Sixth & I has had a presence in the Chinatown neighborhood of Washington, D.C., for decades, and currently hosts tons of community events, performances, and gatherings.

Sixth & I has really become a cultural meeting point. Here’s what you need to know about the space.

HISTORY:

Historically, Sixth & I has always been the center of the neighborhood. In the 1850s, a group of Jewish immigrants of German descent began the first congregation in this synagogue, opening its doors to an array of incoming peoples from countries like Russia, Germany, and nations of Eastern Europe. The synagogue was rebuilt on the corner of 6th and I streets, and has remained there ever since. In fact, the early 1900s saw Jewish life and community flourish in Washington, D.C. As a place where Jewish people could gather to share their culture and traditions, Sixth & I was a huge part of that. In the spirit of being the center of cultural life for Jewish populations, the space extended its reach to other members of the community in the mid-1900s. Though it did face its hardships with anti-Semitism during the second world war, the building remained. In 2002 it underwent restoration, and now it is both an active synagogue and performance space, welcoming people of all religions, as well as those that are secular. [caption id="attachment_6704" align="aligncenter" width="474"]Sixth and I Courtesy of wedding-spot.com[/caption]

EVENTS:

Today Sixth & I is a safe haven for activists, artists, writers, and the like. By looking through the event calendar, you’re sure to find something that interests you. In the recent past, the synagogue has hosted a recurring series called 6th and the City, a social group for women and men in their 20s and 30s to meet together, make friends, and discuss ideas. The venue has also held musical performances, author talks, women’s empowerment events, and even Shabbat dinners, where you can meet the amazing members of the community who are working to create change in all spheres -- from politics, to science, to gender issues. [caption id="attachment_6703" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Sixth and I Courtesy of elmoremagazine.com[/caption]

HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED:

You don’t have to be Jewish to get involved (though if you are, this synagogue is really a spectacular way to connect with the community). The best way to support the center is to actively attend events and then share your experiences about the synagogue. There are also many volunteer opportunities, and donations are always appreciated. And, of course, you can also support the synagogue by renting it out for your private event or party. Sixth & I does beautiful weddings, birthdays, and family gatherings. You’ll be able to say that your special occasion was hosted in one of the most historical structures in Washington, D.C. [caption id="attachment_6701" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Sixth and I Courtesy of weddingwire.com[/caption] Have you visited Sixth & I before? What did you think about the space and community? Let us know in the comments below!

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