This Week at Etz Hayim

Week of: April 16 – April 22, 2018


Candle Lighting — Friday, April 20:  7:32pm
Havdalah — Saturday, April 21:  8:32pm


View our Calendar for upcoming events

Weekly Services

6 Iyar 5778: Parashat Tazria-Metzora

  • Thursday Minyan, 7:00am
  • Friday Shabbat Services, 6:15pm
  • Saturday 9:30 Club Parashat HaShavuah: 9:30am
  • Saturday Shabbat Services, 10:00am

CLICK HERE for USCJ’s Torah Sparks, discussion and notes on the weekly Torah portion

  • Potluck Shabbat: 1st Friday of each month
  • Musical Shabbat: 2nd Friday of each month
  • 9:30 Club: Meditation on 2nd Saturday of each month at 9:30am;  Parashat HaShavuah (Torah portion discussion) on 3rd Saturday of each month at 9:30am. Sponsored by the Samuel & Jean Koshar Rothstein Memorial Fund
These committees are on standby to help in the hour of need for those who are ill or recuperating by visiting, calling, helping with grocery shopping, providing transportation to doctors or the synagogue, bringing meals, etc. (Bikkur Cholim) or to assist a bereaved family in arranging for the funeral, Shiva Minyan, and meal of condolence. Notify the Etz Hayim office or Rabbi Bass about your needs. In the event of a death, Rabbi Bass should be notified immediately (but not on Shabbat). Please contact Sherri Edgar (Bikkur Cholim) or Jerry Jacobs (Bereavement) if you’d like to join their committees.

Contact Sherri Edgar: 571-338-4712

Contact Jerry Jacobs: 301-340-8144

Etz Hayim Events & Notices

Modim Minute (A Moment of Gratitude)

Recognizing those who make our congregation the wonderful community it is.

  • Todah Rabah to all the Preschool teachers who came in Sunday to set up for the Yom Ha’atzma’ut celebrations: Patricia Citro, Francheska Dishmey, Robyn Norrbom, and Milena Serrato.
  • Todah Rabah to Morah Amanda for an interesting and well-attended Kitah Hey (5th Grade) Family Program on Sunday, April 15. Parents and students learned about active listening through the lens of the Four Children of the Seder.

Kitah Chet on the steps of the Tenement Museum in New York City

Kitah Vav puts on Teffilin

Livestreaming OneFamily’s Yom Hazikaron Memorial Ceremony

Today, Tuesday, April 17, 1:00pm

Every year OneFamily organizes a private Yom Hazikaron ceremony with bereaved Israeli families, young adults, and children who have lost parents or siblings to terrorism. Over 300 people attend this ceremony. OneFamily’s powerful and moving Yom Hazikaron Ceremony will be streamed live starting today at 1:00pm.

Watch the ceremony via livestream here:

Sukkot in Spring Thank-Yous

From John Howard: A BIG Todah Rabah to the CEH Sukkot in Spring Crew!  This year Sharon Beth and Jeremy Bronheim, Scott and Ethan Burka, Jonathan Golner, Phil Rosenthal, Dan Rosman, and Gary and Jacob Singer all worked extremely hard this past Sunday.  And, along with the folks from Agudas Achim Congregation, we made a huge impact by participating in this year’s Sukkot in Spring project through Yachad.  At the end of this year’s Good Deeds Day, several small but important home repairs had been completed and all the public spaces in the home had been cleaned, prepped, and repainted.  All for a family of modest means who want to continue to live in their home with dignity, but couldn’t accomplish these improvements on their own.  Our work with Yachad and Agudas Achim made a huge difference. Great job team!

The Sagers have Moved to Rockville

Bill and Elizabeth Sager have just moved to Rockville and will no longer be regular attendees at services.

They have provided their new address and phone number. Anyone who would like their new contact information is encouraged to contact the office.

Interfaith Havdalah: “An Evening of Interfaith Cocktails, Conversation, and Social Action”

Saturday, May 5, 7:00-9:30pm

Join interfaith families and CEH members for stimulating discussion around issues of social justice. During the first half hour we will mingle and enjoy tasty food and beverage concoctions. At 7:30, a discussion leader will guide a group conversation on several topics. At sundown we will end by celebrating Havdalah together. Families are welcome; babysitting will be provided downstairs.

COLLECTION DRIVE: We will have a box in the lobby** from now until May 5 to collect cleaning supplies to donate to Lutheran Social Services for its Refugee Project.  While we discuss social action upstairs, our kids will do social action downstairs–organizing donated supplies in boxes and decorating the boxes in a way that honors Shabbat.  **Please do not bring items on May 5 or during Shabbat.

State of the Congregation Spring Meeting with 2018-19 Board Slate Vote

Sunday, May 6, 11:30am

Please plan to attend this important meeting. The congregation will vote on the proposed Board of Directors slate for 2018-19. Please see the email from April 13 for the full Board slate.

