February in Center City

It’s often hard to feel enthusiastic about February, and this year has been especially challenging for many of us. If you are looking for new ways to get involved in your community, to meet new people, to speak out for social justice, or any other Jewish needs, please get in touch! We’re also happy to provide this list of upcoming community events.

The National Museum of American Jewish History is FREE for the entire month of February. Escape the cold and enjoy free admission! Explore the core exhibition, as well as the original, iconic 1790 letter from George Washington to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island. In this letter, the nation’s first president proclaims, “to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance,” underscoring the new nation’s commitment to religious liberty and equality for people of all faiths. Presidents Day on Monday, February 20 will feature interactive story telling, arts and crafts projects, and the chance to meet George Washington! The museum is located at 101 S. Independence Mall East (5th and Market).

Also at the Museum, on February 12 at 2:00 pm, is the Philadelphia premiere of Persona Non Grata (Japan, 2015, 139 min.) with director Cellin Gluck in attendance. This narrative film tells the compelling and little-known story of the only Japanese Righteous Among the Nations, Chiune Sugihara*, who saved thousands of Jewish lives during World War II. Sponsored by NMAJH, presented with the Philadelphia Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League and the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival. Then on February 22 at 7:00 pm at the Museum, you’re invited to Seinfeldia, a discussion with Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, author of the New York Times bestseller, Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything. The book will be available for sale and signing.

On Saturday night, February 11, Germantown Jewish Centre is hosting Al-Bustan Takht Trio: An Evening of Arab Classical & Contemporary Music. They are a group of renowned artists who bridge cultures with their music, creating a transcendental experience where music is a universal language. Join us in GJC’s beautiful Charry Sanctuary for a concert that promises an opportunity to explore the shared musical heritage that connects both Arab and Jewish music, the same melodies and modes that we chant in our prayers and when we read Torah, in a deep, meaningful and beautiful way. The event will be at 7:00 pm at Germantown Jewish Centre, 400 W. Ellet Street, Philadelphia, PA 19119. If you are looking for other cross-cultural ideas, contact the Center City Kehillah!

Also at Germantown Jewish Centre on Saturday, February 18 at 6:00 is Tot Havdallah JAM with Koresh Kids Dance. Using the story of a girl who spends Shabbat with the Shabbat Queen and learns how to leave her (knowing that she will come back), come explore the transition between Shabbat and the school/work week. How do we go from a day of rest back into our daily lives when we can’t see, feel or hear time passing? We will experience this transition through our bodies with movement and dance, embodying this moment of change as we bid the Shabbat Queen goodbye. The program will be followed by a delicious tot-friendly dinner in community created by Centre Catering (under Traditional Kosher Supervision). The dinner is $8/adult, $4/child.

President’s Day is Monday, February 20. No School? No problem! Join Makom Community for a fun-filled day (9:00 am-6:00 pm) when you’re off from school on President’s Day. We will be taking a trip to The National Liberty Museum, enjoying playtime outside and much more! Welcome to anyone in the community, always! 2000 Chestnut Street.

The next gathering of the Center City Kehillah’s Social Justice Beit Midrash is Wednesday, February 22. We’ll be learning about economic class and meeting from 7:00-9:00 pm at Locust on the Park, 201 S. 25th Street. The event is free, but pre-registration is requested.

Sunday, February 26 is the February Day of Service with Repair the World: Philadelphia. If you are interested in joining the service projects on this day at organizations including Challah for Hunger and Books through Bars, please reach out to zoe.braunstein@weRepair.org to reserve your spot and make a difference!

If this day doesn’t work for you but you want to learn more about community service opportunities, please let us know. Many Center City Kehillah synagogues and organizations have regular opportunities to give back to our communities.

On Monday, February 27, join InterfaithFamily/Philadelphia and other interfaith couples in their 20’s and 30’s for an Interfaith Couples Meetup, an evening of socializing and fun, meaningful conversation held at Parc Rittenhouse, 225 S. 18th Street.

If you are a Jewish high school junior and/or a parent of one, you may be eligible for the Lasko College Prep Program, including FREE SAT/ACT tutoring and college and financial aid advising. Call 215-832-0875 for more information, or email LaskoCollege@jevs.org.
Be sure to like the Center City Kehillah on Facebook to find out about more events throughout the month, to be notified when we publish a new blog post, and to connect with the Center City Jewish community!