
If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother! Written in 1898, Gordin’s story of power and pride revolves around Mirele Efros, a wealthy widow and clever business woman who wants to find a good wife for her son. When her children turn against her, Mirele experiences a fall of Shakespearean proportions. Wildly successful in its time, Gordin’s masterpiece of Yiddish theater shines in a scintillating new English translation. Produced in partnership with the Georgetown University Theater and Performance...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, DC, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Wed
Mar
  27
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
 
Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington DC (Theater J)
37th and O Streets, NW, Washington, DC DC 20007
If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother! Written in 1898, Gordin’s story of power and pride revolves around Mirele Efros, a wealthy widow and clever business woman who wants to find a good wife for her son. When her children turn against her, Mirele experiences a fall of Shakespearean proportions. Wildly successful in its time, Gordin’s masterpiece of Yiddish theater shines in a scintillating new English translation. Produced in partnership with the Georgetown University Theater and Performance...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, DC, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Wed
Mar
  27
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
 
Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington DC (Theater J)
37th and O Streets, NW, Washington, DC DC 20007
If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother! Written in 1898, Gordin’s story of power and pride revolves around Mirele Efros, a wealthy widow and clever business woman who wants to find a good wife for her son. When her children turn against her, Mirele experiences a fall of Shakespearean proportions. Wildly successful in its time, Gordin’s masterpiece of Yiddish theater shines in a scintillating new English translation. Produced in partnership with the Georgetown University Theater and Performance...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, DC, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Wed
Mar
  27
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
 
Embassy Of Israel
5612 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington DC 20015
One Show Only! “An intriguing tale of forbidden first love. ” – Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter Benny’s hair is as red as the fur of her devout father’s treasured calf – which he believes will bring salvation. But the 17-year-old feels as lonely and trapped as the calf in its enclosure. Benny’s mother died giving birth to her, and she grew up alone with her caring yet patriarchal father. He is a figure of authority and a mentor for many people in their religious community in Jerusalem. ...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, DC, Arts & Culture, Israel, Social Events
Event Cost:  

 
 
Thu
Mar
  28
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
 
Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington DC (Theater J)
37th and O Streets, NW, Washington, DC DC 20007
If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother! Written in 1898, Gordin’s story of power and pride revolves around Mirele Efros, a wealthy widow and clever business woman who wants to find a good wife for her son. When her children turn against her, Mirele experiences a fall of Shakespearean proportions. Wildly successful in its time, Gordin’s masterpiece of Yiddish theater shines in a scintillating new English translation. Produced in partnership with the Georgetown University Theater and Performance...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, DC, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Thu
Mar
  28
8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
 
Center for Israel Studies at American University
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20036
Please join the American University Center for Israel Studies and Dept. of Performing Arts for a special performance by Shesh Besh, Arab-Jewish ensemble of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. The Shesh Besh ensemble’s onstage presence and repertoire are a living metaphor for people striving to coexist. Their performances reflect their belief that the language of music binds hearts and builds a real bridge between peoples. The ensemble performs traditional Oriental material alongside works by cla...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Families, Interfaith, Seniors, DC, Adult Education, Arts & Culture, Israel
Event Cost:  

 
 
Fri
Mar
  29
10:45 AM - 3:15 PM
 
Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCC of Northern Virginia)
8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax VA 22031
Enjoy a spring day outside and inside as we visit the newly-renovated Glenstone Museum. This contemporary art museum of post-World War II artworks encompasses two buildings, several outdoor sculptures and more than 230 acres of landscape (paths, streams, meadows, forests), all fully integrated with architecture and artworks. The Gallery hosts changing exhibitions in generously proportioned spaces and opens up to a terrace overlooking a pond. The Pavilions offer changing exhibitions and rooms ded...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Seniors, Maryland, Northern Virginia, Arts & Culture, History/Education, Social Events
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $16/ $10 J member

 
 
Sat
Mar
  30
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
 
Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation
7727 Persimmon Tree Lane, Bethesda MD 20817
Biblical Wisdom and Contemporary Living It is commonplace to say that the Bible provides guidance for modern living. But in what way is this really true? Most people haven't a clue. Come explore with Rabbi Sid.
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, Maryland, Reconstructionist, Adult Education, Arts & Culture, History/Education, Holiday/Shabbat (High Holidays, Chanukah, Passover)
Event Cost: