WHC to present special Shabbat service

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Washington Hebrew Congregation will present a special Shabbat service tomorrow evening with all new music scored by congregant Robert Nath.

“He’s not a professional musician but he is a lover of music,” said Cantor Mikhail Manevich, a cantor at WHC.


Titled Hanefesh shel Shabbat, or Soul of Shabbat, the service is the last of this season’s Pollin series of special services at WHC, which will begin again after the High Holidays this year.

Nath spent several years composing the music for the service.

“It’s been a long journey of many years,” Manevich said.

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Manevich and Cantor Jonathan Comisar helped Nath put together and arrange the music.

This Friday Kol Rinah, the choir at WHC of which Nath is a member, will participate in performing the music that has resulted.


“There will be instrumental accompaniment,” Manevich said.

The Pollin series of services provides opportunities for unique music for Shabbat services and has ranged from a capella to traditional music from many strands of Jewish tradition. This is the first time a congregation member has had the chance to present original music for the service.

“It’s an enormous achievement,” Manevich said, “Something that should be heard again and again.”

– Eric Hal Schwartz

ZOA regains tax-exempt status

The Internal Revenue Service has reinstated the tax-exempt status of the Zionist Organization of America.

“The work of the ZOA has never been altered or diminished one iota during this period,” ZOA President Morton Klein said in a statement Monday announcing the May 15 IRS decision. “Our campus work; our Title VI efforts; our Capitol Hill work; our writings, lectures, TV and radio appearances have continued as always.”

The IRS a year ago rescinded the tax-exempt status because ZOA had not filed a tax return for three consecutive years.

Klein told JTA last year that the failures to file were due to confusion over the status of a school in Israel run under ZOA auspices, and because of erroneous advice from a tax accountant.

Donations to ZOA have remained deductible in the meantime, as they were directed through a third party donor-advised fund.

In the same announcement, ZOA said its annual dinner, to be held in November, will honor casino magnate and philanthropist Sheldon Adelson. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, now a talk show personality, will speak at the event, which is chaired by James Tisch.

ZOA canceled its annual dinner in 2012.

– JTA News and Features

JFE to feed grants

The Jewish Food Experience is now offering grants to organizations wishing to partner with the Jewish food website.

JFE, a website fueled by the United Jewish Endowment Fund of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, uses Jewish food as a way to connect people to Judaism. “We’re looking at ways to encourage programming around food, and its easy access to people,” says Susan Barocas, director of Jewish Food Experience. “Our mandate is to bring more people into the tent, to reach out to people who don’t normally identify with Jewish community or don’t feel comfortable or know how to reach out.”

Grant proposals must concern a food-related program aimed at one of the three JFE target audiences: young professionals, interfaith families and couples. JFE will partner with the organization and assist with planning. Grants will cover up to 50 percent of the cost with a maximum of $5,000.

Grant proposals will be reviewed monthly to help facilitate year-round programming. For more information contact Linda Kraner at [email protected] or call 301-230-7242.

“We want to build community – that’s what this is all about – Jewish identity and Jewish community,” says Barocas. “Just by the nature of grants with other community agencies we’re building community.”

For more information about Jewish Food Experience go to [email protected] this Sunday or visit jewishfoodexperience.com.

– Meredith Jacobs

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