Israel Highlights


Join the Greater Washington Jewish community as we celebrate
Israel’s 69th year of independence!
 
Our community has many great Israel-events throughout the month.  Please scroll down to view the list. On May 21, we will celebrate at 2 community-wide festivals. More information to the right.

Federation’s Congregational Shlichim Program

Expanding on our community’s successful Israeli emissary program through a program of The Jewish Agency for Israel, nine additional shlichim (emissaries) join local synagogues and schools, partnering with the congregants and students to develop social issue-focused projects designed to enhance our community’s connection to Israel and Israelis.

These 9 cultural ambassadors share their lives in Israel, what motivates their mission to educate around the world and how they inspire others. To learn more about cultural and social change issues in Israel, visit Federation’s Imagine Israel blog.

Ella Tesler, shlicha for Shaare Torah Congregation has shared her list of what makes Israel special to her. Many of the items on the list are positive atributes of our unique homeland, but some are problems that continue to afflict the young state. The fact that we recognize and acknowledge these problems as well as our blessings makes Isael so special.

70 reasons why I think Israel is so special

By Ella Tesler

1. Because it is the only democracy in the world surrounded by so many undemocratic countries
2. Because there is no country in the world with so much self-criticism. Sometimes good criticism and sometimes not so good
3. Because of the difficult situation of war, the most moral army in the world was born, that turned me and many other Israelis into better people
4. Because at the age of 22 I was the commander of a company of 140 soldiers

5. Because these soldiers were youth at risk, the state gives them another chance to be part of the country's system
6. Because my grandmother, like many other survivors, immigrated to Israel after the Holocaust and there she built her home
7. Because my other grandmother was born in Israel and for her, for my mother and for me it is our homeland
8. Because of the kibbutz where I live. A fascinating form of settlement that is unique only to Israel
9. Because so much is shared (even personal space)
10. Because everyone calls everyone “ACHI” (my brother) because everyone is actually one family
11. Because everyone complains but Israel is still one of the countries where people say they're the happiest in the world.
12. Because no other country would have survived the criticism the State of Israel has experienced on a daily basis.
13. Because the Jewish religion and Jewish culture are mixed together and sometimes it's hard, but it sparks important discussions.
14. Because of the TV series “Fauda” (Watch it and you will never regret it)
15. Because we are the startup nation
16. Because we gave the world Waze, Mobileye and the sweetest cherry tomatoes
17. Because on Yom Kippur those who do not to go to synagogue ride their bicycles in all the streets, even the highways. It's a spectacular sight, almost like a synagogue. Almost
18. Because there are so many cultures from so many countries and when we're not afraid, we learn from it
19. Because you can eat kosher for Passover “bread" and it is delicious
20. Because there are really pretty girls and really cute guys
21. Because it is a welfare state. And sometimes it annoys us, and sometimes it does not work as well as it should but the state tries to care for everyone
22. Because a Jewish / Muslim / Christian religious person, as well as a Jewish / Muslim / Christian secular person can live with freedom of religion and believe what he believes
23. Because when there is a terrorist attack, the Israeli instinct is to run toward the danger, not away from it
24. Because in 24 years Israel gave me everything I need and more
25. Because Shabbat in Israel
26. Because Jerusalem and Tel Aviv
27. Because the Negev and the Galil
28. Because of the excellent beaches
29. Because of the Dead Sea and the Kinneret
30. Because I could cross Israel on foot in two and a half months on the Israel National Trail. I do not know how many people in the world crossed their country on foot
31. Because in one day you can see snow and desert in the same country
32. Because of the food!!!
33. Because of the Israeli breakfast
34. Because of the sushi and shawarma
35. Because of the Israeli chocolate and the Krembo
36. Because Israel is a country with 60% desert and almost no fresh water, yet it develops the Negev and desalinates water in the largest quantities in the world
37. Because of Jewish and Israeli history. More than once we were not supposed to be here
38. Because of the weather. Many complain but now when I'm in the United States I realize that it could be worse…
39. Because of the excellent sense of humor
40. And because we laugh at everything. There is no taboo.
41. Because Israel is in a very complex political situation in which it must decide on questions of human life and human dignity and all solutions would have a painful cost
42. Because in times of war there is no difference between each other and we all unite
43. Because when there is no war we need to be better…
44. Because Israelis are not rude, they are direct
45. Because of the music
46. Because of Arik Einstein and Idan Raichel
47. Because of Yehudit Ravitz and Omer Adam
48. Because of Elai Botner and Eden Ben Zaken
49. Because of Kaveret and Jane Bordeaux
50. Because of the leaders who were and will be
51. Because of David Ben-Gurion, Menachem Begin and Shimon Peres
52. Because of Gal Gadot (Wonder woman!)
53. Because there is no constitution (and I have not decided whether it is good or bad)
54. Because so many Israelis are traveling in the world so in some places in India, you think there are more Israelis than Indians
55. Because the fruits and vegetables are affordable and fantastic
56. Because the houses and apartments are expensive (SO expensive)
57. Because Israel is the only country where the number of trees is rising
58. Because Israel cares
59. Because of the flag, because of the Emblem, because of Hatikvah, the anthem.
60. Because the Hebrew language is one of the oldest, most sophisticated and beautiful in the world
61. Because it's hard to explain but sh’kedei marak (soup nuts) is just a wonderful addition to soup
62. Because we made peace with Egypt and Jordan
63. Because we tried so many times to make peace agreements with the Palestinians and even though they rejected any proposal, it is still our responsibility
64. Because I am a Shliha (emissary) in a synagogue in the United States and I learn that it is important for my country to have contact with Jews all over the world
65. Because every day, all day in my role I explain how special Israel is
66. Because there is one minute between the saddest day in Israel - Memorial Day, to the happiest day in Israel - Independence Day
67. Because this is home for all Jew around the world
68. Because this is home for me
69. Because we celebrate this month 69 years of all the above.
70. Because next year is 70 years of so much more.

