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
Aug
  23
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
 
Embassy Of Israel
5612 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington DC 20015
Reel Israel DC’s August film is Harmonia. One show only! Nominated for four Israeli Academy Awards, Harmonia is a modern adaptation of the mythological triangle between the childless Abraham and Sarah and young Hagar, set in the Jerusalem Philharmonic. Conductor Abraham, and his wife Sarah, the orchestra’s harpist, cannot have children. When Hagar, a young horn player from East Jerusalem, joins the western side orchestra, she bonds with Sarah and a unique friendship evolves between the two wom...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Seniors, DC, Arts & Culture, Israel
Event Cost:  

 
 
Fri
Aug
  25
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
 
Gesher Jewish Day School
4800 Mattie Moore Ct, Fairfax VA 22030
Join Gesher Jewish Day School for a Musical Kabbalat Shabbat Service. We will have a traditional Egalitarian Service outdoors in our Chorshah (Wooded area to the Left of the school) with instruments before Shabbat starts. Bring your instruments, your voice, your kids, your soul.
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Families, Singles, Northern Virginia, Children/Teens/Family, Arts & Culture, Holiday/Shabbat (High Holidays, Chanukah, Passover)
Event Cost:  

 
 
Sat
Aug
  26
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
 
Oseh Shalom
7515 Olive Branch Way, Laurel MD 20707
Bagels 'N Box Concert-- Saturday Night 7pm Come join us for a fabulous experience that is fun for all ages. Bagels ‘n Box is the story of 2 childhood friends united by their passion for revolutionizing Jewish music. The experience they give is a fusion of centuries-old prayer and cutting-edge vocal percussion, preserving the traditional sound of Judaism within an exciting hip-hop context. Check out their website at http://www.bagelsnbox.com and share with friends. Tickets are $10 ($40 max/F...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Families, Seniors, Maryland, Reconstructionist, Arts & Culture, Social Events
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $10 person/ $40 family max

 
 
Mon
Aug
  28
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
 
Ms. Ellie Music (Ohr Kodesh - shir a song location)
8300 Meadowbrook Ln, Chevy Chase MD 20815
Shir a Song classes are music and movement classes designed for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers and their accompanying caregiver. Classes aim to fuse oldie-but-goodie secular songs with some fun Shabbat and Jewish holiday songs. We will use finger plays, instruments, and other props as we dance and move to create a lively and musical community for the 45 minutes of class. 10 Classes begin in September. Cost: $190 for 1st child, $120 for 2nd child, siblings under 9 months attend for free!...
Listed In:  Families, Maryland, Non-denominational, Children/Teens/Family, Arts & Culture, Parenting
Event Cost:  more than $50; $190/10 sessions

 
 
Mon
Sep
  11
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
 
Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center (Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center)
1529 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington DC 20036
This event is intended for participants to attend the entire scheduled time/series.
They say truth is stranger than fiction! This fall you can work with an award-winning, professional author (Peter Lovenheim) to craft your own truths or the remarkable true stories around you into rich, compelling narratives. Narrative non-fiction is writing based on fact but built with the traditional elements of story. It’s a popular genre, allowing writers to observe the world, explore ...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, DC, Adult Education, Professional Development, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Tue
Sep
  12
8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
 
Bender JCC of Greater Washington
6125 Montrose Road, Rockville MD 20852
Sacred Writings on the Hereafter: An Early History of Hell and Heaven Christopher Rollston | Professor, George Washington University Although Heaven is often mentioned within modern Judaism and modern Christianity, Hell is different. Christianity often focuses on it, while Judaism does not. The root cause of this difference is not modern, but ancient. It has to do with the dramatic differences between the Hebrew Bible (Tanach) and the New Testament on the subject of Hell. So if you're in...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Seniors, Maryland, Adult Education, Arts & Culture, History/Education, Israel
Event Cost:  $1 - $9; $10 general admission; $8 JCC member

 
 
Wed
Sep
  13
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
 
Ms. Ellie Music (Adas Israel - shir a song location)
2825 Quebec Street NW, Washington DC 20008
Shir a Song classes are music and movement classes designed for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers and their accompanying caregiver. Classes aim to fuse oldie-but-goodie secular songs with some fun Shabbat and Jewish holiday songs. We will use finger plays, instruments, and other props as we dance and move to create a lively and musical community for the 45 minutes of class. 10 Classes begin in October at Adas Israel in DC (and in September with a break at Ohr Kodesh in Chevy Chase). Cost: ...
Listed In:  Families, Maryland, Non-denominational, Arts & Culture, Parenting
Event Cost:  more than $50; $190/10 sessions; discounts available

 
 
