News & Updates

Welcome to Federation’s News & Updates! Read on for reflections from our team and members of the Greater Washington Jewish community, news from around the world and opportunities to Make Federation Yours.

  • Welcome Rabbi Gil Steinlauf, Federation’s New Scholar-in-Residence!

    When I was a little kid, I used to make my parents crazy because I liked to break my toys open. Sure, I played with my toys. But I inevitably became more curious about what was inside the toy than in actually playing with it in a conventional sense. I’d venture to guess that kids like
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  • Building Community & Civic Life: A July 4th Message from Gil Preuss

      The topics of community and responsibility come up often in my conversations and have been at the forefront of our work in defining the role Federation can and should play in the Greater Washington area. This seems especially pertinent as we prepare to celebrate the 4th of July. Growing up, July 4th was always
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  • Drag Queen Story Time and Havdalah Celebrates Message of Inclusion and Self-Acceptance

    By Sarah Rabin Spira, Manager, PJ Library Glitter and drag queens and family Havdalah service—oh my!  The recent Drag Queen Story Time and Havdalah embodies The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s values of inclusion, education and meaningful ritual. It also represents what can happen when community organizations work together to promote purposeful social and religious
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  • What Brings Us Together: A Message from Gil Preuss

      Since last August, when I began as CEO of The Jewish Federation, I have enjoyed getting to know hundreds and hundreds of people across DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia. The dedication and passion I’ve witnessed for the future of Jewish Greater Washington is truly awe-inspiring. When I meet someone new, I like to ask
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  • Making our Voices Heard: A Message from our CEO

      It’s no secret that Greater Washington is home to thousands of committed, generous and passionate people – those who lead by example, who stand strong in their convictions and who care about making our society a better place for everyone to live. This Sunday, April 29, we’ll have the opportunity to live these values
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  • Israel@70: A Personal Reflection from Our CEO

      When I was a child growing up in Jerusalem in the early 1970s, Israel was a very different place than the one we know today. It was, in many ways, still a third world country. Meat was a scarce commodity. It was clear to everyone that Israel’s survival was constantly at risk. While the
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  • Houston, we’ve got your back!

    By Jeff Rum Six months after Hurricane Harvey, the post-traumatic stress in this community runs rampant. Parents are trying to hold it together as they decide whether to rebuild or relocate. As a child, I remember hearing the story of Noah in Hebrew school. In a class of 5-year-olds, we drew pictures of animals walking
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  • The Gift of the Passover Seder: A Message from Our CEO

    By Gil Preuss As we prepare to begin our Passover celebrations this evening, I am reminded of a quote by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov that feels especially pertinent today. “The Exodus from Egypt,” he said, “occurs in every human being, in every era, in every year and in every day.” Few celebrations offer as many
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  • The Conversations We Need to Be Having: A Message from Our CEO

    By Gil Preuss This is conference season in the Jewish community. Many organizations will be holding major events and meetings, and important business will get done. I’ve attended hundreds of these gatherings and learned a great deal from them, but I can’t shake the sense that when we meet, we don’t really talk about what
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  • Celebrate Dr. Seuss and Read Across America Day 2018

    By Sarah Rabin Spira Theodor Geisel chose the pen name “Dr. Seuss” because his father wanted him to be a doctor. (Seuss is his mother’s birth name.) How lucky for us that he pursued a career in art and children’s literature, forever changing the way that early-reader books were written. Before Dr. Seuss, early-reader books
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