At Congregation Beth El, A Night of Revelations

Written by Editor on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

Children of Holocaust survivors and other guests listened intently as author and documentary producer Gina Roitman told the true story of how her mother saved her from death at the hands of a Nazi midwife in a Deplaced Persons (DP) camp in Germany after the war. It was a story that Roitman could not — or would not — believe until she researched it herself. The result of her work was a documentary she co-produced entitled “My Mother, the Nazi Midwife, and Me,” which she showed at the program. She is also the author of "Tell Me a Story, Tell me the Truth," a book of short stories.

Fifty Dollars for a Number-One Hit

Written by Larry Shor on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

How many times have you heard the expression, “If I would have known then what I know now”? How many fortunes have been won and lost because of the sequence or timing of events?  As we call it, bashert, meant to be. It happened to one of the great Yiddish songwriters, who, through an odd chain of circumstances, lost the biggest hit he ever wrote. Here’s the story. One of the great composers of the Yiddish theater was Sholom Secunda (1894-1974). A gifted and prolific composer, he composed hundreds of songs for the theater and pieces of liturgical music for cantor and choir.

What Are Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld's AlefBlessed Cards?

Written by Fran Kritz on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

If you see kids in your neighborhood dealing cards in the next few weeks, chances are good they will be AlefBlessed cards, a new game created by Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld of Ohev Sholom - The National Synagogue in Washington, D.C. The game is “a fun and meaningful way to connect to a very special moment in our history,” said Rabbi Herzfeld.

A Modern Chassidic Tale, ‘Menashe’ Transcends Boundaries With Its Heart

Written by Rachel Kohn on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

A movie pitch: A widowed grocery store clerk wants to maintain custody of his school-aged son after his wife passes away, but his wife’s family and members of the community are skeptical if he is up for the task. A home without a mother isn’t a place to bring up a child, after all, they say. The film unfolds as the man juggles work, family, and his own feelings about loss, parenthood, and faith in a final gambit to prove he can capably parent his son without a mother in the picture.

Enjoy the Outdoors With a Dash of History at Jones Point Park

Written by Dinah Rokach on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

Jones Point, a 65-acre park along the Potomac River in Alexandria, Virginia, is a perfect destination for a family outing during Chol Hamoed Sukkot. There are walking paths, basketball courts, biking trails with bike racks galore, and picnic tables facing the Potomac. The playgrounds are built on soft surfaces, with sturdy equipment to climb and swings to enjoy.

Bethesda Central Farm Market

Written by Dinah Rokach on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

Shuk: the Hebrew word for market conjures up an exotic bazaar with its dizzying selections, the cacophony of buyers and sellers negotiating, wafting aromas, and colorful merchandise. Perhaps Jerusalem’s Machneh Yehudah comes to mind.

Remembering a Great Judaic Artist

Written by Alan A. Fisher on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

Susan Lowenthal — a Holocaust survivor, self-made businesswoman, and outstanding Judaic artist — recently passed away after an eight-year battle with cancer. The best way to appreciate how much the Jewish community lost with her passing is to view some of the amazing creations she made from agate, crystal, and various types of glass.

A Wonderland of Sight and Sound

Written by Batya H. Carl on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

Explore the interactive installation “Hive” at the National Building Museum now through September 4.

Buildings are all around us, but how often do we truly take notice of them? We may walk into a grocery store, an office building, or a gym without sparing a second thought for the actual built environment and how it affects us. The National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., in partnership with Chicago-based architecture firm Studio Gang, is challenging people to see beyond the mundane with the museum’s 2017 Summer Block Party installation, “Hive.”

Sonny Days

Written by Larry Shor on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

The recent announcement that Sonny Jurgensen will be semi-retiring from broadcasting Redskins games makes me sad, because it means the years are passing by. If you grew up a Washington sports fan in the 1960s and early 1970s you had two icons in your life: the Washington Senators slugger Frank Howard, and Washington Redskins quarterback Sonny Jurgensen. Traded from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Redskins in 1964, Jurgensen was one of the smartest and slickest quarterbacks in the NFL. If there was a game on the line, you just knew in your bones that Sonny would pull it off.