Seeking Community Listserv Representatives to Promote Etz Hayim Events Locally!

The Membership & Communications Committee would like to recruit members to serve as “Community Listserv Representatives,” to help us communicate CEH events to the local area. Reps would receive emails from the committee approximately once a month with text to post to your neighborhood listserv(s). Interested folks should contact Naomi Harris.

We are seeking reps for the following Arlington listservs:

Alcova Heights; Arlington East Falls Church; Arlington View; Arlington Mill;
Arlingwood; Ballston-Virginia Square; Bellevue Forest; Buckingham; Chain Bridge Forest; Cherrydale; Claremont; Clarendon-Courthouse; Columbia Forest;  Columbia Heights; Crystal City; Donaldson Run; Douglas Park; Dover-Crystal; Fairlington; Forest Glen; Forest Hills; Foxcroft Heights; Glebewood; Glencarlyn; Gulf Branch; Highland Park-Overlee Knolls; Jefferson; Langston; Leeway Overlee; Lyon Village; Madison Manor; Maywood; MONA; Nauck; North Highlands; North Rosslyn; Old Dominion; Old Glebe; Penrose; Radnor/Ft. Myer Heights; Rivercrest; Rock Spring; Shirlington; Stafford-Albemarle-Glebe; Tara-Leeway Heights; Waverly Hills; Waycroft-Woodlawn; Westover; Westwind; Williamsburg; Woodmont; and Yorktown.

Illustrative photo by Iakov

Good News Israel

12 fabulous Israeli cookbooks to help you celebrate Independence Day.

If you’re celebrating Israel’s 70th birthday, chances are you’ll want to try out some special Israeli recipes. Here are 12 of the best Israeli cookbooks to turn to.

Follow Omer Learning by Text or Email!

Join in the annual mitzvah of Counting the Omer, the the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot, by following Etz Hayim’s Omer Learning Project. This year, read the insights of your fellow congregants as together we interpret the entire Torah in 49 days!

70+ Ways to Celebrate Israel at 70!

Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, begins in the evening of April 18, marking Israel’s 70th year of independence. The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington invites you to experience the many ways in which you can learn about, engage with and enhance your connection to the history and modern day culture of Israel. Explore the Israel@70 website to deepen your connection to Israel! 

Separately, share this link and join people worldwide in posting a photo of yourself with the official “I Celebrate Israel @70” logo! (Logo available here.)

ISRAEL21c presents: Four amazing ways to celebrate Israel’s 70th anniversary

Next week, Israel celebrates its 70th anniversary and ISRAEL21c has created everything you need to make that event memorable:

CLICK HERE to see the entire package of content from ISRAEL21c!

Adult Education: Final Class of 2017-18 Session

“How to Chant Torah and Haftarah”
Sunday, April 29, 10:15am

All Adult Education is sponsored by the Jean Koshar & Samuel Rothstein Memorial Fund. 

Shavuot Services

Sunday, May 20, 10:00am: Shavuot Services with Sefer Torah Dedication, Donated by Jerry & Laura Jacobs (Shavuot, Day 1)**

Monday, May 21, 10:00am: Shavuot Services with Yizkor (Shavuot, Day 2)

**On Sunday, May 20 during Shavuot services, which begin at 10 AM, we are dedicating a new Sefer Torah (Torah Scroll), generously donated by Laura and Jerry Jacobs and family. Please join us for this unique and joyful occasion, which hasn’t happened at CEH for decades!

The Jacobs family invites you to continue the celebration at a special luncheon following services.  Please RSVP to the CEH office if you expect to come so that we may plan accordingly.

Capital Pride Festival 2018: Sign Up Now to Staff the Etz Hayim Booth!

Sunday, June 10, 12:00-5:00pm

Mark your calendars now to help us staff the Etz Hayim booth at the Capital Pride Festival 2018! We need 10-12 volunteers who are friendly, fun, and able to talk about our egalitarian and diverse nature.

Sign up here:

SAVE THE DATE: Will Stevenson’s New Cabaret

Sunday, July 29, 8:00pm

Location: Creative Cauldron, 410 S. Maple Avenue, Falls Church, VA 22046

Mark your calendars for Will Stevenson’s new cabaret, “Simply Musical.”

Proceeds will benefit Congregation Etz Hayim! Further info to follow when tickets go on sale.

Monthly Mitzvah Mission: Feed the Homeles

Next dates:
Thursday, April 26, 5:30-6:30pm (NOTE TIME ADJUSTMENT) and Friday, April 27, 5:30am-11:30am

Location: Central United Methodist Church (CUMC), 4201 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, 22203

Join us at CUMC’s soup kitchen to help feed Arlington’s homeless!

