Purim 5784!

Celebrate Purim with New Synagogue Project, the event that launched our community 6 (!!!) years ago! Our focus at Purim this year will be on solidarity, sisterhood, and collective freedom. Through political theater and art we will uplift stories of cycles of liberation and oppression, including both Palestinian and Jewish liberation. Purim reminds us that JOY is a necessary spiritual practice, a form of resistance, and an opening for radical love. Purim is a holiday known for costumes, masks, identity fluidity, raucous dance, scrumptious treats, and – for grownups who partake – abundant booze. NSP goes BIG at Purim, celebrating with live entertainment, art, fundraising, and local justice organizing. Kiddos and their adults are invited to the Kids Purim Party on Sunday, March 24th and all adults are invited to our Megillah Reading & Radical Purim Party on Saturday, March 23rd.

NSP’s Megillah Reading & Radical Purim Party
*SATURDAY*, March 23rd​
Megillah Reading: 7:00pm
Party & Entertainment: 8:00pm – midnight
Location: Ivy City Smokehouse (indoor + outdoor)
Tickets: $10 – $36 (sliding scale)
Proceeds benefit CASA

On the program, **drumroll, please**
Petworth’s own kind & funny drag queen, Tara Hoot
Megillah reading by NSP’s Leyn for Liberation study group
A Purim Spiel, written, produced, & acted by your fellow NSP members 
The first performance of NSP’s Radical Marching Band
Ecstatic dance! Hamantaschen! And much much more!
Register Here for NSPs Radical Purim Party

Ivy City Smokehouse is both an indoor and outdoor venue. The megillah reading will happen outdoors and other performances will happen indoors. All attendees must be vaccinated against COVID-19, take a rapid COVID test before arriving (tests will be available onsite), mask while indoors, and eat and drink outdoors.

ASL interpretation will be provided for the Megillah reading, spiel, and guest performance. If you have other access requests events please reach out to access@newsynagogueproject.org. All requests are welcome!

In the spirit of the mitzvot (sacred obligations) of Purim, which call on us to give resources to ensure all can rejoice, ticket proceeds from our Radical Purim Party each year are donated to a local social justice group organizing to create a world of freedom and liberation. This year, we are raising funds for CASA. CASA provides critical services to immigrant and working-class families, and advocates for their rights. As a national membership based organization, CASA uses its powerbuilding that blends human services, community organizing, and advocacy in order to serve the full spectrum of the needs, dreams, and aspirations of members.

Register Here to Join the Party

Purim for Kids & Families at NSP
NSP Kids Purim Party
Party time, kid style! Kids (and grown-ups!) come in costume to make crafts, play lawn games, sing, and eat hamantaschen! Rabbi Yosef will tell the Purim story!
Sunday, March 24, 10:30am-12:30pm
Location: Rock Creek Park Grove #7
Register Here for the NSP Kids Purim Party

Purim Cookie Baking

Kids Team Hamantaschen Baking
It’s time to bake cookies!! Come join the kids team for a communal baking extravaganza. Baking will occur in two shifts starting at 5pm or 7pm. Dinner will be provided!
Wednesday March 20th, 5-9 pm
Location: Takoma, DC (address confirmed after registration)
Register to join the NSP Kids Team Hamantaschen Baking****
Space is limited & will be filled first come, first-served basis
CALLING BAKING LOVERS: If you are not a parent who needs to take their kiddo to bed, and want to help close out and clean up at the kids baking event (~8-9pm), please email holidays@newsynagogueproject.org to get plugged into supporting this event!

Community Purim Baking
Do you enjoy baking? Or maybe just love to make a mess in the kitchen? Join fellow community members to make hamantaschen and biscochos for the Radical Purim Party. Keep an eye out for information on how to register coming soon to your inbox.
Sunday, March 17th, 2-6 pm
Location: Hyattsville, MD (address confirmed after registration)
**Space is limited & will be filled first come, first-served basis

Purim Participatory Art Build
Help our Purim Spiel come to life! Join NSP community members for an art build to create set pieces, props, and art for our Radical Purim Party. No experience necessary!
Sunday, March 9, 4-6pm
Location: Petworth, DC (address included after registration)
Register to join the Purim Art Build**
**Space is limited & will be filled first come, first-served basis

Jews of Color Purim Craft Party
Join the NSP JOC Space for a Purim craft party for Jews of Color and multiracial families of all ages! Let’s talk about the Persian roots of the holiday, and create crafts that you can take with you or we will use to decorate the NSP Purim party.NSP’s JOC Space serves Jews of color and Jews with Sephardi, Mizrahi, and Indigenous heritage, as well as folks of color and of Indigenous heritage connected to our community who do not identify as Jewish.
Saturday, March 16, 12-2 pm
Location: Petworth, DC (address included after registration)
Register to join the JOC Craft Party

Access Information

ASL interpretation will be provided for the Megillah reading, spiel, and guest performance! To request ASL interpretation or CART captioning for other NSP events, please email access@newsynagogueproject.org. We typically need at least 48 hours to fill a request; but, please reach out, even with short notice, and we’ll do our best to meet your needs!

If you have any other access needs or requests, please email access@newsynagogueproject.org.

