Hogan honored at sukkah gathering

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan was honored Sunday for his “open warm and positive relations with the Jewish community,” according to Ron Halber, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, which invited the governor to the sukkah at Beth Sholom Congregation in Potomac. “The symbolism of him joining the Jewish community to… Read More

Sukkah directory is handy for travelers

Say you’re visiting Cyprus during Sukkot and want to find a sukkah to have a meal in. Or you’ve found yourself in Dublin. Or you’re new to the Washington area and don’t know where to find a sukkah. You might try localsukkah.org, which this year lists 336 sukkot in 26 countries. The registry is the… Read More

Where did your lulav and etrog come from?

With Sukkot starting next week, area congregations and families have all put in their orders for the important four species — the lulav and etrog sets. The lulav includes a frond from a date palm tree; the hadas, a branch from the myrtle tree; and the aravah, branches from the willow tree. The etrog is… Read More

Prayer on tap this Yom Kippur with GatherDC

When most Jews think of Yom Kippur, a few things come to mind. Prayer and fasting are high on the list. But coming together at a beer garden? Not so much. But that won’t stop Rabbi Aaron Potek of GatherDC from offering an alternative Yom Kippur on Saturday, inviting young Jews who might not observe… Read More

How can we forgive the unforgivable?

We are in the middle of the month of Elul, the season of repentance and forgiveness that culminates with Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot. In the rabbinic imagination, Elul is an acronym for “Ani L’dodi V’dodi Li” — “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” In regard to this season, this verse… Read More

High Holiday services on the cheap

The High Holidays are less than two weeks away, but not everyone is affiliated with a congregation or can afford a full-price ticket. For those looking to attend services anyway, WJW has compiled a (definitely incomplete) list of free or inexpensive (under $50) services in the Washington area. Some synagogues are offering their own discounted… Read More

Husband-wife team know how to share pulpit Oseh Shalom

Rabbis Daria and Josh Jacobs-Velde will be the new joint spiritual leaders of Oseh Shalom, a Reconstructionist congregation in Laurel. The couple is coming off of a three-year stint in California where they led an unstructured, creative Jewish community call Zmanim, which aimed to connect Judaism to nature and spirituality. Before that, they shared the… Read More