JCCNV Cultural Arts Mission
To demonstrate, illuminate and celebrate the breadth and depth of Judaism’s culture, identity, creativity, diversity and resiliency through the performing, visual and literary arts.
Cultural Arts programming is partially funded by the Arts Fund, and the Arts Council of Fairfax County, supported by Fairfax County.
The Performing Arts Series presents cultural programming designed to engage people of all generations, and to provide texture and insight into the rich cultural history and contemporary trends of the Jewish people. The Series strives to make the J a destination for both JCCNV members and the general public to celebrate and appreciate Judaism’s culture, people, spirituality, wisdom, humor and creativity.
Unless otherwise noted, all performances take place at the JCCNV. Check back for updates and additional information on all events. All programs and dates subject to change.
Underwriting and sponsorship opportunities available. Please contact Dan Kirsch at Dan.Kirsch@jccnv.org
For questions, and to buy tickets:
Box Office: 703.537.3000
Please note: seating for most events is assigned by the J based on the date of purchase. Audience members are assigned a group number - group one enters first, group two enters second, etc.
Special Events: Cultural Events Exploring the Jews of India
Blue Like Me
October 20–December 14, 2015
Featured Artist: Siona Benjamin
Blue Like Me is a multi-disciplinary event featuring the Indian-American artist Siona Benjamin. Blue Like Me includes an exhibition of Siona’s recent artwork, a documentary film about the artist, a workshop by the artist, and an interdisciplinary Indian dance performance inspired by her paintings. There will also be a talk by authors Kenneth X. Robbins and Joan Nathan, plus an Indian food event. Performing Arts events listed below. Please also see Fine Arts for exhibition and artist workshop information. This project is funded in part by the Arts Council of Fairfax County, supported by Fairfax County.
Jews & Jazz Series
Saturday, October 3, 8pm
Jews have been connected to Jazz since its inception. From Gershwin to Goodman, Willie “The Lion” Smith to jazz drumming legend Buddy Rich, Jews were there in the beginning and interwoven throughout the rich cultural and musical legacy that is Jazz. Saul Kaye, The Pioneer of Jewish Blues, also steeped his soul into the world of Jazz from his early years. At this unique concert, Saul will be drawing on songs from Tin Pan Alley, Jazz Standards, and giving his own renditions of the Great American Songbook. Saul’s appearance was booked through The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life.
Tickets: $29 adults | $25 J members and seniors (65+) | $20 Under 30
Return Engagement | Premiere A Cappella
Sunday, October 18, 1:30pm and 4pm
A cappella holds a cherished place in the Jewish tradition, having been extensively employed in both the synagogue and the home over the millennia due to an ancient prohibition against playing instruments on Shabbat. Many of the Maccabeats got their musical starts at the Shabbat table and shul, places where they still perform. The Maccabeats have emerged as both Jewish music and a cappella phenomena. They perform an eclectic array of Jewish, American, and Israeli songs.
Tickets: $34 premium reserved (center, 1st four rows) | $29 adults | $25 J members and seniors (65+) | $21 ages 9–21 | $18 ages 3–8
$21 group rate for 15 or more tickets
New Play Commission
A reading of Redder Blood by Helen Pafumi
Monday, October 19, 7:30pm
God is always talking to Sadie, and Sadie is never talking back, even while her family combusts and her love life takes off. During the past year, the J was a patron of local playwright Helen Pafumi (Artistic Director of The Hub Theatre) as she wrote her newest play. A lesson from the Midrash asks “whose blood is redder?” In a modern turn, Redder Blood explores an ancient question about how we measure our worth. The J is excited to foster this new play for future production. Join us for the first public reading. Part of the Women’s Voices Theatre Festival.
Free admission (online reservation required)
Blue Like Me Opening Event
Blue Like Me: The Art of Siona Benjamin
Saturday, October 24, 8pm
Along with the official opening of "Blue Like Me" exhibition in the Bodzin Art Gallery, this documentary film follows Indian-American artist Siona Benjamin’s journey back to her roots in the Bene Israel community where she grew up. In the film, she speaks of how her work blurs the boundaries between different religions. Following the film, there will be a Q&A with Siona and Ryan Arey, the film’s editor, and special guest Ori Soltes, theology, philosophy and art history professor at Georgetown University.
Tickets: $20 adults | $16 J members and seniors (65+) | $12 under 30. Ticket includes meet-the-artists reception. Seating: Black Box configuration for 120.
Presented in partnership with the Folklore Society of Greater Washington (FSGW)
Sunday, November 1, 7pm
Founded in January 2010, Trio Sefardi is a confluence of three performers who share a love of, and a wide-ranging experience with, Sephardic music as influenced by La Rondinella, the Western Wind, and National Heritage Fellowship winner Flory Jagoda. Group members Susan Gaeta, Tina Chancey, and Howard Bass combine a respect for tradition with a creative approach to arranging and scoring dedicated to bringing the vibrant past into the living present. The FSGW’s mission is to further the understanding, investigation, appreciation, and performance of the traditional folk music and folklore of the American people.
Tickets: $24 adults | $20 J members, seniors (65+) and FSGW members | $14 under 30. Seating: Black Box configuration for 120.
Blue Like Me
Rang de Nila (Color Me Blue)
Saturday, November 7, 8pm
Rang de Nila is a performance piece that combines music and dance with the art of Siona Benjamin. In the performance, the dancers assume the roles of the subjects of Benjamin’s paintings. Through movements infused with elements of traditional Indian dance, modern dance, and jazz, the dancers explore themes of identity and what it means to be a Jewish Indian woman.
