Find your Inner Olympian

Sue Bird

As it hits Day 4 of the Olympics, most of the talk has been surrounding the USA swim and gymnastics teams, and whether or not they are competing at the level that many people want them to.

But let us focus on athletes who have not gotten as much attention–mainly the USA Women’s Basketball team and, for us here at the DCJCC, one of the players, Sue Bird.

Sue Bird, who currently plays for the WNBA team Seattle Storm,  holds a dual citizenship to both the USA and Israel.  The USA Women’s national team has so far cruised in their first two games of the preliminary rounds.

Aly Raisman

Not only do we have Sue Bird to root for, but  in the Women’s Gymnastics team final, we have yet another athlete to cheer for: Aly Raisman, who is competing for Olympic gold tonight and in the next few days for the All-Around Gold medal in gymnastics.  In this year and years past, many Jewish athletes have medaled in the Olympic games.

Join us here at the DCJCC as we start our very own fitness challenge next week–we’ll walk, bike, run and swim the length of England to meet our athletes at the games.

Find your inner Olympian!

Advertisements

Send a Tu B’av Card to Someone You Love!

Tu B’Av (the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Av) is the Israeli-Jewish “Day of Love.”  The closest thing to Valentine’s Day in the Jewish calendar, this ancient holiday occurs in late July or early August. This year Tu B’Av falls out on Friday, August 3.

Jewish tradition relates how millennia ago, on the 15th of Av, the “daughters of Jerusalem” dressed in white and danced in the vineyards to entice the young men. In recent years, Tu B’Av has experienced a revival, especially in Israel, with weddings, singles events and gifts and a flurry of flowers, chocolates and hearts.

In celebration of the Jewish Day of Love, the DCJCC invited the community to compete in a Tu B’Av Greeting Card contest. Congratulations to Rachel Scheer for her winning design! Rachel will enjoy a romantic dinner for two at the Distrikt Bistro.

Click on the greeting card image below to send a card to someone you love!



Shabbat Surfing: Olympics

Today marks the first day of the 2012 Summer Olympics. The Olympic Games can be traced back to 776 B.C.E , where they were held for nearly 12 centuries before being banned due to their pagan roots. The first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896 and have evolved and grown ever since.

Tisha B’Av is also this weekend. At the same time when the Jewish community will be participating in communal mourning of the destruction of the Temple and the loss of thousands, the 11 Israeli athletes killed 40 years ago at the 1972 Munich Games will also be on many people’s minds–official recognition or not.

Looking back to more uplifting Olympic moments, this story of the 1936 US Olympic rowing team certainly highlights a proud achievement in the face of adversity. Called the “high spot” of the Games by sportswriter Grantland Rice, it must have been an especially uplifting moment for the USA as a group of college rowers from the University of Washington came from behind to defeat Germany as Hitler and other Nazi officials looked on.

And lastly, if you were ever curious about Jewish Olympic athletic prowess here is a list of all Jewish Olympic medalists. Feel free to tally up the total number of golds, silvers and bronzes.

Shabbat Shalom!

So long DC!

With my Avodah year of service just about done, I wanted to send a quick note and thank you to those who have supported and encouraged me throughout the year.  Erica and Randy, keep up the excellent work!  You are both incredibly inspiring and a joy to work with.  I have been fortunate to spend my Avodah placement at the DCJCC, where I am able to combine my interests in service, community development, and religion.  This year I wanted to explore social justice issues in the nation’s capital, while repairing and rebuilding low-income family housing, public schools, and other community spaces.  And in working with shelters, at-risk families, or the chronically hungry, this year has empowered and enabled me to do just that as we improve the health and quality of life of individuals suffering from poverty.  Preparing several thousand servings of food at Everything But The Turkey, celebrating December 25th Day of Service, making MLK Day 2012 a day on and not a day off, or just debating the merits of quinoa with my nine other roommates, I will always carry this work and this year with me.  

Cheers,
Danny

 

Danny Obeler spent the last year in Avodah: The Jewish Service Corps working in the Morris Cafritz Center for Community Service’s Behrend Builders program.

Michael Chabon on Writing

“Writing for me grows out of reading. When I was a child I wanted to become a writer because I loved to read so much. I loved the books I was reading so intensely that I wanted to make my own.” -Michael Chabon

In this intimate video, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author delves further into his origins as a writer, focusing on his first real writing studio, a cramped crawlspace of a work room in his mother’s house.

His latest novel, Telegraph Avenue,  comes out on September 11, and we’re so excited to be hosting him on October 14 as Opening Night of the Hyman S. and Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival! Tickets go on sale September 1.

Podcast: Etgar Keret and Nathan Englander

On May 1 the DCJCC’s year-round literary series Authors Out Loud presented Etgar Keret and Nathan Englander in conversation. It was a truly magical evening–the wish fulfillment of every book-lover who’s ever wanted to eavesdrop on two epic literary talents (and friends) talking life and literature. It was the event of a lifetime, and lucky for you, we recorded it!

Right click and “save link as” to download as an MP3
Or listen online here

“It’s Not Just for Jews Anymore!”

Grace here. I recently saw this posting on Craigslist:

“Anyone out there interested in catching the History of Invulnerability at Theatre J tomorow night, on 16th at about P, NW?

… Me: 41, fit, attractive, well-traveled, multiply degreed, floss my teeth, cut my toenails blah de blah. also certified shiksa..this play comes highly recommended by a friend…

if interested write and tell me a little about yourself. as a convo starter, will note last book i read and enjoyed was Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84. You???”

The thing that disturbed me about this posting was the part where she said she’s a “certified shiksa”coming to Theater J because the play was recommended by a friend. The implication there is that her ‘shiksa’ status would have prevented her from coming to the J (were it not for her friend’s recommendation) suggests that she perceived Theater J  as a place primarily for Jews.

That is so last century…

JCC stands for Jewish Community Center, yes, but let’s not forget that central word: Community. If you live or work in DC, regardless of your religion, come on in–you’re part of the community! As a theater staff (half of whom are not Jewish, by the way), we strive to create plays that appeal to a universal audience.

With the immortal words of  Neil Patrick Harris’s deliciously satirical opening number of the 2012 Tony Awards, we learned that Broadway’s “not just for gays anymore!” So let me take up his tuneful cry and add my own rejoinder, “Theater J: It’s not just for Jews anymore!”

 

%d bloggers like this: