For more than a century, Washington’s Jewish community thrived in the heart of the city. Since 1995, however, there hasn’t been a Jewish synagogue in Southwest. For Jewish families in this part of the District, this meant traveling to other areas engage in Jewish life.
That’s about to change.
On Friday, October 19, Washington Hebrew Congregation (WHC) will debut District Shabbat for Tots, an amazingly joyful and musical Shabbat experience right at the Southwest Waterfront at 555 Water Street.
Q: What is District Shabbat for Tots?
A: Much more than a Shabbat service, this is a full-blown Shabbat “experience” for families with young children. It’s led by WHC’s clergy and internationally acclaimed folk-rock musicians Dan Nichols and Alan Goodis who bring some new and exciting features to Reform Judaism’s Friday night service.
Q: Who is it for?
A: Short answer: Families! The service is geared toward toddlers through kindergartners (and their favorite grown-ups) — and it’s open to the whole community at no cost. You do not need to be a WHC member to attend!
Q: What can I expect?
A: Come at 5:30 pm on Friday, October 19 for a fun, engaging, musical Shabbat service that’s perfect for the little ones — and will get you on your feet too. The service lasts about a half-hour (a time-frame that’s also perfect for the little ones!), and it’s followed by a free family-friendly dinner catered by CAVA (RSVP required), so both tummies and hearts will be full at the end of your evening.
Q: Where is it?
A: St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church – 555 Water Street SW, Washington, DC 20024 — right across the street from Arena Stage. Looking for public transportation options? In addition to Metro’s Green Line Waterfront stop and the M-74 bus, which stops one block from St. Augustine’s, check out the free Wharf shuttle from L’Enfant Plaza and the Circulator’s SW Waterfront Route that runs from Eastern Market to L’Enfant Plaza.
Q: How do we sign up?
A: You can RSVP for the October 19 District Shabbat for Tots here.
Q: I have a night without the kiddos, is there something with more “adult” appeal?
A: Yes! Come for “District Shabbat.” It starts at 6:15 pm with a “Shot of Torah,” where drinks and appetizers are the opening to a spirited discussion with WHC’s dynamic rabbis about the week’s Torah portion. That’s followed by a high-energy service at 7:00 pm, led by the rabbis and musicians Dan Nichols and Alan Goodis.
You can also make it a complete night and sign up for one of their optional dinners:
Community Dinner — Catered by Mediterranean favorite CAVA, it’s $18 and held right at St. Augustine’s.
- – The Rabbi’s Table – This prix fixe dinner WHC’s Rabbi M. Bruce Lustig at the Wharf’s Canopy by Hilton is $50 and limited to just 20 people.
- – If you can’t stay for dinner, that’s fine too! There’s no charge for Shot of Torah and the service, but you need to RSVP either way.
Q: We can’t make it on October 19th. Will District Shabbat and District Shabbat for Tots be held another time?
A: Both District Shabbat and District Shabbat for Tots will be held monthly on the third Friday of the month at St. Augustine’s. Want to see the complete calendar, learn more, or RSVP? Click here.