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The Summer That Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill Took Over Mainstream Comedy

Posted on August 14th, 2017

How this fan became an instant follower of the Apatow-Rogen-Hill religion.

In history books, the summer of 2007 will go down as the official start of one of the worst financial crises in American history. It started in July, when Bear Stearns announced that two of its hedge funds had lost all their value — and from there, as we know, panic, chaos and lots of mortgage defaults ensued.

But to my 15-year-old self — and to thousands of other teenage boys of my generation — the summer of 2007 will be remembered for an entirely different reason: It was a season when a few funny, schlubby Jews took over the world of mainstream comedy.

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Three Camp Ramah Alums Now Have Leading Roles on Broadway. What’s in the Bug Juice?

Posted on August 7th, 2017
By Gabriela Geselowitz for Tablet Magazine  

Turns out that singing in Hebrew in front of your peers may be the ticket to superstardom

What is it about Camp Ramah?

Specifically, what is it about Camp Ramah’s theater program? A bunch of Jewish teens performing simplified Hebrew translations of classic musicals can apparently lead to the Great White Way. And this isn’t about a lone example— there is soon to be three different Camp Ramah alumni on Broadway at the same time— all of them in leading roles.

For one, Caissie Levy (Ramah Canada) is set to belt “Let It Go” as Elsa in Frozen starting in the spring. Ethan Slater (Ramah New England) is getting his big break as the titular character in the stage adaptation of Spongebob Squarepants this November (yes, it’s actually supposed to be good). And if Tony winner Ben Platt (Ramah California) is still starring in Dear Evan Hansen several months from now, that will be three Ramahniks at once. So what gives? What’s in the water, or bug juice, or whatever the heck it is they drink at Camp Ramah?

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Shalom, Bollywood: Resurrecting the Jewish heritage of Hindi cinema

Posted on July 31st, 2017
Roshni Nair for the HindustanTimes

An Australian professor, Danny Ben-Moshe, is working on a documentary on the forgotten Indian Jews who left their mark on the world’s largest film industry

In February 2006, Florence Ezekiel Nadira died in a Mumbai hospital. That same week, thousands of miles away in Melbourne, Danny Ben-Moshe chanced upon her obituary. The interest it sparked would drive an 11-year search and culminate in a documentary on Hindi cinema’s once-lauded — and since forgotten — Jewish celebrities.

Ben-Moshe, an adjunct professor at Melbourne’s Deakin University, is also a documentary filmmaker and recipient of the Walkley Award, Australia’s top prize for documentaries. For his current baby, Shalom Bollywood: The Untold Story of Indian Cinema, he’s seeking $20,000 through a crowdfunding campaign on indiegogo.com.

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Mazal Tov to the First Female Dr. Who! Your Next Mission: Save British Jews

Posted on July 24th, 2017
By Liel Leibovitz for Tablet Magazine  

The iconic TV show was created by a Jew in part as a meditation on the sort of anti-Semitism that now sweeps Britain

Like nerds the world over, I was delighted to learn this weekend that the role of Doctor Who will soon be played, for the first time in the show’s history, by a woman. In case you’ve somehow missed the iconic show’s 36 seasons, you should know that this is a very big deal: the Doctor is a Time Lord, a merciful being who hops across space and time and keeps the universe safe from no-goodniks, occasionally slipping into a new body and a new personality whenever a new actor is ready for the challenge. Twelve have assumed the role so far; all have been men. And now comes, Jodie Whittaker, a fine British actress.

“I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey,” Whittaker said in a statement. “It’s more than an honor to play the Doctor. It means remembering everyone I used to be, while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: hope. I can’t wait.”

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Was Leonard Cohen A Zionist?

Posted on July 17th, 2017
Matthew Gindin for The Forward


The short answer is no. He was a mensch, not to say the two things are mutually exclusive.

The long answer follows.

On May 21st, a celebratory concert in Israel for Yom Yerushalayim featured an English-Hebrew rendition of “Hallelujah,” by far Leonard Cohen’s most misused song (if you don’t count the millions of questionable hook-ups spurred by some dude with a guitar singing “Suzanne”).

Some were not happy with this. Mondoweiss said the song was being used as “an anthem of Jewish exclusivists.” The article claimed (probably wrongly) that Cohen would have approved, mostly on the basis of Cohen’s 1973 visit to Israel during the Yom Kippur war, where he toured Israel with the troops cheering them with his presence and his music.


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Did You Know...?

Beth El is raising funds for a new playground?

With seed money from Cantor Jason Kaufman's concert, the JCCNV was able to start a fund with all proceeds going towards a new playground for the preschool.  If you would like to donate towards this very worthy project, simply send your donations to Beth El Hebrew Congregation and notate "Playground."  If you donate on line, the playground fund is first on the list!


Lifelong Learning

Wednesdays during the school year @ 7:00 PM
See calendar for exact dates and subjects



For more information about ALIVE! go to alive-inc.org.


Beth El House

For more information go to https://www.bethelhebrew.org/community/beth-el-house

Beth El House enables formerly homeless families to work toward self-sufficiency and confidence.


United We Stand


Beth El Hebrew Congregation stands with the residents of Charlottesville in denouncing hatred. The truly shameful behavior of neo Nazi groups that descended upon the city was the latest example of domestic terrorism designed to further divide our nation. We believe that all people regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religious affiliation are an asset to the social fabric of the United States. Any attempt by hate groups to deny the rights of citizens will always fail because our fundamental beliefs in liberty and equality. Our prayers go out to the families of Heather Heyer,  Lt. H. Jay Cullen, and Berke M.M. Bates, along with all the counter protesters who were hurt.








Summer services

begin at 6:30 PM

Services will not be streamed until the end of August due to renovations. We look forward to being with you towards the end of August.


upcoming events





August 11 @ 6:30 PM



Sunday, August 13 @ 2:00 PM

Contact the office for information



Sunday, August 27 @ 10:00 AM



Saturday, September 9

1:00 PM to 3:00 PM



at the JCC of Northern Virginia

Sunday, September 10 @ 10:00 AM



Sunday, October 29

2:00 PM to 5:00 PM


There are activities, meetings, services and seminars at Beth El each week, ranging from service opportunities to Jewish learning and education, drawing members and guests from throughout the Washington, D.C. area.

the full calendar