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.
Buy or reserve tickets to the J's Cultural Arts events through our online vendor Brown Paper Tickets
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.
Pre-Performance Talk at 7:00pm (Free Admission)
Author Tamar Barzel - New York Noise: Radical Jewish Music and the Downtown Scene
Coined in 1992 by composer/saxophonist John Zorn, "Radical Jewish Culture," or RJC, became the banner under which many artists in Zorn's circle performed, produced, and circulated their music. Read more about this event at Northern Virginia j.talks. Reserve Tickets
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 program for the evening includes:
- The Friar's Tale, choreography by Malcolm Burn, music by Sergei Prokofiev. The greatest love story ever told is brought to life through Burn's passionate choreography, originally created for The Royal New Zealand Ballet and re-arranged as a suite.
- Excerpts from Stolen Moments, choreography by Val Caniparoli, music by Jean-Philippe Rameau. Premiered at Richmond Ballet, Fall 2015. The dance incorporates a unique port de bras and a deft sense of musical timing and rhythm that is matched with an elegant form of partner work that is generous, tender and, at times, filled with emotion that stems from gestures chosen by the dancers.
- Rachmaninoff Rhapsody, choreography by Stoner Winslett, music by Sergei Rachmaninoff. The ballet features the Russian imperialist style of ballet, with its rigid, sparkling classicism. A celebration of virtuosity and a demonstration of the artform's rich technique and intricate patterns, Rachmaninoff Rhapsody is anchored by a romantic pas de deux to familiar music that showcases some of the most difficult, but awe-inspiring, steps from the entire lexicon of classical ballet.
The tour is underwritten in part by the Virginia Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Photo credit: Sarah Ferguson.
Tickets: $34 premium reserved (center, 1st four rows) | $29 adults | $25 J members and seniors (65+) | $20 Under 30. Buy Tickets
Richmond Ballet II pre-performance talk (Free Admission) at 6:30pm
The Art of Grace: On Moving Well Through Life
Sarah L. Kaufman is a Pulitzer Prize–winning dance critic for The Washington Post. Her new book teaches us to appreciate ― and enact ― grace in every dimension, from the physical to the emotional. We are naturally drawn to smooth, harmonious movement. Yet grace seems forgotten in our pushy, hectic modern world. Cary Grant is this book’s muse. His uncanny ease flowed from training as an acrobat but, equally, from his wit, humility, and genuine concern for others. So too, Sarah suggests, we might unearth the potential for grace in ourselves. Photo credit: Tony Powell. Reserve Tickets
Three New Plays | Audience Vote
Jewish Plays Project Contest
Sunday, March 13, 6:45pm
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 is one of nine communities around the United States that is participating in this national contest program.
Twenty-four local readers are reading the JPP's Top 10 plays (out of 209 submissions). The local readers will select three plays, and on March 13 the three 20-minute scenes will be presented to our audience by David Winitsky, artistic director of JPP. Following the readings, the audience gets to vote for what they think is the best new Jewish play of 2016! The JPP announces the winner of the contest in late April/early May. Read more about the top ten plays at Jewish Plays Project.
Tickets: $18 adult, $14 J members or seniors (65+), $10 under 30.
Coming this Summer
A new play by Helen Pafumi
A World Premiere co-production between The Hub Theatre and the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia
July 8 - July 31, 2016
Friday 8pm | Saturday 8pm | Sunday 2pm & 7pm
God just won’t let up. Sadie has heard the voice of God her entire life. But she has never answered back, after all, why her? As her parent’s marriage crumbles, and her own love interest takes off, Sadie’s life takes a comical turn toward the absurd. And in the midst of it all she must come to terms with her own worth and whether or not it’s time to let in the voice.
The Hub Theatre performs at the John Swayze Theatre at the New School of Northern Virginia, 9431 Silver King Court, Fairfax, Virginia 22031. Tickets: $20-$30. Buy Single Tickets (https://www.boxofficetickets.com/bot/wa/event?id=304563)
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!
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 18-25, 2016.
Jews & Jazz Series
Saturday, October 3, 8pm
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.
Return Engagement | Premiere A Cappella
Sunday, October 18, 1:30pm and 4pm
The Maccabeats have emerged as both Jewish music and a cappella phenomena. They perform an eclectic array of Jewish, American, and Israeli songs.
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 the challenges of interfaith marriage, our relationship with God, and the 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. The cast of the reading includes (in alphabetical order): Ed Christian, Michael Kevin Darnall*, Nanna Ingvarsson, Rose McConnell, Sasha Olinick*, Tia Shearer and Sara Dabney Tisdale. *Member Actors’ Equity Association.
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. Performing Arts events listed below. This project is funded in part by the Arts Council of Fairfax County, supported by Fairfax County.
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.
Presented in partnership with the Folklore Society of Greater Washington (FSGW)
Sunday, November 1, 7pm
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.
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.
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.
A Northern Virginia j.talks special event
A Broken Hallelujah: Rock and Roll, Redemption and the Life of Leonard Cohen
Plus Live music with special guests Bayla Whitten, Mat Tonti and Eliza Jane Berkon. Piano: Neil Epstein.
Saturday, December 5, 8pm
See description under Northern Virginia j.talks
Israeli Folk Dance
Sunday, December 13, 2pm
Join us at the J for an afternoon of performance and participation with Yesodot and Kesem.
Comedy & Music
Adam Ruben, plus Imrovistory with Victor Haskins
Saturday, January 16, 8pm
Our featured performer is Adam Ruben, a writer, comedian, storyteller, and, yes, a molecular biologist! Victor Haskins, just 23 years old, is a visionary, world-class trumpet and electronic wind instrument player, improviser, composer/arranger, bandleader, and educator.
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.