A Rare Spotlight on the Holocaust Experience of Sephardic and Romaniote Communities

Written by Anis Modi on . Posted in Community News

The Holocaust is often remembered through a Central or Western European lens, but a recent event organized by Sephardic Heritage International DC (SHIN DC) provided a different perspective. Held Jan. 31 in the Rayburn House Office Building's Gold Room on Capitol Hill, the event highlighted the pain, memory, and suffering of Romaniote and Sephardi Jewish communities during the Holocaust through the experiences of local survivors.

Find Your Way to Participate in Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance, and Inclusion Month

Written by Editor on . Posted in Community News

For the past 12 years, Jewish communities around the world have marked February as Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance, and Inclusion Month (JDAIM) in a unified effort to raise awareness and champion the civil rights and community inclusion of people with disabilities. The Greater Washington area offers a diverse array of ways for people to engage in the month’s message and mission. Check out the list below to find an option — or several — that speaks to you.

Mikvah-Related Events Focus on Sensitivity Training, Renewal

Written by Kol HaBirah Staff on . Posted in Community News

On Feb. 10, the Orthodox Union’s Women’s Initiative held a “Sense and Sensitivity” professional development training at Kemp Mill Synagogue in Silver Spring, Maryland, for 22 mikvah attendants from the Silver Spring and Baltimore communities. The training focused on various topics such as mental health, domestic abuse, fertility, post-partum depression, and miscarriage, as well as other sensitivities surrounding the mikvah experience. Speakers included registered nurse Estee Silver; psychologist Dr. Ditza Berger; Avital Levin, director of eduction for Shalom Task Force; Melissa K. Rosen, national outreach director for Sharsheret; and Carly Chodosh, director of the Philadelphia area’s Lower Merion Community Mikvah. Mikvah attendants from Oregon to New Jersey also joined the audience via live stream.

Federation Exceeds 2018 Annual Campaign Goal

Written by Kol HaBirah Staff on . Posted in Community News

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington recently announced that it exceeded its 2018 Annual Campaign goal of $20.5 million. Not only do the total funds raised represent a $900,000 increase in commitments from the prior year, but Federation has also seen meaningful growth in the number of donors participating in the Annual Campaign.

Tech Day at Leisure World

Written by Fred Shapiro on . Posted in Community News

More than 50 high schoolers from Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School (CESJDS) and area public schools gathered in Leisure World’s Clubhouse 2 on Feb. 3 in order to assist seniors with their iPhones, Androids, tablets, and computers.

Elan Carr Appointed as State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism

Written by Kol HaBirah Staff on . Posted in Community News

On Feb. 5, the Trump administration announced the appointment of attorney and U.S. military veteran Elan Carr as the U.S. State Department’s special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism. Carr will be responsible for overseeing efforts at the State Department to monitor and combat anti-Semitic acts and incitement outside the United States. The position was first created in 2004 and was vacant for two years until Carr’s appointment this month.

Struggling with Fertility Challenges? This Jewish Organization May Be Able to Help

Written by Rachel Kohn on . Posted in Community News

For couples struggling to conceive children, the most innocent things can be privately heartwrenching. Take, for instance, the sight of children running around town in their Purim costumes next month, said Silver Spring, Maryland, resident Chaim Lazarus. Empathy for this plight is one of the reasons Lazarus supports Bonei Olam, an organization that offers counseling, referrals, genetic testing, financial assistance, and other services to Jewish couples seeking fertility treatments and navigating the related challenges. Bonei Olam provides millions of dollars internationally in financial assistance to cover the costs of fertility treatments and associated medical procedures, and thousands of children have been born through the financial assistance from the organization, according to its website.

Celebrating Community Service at Beth Sholom

Written by Kol HaBirah Staff on . Posted in Community News

Beth Sholom Congregation’s 72nd Annual Honoree Celebration on Jan. 26 drew more than 220 people to honor congregants Debbie and David Felsen and Pearl Bassan for service to their community. Bassan was recognized for over 50 years of service to the Potomac, Maryland, synagogue, and the Felsens were honored as Pillars of Community for their role as Community Security Service (CSS) volunteers. The event raised over 25 percent more for the synagogue than the previous year’s gathering, according to synagogue officials.

KMS Clothing Drive Benefits CHANA

Written by Editor on . Posted in Community News

Over 100 people participated in sorting and loading more than 700 bags of clothing at the community clothing drive held at Kemp Mill Synagogue (KMS) in Silver Spring, Maryland, on Jan. 20. The event was sponsored by KMS, Young Israel Shomrai Emunah (YISE), and NCSY. The drive benefitted CHANA, a Baltimore organization that assists people experiencing domestic abuse by providing crisis intervention, education, and consultation.