The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington will celebrate the positive effect baseball has on building the Jewish community with their fourth annual Grand Slam Sunday: Jewish Community Day at Nationals Park on August 19. The event is expected to draw more than 1,000 people.
Year after year, Federation’s Grand Slam Sunday unites thousands of community members through discounted ticket offers, group ticket blocks for local synagogues and organizations to buy seats together, and day-of activities at the ballpark. The fun will begin two hours before the game, with giveaways, free entertainment, and Jewish baseball trivia games designed to engage all ages held in the family picnic area (by section 143).
This is a special opportunity to introduce children to America’s favorite pastime, and for community members of all ages, this day represents a union of families, friends, and fans. From generation to generation, fans pass down their love of not just the game, but what the activity of going to the game as a family represents.
America’s favorite pastime promotes a larger sense of community, encompassing certain ideals of this nation, which align with key Jewish principles. Baseball games offer lessons in sportsmanship and yes, patience. Mid-inning music is a fun break for kids who get antsy sitting too long to dance and sing. Not to mention the increased appeal that the Washington Nationals have garnered from Home Run Derby champ Bryce Harper. There’s truly something for every fan.
Here’s a lineup of some of the community activities that Federation has planned:
Design baseball shoelaces, decorate a visor, or color a tote bag in the PJ Library® Family Zone.
Enjoy treats provided by Signature Catering, and celebrate with Screech for what will be his 13th year as Nats team mascot (which some may refer to as his unofficial bar mitzvah).
Grab a Grand Slam Sunday Activity Booklet — it’s a great opportunity to keep kids engaged during the slower moments of the game.
Spin the wheel and complete the challenge for a prize from PJ Library’s Pop-Ups to Pop-In.
Get a limited edition 2018 “Hebrew Nationals” hat.
Get a Nationals temporary tattoo to show team spirit.
In addition to the activities offered by Federation, Nats Park is particularly kid friendly. There are a variety of food options, on-field excitement like the Running Presidents, the Family Fun Area, mist machines to cool off, and more. For families with little ones, there’s even a nursing lounge next to section 223.
All of the food served in the Family Picnic Area will be kosher, and most of the items will be nut free.
People can still buy individual tickets to the game by visiting shalomdc.org/grandslam. Use promo code JCD (Jewish Community Day) for a discount and to qualify for a limited-edition Washington Nationals hat — this year’s hats are white.
Already have tickets to the game? Stop by the Family Picnic Area near section 143 before the game and ask a Federation staffer how to get a hat. The activities are free and open to all ticketholders.
By Sarah Rabin Spira
Sarah Rabin Spira is the manager of PJ Library® in Greater Washington. The Jewish Federation proudly brings PJ Library and PJ Our Way to Greater Washington, connecting families with young children (ages 0-11) to Jewish life, one another, and our larger community. Each month, children enrolled in these programs receive free Jewish books as a gift from Federation, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, and other generous donors.