Local Rabbi Makes Washington Post Bestseller List

Written by Kol HaBirah Staff on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

On Sunday, May 27, “Win: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Destiny,” a motivational book by local author Rabbi Steven Baars, climbed to number 10 on the Washington Post’s nonfiction Bestsellers List. The newly published book achieved this feat less than two weeks after it was released. In the book, Rabbi Baars teaches people how to change their thinking to achieve their goals.

Fifty Years Later, A Look Back: Part Four — The Institutions Leave Town

Written by Larry Shor on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

The upheaval that gripped the Jewish community of Washington, D.C., after the riots that occurred 50 years ago did not only affect the merchants and houses of worship, as we described in previous installments; even the institutions that were the backbone of Jewish life in the city were now faced with terrible uncertainty. In many cases, they would move on to new places and new futures, leaving the city behind.

Fifty Years Later — A Look Back, Part Three: The Shuls

Written by Larry Shor on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

Fifty years ago, the foundations of Jewish Washington were shaken to their core. For millennia, the synagogue — known in many Ashkenazi communities by the Yiddish term “shul” — had always been the focal point of Jewish communal life. During the 1960s and in the decades beyond, the fitful history of the shuls of Washington reflects not only the upheaval that occurred then, but also offers a look at the great changes that shaped the community until the present day.

Upcoming ‘Gesher with a TWIST’ Event to Feature Award-Winning Jewish Composer

Written by Kol HaBirah Staff on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

For Israeli-American composer Sharon Farber, music runs in her blood. Her grandparents played guitar and mandolin, her mother was a ballerina, and her writer/composer uncle’s “Hallelujah” landed Israel first place in the 1979 Eurovision competition. A revamped version was even selected as the official song of the 70th anniversary celebration of the State of Israel.

Metro DC Venues Present Two Productions Exploring Life After the Holocaust

Written by Kol HaBirah Staff on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

Seventy-three years after the liberation of Auschwitz, 66 percent of U.S. millennials — and 41 percent of Americans overall — cannot identify what Auschwitz is, according to a recently released study commissioned by The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. Statistics like these, coupled with the dwindling number of living Holocaust survivors, illustrate the need to develop new ways to document the Holocaust and educate future generations about the atrocities that occurred.

Avraham Fried is Coming to Town for Annual Yad Zlata Benefit Concert

Written by Kol HaBirah Staff on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

If there is a Chasidic pop star who can connect with the heart of Jews of every stripe, it is internationally popular American performer Avraham Fried: This is the message a promotional video released in advance of the New York-based Chabadnik’s performance at the upcoming Yad Zlata Benefit Concert, which aims to bring together the Jewish community as a whole for a night of fun and unity every year.

Federation is Taking the Party to NoVa with ‘Israel@70: A Musical Celebration’

Written by Kol HaBirah Staff on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington will celebrate Israel’s 70th birthday through the universal languages of music, dance, and art at a free communitywide event on Sunday, June 3 in Tysons, Virginia. The event will be held at The Plaza at Tysons Corner Center, an open-air space that hosts concerts and other cultural events throughout the year.

Talking Strategy With Lucky Strike

Written by Kol HaBirah Staff on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

Since its first venue opened in 2003 in Hollywood, California, bowling alley chain Lucky Strike has expanded to 18 locations across the Unites States, including DC, New York City, San Francisco, Phoenix, Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia. Kol HaBirah talked with Lucky Strike’s Director of Marketing, Brandon Thomsen, and National Director of Sales Kirsten Carpenter about the chain’s origins, its expansion to Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, Maryland, and its collaboration with the Jewish community.

Fifty Years Later: A Look Back, Part Two — The Merchants

Written by Larry Shor on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

Fifty years ago, in April of 1968, the majority of the small retail stores, and the wholesale businesses that supplied them, were owned by Jews. There were several reasons for this. First and foremost was the bigotry that limited their numbers in the professional ranks and in the larger national chain stores. That left the grocery and liquor stores, which were the smallest and cheapest businesses to buy. For many Jews, to be in business for themselves was seen as the way to control their own destiny and have the best chance of success. Second was the economic reality that it didn’t take a lot of money to open a store. A month’s rent, some money for merchandise, and you were open for business.

DC-Area Teens Represent at HaZamir International Gala

Written by Arlen Gaines on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

My first clue that we had signed up for something special was when a veteran parent told me, “You have to bring tissues. Trust me.” It was September when we had this conversation, as the HaZamir DC group was easing into their weekly rehearsals at the Bender Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Rockville, Maryland. I filed away that information, but didn’t quite process the meaning.