Menu Washington Hebrew Congregation

Video Archive

Discover WHC's robust collection of videos from past programs, educational opportunities, and worship experiences.


Rosh Hashanah 5778: WHC President David Astrove's Remarks "Stolpersteine" Exhibit Shabbat With Ambassador Peter Wittig
The moral message of Washington Hebrew Congregation and the Reform Movement was captured in remarks made by WHC President David Astrove during our Congregational Rosh Hashanah service. We invite you to view his full speech. On Friday, October 27, 2017, German Ambassador Peter Wittig joined us to celebrate the opening of the exhibition "Stumbling Stones - Remembrance and Social Sculpture." Started in 1992 as an art project by German artist Gunter Demnig, Stolpersteine (stumbling stones) mark the last location a person chose to live before they became victims of Nazi terror. Today, over 56,000 stolpersteine can be found in over 22 European countries.

MLK Shabbat Service: "The Glen Echo Protest"
A Shabbat of Peace, Featuring Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah With Music by Dan Nichols
On Friday, January 12, 2018, we held our annual MLK Shabbat service where we told the story of the 1960 protest to end Glen Echo Amusement Park's policy of segregation. Original protesters - Dion T. Diamond, Esther Delaplaine, and WHC member Lois Goodman Ontell - along with Ilana Trachtman, an Emmy award-winning filmmaker who is working on a documentary about that summer and the years of activism that followed, joined Rabbi Lustig on the bimah for a panel discussion during the service. Ranked 9th on the 2018 list of “The Muslim 500: The World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims,” Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah is a prominent Muslim cleric, respected religious scholar, and President of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, Abu Dhabi, UAE. On February 9, 2018, the sheikh joined us at WHC and spoke for the first time at a Jewish house of worship. His remarks were paired with a selection of peace-themed music from WHC Artist-in-Residence Dan Nichols. WHC's youth choir, JAM, and the ADAMS Center’s youth choir, ADAMS Beat, joined Dan Nichols on the bimah.
Shabbat for Our Lives: A Shabbat Service, Vigil, and Social Justice Song Session
Before we marched at the March of Our Lives, we came together on Friday, March 23, 2018, to reflect on the impact of the epidemic of gun violence in the United States. In a special Shabbat service with participation from teens around the country, we raised our collective voices and prepared for action. This service was designed and planned by teens and focused on how gun violence has impacted their lives. Jewish musicians Noah Aronson, Stacy Beyer, Rabbi Joe Black, Alan Goodis, and Dan Nichols joined teens on the bimah for this Shabbat service, vigil, and social justice song session.

Lifelong Learning

Prejudice, Race, and Religion - Yom Kippur Panel Discussion
Amram Scholar Series Presents: Thomas L. Friedman
America’s journey to achieve justice and equality for all its citizens can be either enhanced or challenged by the interplay between race, religion, and politics. Our panelists, Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, formerly with the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center; Cornell William Brooks, the former president of the NAACP; and Rabbi Lustig understand the tension that exists between these three pillars of our society.

On October 29, 2017, Thomas L. Friedman joined us to launch the 2017-2018 Amram Scholar Series. Focusing on his latest book, Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations, Friedman discussed the stresses and challenges of succeeding in our current world of dizzying accelerations.
"What Makes Life Worth Living?" - 2016 Yom Kippur Study Session with Rabbi Haberman
Amram Scholar Series Presents: Steven J. Ross
Every year, Senior Rabbi Emeritus Joshua O. Haberman joined us at Yom Kippur to share his wisdom. In 2016, for his final Yom Kippur Study Session, over 700 people filled Irwin & Ginny Edlavitch Hall to hear him talk on "What Makes Life Worth Living?" The chilling, little-known story of how Jews in Los Angeles thwarted Nazi plots against America from 1933 to the end of World War II was the focus of an Amram Scholar Series lecture by eminent film historian Steven J. Ross on November 19, 2017. This lecture was based on his latest book, Hitler in Los Angeles.

Amram Scholar Series Presents: Eddy Portnoy
Amram Scholar Series Presents: William Taubman
Stories abound of Jewish immigrants climbing the ladder of social mobility during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. But historian Eddy Portnoy has discovered others, Jewish bunglers and blockheads who didn’t make it into the history books. Now Dr. Portnoy has incorporated their tales in a newly published book, Bad Rabbi and Other Strange But True Stories from the Yiddish Press. He introduced us to these “downwardly” mobile Jews during his Amram Scholar Series lecture on December 3, 2017. Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Taubman came to the Amram Scholar Series to revisit the decades when the United States and the Soviet Union — the world's two superpowers — dictated geopolitical strategy, foreign policy, and economic stability. His talk on January 28, 2018 focused on his new biography, Gorbachev: His Life and Times, for which the former Soviet leader afforded him extensive access. The book has been named as one of five finalists for the 2017 National Book Critics Circle award for biography.
Amram Scholar Series Presents: Alan Zweibel
Five-time Emmy award-winning commedy writer Alan Zweibel joined us on Sunday, March 18, 2018, for an Amram talk about his book, For This We Left Egypt? A Passover Haggadah for Jews and Those Who Love Them. Mr. Zweibel is an original Saturday Night Live writer, collaborated with Billy Crystal on the Tony award-winning play 700 Sundays, and won the Thurber Prize for this novel The Other Shulman. Currently, he is writing the book for a Broadway musical version of the movie Field of Dreams.

