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
May
  20
8:00 AM - 10:00 PM
 
Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington DC (Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center)
1529 Q St NW, Washington DC 20036
The Washington Jewish Film and Music Festivals combine to present world-class cinema and music that explore the breadth of the Jewish and Israeli Experience, promoting awareness, appreciation, and pride in the diversity of the Jewish people. The WJFF is one of the OLDEST, LARGEST, and MOST PRESTIGIOUS international Jewish film festivals in the country. The WJMF is recognized as one of the country’s most ESSENTIAL showcases of Jewish music. Recent guests include major US and international talen...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Families, Seniors, DC, Maryland, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Mon
May
  20
4:30 PM - 10:30 PM
 
Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCC of Northern Virginia)
8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax VA 22031
Tosca – Washington National Opera Company at the Kennedy Center Monday, May 20, depart the J at 4:30pm; return approx. 10:30pm Join us for our exciting, first-ever Kennedy Center, Washington National Opera outing! “ . . . Puccini’s breathtaking opera, with its renowned “Vissi d’arte” aria. . . Elegant sets depicting grand Roman scenes create the backdrop to one of opera’s most suspenseful and popular dramas. With gripping political corruption, soaring music, and the legendary devastating fina...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Seniors, Northern Virginia, Arts & Culture, Social Events
Event Cost:  more than $50; Fee: $118/ $108 member

 
 
Tue
May
  21
8:00 AM - 10:00 PM
 
Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington DC (Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center)
1529 Q St NW, Washington DC 20036
The Washington Jewish Film and Music Festivals combine to present world-class cinema and music that explore the breadth of the Jewish and Israeli Experience, promoting awareness, appreciation, and pride in the diversity of the Jewish people. The WJFF is one of the OLDEST, LARGEST, and MOST PRESTIGIOUS international Jewish film festivals in the country. The WJMF is recognized as one of the country’s most ESSENTIAL showcases of Jewish music. Recent guests include major US and international talen...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Families, Seniors, DC, Maryland, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Wed
May
  22
8:00 AM - 10:00 PM
 
Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington DC (Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center)
1529 Q St NW, Washington DC 20036
The Washington Jewish Film and Music Festivals combine to present world-class cinema and music that explore the breadth of the Jewish and Israeli Experience, promoting awareness, appreciation, and pride in the diversity of the Jewish people. The WJFF is one of the OLDEST, LARGEST, and MOST PRESTIGIOUS international Jewish film festivals in the country. The WJMF is recognized as one of the country’s most ESSENTIAL showcases of Jewish music. Recent guests include major US and international talen...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Families, Seniors, DC, Maryland, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Wed
May
  22
6:30 PM - 9:30 PM
 
Charles E. Smith Life Communities
1201 Rockville Pike, Rockville MD 20852
Details to follow.
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Singles, Maryland, Arts & Culture, Networking, Social Events
Event Cost:  more than $50; 125

 
 
Thu
May
  23
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
 
Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington DC (Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center)
1529 Q St NW, Washington DC 20036
The Washington Jewish Film and Music Festivals combine to present world-class cinema and music that explore the breadth of the Jewish and Israeli Experience, promoting awareness, appreciation, and pride in the diversity of the Jewish people. The WJFF is one of the OLDEST, LARGEST, and MOST PRESTIGIOUS international Jewish film festivals in the country. The WJMF is recognized as one of the country’s most ESSENTIAL showcases of Jewish music. Recent guests include major US and international talen...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Families, Seniors, DC, Maryland, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Fri
May
  24
8:00 AM - 10:00 PM
 
Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington DC (Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center)
1529 Q St NW, Washington DC 20036
The Washington Jewish Film and Music Festivals combine to present world-class cinema and music that explore the breadth of the Jewish and Israeli Experience, promoting awareness, appreciation, and pride in the diversity of the Jewish people. The WJFF is one of the OLDEST, LARGEST, and MOST PRESTIGIOUS international Jewish film festivals in the country. The WJMF is recognized as one of the country’s most ESSENTIAL showcases of Jewish music. Recent guests include major US and international talen...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Families, Seniors, DC, Maryland, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Fri
May
  24
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
May
  25
8:00 AM - 10:00 PM
 
Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington DC (Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center)
1529 Q St NW, Washington DC 20036
The Washington Jewish Film and Music Festivals combine to present world-class cinema and music that explore the breadth of the Jewish and Israeli Experience, promoting awareness, appreciation, and pride in the diversity of the Jewish people. The WJFF is one of the OLDEST, LARGEST, and MOST PRESTIGIOUS international Jewish film festivals in the country. The WJMF is recognized as one of the country’s most ESSENTIAL showcases of Jewish music. Recent guests include major US and international talen...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Families, Seniors, DC, Maryland, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Sun
May
  26
8:00 AM - 10:00 PM
 
Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington DC (Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center)
1529 Q St NW, Washington DC 20036
The Washington Jewish Film and Music Festivals combine to present world-class cinema and music that explore the breadth of the Jewish and Israeli Experience, promoting awareness, appreciation, and pride in the diversity of the Jewish people. The WJFF is one of the OLDEST, LARGEST, and MOST PRESTIGIOUS international Jewish film festivals in the country. The WJMF is recognized as one of the country’s most ESSENTIAL showcases of Jewish music. Recent guests include major US and international talen...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Families, Seniors, DC, Maryland, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  

 
 
Thu
May
  30
9:45 AM - 2:30 PM
 
Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCC of Northern Virginia)
8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax VA 22031
Enjoy a tour of this beautiful house built in 1799 — one of the finest examples of Federal period architecture in the US. You will also be able to view its impressive furniture and decorative arts collections (more than 1,000 pieces includes furniture, paintings, textiles, silver, and ceramics primarily from the Federal period, 1789–1825). Dumbarton House reflects the time when Joseph Nourse, first Register of the U.S. Treasury, and his wife made their home here between 1804 and1813. The first ...
Listed In:  Boomers, Seniors, Northern Virginia, Arts & Culture, History/Education, Social Events
Event Cost:  $25 - $50; $48/ $38 J member

 
 
Fri
May
  31
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
 
Gesher Jewish Day School
4800 Mattie Moore Court, Fairfax VA 22030
Join us for our Monthly Children's Romp and Sing Playgroup. We will have open/free play for the first 45 minutes and then join in the All school Musical, dancing Kabbalat Shabbat. We will also celebrate your child's birthday. RSVP requested
Listed In:  Families, Northern Virginia, Children/Teens/Family, Arts & Culture, Holiday/Shabbat (High Holidays, Chanukah, Passover), PJ Library Co-Sponsored, Social Events
Event Cost:  

 
 
Sun
Jun
  2
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
 
Congregation Beth El of Montgomery County
8215 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda MD 20814
Professor Meital Orr of Georgetown University will speak on “The ‘Other’ in Israeli-Arab Literature.” The lecture is co-sponsored by the Am Yisrael Chai Committee, Sisterhood, Men’s Club, and the Library Committee. This talk will probe views of the Jewish “other” in the literature of Arabs, both Palestinian and Israeli. From the inception of the state of Israel until today, the Arabs in these regions have struggled with Jewish presence, and the political battle has become internalized both psyc...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Interfaith, Seniors, Maryland, Conservative, Adult Education, Arts & Culture, History/Education, Israel, Politics
Event Cost:  Free; Free

 
 
Sun
Jun
  2
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
 
Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCC of Northern Virginia)
8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax VA 22031
Israel Fest: Celebrating Israeli Innovations Highlights include: Performance by the Tzofim Friendship Caravan Hands-on activities “Masada” Rock Wall Food for purchase in Jerusalem Café Moon bounce and inflatable fun Entertainment Israeli dancing Israel-style shuk (market) Exhibits …and more! Free Admission and Free Parking (shuttle service available)! This program is in partnership with The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and in collaboration with area synagogues and Jewish agencies...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Families, Seniors, Teens, Northern Virginia, Arts & Culture, Community-Wide/Festivals, Israel, Social Events
Event Cost:  

 
 
Sun
Jun
  2
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
 
Kolot HaLev Choir (Kolot Halev)
14330 Travilah Road, Rockville MD 20850
The concert will highlight compositions from different French and Jewish liturgical traditions and feature works by French masters who were Jewish, such as Jacques Halévy and Darius Milhaud, or Christian, such as Georges Bizet and César Franck.
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Families, Seniors, Maryland, Adult Education, Arts & Culture
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $20