Friday, January 15, 2010

The stuff of history

When I was about nine or ten, I went to cheder at 6th and G. We lived in southeast Washington, within the shadow of the dome of the Capitol. I was never afraid to walk home after dark, through the Capitol grounds, singing “Adon Olam” or “Ayn Kalohanu” at the top of my voice.
--Rose Hornstein, oral history, 1969

We love this quotation. It sums up being a child who worshipped—and went to school—in the original Adas Israel synagogue (seen in the lower right corner of the photo). We love it so much that we're going to use it in an exhibit we’re planning for the synagogue.

We wanted to find out more about Rose Hornstein. That’s where some detective work came in. Thanks to an obituary of Rose’s brother, we were able to find her nieces. They’re searching for photos for us right now. Most importantly, Rose’s two nieces told us about their lives growing up in Washington—one even shared a synagogue newsletter she had written.

So when you think that no one is interested in your family’s story, think again! Thanks to the Hornstein family, we’ve been able to learn more about going to school in our building.

Challah delivery!

Yesterday, I had the privilege of accompanying program committee members Donna Bassin and Frank Spigel to the DC Central Kitchen to donate challah.

Last May we sold and distributed challah in our Penn Quarter neighborhood during Jewish American Heritage Month. We offered the option to purchase challah to donate to the DC Central Kitchen. 19 people took that option, and yesterday Frank, Donna, and I dropped off 19 loaves. Kitchen Director Jerald Thomas was on hand to accept our donation.

Thanks to Donna for coordinating the challah pickup from Bethesda and drop-off at the DC Central Kitchen. We'll have challah available again in May this year, $5 for a single loaf or $20 for the month. If you want to donate challah to the Central Kitchen this year, email us at!

Monday, January 11, 2010

1st Salon a Hit!

Fans of Broadway and musical theater gathered in the warm and inviting living room of members Arlene & David Epstein yesterday to hear Murray Horwitz, actor, entertainer, and playwright recount how his hit Broadway show, Ain't Misbehavin' became a Broadway standard.

The salon was a hit itself-- completely sold out and with a waiting list that would have filled another living room!

Here's a photo of me at the far left standing next to Murray and our hosts the Epsteins.

Murray held our rapt attention as he recalled listening to records borrowed from the Dayton Public Library as a kid and discovering Fats Waller's music. He began a personal quest to learn everything he could about Waller and his unique style of playing swing music.

We listened to a bit of Waller music and heard about Murray's experience writing a show that was first performed in a small cabaret and then moved to Broadway where it won a Tony-- all in four months.

Special thanks to our hosts and guest speaker for setting such a high bar with our new series of monthly salons in celebration of our 50th Anniversary. Click here to learn more about upcoming salons.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New and 50th Year!

The new year is also the Society's 50th anniversary year! You can learn about our history on the About page of our website.

To celebrate this special year, we're proud to announce a year of monthly gatherings throughout the community. The current program listing can be found here. Continue to check the page for updates!