Jewish Routes | Washington, DC
Heritage Sites in DC
The Lillian and Albert Small Museum/Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington tells the story of Washington’s Jewish community through exhibits, programs and archives. It’s located in the original building (1876-1907) of the Adas Israel Congregation, which later housed a Greek Orthodox Church and the Dixie Pig Carry-Out. The Jewish Historical Society began its restoration of the synagogue in 1967 and moved it to its current location at 3rd and G Streets, NW in 1969.
Sixth & I Historic Synagogue was the second home of Adas Israel. The domed, 105-year-old building was a church until 2000, when a prospective buyer proposed turning it into a nightclub. Three Jewish developers, Sheldon Zuckerman, Abe Pollin and Douglas Jemal bought and lovingly restored it. Since reopening in 2004, Sixth and I, now a hub for Washington’s young Jews, is known for its extraordinary array of religious and cultural programming.
The District of Columbia Jewish Community Center (DCJCC) moved back into its original classical 1925 building on 16th and Q Streets, NW, in 1997. (From 1969 until the mid-1990s, the building was a church and a college.) Today, the DCJCC is renowned for its stellar literary, cultural and arts programs, and is the home of Theater J, a nationally recognized cornerstone of the Washington theater scene. Sister JCCs—the JCC of Greater Washington in Rockville, MD and JCC of Northern Virginia—also have a full roster of events and programs.
dcjcc.org, jccgw.org, jccnv.org
The National Museum of American Jewish Military History at 1811 R Street NW was chartered by an Act of Congress in 1958. The museum preserves and commemorates the service of Jewish Americans in the United States Armed Forces, and presents exhibits such as “Jewish War Veterans’ Protest March Against Nazi Germany—75th Anniversary.”
The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, sits on the National Mall among Washington’s monuments, and has hosted more than 30 million visitors, including nine million school children. It is located on Raul Wallenberg Place near the intersection of 14th Street and Independence Avenue, SW. The goal of the museum is to confront hatred, prevent genocide and promote human dignity.
Off The Beaten Path
The First Lincoln Monument has been standing guard outside the old City Hall on D Street, NW, since 1868. It was the first to be dedicated to Abraham Lincoln after his assassination. The Lansburgh brothers donated $500 to help construct it.
The Albert Einstein Statue sits in an elm and holly grove on the grounds of the National Academy of Sciences off Constitution Avenue. Created by sculptor Robert Berks, the bronze statue is a favorite climbing spot for young “physicists-in-training.”
Arlington National Cemetery is the resting place of more than 2,000 Jews, among them confederate soldier Moses Ezekiel, astronaut Judith Resnik and Supreme Court Justice and United Nations ambassador Arthur Goldberg.