NVHC turns 50 this year! So from September 2016 to June 2017 (Hebrew year 5777) we will host many events and activities to commemorate the past and ignite the future. There will be opportunities for all of us to deepen our relationships, be inspired, and strengthen our community. There’s never been a better time to experience and continue building our amazing community. Participate, volunteer, get involved!

For more information, contact Susan Cohen & Miriam Wolman, Jubilee Co-chairs at Jubilee@nvhcreston.org

Year-long activities

i-mitzvoted-today5,000 Mitzvot/Acts of Kindness

The whole community will seek to engage in 5,000 acts of repairing our world and loving kindness. Each and every one of us can contribute! 5,000 sounds like a lot, but it’ll be easy when we break it down:  With 500 families in the congregation, that’s only one per month from now through next May. Send an email to 5000mitzvot@nvhcreston.org for ideas and questions. Click here to submit mitzvot.

Running Program

This year-long running program will help you get in shape, make new friends, and prepare you to run a 5K interfaith race in the spring.

Shavat Vayinafash—The Soul Refreshed
Melodies of Shabbat CD

NVHC will distribute a CD featuring Cantor Susan Caro. With melodies both joyous and meditative, traditional and contemporary, the CD will help you learn and enjoy the Shabbat melodies we sing each week.

Sharing Memories

We are gathering members’ stories and pictures to record the richness of NVHC’s history. Please think about and share the events, people, and experiences that have defined your time at NVHC. Whether you joined long ago or more recently, send your favorite moments to memories@nvhcreston.org. The stories will be collected in a memory book and a video presentation. Please let us know what’s on your highlight reel. You can go here to view what we have so far.


September 23, 2016: 50 Shabbat Dinners

The jubilee year kicked off with more than 500 members simultaneously sharing Shabbat dinner at 50 congregant homes. These in-home dinners replaced our usual Friday night services at the synagogue, to ensure that everyone has lots of time to relax, engage in lively conversation, and make new friends.

October 12, 2016: Yom Kippur Afternoon Discussion

The Torah commands us every 50 years to sound the shofar and examine the structure of our society. We will look at the texts and traditions related to this practice in the Torah and in our modern context. This conversation will begin as one group and break off into smaller conversations.

October 23, 2016: M’sibat Simchat Torah

At this multi-generational celebration, we conclude reading the last book of Torah and turn immediately to start again with the book of Genesis. Worship service includes unrolling the scroll and honoring our new students in a consecration ceremony.

October 30, 2016: Shabbat Candlestick Program

A representative from Sharsheret, a Jewish organization that offers support to young Jewish women diagnosed with breast cancer, will make a presentation. Afterwards, we will create 50 pairs of Gary Rosenthal Shabbat candlesticks, which will be distributed to 50 Sharsheret women.
Sponsored by NVHC Sisterhood.

December 2-3, 2016: M’sibat NVHC—Coming Home

On Friday, December 2, we will honor our founders and leaders from the past 50 years at a special Friday evening Shabbat service and reception. This will be followed by a “homecoming dance” on Saturday evening to groove to music from the 60s! Read more

November 15, 2016: Distinguished Speaker Series—Alan Cooperman, Pew Charitable Trusts

Always engaging and thought-provoking, Alan Cooperman returns to NVHC to speak about “The Four Tribes of Modern-Day Israel: Findings from a 2015 Pew Research Center Poll.” He is Director of Religion Research at Pew Research Center and a noted expert on religion’s role in US politics. He has reported on religion in Russia, the Middle East, and Europe and plays a central role in planning the project’s research agenda and writing its reports.

January 13-15, 2017: Artists-in-Residence Weekend—The Pursuit of Harmony

NVHC, in partnership with the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS), and the Reston Community Center, will host the musical group The Pursuit of Harmony. Combining the talents of Jewish American songwriter Michael Hunter Ochs and award-winning Muslim Palestinian peace activist/songwriter Alaa Alshaham, the group brings a message of peace and hope through music and dialogue. Weekend activities include a joint Friday night service with the ADAMS Center, a concert at the Reston Community Center on Saturday night, and a special Sunday morning program for our youth.

