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What’s a Jew To Do on Christmas?

Pennsylvania

Family Festivities Don’t bother with the Chinese takeout this year. Instead, round up the whole family and head to Being Jewish at Christmas, a celebration presented by the National Museum of American Jewish History. This year’s party includes performances by ShirLaLa (Shira Kline), who blends music, dance, art and stories for kids; magician and juggler Mark Spencer Goldstein, and comedian Michael Rosman, who has made appearances on the “Late Show With David Letterman.”

National Museum of American Jewish History, Independence Mall East, 55 N. 5th St., Philadelphia; Dec. 25, noon-4 p.m.; $5, free for children ages 3 and under. (215-923-3811, ext. 120)


Illinois

Hipster Haven

Wondering where all the cool kids are going on Christmas Eve this year? Check out Knishmas, the Christmas alternative mini-festival presented by KFAR Jewish Arts Center. The event, which focuses on contemporary Jewish culture and music, features an eclectic line-up of hard rock, hip hop and harmonicas. The program includes Shtreiml, a band founded by harmonica innovator Jason Rosenblatt. Shtreiml blends sounds of klezmer, Gypsy music, blues and jazz. Also part of the show are Israeli-born hip-hop artist Kosha Dillz, an emcee and freestyler who recently appeared with the likes of rap greats Remedy and Killah Priest (Wu-Tang Clan), and Milwaukee-based rock trio the Moshe Skier Band, which plays Jewish tunes that fuse classic rock and blues.

Subterranean Lounge, 2011 W. North Ave., Chicago; Dec. 24, doors open at 8 p.m.; $20. (773-550-1543 or http://kfarcenter.com)


Washington, D.C.

Lend a Hand

Roll up your sleeves and help make a difference in the lives of others at the 20th annual Community Service Day, presented by the Washington DC Jewish Community Center. Some 1,000 volunteers of varied faiths and backgrounds are expected to attend. There are a number of activities that participants can register for, including preparing meals and serving them to the homeless, painting shelters, throwing parties for children in hospitals, visiting seniors in nursing homes, distributing gifts at homeless shelters and donating blood. The event serves about 10,000 people in Washington, D.C.’s metropolitan area.

Community Service Day, Dec. 25; for registration information, visit the Web site or call. (202-518-9400, ext. 3565, or www.washingtondcjcc.org/volunteer)

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