Washington DC

We are your local resource for connecting to other interfaith families and Jewish life in Greater Washington (DC, Northern Virginia and Maryland). We provide a variety of opportunities to support your exploration of Judaism including social gatherings, holiday experiences, and Jewish learning. We also offer safe, non-judgmental gatherings for couples to discuss issues specific to being part of an interfaith family.

Looking for a rabbi or cantor for your wedding, baby naming, or other celebration? We can help you find local clergy for your lifecycle events. We can also connect you to other Jewish programs and institutions.

We are here for your entire family: you, your children, your parents and other relatives.

Please contact Rabbi Sarah Tasman, Director, who is always looking for new program ideas and would be glad to meet you!

InterfaithFamily Month

Interfaith Family Month is an opportunity for your synagogue or organization to join with other welcoming communities to build an inclusive Jewish community in our local areas and across the country. Last year, over 150 synagogues and organizations participated. Read more on our Resources and FAQs page

Three Rabbis Walk Into a Bar

Join EntryPointDC and our distinguished panel of awesome and local rabbis including InterfaithFamily/DC Director, Rabbi Sarah Tasman for a drink with DC's young professionals and to tackle a many-layered question. More information is available here.
Come at 5:45pm for happy hour and apps! Drink specials will end at 9pm.
Doors open at 6:45, we will start at 7:00pm.

Three Rabbis Walk Into a Bar
Date: Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Location: 18th Street Lounge, 1212 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20036

Click Here to Register

 

 


See how InterfaithFamily Chooses Love and then show us how you #ChooseLove!

 

IFF/DC receives generous funding and support from the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.

Under Construction. Please check back soon for updated information.

Religious School Registration
Spots still available for Sunday Religious School and Midweek Hebrew School. Shul shopping? Inquire about our test year: register for one year of religious school without taking on a full....
July 01 2000 - September 30 2020
12:01 am - 11:59 PM
8401 Grubb Rd. (Corner of East-West Hwy) (Where Silver Spring Meets Chevy Chase, Just 4 Blocks from DC Line)
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

Summer Community Service Programs
American Jewish Society for Service (AJSS) pioneered domestic service-learning programs for Jewish teenagers. Each AJSS project provides an environment which links social justice with Jewish values.....
January 01 2014 - August 16 2015
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10319 Weslake Dr #193
Bethesda, MD 20817

Three Rabbis Walk Into a Bar: Bad Jews Edition
Bad Jews. bacon cheeseburger ....
August 18 2015
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
18th Street Lounge 1212 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20036

Adas Israel Congregation
Synagogue
Washington, DC
20008 United States
3 Members

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This is an Organization

Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation
Synagogue
Bethesda, MD
20817 United States
1 Member

Public
This is an Organization

American Jewish Society for Service (AJSS)
Camp -
Bethesda, MD
20817 United States
2 Members

Public
This is an Organization

B'nai Israel Congregation
Synagogue
Rockville, MD
20852 United States
2 Members

Public
This is an Organization

BBYO, Inc.
National Organization
Washington, DC
20006 United States
3 Members

Public
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Beth Chaverim Reform Congregation
Synagogue
Ashburn, VA
20147 United States
1 Member

Public
This is an Organization

Beth El Hebrew Congregation
Synagogue
Alexandria, VA
22304 United States
1 Member

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Blogs

Washington DC
Subject
Author Date
 
Rabbi Jillian Cameron 06-29-15

At the Supreme Court

In late April, I attended the Consultation on Conscience, a social justice conference in Washington D.C., created and organized by the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism. I wrote about it in a previous blog, but I left out one very important detail: By some stroke of luck, I was able to get into the Supreme Court to hear a portion of the arguments for the case that would decide on marriage equality in all 50 states. I write this blog post many weeks later, knowing now how the case turned out, still in awe and in a state of permanent pride both as a member of the gay community and as an American. So here is my story:

The final day of the conference was Tuesday, April 28, the day that the Supreme Court was scheduled to hear arguments on the historic case, Obergefell v Hodges, the case that could possibly make gay marriage legal in all 50 states. I decided to skip the final morning of the conference and head over to the Supreme Court; I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. I arrived at 8am and the plaza was near full already! The energy was infectious and colorful, rainbows abound. People were singing, chanting and praying, sending all their energy toward the looming white building in front of them.

Rabbi Jillian with her ticket

Rabbi Jillian with her ticket

Of course there were also those there shouting for an entirely different result. I found a few friends and grabbed as much rainbow paraphernalia as I could and joined in with the crowd. In the midst of the chaos I also joined a long line, hoping to get one of those elusive bright yellow squares of paper, given out by the Supreme Court security guards that allowed the recipient a full three minutes INSIDE the courthouse. I was absolutely sure there was no way I was going to get in—there were too many people ahead of me, too many people on the plaza, but I waited in that line, next to a man spewing such vile hatred in the name of his God that I almost moved several times. But I stood my ground, blocked out the noise, focused on the rainbows as the clock ticked down.

Thirty minutes before the end of the arguments, the word came down the line that they were allowing one more group in, as there had been a protester who had gotten in to the court earlier and caused quite a commotion. The security guard walked down the line and one by one, handed out the yellow tickets. I put my hand out, took a deep breath, and he placed one in my palm. I was in!

