Category Archives: Events

Photos: Mishloach Manot for Arlington Seniors Project

Todah Rabah to the many congregants and Preschool families that contributed to and participated in our Mishloach Manot for Arlington Seniors project on Sunday, February 11!

Photo by Chris Kagy
Photo by Chris Kagy
Photo by Chris Kagy
Photo by Chris Kagy
Photo by Chris Kagy
Photo by Alexis Joyce
Photo by Rabbi Lia Bass
Photo by Rabbi Lia Bass
Photo by Rabbi Lia Bass
Photo by Rabbi Lia Bass
Photo by Rabbi Lia Bass
Photo by Rabbi Lia Bass
Photo by Alexis Joyce
Photo by Alexis Joyce
Photo by Alexis Joyce
Photo by Alexis Joyce

A Spicy Pajama Havdalah

Photo by Ryan Gaynor

On Saturday, January 27, parents and children observed Havdalah together at the synagogue. Although not everyone wore pajamas, we all enjoyed the Havdalah ceremony followed by snacks and crafts. Linking to the spices that we smell during Havdalah, we made scented shea butter hand cream (Shea-Bat Shalom Shea Cream for Tu B’Shea-Vat), assembled besamim (spice) bags, and painted with spices (including dill and curry). The paintings smelled delicious even after the paint dried! Children also enjoyed a light table and a reading area.

Photo by Ryan Gaynor
Photo by Ryan Gaynor

Havdalah (Hebrew: הַבְדָּלָה, “separation”) is a Jewish religious ceremony that marks the symbolic end of Sabbath and Jewish holidays, and ushers in the new week. The ritual involves lighting a special havdalah candle with several wicks, blessing a cup of wine and smelling sweet spices. It is a quick and lovely ceremony. Several families at the event said they plan to celebrate Havdalah more often in their homes.

Laura Naide,

Director of Religious Education and Havdalah Fan

Photo by Ryan Gaynor

Family Happy Hour & Board Games for Bridges Recap

On Sunday, January 28, 2018, the back of the sanctuary was filled with food and friends, noshing and playing board games together. The crowd consisted of several member families as well as an Etz Hayim Preschool family. In between games and grub, grownups enjoyed some relaxed schmoozing while kids invented a complicated game of tag. The Social Action Committee collected $110 in gift cards, as well as several large packages of paper goods benefiting families from Bridges to Independence.

Thank you to Marni Corsaro; Edgar Rendon; and the Waldstein/Kagy, Rosman, and Viera families for making the event possible and to all of the generous people who donated items to Bridges to Independence.

Looking ahead: Join us in two weeks on February 11 for another Social Action event featuring more fun and games benefiting Arlington seniors at Culpepper Garden. Get the details, RSVP, and sign up to volunteer:

Congregational Chanukah Party was a Rousing Success!

In case you missed it, the Congregational Chanukah Party on December 13 was a blast! We had about 150 people of all ages who ate 400 latkes and 10 dozen donuts, sang songs, played games, and built a 15-foot-tall Lego Hanukkiah in the back of the sanctuary. It was quite a sight to see!

Building the Hanukkiah

We also made Maccabee badges of courage for ometz lev, our Jewish value for December, and candy dreidels. Attendees donated a mountain of socks and underwear to Bridges to Independence, which provides services to homeless women/families and those at risk of homelessness.

The Lego Hanukkiah completed – it nearly touches the ceiling!

Everyone got to take home an Etz Hayim t-shirt as a Hanukkah gift. If you didn’t get one, contact the office and ask for one. (T-shirts are available in Kids’ or Adults’ sizes Small, Medium, and Large.)

Todah rabah to Morah Laura, Elisa Rosman, Jill Shenk, Harold Dorfman, Carey Averbook, Alan Schwaber and Naomi Harris for such a fun and unforgettable event!

Candy dreidels
Pretzel + marshmallow + Hershey kiss = DREIDEL YUM!

SAVE THE DATE: Don’t miss Etz Hayim’s Party of the Decades, coming up on Saturday evening, February 17, 2018!

CEH Annual Artist Expo

All congregants young and old and the larger DMV community are invited to Etz Hayim’s 12th annual Artist Expo.  The Expo will feature amazing local artists selling high quality and affordable gifts for everyone — including you!