 

Upcoming Events
View All Events
 
Wed
Apr
  25
9:45 AM - 11:00 AM
 
Congregation B'nai Tzedek (Congregation B'nai Tzedek Laura & Joel Greenzaid Early Childhood Center)
10621 South Glen Rd. , Potomac MD 20854
Congregation B'nai Tzedek's Laura & Joel Greenzaid Early Childhood Center (GECC) Baby Play Group. Wednesdays, 9:30 am - 11:00 am, beginning September 13. FREE! A fun, clean environment for babies with their loving adults to play in and hang out. Make new friends in our special baby classroom. For toddlers, explore age appropriate toys, informal play time for children and caregivers, meet current GECC families and get to know our amazing community. Please register at GECCDirector@bnaitzedek....
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Families, Interfaith, Maryland, Conservative, Children/Teens/Family, Parenting, PJ Library Co-Sponsored, Social Events
Event Cost:  Free; Free

 
 
Wed
Apr
  25
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
 
JSSA (JSSA Specialized Employment)
200 Wood Hill Road, Rockville MD 20850
Learn about JSSA’s transitioning youth services • Career Exploration and Assessments • Work Adjustment Training • Job Development and Coaching • Social Engagement Programs • New Pre-Transitional Youth Program • DDA Programs Meet key transition resources • Specialized Employment Services Staff • Employer Partners • State and County Transition Representatives
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Families, Special Needs, Maryland, Children/Teens/Family, Career/Employment, Counseling/Support
Event Cost:  

 
 
Wed
Apr
  25
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
 
Congregation Beth El of Montgomery County
8215 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda MD 20814
Initially hospice programs were about a physical place where care was provided in just the last days of life. As this care model evolved, hospice care became less about a physical space and more about a manner of holistic palliative care. Today hospice care, in most instances, comes to the patient. Today hospice care is available earlier in the progression of life limiting illness. Hospice attends to the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the chronically ill, terminally ill or seriously ...
Listed In:  Boomers, Families, Seniors, Maryland, Conservative, Adult Education, Counseling/Support, Fitness & Wellness
Event Cost:  Free; Free

 
 
Thu
Apr
  26
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
 
Congregation Etz Hayim (Congregation Etz Hayim (Conservative))
4201 Fairfax Dr., Arlington VA 22203
Join us at CUMC’s soup kitchen to help feed Arlington’s homeless. Across the street from the Ballston Metro Station on the orange line (back of building).
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Families, Interfaith, Seniors, Northern Virginia, Conservative, Volunteer
Event Cost:  

 
 
Fri
Apr
  27
5:30 AM - 11:30 AM
 
Congregation Etz Hayim (Congregation Etz Hayim (Conservative))
4201 Fairfax Dr., Arlington VA 22203
Join us at CUMC’s soup kitchen to help feed Arlington’s homeless. Across the street from the Ballston Metro Station on the orange line (back of building).
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Families, Interfaith, Seniors, Northern Virginia, Conservative, Volunteer
Event Cost:  

 
 
Fri
Apr
  27
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
 
Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington DC (Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center)
1529 16th Street NW, Washington DC 20036
Join us at the EDCJCC for Shabbat dinner with other Jewish families in the DC metro area. You can meet other families who have similar interests, geographical location, and ages of children. We welcome all kinds of families including interfaith families interested in exploring Shabbat in a safe, joyful, family-focused environment. Kosher Dinner provided.
Listed In:  Families, DC, Non-denominational, Children/Teens/Family, Holiday/Shabbat (High Holidays, Chanukah, Passover)
Event Cost:  $25 - $50; $31.50

 
 
Fri
Apr
  27
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
 
Temple Shalom
8401 Grubb Road, Chevy Chase MD 20815
We heard students chant, “Vote them out!” Now in Montgomery County, we have a chance to vote candidates into local and state offices. Learn about the issues at stake and talk with candidates in the primary election on April 27 at a speed-dating style dinner and informally at the oneg. Guests for dinner are County Executive Candidates: Robin Ficker, Roger Berliner, Bill Frick, Rose Krasnow, George Leventhal and County Council Candidates: Danielle Meitiv, Seth Grimes, Jill Ortman-Fouse, Shruti Bh...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Families, Interfaith, Seniors, Maryland, Reform, Holiday/Shabbat (High Holidays, Chanukah, Passover), Politics
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $20.18 adults, $2.18 students, Free new voters

