Welcome to the Greater Washington Jewish community.
Like many who live in this town, we’ve followed your house hunting in the Kalorama neighborhood and the speculation about which of the vibrant downtown Orthodox synagogues you will join and which school you will send your children to. We are writing to tell you that you can’t make a bad choice.
By moving to Washington, you are joining a growing and vibrant Jewish community. We would like to offer you a sketch of your new community.
There are about a quarter of a million Jews living in the Washington area — the fifth-largest Jewish community in North America — which includes suburbs in Maryland and Northern Virginia. A new count is underway to find out how many of us there are and what services we like to use. Should you wish to go shul shopping beyond the congregations near your home, you’ll find there are more than 100 synagogues, havurot and minyanim in the area — Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, Humanist, Renewal and independent, as well as many Orthodox congregations.
Our community boasts three Jewish community centers — one near you in the District of Columbia (the 1925 building is the site of the community’s original JCC), one in Rockville, Md., and one in Fairfax, Va. Our many day schools are committed to transmitting Jewish learning and living: Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation’s Capital, which we understand you’re considering; Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, a community school in Rockville; the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy, a modern Orthodox school in Rockville; the Torah School of Greater Washington, an Orthodox school in Silver Spring; and the Yeshiva of Greater Washington, an Orthodox high school in Silver Spring.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington is the area’s umbrella organization and central fundraising body. It is located in Rockville, near many of the community’s social service agencies and senior living facilities. Kosher markets do a thriving business in the area, and a variety of kosher eateries, including Char Bar not far from your home, are supervised by the Rabbinical Council of Greater Washington, the Beltway Vaad and other local authorities.
And let’s not forget the community’s resource for news, discussion, ideas and culture. The Washington Jewish Week has been around since 1930 — President Herbert Hoover offered greetings in the inaugural issue — and our readers know that we strive to reflect this large, contentious and fascinating community and its people. So you don’t miss out on what’s happening in your community, we are pleased to offer you a free one-year subscription.
With best wishes,
WASHINGTON JEWISH WEEK
Instead of fawning over Ivanka and Jared, I would rather the Jewish community be reminded that they are actively working for a racist, xenophobic, anti-semitic President with the maturity and moral compass of a petulent 6 year old who deserves nothing but the strongest condemnation from the Jewish community, let alone the world at large. I would not want to be a member of any shul that welcomes their membership and I don’t care how un-Jewish that sounds. We keep on hoping Jared and Ivanka will have some positive impact on President Trump; not only have we seen no impact but neither has chosen to stand up and condemn his vitriolic, racist words and actions (and let’s not forget his outright lies, his hiring of Steve Bannon, his discrimination against an entire religion, etc., etc., etc.)
I see no reason to welcome Jared and Ivanka to this Jewish community until they start acting like Jews and reflect the values and attitudes that I was taught by my parents and in my Jewish community, including justice and equality for all, welcoming strangers into our midst, condemning violence and brutality, sheltering the poor and impoverished.
We wring our hands about why our children do not want to see themselves as Jews anymore. Is it any wonder why when we support a President and aides who are as morally corrupt as Trump? What values are we imparting when we support Trump just because he is pro-Israel but fail to condemn his racism, dishonesty, his sheer outright meanness and dishonesty.
Trump’s attitudes towards Israel are just not enough reason for me to abandon my Jewish ideals. Actually, when I read about other Jews supporting Trump, it’s getting hard to be proud to call myself Jewish anymore.