News

  • January 22, 2020 / 25 Tevet 5780

    Parashat Vaera

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    Our voices are better heard when we join together in unison, with a shared vision and goal.

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  • January 21, 2020

    Beit Shemesh Mayor Aliza Bloch visits Washington

    Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington (Just Logo)

    WASHINGTON - Beit Shemesh Mayor Aliza Bloch recently paid a three-day visit to Washington in a cooperation effort between the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and the Israeli city. It followed years of disconnect.

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  • January 21, 2020

    Here's why some DC residents won't be attending the 2020 Women's March

    Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington (Just Logo)

    Millions have attended the March, which is now in its fourth year, but some women said they now choose to participate in smaller, action-oriented demonstrations.

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  • January 21, 2020

    Mayor of Israel’s Fastest Growing City Brings Leadership Vision to Washington DC

    Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington (Just Logo)

    Dr. Aliza Bloch, mayor of Beit Shemesh, has accepted an invitation from the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington to travel to America’s capital to meet with Jewish and municipal leaders from January 15-18, 2020.

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  • January 21, 2020

    First female mayor of Beit Shemesh on first visit to Washington

    Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington (Just Logo)

    Dr. Aliza Bloch, mayor of Beit Shemesh, accepted an invitation from the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington to travel to America’s capital to meet with Jewish and municipal leaders from January 15-18, 2020.

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  • January 15, 2020 / 18 Tevet 5780

    Parashat Shemot

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    It is not enough for our communities to hear of each other’s pain. We can and must be present for each other, but we also need to plan for the future. When Pharaoh decreed that all male Israelite babies be killed, the midwives saved the babies and ensured a future for the Israelites. They knew that without the next generation, there was no hope.

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  • January 8, 2020 / 11 Tevet 5780

    Parashat Veyechi

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    In this week’s Torah portion, we reach the end of Jacob’s life journey. Our third forefather lies on his deathbed having his final reckonings, both positive and negative, with his sons. Interestingly, he includes in that group his two grandsons, Ephraim and Menashe, who were born to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine like Reuben and Simeon.” He then offers his blessing to Joseph and thereby the Jewish people, by placing his hands on these two grandsons.

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  • January 2, 2020 / 5 Tevet 5780

    Parashat Vayigash

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    This week’s Torah portion, Vayigash, deals with Joseph revealing himself to his brothers and reuniting with his father, Jacob.

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  • December 18, 2019 / 18 Kislev 5780

    Parashat Vayeshev

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    This week’s Torah portion, Vayeshev, is filled with encounters that have lasting effects, although the impact is not always immediate or clear.

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  • December 13, 2019

    Shabbat Reflections

    JCRC of Greater Washington

    Shabbat Reflections

    Friday, December 13, 2019

    As we close out the week, we write to say Shabbat Shalom and reflect on this week filled with news important to the Jewish community: the tragic shooting in New Jersey, the President’s Executive Order about Anti-Semitism, and newly called elections in Israel. 

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  • December 13, 2019

    Shabbat Reflections

    JCRC of Greater Washington

    Shabbat Reflections

    Friday, December 13, 2019

    As we close out the week, we write to say Shabbat Shalom and reflect on this week filled with news important to the Jewish community: the tragic shooting in New Jersey, the President’s Executive Order about Anti-Semitism, and newly called elections in Israel. 

    Read more

  • December 13, 2019

    Shabbat Reflections, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019

    JCRC of Greater Washington

    Shabbat Reflections, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019

    As we close out the week, we write to say Shabbat Shalom and reflect on this week filled with news important to the Jewish community: the tragic shooting in New Jersey, the President’s Executive Order about Anti-Semitism, and newly called elections in Israel. 

    Read more

  • December 11, 2019 / 11 Kislev 5780

    Parashat Vayishlach

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    The struggle is real and exists on many fronts. Antisemitism, a history of persecution, and lack of understanding between Jewish groups are some of those struggles. Jews persevere through these hardships, but it would be great if they didn’t happen so often – or at all.

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  • December 4, 2019 / 6 Kislev 5780

    Parashat Vayetzei

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    This week’s Torah portion, Vayetzei begins with Jacob’s interactions with the Divine. He dreams of a stairway leading to heaven, angels going up and down it, and God blessing him.

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  • November 27, 2019 / 29 Cheshvan 5780

    Parashat Toldot

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    As you are reading this, I am at my parents’ house in New Jersey. It’s good to be home for the holidays. I love Thanksgiving and all that comes with it. Families gathering from all over, the travel plans, the food, total participation in this very American holiday.