Faith in Action

Cultural Perspectives on Welcoming a Refugee Family
On January 22, 2018, WHC's Good Neighbors Initiative hosted a panel discussion offering cultural perspectives on welcoming a refugee family into our community. Panelists shared their perspectives on the transition to life in the United States.

WHC Stories

Rabbi M. Bruce Lustig
Lauren Racoosin
When Rabbi Lustig first visited Washington Hebrew Congregation as a rabbinical student more than 30 years ago, he was overwhelmed at its size. Then, when he became our Associate Rabbi, his plan was to be here for three years so his wife, Amy, could finish law school. What changed his mind?

Lauren Racoosin served as Washington Hebrew Congregation’s President from 2008 – 2010. How and when did she become connected to WHC?
Katherine Reynolds Lewis and Brian Lewis
Diane Heiman
"Just come." Those two words brought Katherine (Kakki) Reynolds Lewis and her then boyfriend, Brian Lewis, to WHC for the High Holy Days. Kakki didn’t grow up Jewish; Brian did. What did they find at Washington Hebrew Congregation?

Sharing a treasured heirloom with WHC for an exhibit led to a special discovery for the Heiman family. What connected two WHC families to a tiny East German town more than 75 years ago?
Adrienne Elman
Marcia Weinberg
Adrienne Elman grew up at Washington Hebrew Congregation and has fond memories of the time when we called the building at 8th Street between H & I home. What was life like for a teen when Washington, D.C. was a small town and everyone knew each other?

On MLK Day of Service, we think back to the beginnings of our relationship with the African American community in D.C. Marcia Weinberg, the wife of our late senior rabbi, Rabbi Joseph Weinberg, remembers it well.
Cantor Susan Bortnick
Dorothy Kornhauser
The grandeur of Kaufmann Sanctuary made quite an impression on Cantor Bortnick when she was first hired by WHC. Sharing some of the mysteries and magic of this sacred space with B’nei Mitzvah students is a special rite of passage for both pupil and teacher. What tricks does Cantor Bortnick have up her robe sleeves?

Dorothy Kornhauser’s WHC Story spans 130 years – from her great-grandmother who joined Washington Hebrew Congregation in 1886 to her grandchildren who are sixth generation members. How has WHC changed over the years?
Rabbi Susan Shankman
Lou Kornhauser
Rabbi Susan Shankman grew up in and always wanted to work at a large congregation. She loves the many opportunities WHC’s size gives her to create deep and lasting connections with so many individuals and families. What does Rabbi Shankman find so special about each moment and interaction?

Rabbi Joseph Weinberg blessed Lou and Dotty Kornhauser’s marriage – a second for both – in 1999 during a Friday evening Shabbat service. Lou has fond memories of this meaningful moment. What is it about this blessing that Lou holds so dear?
Sharyn Nerenberg
Rabbi M. Bruce Lustig
Sharyn Nerenberg is a lifelong member of Washington Hebrew Congregation. When her sister, Laura, died in 1996, Rabbi Weinberg gave her a safe space to ask questions and process her loss. This time was a turning point for Sharyn – both in how she viewed her role in the Congregation and her relationship with WHC’s clergy.

On Sunday, April 17, 2016, Washington Hebrew Congregation celebrated the 25th anniversary of Mitzvah Day. This annual day of tikkun olam, which Rabbi Lustig created for WHC, has been replicated throughout the world. Just how did Mitzvah Day come to be?
Rabbi Aaron Miller
Zachary Kramer
Rabbi Miller is passionate about working with adults in their 20s and 30s, and his Metro Minyan has given D.C.’s young professionals a vibrant Reform Shabbat experience. The Metro Minyan so many have come to know and love is not what Rabbi Miller originally envisioned. What was his original concept and how did Metro Minyan become a Slingshot Award-winning experience?

Zach Kramer is now a junior in college. As a high school student, Zach was an active member of WHECTY, Washington Hebrew Congregation’s senior youth group. What was it about WHECTY that helped him evolve from a self-described shy eighth grader to WHECTY President?
Anne Golder
Marcia Weinberg
As our Religious School and Early Childhood Centers bring another wonderful year to a close, we are delighted to share the WHC Story of one of our Religious School teachers, Anne Golder, whose career at WHC began her nearly 35 years ago when she became an ECC teacher at JBSC.

When the Weinberg family – Rabbi Joe, Marcia, Rachel, and Jonathan (Josh was a twinkle in their eye) – came to Washington, D.C., they thought it would be just for a year so Rabbi Weinberg could finish his dissertation. Things didn’t turn out the way they expected. As Marcia says, “It was a love affair from the start… One thing led to another, and we never left.”
Diane Heiman
How do you choose a synagogue? For the Heiman family, their relationship with WHC began at the Early Childhood Center. Attending Tot Shabbat and seeing clergy interact with the children sealed the deal. Their little preschooler has grown. Where did she end up?

Previous Years

Browse our video archive and rediscover events, worship experiences, and more from previous years.

2016-2017 Videos  
2016-2017 Videos
2015-2016 Videos  
2015-2016 Videos