You Took My Elephant!

jewish-learning-oct2012_r19_c4By Rachel Cylus
Program Manager
Jewish Museum of Maryland at the Herbert Bearman Campus

On December 25,  many Jewish families across America will enjoy what’s become an annual tradition — a meal in a Chinese restaurant. But before they partake of a little egg drop soup or a forkful of Szechuan chicken, they should stop by the Jewish Museum of Maryland for a Chinese afternoon of “Dragons & Dreidels.”

From 10:00 – 5:00 p.m. on Christmas Day, the Museum will feature craft activities to make your own dragons. You can learn to play Mah Jongg and try out your skills.

In addition to our Mah Jongg tables, our Museum Director and board game maven Marvin Pinkert will be sharing his own festival of games with an Asian twist. He will demonstrate (and you can play) games of skill and luck that either genuinely or figuratively tied to East Asia.

Marvin also will explain the ancient game of “Go” (“Wei Ch’I” in Chinese, “Paduk” in Korean) which pre-dates dreidels by at least 2000 years; the Chinese chess variant known as “Xiang Ki” (a game that features elephants as well as horses/knights); and the Japanese games of “Shogi” and “Hasami Shogi” (as easy as tic tac toe but a lot trickier to win). He also will show modern Western games that style themselves as Asian, including the German game of Stern Halma (better known as “Chinese checkers”) and “In the Year of the Dragon” – a strategy game based on the cycles of life in ancient China.

As a special event, from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m., local food-writer Ilene Spector will do a workshop on different ways to fold dumplings. The workshop is sure to yield tasty results. And, of course, there will be delicious Chinese food from David Chiu’s Kosher Chinese Restaurant. Sample egg rolls and fried rice.

Admission to the event costs $5 for members, $10 for non-members, $10 for member families and $18 for non-member families.

For more information on Dragons & Dreidels, visit, email Rachel Cylus at or call 410-732-6400 ext. 215.

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Filed under Families, Jewish Learning

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