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  • November 20, 2019 / 22 Cheshvan 5780

    Parashat Chayei Sarah

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    This week’s Torah portion, Chayei Sarah, opens with Abraham finding a suitable piece of land for burying Sarah. Abraham will eventually be buried in the same location. This poignant vignette exemplifies the mitzvah of kavod ha-met, honoring of the deceased, Abraham burying Sarah in a space that was designated for her and her family members demonstrated his love and respect for her. Like Abraham, we too bury our loved ones with dignity, in respectful and well-maintained spaces.

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  • November 13, 2019 / 15 Cheshvan 5780

    Parashat Vayera

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    One of my most formative experiences in rabbinical school was clinical pastoral education (CPE). In addition to my formal training, after my ordination I completed a year-long residency at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Manhattan. Although I was initially intimidated by this most sensitive and critical of clerical duties, I quickly grew to enjoy being a spiritual care provider: I like the energy of acute care settings, and I love working with people of all religions, challenging myself to deeply explore my own faith in order to help others.

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  • November 6, 2019 / 8 Cheshvan 5780

    Parashat Lech L’cha

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    I received an email reminder Sunday afternoon about a Monday meeting, asking participants what type of meat-based sandwiches from a local restaurant they preferred for lunch. I immediately wrote back, thanking the meeting organizer and requesting a vegetarian option, as I keep kosher and do not eat meat from non-kosher establishments. Our host’s response came within minutes –it was of course not a problem.

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  • November 5, 2019

    You should know…Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    Washington Jewish Week

    Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky is the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington’s director of intergroup relations and rabbi in residence. The 37-year-old Philadelphia native is new to the Washington area (she started her job at JCRC in July). In her position, she works to foster community relationships with members of other religions.

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  • October 30, 2019 / 31 Tishrei 5780

    Parshat Noah

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    A teacher of mine once remarked on the absurdity, in his opinion, of using Noah’s ark as a decorative motif for children’s spaces. Why is a story of destruction, emotional turmoil, and family betrayal portrayed in bright cartoon characters? Why commercialize the few verses about animals and skip over the main reason of the flood – God destroying the world? Life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns, especially because the unicorns never made it on the ark.

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  • October 23, 2019

    Maryland Jewish Advocacy Organizations and Key Legislators Applaud State Superintendent’s Plan to Boost Holocaust Education Requirements

    JCRC of Greater Washington

    Maryland’s leading Jewish community advocacy organizations and key state legislators applauded plans announced by State Superintendent Karen B. Salmon to enhance and expand required Holocaust instruction in public schools.

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  • October 23, 2019 / 24 Tishrei 5780

    Parashat Bereishit

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    Of all the powerful stories contained in this week’s parsha, Bereishit, the dramatic narrative of Cain and Abel, the original Biblical fratricide, stands out as a compelling validation of the power of restorative justice.

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  • October 18, 2019

    Joint Statement on Vandalism of Washington Hebrew Congregation DC building

    JCRC of Greater Washington

    The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington (JCRC) were troubled to learn that the Washington Hebrew Congregation's D.C. building was vandalized with anti-Israel and hate-filled messages.

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  • October 13, 2019 / 15 Tishrei 5780

    Sukkot 5780

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    Jews have constructed sukkot for thousands of years. They were discussed in the Torah and usedthroughout the Temple periods in Jerusalem. Today they  are widely available for purchase online in “pop up” and “E-Z” varieties. A quick search for “sukkah” on Amazon yielded 521 results, ranging from sukkah-building kits to sukkah decorations to a t-shirt that says “I’d rather be sitting in my sukkah. #FeastofTabernacles.” There’s a carry-on sukkah -- including a kosher bamboo mat for the roof – that can be set up in five to ten minutes and sukkotcomplete with plastic windows, reinforced canvas and plastic sides, click together poles, and murals painted on the sides, all available for sale at several online shops, shipped right to your front door.

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  • October 10, 2019

    Statement on Synagogue Attack in Halle, Germany

    JCRC of Greater Washington

    Good afternoon friends:

    We were horrified yesterday to hear that on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jews, a synagogue in Halle, Germany was attacked by a right-wing extremist. Despite being armed with multiple weapons and an explosive device, the assailant was thwarted by a locked security door. A potential massacre was avoided, and no injuries were reported among the synagogue worshipers.  

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