Even in a pandemic, we can continue to show gratitude and cultivate a tradition of giving back with our families. We can focus on what we are preserving or what we are adding this year. The Jewish value behind this is hakarat hatov (focusing on the good).
These activities and programs in November and December provide a perfect way to give back to our community as a family while respecting physical distancing. Check out the Social Action Opportunities, Holiday Programs, and Resources to get involved and give back!
Social Action Opportunities
PJ Library and The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington are partnering to have families send Chanukah cards to American Jewish military stationed in Alaska, Spain, and around the world! Cards can be store-bought or homemade and should be mailed by Monday, November 23rd to arrive in time to distribute to services members. Learn more and sign up.
Weekly collection of non-perishable food and personal care items at the Pozez JCC. Food for Others especially needs evaporated milk, beans, pasta, pasta sauce, canned tomatoes, canned vegetables, and canned fruit.
Drop off your items at the EDCJCC, 1529 16th Street NW, Washington, DC
Drop off bags of dried goods you packaged on your own by following careful instructions from the EDCJCC. Registration required. (Best for ages 4 and up) This project is in partnership with PJ Library.
Join a conversation with Michael W. Twitty, a Black Jewish culinary historian, educator, living history interpreter, and award-winning author. Registration required. Part of Everything But The Turkey, an EDCJCC program. (Best for adults)
Help end food insecurity by completing a short advocacy activity with MAZON, the Jewish Response to Hunger, around your Thanksgiving table. An EDCJCC cosponsored program. (Good for all ages)
Join the EDCJCC and PJ Library for a workshop that will take your family through an exploration of your own values, what Judaism says about giving, and choosing an organization you’ll donate to as a family. (Best for kids ages 5 and up)
Drop off donations at Temple Shalom: 8401 Grubb Road, Chevy Chase, MD
Bake-along is virtual
Encourage your child to dedicate one night of Chanukkah as a Tzedakah (righteousness or charity) Night, purchasing items for others instead of receiving a gift. Bring a donation for DC Diaper Bank (see wish list) in the morning. Later that day, join us on Zoom for a bake-along with Paula Shoyer! We will make blue-and-white cookies, ending with lighting the menorah together at 5:30 PM. (Best for ages 3 and up) This is a J Pop-Ups program, funded by the Phyllis Margolius Family Foundation.
Pozez JCC, 8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax, VA
Make Room for Latkes: Sunday, December 6, 10:00 am (EDCJCC, Milton, Love and Religion)
Chanukah Grandfriend Cooking Together: Tuesday, December 8, 4:00 pm (Federation and all three JCCs)
Bim Bom Bag (Chanukah): Explore Jewish Themes & Holidays with the Bender JCC: Thursday, December 10, 4:00 PM
8 Nights of Lights: Thursday–Friday, December 10–17, 5:30 PM
Author Talk: Happy Llamakah with Laura Gehl: Friday, December 11, 11:00 AM
Tot Shabbat Chanukah edition: Friday, December 11, 4:00 PM
Chanukah Havdalah in Pajamas: Saturday, December 12, 6:00 PM (Berman and Kehilat Pardes)
Be the Light: Helping Others on Chanukkah: Sunday, December 13, 11:00 AM–Noon and 4:00–5:30 PM
IN PERSON Chanukah Candle Lighting Celebration at the Bender JCC: Sunday, December 13, 4:30 PM
Cooking with the Kagins Chanukah Edition: Monday, December 14, 4:30 PM
Bite Size Fun: Chanukah Edition: Tuesday, December 15, Noon
Author Talk: The Ninth Night of Hanukkah by Erica Perl: Wednesday, December 16, 4:00 PM
Afternoon Sillies Chanukah Edition: Thursday, December 17, 4:00 PM
PJ Library Thanksgiving Books:
Jewish Holidays and Values
Resources about Gratitude
Crafts and Recipes