Kol Ami — The Northern Virginia Reconstructionist Community
Kol Ami holds family-friendly holiday celebrations throughout the year that are suitable for everyone, age 0 to 99! Join Rabbi Gilah and lay leaders as we journey each year through the rich calendar of Jewish holidays:
High Holidays: Our inspiring services are led by Rabbi Gilah and lay leaders in the Sanctuary of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington. Our Rosh Hashanah services include original musical arrangements by our Kol Amite musicians, new themes offered each year by Rabbi Gilah, and an invitation to participate in readings and aliyot extended to all members of our community. Teens lead a special Torah discussion on Yom Kippur in break-0ut sessions. Tashlich is held at a local park along with a Rosh Hashanah picnic. There are suggested donation rates for visitors. No one is turned away due to financial constraints.
For information on this year’s High Holiday Services, click here.
Sukkot: Each year Kol Ami builds a Sukkah and holds a family-friendly Sukkot program and potluck dinner in the backyard of a nearby congregant.
Simchat Torah: We celebrate reading the end of the Torah and then immediately begin again, in a cycle that began millennia ago and that continues today. We dance, we sing, we rejoice! Then we join together for a potluck meal.
Hanukkah: Join us for an old-fashioned Hanukkah party! We light menorahs and sing songs. We eat latkes and other veggie potluck food. Dreidel tables and other crafts are on hand, and Rabbi Gilah usually leads a program, hosts a quiz show, or directs a Hanukkah play. Community members bring their own Hanukkah menorahs and candles to add to the light.
Tu B’Shevat: This is the Jewish community’s lesser known seder for trees and nature, but at Kol Ami it’s every bit as festive. Celebrate the deep roots and earth-based wisdom of our tradition, sampling fruits from each of the Kabbalistic four worlds.
Purim: Each year Kol Ami plans a delightful Purim carnival, featuring games and challenges of all kinds. Teens (and adults) are invited to help staff the booths. Then we gather round for a Purim shpiel with Megillah excerpts. We celebrate Esther’s courage, her loyalty, and her willingness to stand up and take action. And of course we partake of hamantaschen and other light refreshments. Costumes are encouraged! Silliness is expected!
Passover: Join our popular second night Community Seder — open to the extended community.
There are still more holiday commemorations on the calendar — bonfires on Lag B’Omer, Shavuot study sessions into the night, Lamentations on Tisha B’Av. We invite you to join our communal gatherings and live the Jewish calendar with us.