Hear from members

We are building a community that is spiritually vibrant, radically inclusive, and reflects our vision for a world of justice, equity, and liberation. Be a part of it! Our community is built by and for religious, secular, and atheist Jews, families with kids, partnered and single people, queer and trans people, disabled and chronically ill people, D/deaf and hard of hearing folks, interfaith families, Jews of color and white Jews, and anyone interested in exploring and experiencing Jewish life. To learn more about getting involved and to join as a member, click here. Want to talk to a real human about how to plug in or to answer questions you have about the community? Contact our Membership Team at membership@newsynagogueproject.org. 

Here’s what our members and volunteer leaders have to say about being part of NSP:


Now hiring!

Children’s Educator

NSP has a significant and growing number of families with young children. While we’ve served this constituency through our Tot Shabbat program from the beginning, we hope to build out more robust programming, as we have for families with school-aged children (i.e. our religious school, Kollel). Bereishit (“in the beginning”) is envisioned to be a hub for a set of programs, new and existing, that serve families with children not yet old enough to enroll in Kollel, from parents-to-be who are expecting their first child to those with preschoolers. Our goals are for parents to build relationships with one another, make sustaining connections to and gain support from the NSP community, and move along their family’s Jewish learning journey through kid-, adult-, and whole family-centered content. The position described here is focused on supporting a new cohort-style program on Shabbat mornings that will provide parallel programming for parents and their children.

Apply and learn more here!

Kollel Educators

New Synagogue Project Kollel, our Kindergarten through 7th grade kids’ education program, is hiring assistant teachers for the 2023-2024 school year! 

To learn more, click here.
To apply, email a resume (and optional: brief cover letter) to liora@newsynagogueproject.org with the subject line “Kollel application.”

What’s in a name?

Reflection by Rabbi Yosef on our community’s name:

The daily morning liturgy contains the phrase “blessed is the one who spoke and the world came into being.” The idea is that the world was created through words. As it says in Genesis in the creation story, “And God said ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” Embedded in this teaching is the profound understanding that words have power to create. Just think about words that have hurt you. Now think about words that have healed you. Words have the power to shape reality. So too when it comes to names: the words by which we call ourselves matter.  And we just gave ourselves a new name. Or, more like we made our old name our new name, or something like that. So now that it’s a official I’ve been thinking about the meaning of our name.

NEW Synagogue Project

Our tradition has a lot to say about the idea of doing something new. It says in Psalm 96 (part of Friday night liturgy) “Shiru l’Adonai shir chadash, shiru l’adonai kol haaretz” Sing to Adonai a new song, sing to Adonai the whole earth. Sometimes we think of religion and tradition as already set and established, but in this Psalm is an imperative to pray, to praise, to connect with all of creation through a new song. (If you hadn’t already guessed, I was the one who suggested “Shir Chadash: A New Synagogue Project”, but the majority has spoken!)Not only is newness not anathema to Judaism, I learned from my teacher Dr. Judith Kates that change itself is actually embedded in the tradition. In the 5th book of the Torah, Devarim (Deuteronomy), Moses gives the longest sermon EVER in which he retells the stories of B’nai Yisrael’s 40 year wandering through the desert. But here is the thing, he rewrites the story. He changes it. In some very important ways. And this is all in the Torah. In our focus on liberation and engagement in both the political and the spiritual, our ecstatic and accessible prayer, our separation of Judaism and nationalism, our bringing together of mystics, agnostics, and atheists in the same community, and in so many other ways — we are striving to do something new! AND YET, our striving for newness is not original, we are following in the steps of our ancestors. In both the past and present, others have striven and are striving for many of the same things. We can aim for something new while also having humility and gratitude for those who came before us.

New SYNAGOGUE Project​

There is now a whole world of Jewish spiritual startups that intentionally reject the synagogue model. They think the synagogue is dead, no longer relevant. In the past year, many people from this world have asked Lauren and me, “you’re starting a synagogue?!? Why would you do that?!” My response has been and continues to be: a synagogue is by definition an intentional community and in our society being in intentional community is a counter cultural and radical act. We eschew the individualistic notion that says each of us should go at it alone. Opting-in and joining community affirms that we are connected, that we value a collective, and will throw our lot in with others, beyond just our friend group and family. It affirms that we need help, that we will ask for help, and that we will give aid to one another. Building a synagogue also means that we are building an institution. The downside of institutions is that they can get stale, stuck in their ways, and ossify. That’s why we have “new” in our name! We must commit to regular reflection in order to review and renew what we’re doing. On the other hand, institutions have power. And if we want to make change, if we want to fight displacement in DC or build safety through solidarity with other communities, we need to build power. Institutions also have infrastructure to support our individual and collective needs: this includes the infrastructure to take care of one another, to celebrate lifecycle events and to mourn loss, as well as to educate ourselves and our children. We are building a synagogue.

New Synagogue PROJECT​

Remember those group project assignments in high school? That was bad. Well, this is our opportunity at redemption. We’re building community together. At times it’s fun. At times it’s messy. And it’s always in process. I am so grateful and excited to be the rabbi of the New Synagogue Project. It is a tremendous honor and joy. I look forward to continuing to create together.