Celebrate Shavuot with these virtual classes

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It’s traditional on Shavuot, which begins at sundown on May 28, to celebrate the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai by studying all night, This year, classes have gone virtual. Here are some of those classes, both based in the Washington area and all around the country.

Monday, May 25
One Community, Many Voices: A Pre-Shavuot Zoom Celebration of Torah
The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, the Washington Board of Rabbis, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, and Hadar present an extended evening of Torah study. Join a diverse and cross-denominational group of 17 local rabbis.

The event will explore how Torah addresses the human condition while providing inspiration for a healthy future. It will also be an opportunity to observe Memorial Day. Free, register for Zoom link. 6-9:30 p.m. Contact Mindy Berger at [email protected]

Wednesday, May 27
Cooking Class
The Edlavitch DCJCC and PJ Library in Greater Washington brings this class on eating dairy foods, a traditional part of celebrating Shavuot. At this children’s event, you will have the opportunity to make ice cream in a bag. You will need: 1 cup half and half, 1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon sugar, ice, 1/4 cup salt, and two Ziploc bags (1 small, 1 large). 11-11:30 a.m. Register in advance for this meeting: Zoom.us/meeting/register/


Festival of Wheat
Join the Jewish Life and Learning department of the Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center to prepare for celebrating Shavuot with an interactive challah-baking lesson. Form dough, braid and cover the basics of why the holiday celebrates the wheat harvest and what’s so great about wheat in the Jewish people’s history. 4-5 p.m. Check the website for ingredients: Edcjcc.org/event/festival-of-wheat/?instance_id=77068.

Thursday, May 28
The TEN: An Alternative Shavuot Experience with Priya Parker
The TEN is an all-night, Torah-celebrating festival of learning, laughing, dancing, reflecting, cooking, drinking (coffee) and merry-making with Sixth & I in Washington. Priya Parker, author of “The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it Matters” and host of The New York Times podcast “Together Apart,” will talk with Rabbi Shira Stutman. They’ll discuss the power of gathering, the role of religion in community and reflections on gathering in the future. Following the conversation, stay for a night of stories from Jewish tradition, take part in a late-night cooking class with Chef Vered Guttman, celebrate at an Israeli dance party and enjoy a restorative yoga session.
SixthAndI.org. 7 p.m.-5 a.m.

Tikkun Leil Shavuot 2020 Virtual Edition
Normally a holiday celebration at Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue in Detroit would be out of reach, but this year, distance doesn’t matter much.
The synagogue is hosting its Seventh Annual Tikkun Leil Shavuot. Sessions will cover topics such as COVID Economics, Intro to American Sign Language, How to Build Your Rain Garden, Annexation, Jewish Ritual Music, and more. Participants must register for this event before May 22. Upon registration, you will receive the Zoom link for the event, and have the opportunity to sign up for preferred sessions.

Saturday, May 30
Up All Night
A public, live video by Hinenu: The Baltimore Justice Shtiebl.
This year, as COVID-19 prevents gatherings, synagogues from cities across the country are virtually joining together for a late night of learning. Sessions include cooking workshops, text studies, panel discussions and skill shares. There will be a late night dance party, too.

It will also raise money for a number of causes and campaigns: Ezra Uganda Assistance Fund, Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, Black Mama’s Bail Out. Sliding scale donations suggested. 6 p.m. – 6 a.m. Registration is required at bit.ly/upallnight5780register. For more information about the event, email [email protected]

Carolyn Conte is a reporter for the Baltimore Jewish Times, an affiliated publication of Washington Jewish Week.

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