We were led onto the large plaza directly in front of the court to a side entrance. After two metal detectors and stuffing my large bag into a very small locker so fast I didn’t even remember which locker number I had chosen, I waited with my group of about 10 outside the large imposing doors of the Supreme Court courtroom. I was buzzing. After several more instructions given by even more security guards, none of which I had even a small hope of remembering, the doors opened and I walked into the Supreme Court in the middle of the closing arguments. As I walked to my seat, I stared at each justice, down the line and tried to figure out as quickly as possible, what was going on in the case.

One lawyer for the plaintiff was telling the story of a career Army man who served his country for many years with honor and pride and was married to his husband in a state where it was legal. He was then transferred to a base in a state that did not recognize his marriage. All of a sudden, so many of the equal rights he and his husband had enjoyed were no longer available to them through no choice of their own: He was following his transfer orders.

This man’s story was one of thousands of stories of discrimination that could change if the court voted it so. I think I held my breath the entire time I was inside the courtroom, afraid I would miss something. Since I had been the last group in, as we were led out of the courtroom and back to the locker room (thankfully, I sort of remembered where I put my things!), the court let out and I watched in awe as well-known senators and congressmen and women walked by, every major director of every organization fighting for marriage equality walked by and then the plaintiffs themselves and their lawyers walked right by.

On the steps of the Supreme Court

Outside the Supreme CourtWe all ended up on the large plaza, news anchors and paparazzi yelling, a whirlwind of flashes and chaos. I think I finally took a breath. When I think about it now, I still can’t believe I was able to hear a bit of the closing arguments on a case that would not only allow millions of people in this country to choose love and would right a very long standing wrong, but would also affect me personally. I wasn’t sure how I was going to wait until the end of June to hear how those nine justices would rule.

Fast forward to this past Friday morning: While on vacation, feverishly scanning Twitter and stuck in front of CNN, I heard the news, saw the scroll on the bottom of the screen: “Same Sex Marriage Legal in All 50 States.” I blinked…it was still there. Tears filled my eyes and I had goosebumps on my arms—we did it, it was done, same-sex couples can legally get married in each and every single state of our Union.

Starting now, we live in a more just country, a place I am a little happier to be from, a place where our children won’t remember a time when loving couples who choose to marry were discriminated against, told they weren’t worthy, their love wasn’t enough, wasn’t valid, wasn’t real love. This decision is monumental, it is life changing and it is above all, justice. I had the honor of officiating at a wedding this weekend, on a little piece of paradise in the Caribbean and toward the end of the ceremony, I recited the words of Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion:

Justice kennedy

May we all seek and receive equal dignity for the decisions we make and the relationships we have in the eyes of the law, within our families and in our own hearts.

As we say in Judaism, Ken Y’hi Ratzon, May it be so!

We have many more fights to achieve true equality and lasting justice in our country but let us revel in this win and let that rainbow flag fly high with pride alongside our American flag.

ChooseLoveSee how InterfaithFamily chooses love and share how you #ChooseLove!


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Ed Case 04-29-13

Yesterday Ari Moffic and I had the privilege of participating in the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s Welcoming Interfaith Families: A Community Conversation with more than one hundred professionals and interested individuals. It was very affirming to hear the top leadership of the Washington Federation – Steve Rakitt, CEO, and Stuart Kurlander, President – express their commitment to engaging interfaith families in Jewish life in the DC Jewish community. Ann Bennett, the Chair of the program, and Marci Harris-Blumenthal, the Federation’s Director of Community & Global Impact, put together a great program. Our friend Marion Usher played a key role helping to design and facilitate the program.

The program started with an interfaith couple telling about their Jewish journey, starting with Marion’s Love and Religion workshop and continuing to membership in Adas Israel, a leading Conservative synagogue. Several organizations gave brief presentations about their programs and resources, including our own InterfaithFamily/Your Community, the DC JCC, 6th & I Historic Synagogue, JOI and its Mother’s Circle program, the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs, and PJ Library.

Next came breakout sessions on various topics – I attended one Ari Moffic facilitated on preparing for bar/bat mitzvah. It was a great discussion – the mother who started the program said she had recently received the date for her son’s bar mitzvah, I believe four years in advance; not having had a bat mitzvah herself, and with a husband who is not Jewish, she was already wondering how she would include her husband’s family. One participant pointed out the opportunity for parents who had not experienced bar or bat mitzvah to learn along with their child if they wanted to, including learning how to read Torah. We got some great ideas for additional resources to put on our Bar and Bat Mitzvah Resource Page that would help interfaith families prepare, ranging from lists of questions synagogue members should ask their synagogue professionals, to tips for parents thinking about whether or not to have a bar or bat mitzvah.

After a presentation about the play Love, Faith and Other Dirty Words created by the New Center for Arts and Culture, a panel described in Ari’s blog post shared their interfaith experiences. Like Ari, I was struck by how much of the concluding conversation concerned rabbinic officiation at weddings of interfaith couples after an interfaith couple told of their difficult experience. It reinforced to me how important it is for communities to make it easy for interfaith couples to find officiating clergy.

All in all it was a great conversation and we are very much looking forward to the next steps the Washington community takes. The Federation is making some of the presentations available on a new page on its website: be sure to check out shalom.dc.org/interfaithresources.


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