February 3-5, 2017: Weekend of Nourishment

This weekend is all about feeding your mind, your soul, and your body through a collection of events designed to enlighten, invigorate, and soothe. Friday evening will focus on nourishing the mind with an inspiring and insightful guest scholar. Shabbat morning will be a celebration of the soul, with options such as a meditative service, a yoga workshop, or a drum circle. Later that afternoon, we will gather for the traditional seudah shlishit (the third meal, a light snack in the afternoon) and an opportunity to design and make your own tallit, add techelet (the blue thread) to your tzitzit, or make a tallit for the congregation. (If all that Hebrew was confusing, show up and learn about this wonderful Jewish garment!) Sunday, we will continue by nourishing the body through food, cooking, and a celebration of Jewish cuisine.

March 4, 2017: Evening of NVHC Memories

We all have our memorable moments at NVHC—celebrating lifecycle events, engaging in social action, making new friends, learning, and more. The Silver Line Group hosts this special evening and Rabbi Rosalind Gold will talk about NVHC’s formative years. The audience will also be invited to share memories. Join us to discover how the NVHC we are today came to be.

March 11, 2017: M’sibat Purim—Adult Purim Comedy Night

An adult celebration of Purim with laughter, libations, Jewish trivia competition, music, dancing, and your favorite Purim mask.

March 12, 2017: M’sibat Purim—Malice in the Palace!

Purim is a holiday of partying, gift-giving, costumes, and celebration. This family-friendly mystery-themed Purim celebration includes solving the great mystery of who is trying to cause malice in the palace of Shushan, the reading of Megillat Esther (the story of how Jews overcame adversity and defeated evil), a carnival and costume parade for kids and a hamantashen bake-off! NVHC has a tradition of using uncooked mac and cheese for groggers, then donating them to our Forest Edge social action program as we embody the value of matanot l’evyonim—giving to the poor and needy. Purim is filled with nothing but fun!

March 17, 2017: Grandparents’ Shabbat Morning—A Multigenerational Event

Traditionally held by the preschool to honor grandparents and their like, this year’s celebration welcomes all multigenerational families in honor of the Jubilee. The morning program includes a Shabbat service with the clergy, a special show, and a luncheon.

April 11, 2017: Second Night Seder

After you’ve had your fill of matzo balls with your family, continue the Pesach celebration with your congregational family at our community-wide second Seder. You’ll experience an evening of study, conversation, music, and dinner to commemorate our Exodus from Egypt and liberation at the shores of the Sea of Reeds. This service will be lay-led and will include a cost of $36 which includes dinner and all of the ritual foods associated with Pesach. Next year in Jerusalem, this year in Reston!

April 30, 2017: Kol Shirah Spring Concert

Kol Shirah invites choir alumni back for a grand spring concert featuring favorites from their decades of music. Enjoy a fabulous night of music as we honor Director Carol Fram, who will be retiring after more than 30 years leading the choir.

May 6, 2017: Spring Gala

NVHC’s Jubilee year culminates in a fabulous spring gala celebration featuring memories gathered throughout the year.

May 30, 2017: Leil Tikkun Shavuot—Night of Study featuring Joan Nathan

Our year of Jubilee festivities concludes with Shavuot, the holiday celebrating the gift of Torah received at Mount Sinai. We affirm the importance of studying Torah, remember loved ones with Yiskor, recognize the learners in our congregation, and, according to custom, eat cheesecake! As a special treat, Joan Nathan, award-winning cookbook author and journalist, will speak about her latest book, King Solomon’s Table. Later that evening, our clergy will lead study with until midnight. Join us for all or part of the evening celebration!

June 14, 2017: Speaker Dan Arbell, “The 50 Year Legacy of the Six-Day War”