WHEN: Sunday, December 3rd, 11:30 am to 4 pm in the Etz Hayim sanctuary

SEEKING VOLUNTEERS: Help is needed moving sanctuary chairs for the event and resetting them after; help to run and/or staff the bake sale; and general event assistance. Please sign up here:

Questions? Contact Lita Miller:


Congregational Chanukah Party! JUST ADDED: Lego Hanukkiah!

Everyone of all ages is invited to the CEH Chanukah party! Come enjoy the light and warmth of Chanukah with your Etz Hayim family: We’ll have supper (including latkes, of course!), a hanukkiah-lighting extravaganza*, songs, games of dreidel with chocolate gelt and a sweet craft for kids.

JUST ADDED: As an extra-special treat, we will build a 10-foot high Lego hanukkiah! We need as many helpers as possible to help with construction.

When: Wednesday, December 13, 6:00-7:30pm

*BRING YOUR OWN HANUKKIAH AND CANDLES so we can really make the room sparkle.

Volunteers needed! Please consider helping us set up and/or clean up! Sign up here:

SOCKS COLLECTION: During the Chanukah party, we will be collecting new children’s socks & underwear for Bridges to Independence, which provides services to homeless women/families and those at risk of homelessness.

Contact Naomi Harris for more information:


Sukkot Family Program Recap

On Sunday, October 8, Preschool and Religious School families enjoyed lunch, singing and crafts in the Sukkah. The families learned the significance of the lulav and etrog and participated in the lulav ceremony (shaking it in all directions!). Fortunately, the weather held up and we were able to eat lunch in the sukkah and play outside on the playground. Thank you to Rabbi Bass and Will Rivlin for leading songs and prayers and thank you to Alexis Joyce and Laura Naide for planning the event.



Author Talk: Courage, Strength and Ingenuity – Women in the French Resistance

Here are the stories of 18 little-known women who stand out because of their extraordinary courage during the German occupation of France in World War II, when they risked their lives by engaging in clandestine activities to overcome the Nazis.

Professor Monique Saigal, a child Holocaust survivor taken in by a Catholic family in 1942, crisscrossed France, Switzerland, and California to hear them tell their own stories for “French Heroines, 1940-1945: Courage, Strength and Ingenuity,” and to honor her grandmother who perished in Auschwitz.

Date: Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Time: 7:00pm – 8:30pm

Location: Arlington County Central Library, Auditorium; 1015 N. Quincy Street, Arlington, VA 22201

Cost: Free

More information:


Arlington County Fair 2017 Recap

Once again, CEH had a fun and informative booth at the Arlington County Fair on August 20, 2017. This booth is an important way our congregation creates and maintains community relationships and encourages neighbors to join us — whether they stop in at CEH for activities or worship, enroll in preschool, or join our membership. We had many visitors, including prospective members and preschool families! Our booth was fabulously decorated with preschool art, photograph-posters of our vibrant synagogue activities, informative fliers, and membership brochures.

A HUGE TODAH RABAH to Carol and Alan Schwaber for creating a beautiful exhibit booth, setting up the booth, staffing the booth, and taking down the booth at the end of the fair. This was a huge undertaking. Thanks also to Sharon Beth Bronheim, Sylvia Gordon, Naomi and Mark Halpern, Bard Malovany, and Jonathan Golner for volunteering their time and smiles at the CEH booth.

Submitted by Naomi Harris

Arlington County Fair 2017

What’s the event?

Come say hello and show your support for CEH at the Arlington County Fair, and check out the Etz Hayim booth in the vendor hall! Bring your friends and neighbors to show them all that our congregation, religious school and preschool have to offer.

Why is it awesome?

We’ll have a continual slide show on a laptop, featuring the CEH community learning and having fun. We’ll have room for playing dreidel, dreidels to take home … and chocolate treats too. And check out the lively art made by CEH kids.

When is it?

The CEH Booth will be open Friday, 8/18 from 4-5:30pm and Sunday, 8/20 from 11am-5pm.

Where is it?

Thomas Jefferson Community Center, 3501 2nd Street South, Arlington, VA 22204. LOOK ON THE FAIR’S WEBSITE FOR PARKING INFO >>

How can I volunteer?

Please visit the Sign Up Genius link to volunteer on Sun, Aug 20!

Who should I contact to learn more?

Please contact Naomi Harris with any questions.