Events Out & About in the Community

Fairfax Interfaith Friendship Walk 2018

Sunday, May 6, 2:00-5:00pm

Location: Walk begins at Fairfax United Methodist Church, 10300 Stratford Avenue, Fairfax, VA

The J is a sponsor of this walk whose mission is to bring faith communities together to appreciate each other and feel part of the same whole despite our differences. We hope that you will join us as we walk in unity through Fairfax City.

The group will start at the Fairfax United Methodist Church and continue by visiting St. Leo the Great Catholic Church, Daniels Run Peace Church (also hosting the J since there was no Jewish organization along the route from which to present), Ezher Mosque, MCC NOVA Church, Truro Anglican Church, Fairfax Presbyterian Church, Metropolitan Community Church of Northern Virginia, Fairfax Baptist Church, and end with the Christ Lutheran Church. At each stop, the group will spend 5 minutes learning about that faith’s traditions. Thanks to the JCCNV’s Shlicha, Liat Lisha, for presenting on behalf of the JCC. REGISTER NOW.

Jewish National Fund presents:
Jewish National Fund Breakfast for Israel

Sunday, June 10, 10:00am

RSVP by May 29 at

Location: Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, 8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax, VA 22031

“Israel: Challenges and Opportunities” featuring guest speaker Ambassador Ido Aharoni.

CLICK HERE to download the flier. 

Jewish Federation of Greater Washington presents:
Imagine Israel Changemakers Series: Israel’s Largest Food Bank

Wednesday, April 25, 7:30-9:00pm

Location: American University Washington College of Law, Claudio Grossman Hall, 4300 Nebraska Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20016

Learn how Joseph Gitler turned his one-man mission into Israel’s largest food bank rescue network, which feeds more than 200,000 impoverished Israelis every week. Learn more and register here.

Meeting for Adoptive Parents

Sunday, April 29, 9:45am

Location: Agudas Achim Congregation, 2908 Valley Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302

Are you the parent, grandparent, or friend of a child who has been adopted? Do you want a better understanding of some of the identity issues children of adoption might face? Are you thinking of adopting a child? Would you be interested in developing a support group of others who share some of the same interests? Would you like to hear speakers from the field of adoption who can enlighten us with their words of wisdom? If so, please attend an introductory meeting at Agudas Achim Congregation at 9:45am on Sunday, April 29 to share your ideas. If you have any questions or comments beforehand, please contact Deborah Rosen or Stacey Bromberg.

28th Washington Jewish Film Festival

May 2 – 13

The WJFF returns May 2-13 with a robust lineup of international films, filmmaker talkbacks, and special events. This year’s slate includes narrative, documentary, and short films from 27 countries, showcasing the diversity of the Jewish experience. The 28th edition includes the special series Starring Wonder Women, showcasing the lives of trailblazing women overcoming boundaries.

Purchase tickets at WJFF.ORG or bring a group at a discount by emailing

Iron & Coal: World Premiere of Theatrical Concert 

Thursday, May 3, 8:00pm

Location: The Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 20852

Based on the original concept album Iron & Coal by Jeremy Schonfeld. Iron & Coal is a powerful new theatrical concert by acclaimed composer and performer Jeremy Schonfeld. Inspired by the memoir of Schonfeld’s father, who spent a year in the Auschwitz concentration camp at the age of ten, this soaring production strives to find meaning in a life and relationship built in the shadow of the Holocaust. The ghosts of a distant and vanished world, both of horror and the iron will to survive, mix with the present in this remarkable world-premiere production.

Featuring dramatic visuals, a rock band, full orchestra, and over 120 adult and youth voices, Iron & Coal is a larger-than-life production that celebrates the indomitable spirit of our ancestors and the legacy we carry with us.  BUY TICKETS HERE

Jewish Federation’s Israel @70 Celebration!

Sunday, June 3, 12:00-4:00pm

Location: The Plaza at Tysons Corner

Party with Federation and your local Jewish community as we celebrate Israel’s 70th birthday on The Plaza at Tysons Corner! Enjoy live music, authentic food and fun activities for the whole family. CLICK HERE to download the flier!

Zemer Chai Gala Concert

Sunday, June 10, 4:00pm

Location: Congregation Beth El of Montgomery County, 8215 Old Georgetown Rd, Bethesda, MD 20814

Zemer Chai: the Jewish Chorale of the Nation’s Capital (  have a very exciting and important concert coming up in June: “Sing it Forward! Masterpieces of the Past, Classics Soon to Be.” This concert will feature beautiful songs bringing together the words of ancient prayers with melodies both traditional and new. FEATURING THE PREMIERE OF: “Tefilah Shalom LeShivim Shanah: A Prayer for Israel at 70,” a new piece by Ari Sussman.  Click here for more information and to purchase tickets online!