Thu
Sep
  14
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
 
Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center (Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center)
1529 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington DC 20036
Georgetown University art historian Ori Soltes walks audiences through 3,000 years of Jewish art and architecture in a presentation of his book Tradition and Transformation: Three Millennia of Jewish Art & Architecture. A project three decades in the making, the volume presents a staggeringly complete investigation of what it means to define a work of art as “Jewish art”. Soltes examines the impact of identity, faith, and aesthetics on a wide range of creators, and while he doesn’t claim to arri...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Seniors, DC, Arts & Culture, History/Education
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $11.50

 
 
Sun
Sep
  17
9:00 AM - 11:30 AM
 
Temple Shalom
8401 Grubb Road, Chevy Chase MD 20815
Community Kickoff - Fun Jewish Experience Followed by Brotherhood and Sisterhood Sponsored Nosh All are welcome This is just a sample of many planned learning activities for youth and adults: • Sukkat Shalom • Refugee Response Team & Direct Refugee Assistance • Gaga Kickball Tournament • Camp songs & stories for all • Israeli Dancing • Adult Camp songs • Corner Market and Pharmacy Flu Shot Clinic • Session with Camp Harlam • Rosh Hashanah Adult Craft • Israel's Old-New Music • Session with UR...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Families, Seniors, Maryland, Reform, Adult Education, Children/Teens/Family, Arts & Culture, PJ Library Co-Sponsored
Event Cost:  

 
 
Sun
Sep
  17
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
 
Bender JCC of Greater Washington
6125 Montrose Rd., Rockville MD 20852
In both art and life, violinist Rachel Barton Pine has an extraordinary ability to connect with people. Celebrated as a leading interpreter of great classical and contemporary works, her performances combine her innate gift for emotional communication and her scholarly fascination with historical research. She plays with passion and conviction across an extensive repertoire, thrilling audiences with her dazzling technique, lustrous tone, and infectious joy in music-making.
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Seniors, Maryland, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  $25 - $50; $35 - $45

 
 
Mon
Sep
  18
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
 
Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center (Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center)
1529 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington DC 20036
This event is intended for participants to attend the entire scheduled time/series.
They say truth is stranger than fiction! This fall you can work with an award-winning, professional author (Peter Lovenheim) to craft your own truths or the remarkable true stories around you into rich, compelling narratives. Narrative non-fiction is writing based on fact but built with the traditional elements of story. It’s a popular genre, allowing writers to observe the world, explore ...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, DC, Adult Education, Professional Development, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Sun
Sep
  24
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
 
Biblical Archaeology Society of Northern Virginia
4052 Campbell Ave , Arlington VA 22206
New Technologies for Studies of Ancient Texts Michael Toth Advanced imaging systems can now empower scholars, scientists and researchers to glean important, new information from ancient texts. This illustrated presentation will demonstrate how these imaging systems offer new insights into ancient manuscripts on parchment and papyrus. Advanced technologies developed during Mr. Toth’s projects – applied to papyri-mâché funeral masks and to ancient manuscripts guarded by monks at St. Catherine’s M...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Seniors, Northern Virginia, Adult Education, Arts & Culture, History/Education, Social Events
Event Cost:  

 
 
Mon
Sep
  25
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
 
Ms. Ellie Music (Adas Israel - shir a song location)
2825 Quebec Street NW, Washington DC 20008
Shir a Song classes are music and movement classes designed for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers and their accompanying caregiver. Classes aim to fuse oldie-but-goodie secular songs with some fun Shabbat and Jewish holiday songs. We will use finger plays, instruments, and other props as we dance and move to create a lively and musical community for the 45 minutes of class. 10 Classes begin in October at Adas Israel in DC (and in September with a break at Ohr Kodesh in Chevy Chase). Cost: ...
Listed In:  Families, Maryland, Non-denominational, Arts & Culture, Parenting
Event Cost:  more than $50; $190/10 sessions; discounts available

 
 
Mon
Sep
  25
7:00 PM - 7:00 PM
 
Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center (Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center)
1529 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington DC 20036
This event is intended for participants to attend the entire scheduled time/series.
They say truth is stranger than fiction! This fall you can work with an award-winning, professional author (Peter Lovenheim) to craft your own truths or the remarkable true stories around you into rich, compelling narratives. Narrative non-fiction is writing based on fact but built with the traditional elements of story. It’s a popular genre, allowing writers to observe the world, explore ...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, DC, Adult Education, Professional Development, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Wed
Sep
  27
8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
 
Bethesda Jewish Congregation
6601 Bradley Blvd., Bethesda MD 20817
A Gentleman from Moscow by Amor Towles is the fictional story of Count Alexander Rostov, who in 1922, when he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provi...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Seniors, Maryland, Non-denominational, Arts & Culture
Event Cost: