Greater Washington Coalition for Jewish Life



Shabbats at the Coalition are rooted in tradition, but are always turning outward to establish a link with the modern world. This underscores the relevance of living a Jewish life in today’s society.

Kabbalat Shabbat Services are held on several Friday nights throughout the year. Each Friday evening gathering includes an hour-long service followed by a catered meal. Our services are casual, friendly, and musical. Meeting in community member’s homes provides a unique sense of intimacy. It is part of the Hamish (friendly) nature of the Coalition. If you have never been to a Coalition Shabbat, we invite you to join us for our joyful and highly participatory services.

Because Shabbat services happen in member’s homes, we request that people RSVP in advance. You can contact to reserve your spot! You are always welcome at the Coalition.

Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur

Community and Coalition members celebrate the High Holy Days through our thoughtful array of programming and services. Our inclusive and welcoming High Holy Day programs take place at local churches and community buildings in the Litchfield County area, and are accessible to all. In addition to evening and morning services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Coalition sponsors a Tashlich service, Yom Kippur afternoon services, and a break-fast after Ne’ilah.

We are saving a seat for you, and we welcome you to join us! Community members are able to purchase a ticket for all holiday services. If you would like to purchase a ticket, please contact the Coalition office at Please contact us for more information – we want our High Holy Day services to be accessible to you!


During Sukkot, our Coalition Sukkah pops up on the weekend to give us a place to celebrate this joyful holiday. We gather together for a meal, some learning, and to come together as a community. This welcoming space reflects our diverse community – fulfilling an ancient tradition of ensuring that everyone is welcome in the Sukkah.


For our special Hanukkah Shabbat service, members of our community each bring their own menorah to illuminate our gathering space with a warm holiday glow. We sing Hanukkah songs, eat latkes and sufganiyot, and celebrate the miracle of light. Check our calendar for details.


Is your costume ready? At the Coalition, we celebrate Purim with an evening of festive joy, costumes, masks, and hamentashen! As part of our Purim service, we read a portion of the Megillah (the story of Esther).

Love to bake? Or just love to enjoy delicious hamentaschen cookies? Check our calendar for this year’s information to see when we are gathering to make hamentashen.


Do you know where you are celebrating Passover this year? If you are new to the area or would like help with finding a good match to join with others for Passover, please reach out to Rabbi James or call the Coalition office so that we can help you find a place to celebrate. Because the Passover Seder is traditionally celebrated with friends and family, we help individuals find guests or hosts for their Passover meals.

The Coalition also hosts a community Second Seder with a catered meal where everyone is welcome. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Yom HaShoah

The Coalition observes Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) each year with a public community program. Topics and presenters vary by year, and have included films, discussion groups, speakers, and commemoration rituals. This opportunity to gather, remember all that was lost in the Holocaust, and recommit ourselves to ensuring that it never happens again, is an important moment in the Coalition’s annual calendar.


Around Shavuot, Coalition members gather for a Shavuot hike in one of Litchfield County’s beautiful recreation areas. Our gentle hike is accessible to people of all abilities, and includes a potluck lunch and study session afterward. Check our calendar for more information.