If you’re new to Des Moines or our active Jewish community, you may not be familiar with our city’s fun and educational activities for adults and seniors. We have a list of our favorites to share, including activities that allow you to connect with your heritage and strengthen your Jewish faith.
The following seven Jewish activities are a great place to start if you’re hoping to connect with our community in Des Moines.
Attending service is a great way to meet and connect with the Jewish community in Des Moines. There are active synagogues and temples in and around Des Moines, depending on your affiliation and needs. To help you find a good fit for you and your family, we’ve pulled together a list of resources and directories for finding Jewish synagogues and temples.
Many congregations also host a wide variety of community events and adult programming outside of services that make for great Jewish activities. For example, Temple B’Nai Jeshurun hosts their Brotherhood and Sisterhood Activities, including a monthly Mah Jongg tournament. Tifereth Israel Synagogue also hosts programs for adults.
Join us for a delicious kosher meal at Maccabee’s Kosher Deli, a staple of the Jewish community in Des Moines. Founded as a project of the Judaic Resource Center of Iowa, Maccabee’s Kosher Deli offers traditional kosher foods, such as hot pastrami sandwiches and holiday treats.
Explore our community calendar to find social, spiritual and educational gatherings throughout Des Moines. In addition to recurring meetings and classes that you may be interested in attending on a regular basis, you’ll find details about our special events, holidays and other fun activities in the works.
For example, our annual Global Day of Jewish Learning event is a great opportunity to examine a new theme for discussion as a community each year. And our Intergenerational Chanukah Party at Caspe Terrace is not to be missed. All are welcome at our events!
Our Jewish Family Services team organizes monthly kosher luncheons at area synagogues that include speakers or entertainment. Check the calendar for upcoming Federation Senior Luncheons, typically scheduled for Thursdays. And aside from delicious and entertaining luncheons, we provide various other Senior Adult Services, like transportation services and meal delivery.
The mission of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) at the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines is to help Iowans learn more about our community and the issues that concern us. Serving as a Helping Hands committee member allows adults and seniors not only to connect with the community, but also make an impact on the critical issues it faces.
Our volunteers tackle three important community issues through committees: hunger, accessibility and racial injustice.
What better Jewish activity is there in Des Moines than exploring exhibits about Jewish life and history in Iowa? Our museum in Waukee, Iowa features educational exhibits, programs, and special events that will deepen your understanding of Jewish history and culture.
The Iowa Holocaust Memorial can be found on the grounds of the state capitol in Des Moines. The memorial is a sacred place for all Jewish Iowans dedicated to those who perished in the Holocaust. It also honors Iowans who served our country and helped liberate the prisoners of the concentration camps, as well as all those who survived the Holocaust and came to Iowa to make a new life for themselves.
These seven ideas for Jewish activities in Des Moines should keep you busy for the near and distant future, but if you’re looking for other ways to get involved with the Jewish community in Des Moines, we’d love to hear from you. Reach out to us through our contact form anytime, and we’ll discuss other options for you!
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Please also consider coming to see The Band’s Visit this May at the Des Moines Civic Center! This 10 Tonys Award Winning show tells the story of an Egyptian band which breaks down in a small desert Israeli town. Please visit Des Moines Performing Arts’ website for more information!