Jewish Community Center of Washington, DC

Winter 2020 Shabbat Clusters 2.0

Friday, December 11, 2020
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Shabbat Clusters 2.0 - Winter 2020 Season


We are so excited to celebrate our 20th year of Shabbat Clusters! This winter, we are offering virtual and in-person Shabbat Cluster options with alternative ways to celebrate Shabbat beyond gathering for a meal. We will also host our 20th year anniversary celebration in the spring.

What are Shabbat Clusters?
Shabbat Clusters are curated small groups of young adults ages 22-45 that come together to celebrate Shabbat. Groups are formed based on neighborhood and age and sometimes interests and observance levels. Groups are for everyone - singles or couples.

How are Shabbat Clusters different this season?

  1. There are two Shabbat Cluster tracks to choose from: Virtual group OR in-person outdoor group
  2. Groups can meet Friday evening or Saturday during the day based on the weather
  3. In-Person groups can meet with blankets and hot cocoa in the park or sit outside by a firepit at a community member's rooftop apartment or home to stay warm and once it gets colder, transition to a virtual group.
  4. Smaller group sizes: If your Cluster is meeting in-person, groups will be 10 or fewer people and will meet outdoors only (if the weather is bad, you can move to virtual format). Clusters will follow CDC guidelines by maintaining 6 feet of distance and will wear masks at all times. Virtual Clusters will most likely be 10-14 people.
  5. Clusters will meet every two weeks from December to February: To keep our community members connected, we will offer programming every two weeks instead of monthly; groups will meet for 3 months instead of 6 months. We will reasses groups for the spring based on CDC guidelines and weather.
  6. There will be set dates and suggested themes for Clusters, but each will group will determine what works best for them. Shabbat Clusters has traditionally been a potluck-style dinner program; to address concerns that some community members may not be comfortable eating in-person with their group even if everyone brings their own meal and that it can sometimes be difficult to engage in community virtually around food, we will provide alternative Shabbat themes and activities if your group decides to not center their experience around sharing a Shabbat meal together. Shabbat Cluster gatherings will begin with lighting candles, prayers for wine and bread, and group members sharing their highlight of their week.

What will not change?

  1. Opportunities for community and connection (and a chance to meet your new best friend, significant other, or roommate).
  2. Cluster groups will be led by a coordinator or co-coordinators who will get to know you and send more information about when your group will gather.
  3. Similar Cluster groups may come together for Shabbat gatherings.
  4. Commitment from our community members to the program and their peers.
  5. Nourishment options from OneTable, a community non-profit and social platform to elevate your Shabbat experience if your group chooses to post their Shabbat Cluster gathering.

Suggested Dates & Themes: Friday dinner or Saturday morning/afternoon

December 11 or 12 - Hanukkah Shabbat
Virtual Shabbat Clusters - What Brings Us Light Discussion, latke or sufganiyot contest, Secret Macabee
In-Person Shabbat Clusters - What Brings Us Light Discussion, latke or sufganiyot contest, Secret Macabee

December 25 or 26 - Chinese Food & A Movie Shabbat

Virtual Shabbat Clusters - DIY dumplings, movie trivia or Netflix party
In-Person Shabbat Clusters - movie trivia, Chinese takeout

January 8 or 9 - Jews Around The World Global Shabbat
Virtual Shabbat Clusters - traditional Sepharidc, Mizrachi, Ashkenazi cuisine, Jews around the world trivia, JDC Entwine global Shabbat
In-Person Shabbat Clusters - trraditional Sepharidc, Mizrachi, Ashkenazi cuisine, Jews around the world trivia, JDC Entwine global Shabbat

January 22 or 23 - Blast from the Past Shabbat

Virtual Shabbat Clusters - Family Shabbat traditions, baby pictures guessing game, resolutions l'chaim
In-Person Shabbat Clusters -  Family Shabbat traditions, baby pictures guessing game, resolutions l'chaim

February 5 or 6 - Cozy Shabbat
Virtual Shabbat Clusters - DIY winter drinks, game night, hygge guide, tzedahkah project
In-Person Shabbat Clusters - DIY winter drinks, game night, hygge guide, tzedaklah project

February 19 or 20 - Escape The Cold Luau Shabbat
Virtual Shabbat Clusters - virtual escape room, DIY luau party
in-Person Shabbat Clusters - virtual escape room, DIY luau party

How to Register:

Please fill out the form and register for this session on the next page. We offer groups for singles and couples, and will match you into a group based on where you live, your age, and level of observance.

The registration deadline for our first round of sign-ups is November 30 so we have enough time to put together groups before our first gathering. Registration is rolling after this deadline based on availability in groups formed. Email Stacy at to sign up past the deadline.

Choose ONE TICKET OPTION: Virtual Shabbat Clusters OR In-Person Shabbat Clusters
* If, at any point in the season, you prefer to switch to virtual or in-person Cluster, we will work to move you to a group that addresses your needs at the time.

Clusters are $5 to reserve your space for the season and to represent our Shabbat Cluster members' commitment to the program. This includes resepecting their peers' time and effort to lead Shabbat Cluster groups, fellow community members for showing up to gatherings, and responding to Shabbat Cluster emails and other forms of communication.

We appreciate any additional donations in honor of our 20th year of Shabbat Clusters and support of Shabbat Cluster programming.

Remember, each person must complete their own registration form. If you would like to be placed with a friend or partner, make sure you both request each other on the form. We will do our best to fulfill all requests.