Events, News, and Shmooz

Rabbi Hannah's Letter

Rabbi Hannah is out of the office this week and asked us to share these three poems by Dane Kuttler:

“And G!d says: That which doesn’t break you, doesn’t break you because you chose community. Imperfect, lurching, and leaning into the wind, you chose to build your family out of all the bent and rusted, the scraps and shards, fitting them together in a holy mosaic. You hold it together with your collective unbreakability. And it holds you.

And G!d says: Bring me your unspoken doubts, your anguish, your fears, hidden in a liturgy of praise. Bring me thanks for that which you cannot claim. I am endless; I am boundless. Come in defiance, come in agony, come in debilitating joy. There is nothing to find, but I can hold all that you leave.

And G!d says: The thing you feared ~ that loss, that loneliness, that unbelievable thing ~ is inescapable. It is here. But your fear of it ~ that, you can leave behind. You want peace in this? Stop staring at the place where you buried your hope. Water it.  Warm it. It will surprise you when it breaks through.”

–Dane Kuttler, The Book of Solace


To learn more about these events (including how to register, which we require for almost all events), please visit our website calendar HERE.

All events are in person and indoors, unless otherwise noted. 

Saturday, November 11th

Tot Shabbat

at 10:00 am

at Reformation (212 E. Capitol St., NE)

Sunday, November 12th

The Supreme Court & Faith

at 2:00 pm

at Reformation (212 E. Capitol St., NE)

Tuesday, November 14th

Jewish Kids Club

at 5:00 pm

8th-9th Grade Kulam

at 5:30 pm

at Reformation (212 E. Capitol St., NE)

Wednesday, November 15th

10th-12th Grade Kulam

at 5:30 pm

at Reformation (212 E. Capitol St., NE)

Friday, November 17th

Kabbalat Shabbat Service & Dinner

at 6:30 pm

at Reformation (212 E. Capitol St., NE)

Saturday, November 18th

Pajama Havdalah (for families with young children)

at 4:30 pm

at Reformation (212 E. Capitol St., NE)

Sunday, November 19th

Capital Jewish Museum Guided Tour

at 1:30 pm

Lillian & Albert Small Capital Jewish Museum (575 3rd St., NW)

Saturday, December 2nd

Tot Shabbat

at 9:00 am

Shabbat Morning Service

at 10:00 am

at Reformation (212 E. Capitol St., NE)

For information about upcoming events not run by Hill Havurah that might be of interest to our community, click HERE.

News and Shmooz

Hill Havurah Receives Security Micro-Grant!

This week we received a $2,500 security micro-grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington under their initiative "to help synagogues enhance security services for their facilities during the current heightened concerns for security due to the war taking place in Israel."

A big thank you to Board member and immediate past Board Chair Marlene Singer for successfully pulling together our application in record time.

Support Services from JSSA

JSSA is offering ongoing, free listening and support spaces around the crisis in Israel and Gaza online for anyone in the community, on Wednesday evenings and Friday at noon.

"We know that many of our neighbors are experiencing profound anxiety, concern, sorrow, and feelings of vulnerability that are impacting our well-being. JSSA is here to serve all people with empathy, compassion, and caring."

For more information, click here.

Adult B Mitzvah and Ritual Leadership Class

Do you aspire to become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah as an adult?

Are you interested in learning how to lead services, chant Torah, or give meaningful divrei torah?

Do you want to hang out and explore with other people who are interested in Judaism?

Fill out this survey by the end of November, and let's make it happen.

Migrant Solidarity Support Needs

We are continuing our migrant solidarity work, and continue to need all hands on deck. There are so many ways to contribute to the effort -- sign up to volunteer here, and sign up to help with food during the week here.

Lifecycle Events

Happy 12th birthday, Charlie Levin!

Happy birthday, Noah Mayerson!

Happy birthday, 

Michael Shenkman!

Happy 11th birthday, Eli Neufeld!

Happy 11th birthday, 

Talia Neufeld!

Happy birthday, Roberta Shapiro!

Happy birthday, Jeremy Root!

Happy anniversary,

Adam & Sally Schiff

Upcoming Yahrzeits

The following yahrzeit is coming up this week:

  • Daniel Adler-Goldsmith, z"l, brother of David Goldsmith

If you've not entered yahrzeit information about your deceased loved ones in your account, you can at any time. If you need any help, you can email Alan Shusterman for assistance.

Mi Shebeirach L'Cholim -- Prayers for Healing

May the One who blessed our ancestors -- Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah -- bless and heal:

Ron Levin, Udi (Mowgly) Becker, Achim Brettschneider, Rita Brettschneider, Miriam Biatch, Devora Chaya bat Miriam v'Tzvi, Asher David ben Nachum v'Malka, & Susan Cohen.

May the Holy Blessed One overflow with compassion upon them, to restore them, to heal them, to strengthen them, to enliven them, along with all the ill among the people of Israel and all humankind, soon, speedily, without delay, and let us all say: Amen.

If you or a loved one are in need of healing, and you'd appreciate the community keeping you in mind, please reach out to Alan Shusterman so he can add you or your loved one to our Shmoozy Nuz Mi Shebeirach list. If it's time to take a name off the list for any reason, let Alan know that as well. Feel free to include their English and/or Hebrew name. 

Please make sure to get your loved one's consent before having their name added to the list -- or, if they prefer privacy, we can instead add, "Loved One of [Insert Your Name]." 


Hill Havurah is an independent Jewish community based on Capitol Hill serving people from across the Washington metropolitan area. Our mission is to anticipate and meet the spiritual, educational, religious, cultural, and life cycle needs of a growing and evolving Jewish community. Hill Havurah's many activities support our members' interests in advancing Jewish culture, identity, education, and a commitment to community service. A warm, inclusive, and informal spirit is part of what has made Hill Havurah so special for more than two decades.

Contact Information:

Address: 212 East Capitol Street, NE

Washington, DC 20003

Phone: 202-729-3515

Rabbi Hannah Spiro, Rabbi

Alan Shusterman, Executive Director

Melissa Werbow, Education Director

Tina Brimo, Gan Shalom Director

Rebecca Freund, B Mitzvah Coordinator

Jocelyn Donahue, Operations Coordinator