As founding members and co-chairs of the interfaith River Coalition, the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington recently announced that the DC Council and Office of the Mayor agreed to create a $4 million fund to help houses of worship, cemeteries, and nonprofits pay what it characterized as “onerous water charges.” The Clean Rivers Impervious Area Charge (CRIAC) Nonprofit Relief Program, operated by DC’s Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE), is rolling out this month.
On Jan. 17, the Jewish Student Satellite Initiative (JeSSI) is offering a free webinar for Jewish educators and clergy on combining the subject of the upcoming lunar eclipse and Tu B’Shvat for a unique seasonal lesson plan. JeSSI is a hybrid Judaic and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education project, started by Ted Avraham of Rockville, Maryland, to address post-bat/bar mitzvah attrition from Jewish engagement with an interdisciplinary approach to Jewish learning.
Earlier this month, 50 Jewish women gathered to launch a new kind of Jewish communal space. SVIVAH is both a community and a resource clearinghouse, providing for the spiritual, intellectual, and emotional needs of Jewish women. The initial lineup of events demonstrates this commitment to serving a broad spectrum of women’s interests and needs: SVIVAH’s launch event focused on forming a personal spiritual connection to Chanukah; the second program addressed the need for a space where women can support each other through life’s transitions and challenges; and upcoming programs for 2019 include a girls' empowerment dance class and a discussion about the tradition of women’s liturgy and song.
On Dec. 11, one local Jewish day school marked the 25th anniversary of the Oslo Accords with a public discussion between two individuals directly involved in the historic event. At this year’s Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Lecture at Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School of the Nation’s Capital (MILTON) in Washington, D.C., former Israeli negotiator Joel Singer and Norwegian diplomat Terje Rod-Larsen talked about the characters and dynamics behind the Oslo Accords in a discussion moderated by Tamara Cofman Wittes, senior fellow for foreign policy at Brookings Institution's Center for Middle East Policy.
Over 3,000 people attended the Dec. 2 National Menorah Lighting on the Ellipse, with the White House in full view. The event featured performances by the United States Army band, The Three Cantors, and the band 8th Day. The Menorah was lit by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. The National Menorah, a project of American Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad), was first lit in 1979. President Donald Trump sent remarks honoring victims of the Pittsburgh shooting. “Jews today continue to face many different forms of violence, hatred, and bigotry around the globe,” he wrote in a statement, adding that the country pledges its “continued love and support” to the victims and their families for the holiday.
Bnei Akiva Silver Spring (BASS) serves as one of the main youth groups in the Kemp Mill community of Silver Spring. BASS differs from many of the other Bnei Akiva chapters across the country, as it is entirely youth run. The leaders executing the events, Shabbatonim, and even fundraising efforts are run by high school age leaders. This epitomizes Bnei Akiva’s mission as a youth movement dedicated to the empowerment of youth leaders, in addition to its other core values of Torah v’Avodah — living a Torah lifestyle, support for aliya, love of the Jewish people, and love of Israel.
Digging into repasts of omelets and lox as well as their legislative agendas, federal, state, and local politicians packed recent legislative breakfasts held by the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington in Maryland and Virginia.
Jewish Republicans and Democrats united for a day of bipartisan support for Israel and Zionism at the Washington Forum of the American Zionist Movement (AZM), held at the U.S. Capitol Dec. 12.
Yad Yehuda of Greater Washington, a local organization helping members of the community in need, has announced it is expanding its Capital Pantry Program and adding a refrigerated section.
FIDF NEXT Midatlantic, the region’s young professionals arm of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF), hosted its annual sold-out blowout celebrating Chanukah and giving locals the chance to hear personal stories from Israeli soldiers. It was held Dec. 1 at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Maryland. Chaired by Alix and Paul Bortnik and Miriam and Micha Weinblatt, the event was catered by Souk and featured live music, dancing, and a very festive atmosphere!
- When a Menorah is More Than Just a Menorah
- A Beltway Tradition: The White House Chanukah Reception, Dec. 6
- Bringing the Joy of Chanukah to Arcola Rehab
- Jewish War Veterans at Leisure World Celebrate Chanukah With Staff From Signal Financial Credit Union
- When You Give, You Also Get
- Amazon Is Coming to Town
- Campaign for Kindness Strikes a Chord
- Veterans Day Events Recognize Contributions of Jewish Vets, Offer Window Into Military Culture
- New MIDC Initiative Aims to Help Entrepreneurs From the Start-Up Nation Break Into the U.S. Market
- Hopkins Student’s Response to Pittsburgh Attack Unites Jewish, Iranian Communities