Tickets: $24 adults | $20 J members and seniors (65+) | $14 under 30
From the Bimah to Broadway
Sunday, November 22, 7pm
Join us for a delightful evening of Jewish and Broadway music, performed by several cantors in our region, including Hazzan Elisheva Dienstfrey, Agudas Achim Congregation; Cantor Jason Kaufman, Beth El Hebrew Congregation; Cantor Rachel Rhodes and Cantor Michael Shochet, Temple Rodef Shalom; and a special guest appearance by Hazzan Sidney G. Rabinowitz.
Tickets: $32 premium reserved (center, 1st four rows) | $27 adults | $23 J members & seniors (65+) | $18 under 30
$21 group rate for 15 or more tickets
A Northern Virginia j.talks special event
A Broken Hallelujah: Rock and Roll, Redemption and the Life of Leonard Cohen
Live music with special guest Bayla Whitten and friends
Saturday, December 5, 8pm
See description under Northern Virginia j.talks
Bring your dancing shoes!
Israeli Folk Dance
Sunday, December 13, 2pm
Join us at the J for an afternoon of performance and participation with Yesodot and Kesem. These Israeli dance troupes, comprised of DC area middle and high school teenagers, recently performed at Israeli Dance Festivals in New York and Boston. The costumes, music, choreography, and pre- and post-performance dialogues help audiences understand more about the land of Israel and the diverse backgrounds of the Jewish people. After the performance, it’s your turn to dance!
At Mosaic District, immediately following Israeli Folk Dance
Light Up the Night! Community Menorah Lighting at Mosaic!
Sunday, December 13, 4pm–5:30pm
Comedy & Music
Saturday, January 16, 8pm
Our featured performer is Adam Ruben, a writer, comedian, storyteller, and, yes, a molecular biologist! He is the author of Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School, a satirical guide to the low points and, well, lower points of post-baccalaureate education. His new one-man show, I Feel Funny: True Stories of Misadventures in Stand-Up Comedy premiered at the 2015 Capital Fringe Festival. Music act to be announced.
Tickets: $29 premium reserved (center, 1st four rows) | $24 adults, J members & seniors (65+) | $20 under 30. All tickets include one beverage. Seating: Black Box configuration for 120.
Russian, Ukrainian, and Eastern European Jewish music
Washington Balalaika Society in Concert
Sunday, January 17, 2pm
The Washington Balalaika Society was founded in 1988 by a group of DC area musicians interested in studying and performing the music of Russia, Ukraine, and Eastern Europe on traditional Russian folk instruments — the balalaika, domra, bayan, and related folk wind and percussion instruments. The WBS Orchestra is now the largest of its kind in America with musicians at all levels from beginner to professional, and from teens to in their 80s.
Tickets: $24 adults | $20 J members and seniors (65+) | $14 under 30
Jews and Jazz Series: An intimate jazz concert
Roy Assaf Trio
Saturday, February 20, 8pm
Israeli jazz pianist Roy Assaf has already racked up some prestigious prizes, including an ASCAP Young Jazz Composer award and the America-Israel Cultural Foundation Prize for Young Israeli Musicians. With drummer Jake Goldbas and bassist Ravi Markovitz, the trio delivers fresh color to the world of music. Their 2014 debut album, Second Row Behind the Painter, is a smooth mix of original compositions and classics. They have performed at venues such as The Blue Note and the Rubin Museum of Art, and recently toured to the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy and Finland. No matter what song or style they play, there are always elements of melody, emotions and groove in their music.
Tickets: $34 premium reserved (center, 1st four rows) | $29 adults | $25 members and seniors (65+) | $20 under 30. Seating: Black Box configuration for 120.
Classic & Contemporary Rep Program
Richmond Ballet II
Saturday, March 12, 7:30pm
Designated the State Ballet of Virginia, Richmond Ballet II returns for a third visit to the J with a new repertory program of classical and contemporary dance. The tour is underwritten in part by the Virginia Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Tickets: $34 premium reserved (center, 1st four rows) | $29 adults | $25 J members and seniors (65+) | $20 Under 30
Three New Plays | Audience Vote
Jewish Plays Project
The Jewish Plays Project (JPP) puts bold, progressive Jewish conversations on world stages. Their innovative and competitive development vehicle invests emerging artists in their Jewish identity and engages Jewish communities in the vetting, selecting, and championing of new voices. Fairfax will be one of several communities around the United States that will participate in this national program.
Date and ticketing to be announced.
The Northern Virginia Jewish Book Festival has morphed into an ongoing series of j.talks, conversations with authors and artists. Join us throughout the year for hard truths and inspiring stories, Jewish values and living history — along with food, fiction and funny!
New Book Sale: October 29-November 10, 2015
The JCCNV Fine Arts Program supports and encourages the development of Jewish artists and/or Jewish arts.
Explore and enjoy all things Jewish food through theatre, film, music, chefs, cookbook authors, plus cooking demonstrations and tastings.
The annual Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival, powered by the JCCNV, will screen 10-12 contemporary Jewish-themed and/or Israeli-made feature films that explore identity and place in the world.
Thursday–Sunday, April 7-17, 2016
Angelika Film Center & Café at Mosaic
ReelAbilities Film Festival invites you to engage, empower and champion the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with different abilities. September 2016.