Looking for Spiritual Connection Through Ritual: A ‘Wondering Jew’ Shares Her Story at the Bender JCC

Written by Sky Adler on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

Chatting before an audience of about 100 people, CNN correspondent David Gregory recently spoke with author Abigail Pogrebin about her recently published book “My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew” as part of the Lessans Family Literary Series at the Bender JCC in Rockville, Maryland.Beyond detailing Pogrebin’s personal journey of discovery through Jewish ritual observance, the book explores the question of whether American Jews would feel a stronger connection with Judaism as a religion — rather than the primarily ancestral or cultural association identified in the 2013 Pew Research Center study — if they knew more about it. Both Pogrebin and Gregory shared their thoughts on finding the meaning in ritual and exploring one’s heritage at the November 5 event.

You Want to Be On the Radio?

Written by Larry Shor on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

After being on the radio for 37 years (with a few interruptions here and there), many people have asked me how I got on the radio doing a Jewish music program in the first place. It was really a convergence of several things.

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.

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.

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.”