 
 
Fri
Apr
  27
8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
 
Temple B'nai Shalom
7612 Old Ox Road, Fairfax Station VA 22039
Jewish rocker extraordinaire Sheldon Low will be with us to rock in Shabbat! Please don't miss this very musical and special service. Bring your friends!
Listed In:  Families, Northern Virginia, Reform, Holiday/Shabbat (High Holidays, Chanukah, Passover), PJ Library Co-Sponsored
Event Cost:  

 
 
Sat
Apr
  28
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
 
Congregation Adat Reyim
6500 Westbury Oaks Court, Springfield VA 22152
Join us for a family friendly shabbat where we encourage preschoolers and young children to celebrate the shabbat with us. Friendly songs, enjoyable music, and a welcoming atmosphere at Congregational Adat Reyim.
Listed In:  Families, Northern Virginia, Conservative, Reform, Holiday/Shabbat (High Holidays, Chanukah, Passover), Parenting
Event Cost:  

 
 
Sun
Apr
  29
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
 
The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington
6101 Executive Blvd, North Bethesda MD 20852
Good Deeds Day is an annual, international celebration of Doing Good! Join more than half a million volunteers around the world for this day of service, putting into practice the simple idea that every single person can make a positive impact on the lives of others and change the world. Roll up your sleeves and make an impact through a variety of hands-on volunteer projects.
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Families, Interfaith, Seniors, Teens, DC, Maryland, Northern Virginia, Volunteer
Event Cost:  

 
 
Sun
Apr
  29
9:45 AM - 11:00 AM
 
Washington Hebrew Congregation
3935 Macomb Street NW, Washington DC 20016
Many of us think we can have the "money talk" when our kids are old enough to get it…which won't be for a few years, right? But research shows that even preschoolers can understand basic money concepts, and study from Cambridge University confirmed that basic money habits are formed by the age of seven. Clearly, we can't afford to wait. Beth Kobliner, author of The New York Times best-seller "Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even if You're Not)," joins us for a conversation on how to pass along en...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Families, DC, Children/Teens/Family, History/Education, Parenting
Event Cost:  Free; Free

 
 
Sun
Apr
  29
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
 
Temple Emanuel
10101 Connecticut Avenue, Kensington MD 20895
Please join us to celebrate the 10th Anniversary Temple Emanuel’s Global Mitzvah Project. Come hear the musical repertoire of Mariachi El Rey performing Latin rhythms such as bolero, corridos, huapangos, sones, racheras, cumbias and more. A minimum donation of $15 per adult or $50 per family will be billed or collected at the door. RSVP to Teresa Kasper at 301-942-2000 or rsvp@templeemanuelmd.org. Reception follows the concert. Proceeds from the concert support high priority projects in educa...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Families, Interfaith, Seniors, Maryland, Reform, Advocacy, Fundraising/Philanthropy
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $15 per person

 
 
Sun
Apr
  29
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
 
Sunflower Bakery
11825 Seven Locks Rd, Potomac MD 20854
This is our annual Appreciation and Graduation event. We are under the Vaad so all food will be kosher. Accommodations available upon request.
Listed In:  College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Families, Special Needs, Maryland, Fundraising/Philanthropy
Event Cost:  

 
 
Wed
May
  2
9:45 AM - 11:00 AM
 
Congregation B'nai Tzedek (Congregation B'nai Tzedek Laura & Joel Greenzaid Early Childhood Center)
10621 South Glen Rd. , Potomac MD 20854
Congregation B'nai Tzedek's Laura & Joel Greenzaid Early Childhood Center (GECC) Baby Play Group. Wednesdays, 9:30 am - 11:00 am, beginning September 13. FREE! A fun, clean environment for babies with their loving adults to play in and hang out. Make new friends in our special baby classroom. For toddlers, explore age appropriate toys, informal play time for children and caregivers, meet current GECC families and get to know our amazing community. Please register at GECCDirector@bnaitzedek....
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Families, Interfaith, Maryland, Conservative, Children/Teens/Family, Parenting, PJ Library Co-Sponsored, Social Events
Event Cost:  Free; Free

 
 
Wed
May
  2
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
 
Bender JCC of Greater Washington (Rockville Open House)
6125 Montrose Rd., Rockville MD 20852
Rockville Open House (ROH) is a supervised, safe gathering space for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer, questioning, or intersex (LGBTQQI) Jewish teens, and their straight/non-Jewish friends and allies, between the ages of 13-18 yrs old. ROH is open on the first Wednesday of each month, September 2017-June 2018, from 6:30-8:30pm at the Bender Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington Teen Lounge (6125 Montrose Road, Rockville, MD).
Listed In:  Families, GLBT, Teens, Maryland, Children/Teens/Family, Advocacy, Counseling/Support, Social Events
Event Cost: