Jain’s Got Talent 2016: Summary

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UPDATE: This event was showcased in the following JAINA Newsletter as well as in Akila-India newspaper.

A “Jain’s Got Talent” was held on Saturday, December 3rd, 2016, at the specially decorated auditorium of Shri Mangal Mandir located at 17110 New Hampshire Ave Silver Spring, MD 20905 under the auspices of Jain Society of Metropolitan Washington (JSMW). This show was the first ever event in the history of the Society since its establishment in the year 1980.

With over 250 attendees, this event had 89 participants who presented 45 items that were broken down between four categories: Minors (9 years and under), Juniors (10 to 20 years), Adult Solo (21 years and over), and Adult Group (21 years and over). Participants ranged in age from 3 years to 65+ years old. The three Masters of Ceremony, Savita Jain, Jatin Shah, and Pulkit Gangwal did a wonderful job of conducting the ceremony in a typically humorous manner throughout the event for which they deserved special thanks of the organizers of the event.

The performance of each participant was evaluated by a panel of three judges who are well respected professionals from outside the JSMW: Ustad Hamid Hossain, Sonal Patel, and Phanindar Srimath. Based solely on their evaluations, the winning performances within each of the four categories, were called upon the stage, and the first and second prize winners received trophies from the judges.

In his concluding remarks, Janak Rajani, President of the JSMW, thanked the three judges for doing their job of evaluating each performance in an impartial manner and handed over a “Special Momento” to each of the three judges, in recognition and appreciation of their time and sharing their talents. This event was not possible without the selfless dedication, contribution, hard work and tireless efforts put in by many individuals, namely: Bela & Hemen Gandhi, Dimple Doshi, Raju Desai, Monica Shah, Pragnesh Shah, Sahil Shah, Jhalak & Sandeep Mehta, Savita Jain, Mily & Vishal Mehta, Shilpa (Manoj) Shah, Chetan Ajmera, Rachna Jain, Bhavesh Shah, Rajesh Rao, and Manan Shah.

Dr. Sushil Jain, Chairman-Board of Trustees, also spoke briefly at the function, which was half way through. He recognized Dr. Atul Shah, Trustee, for achieving a big milestone of completing 1024 days of fasting/upvas over a span of 8 years – something that only monks (30 to be specific) has done so far. He also recognized several other upvasis who achieved different milestones in their own capacities.

The auditorium was packed to capacity by the attendees whose general reaction was that the program of the talent show was a “grand success” and that all arrangements were well-thought out with meticulous planning as expressed by the attendees. The success achieved at the event was attributable, in no small measure to the collective efforts of all volunteers who were involved in precise planning and successful implementation of the entire Jain’s Got Talent show.

The program which began at 11 a.m. concluded at sharp 5 p.m.

Listed below is a summary of the entire event:

  • The event was attended by over 250 people.
  • There were 89 participants who presented 45 items that were broken down between four categories: Minors (9 years and under), Juniors (10 to 20 years), Adult Solo (21 years and over), and Adult Group (21 years and over). Participants ranged in age from 3 years to 65+ years old.
  • There were a variety of items, acts and themes, singing, dancing, stand-up comedy, Bollywood fusion to playing instruments.
  • The event was emceed by wonderful and professional artists: Savita Jain, Jatin Shah, and Pulkit Gangwal.
  • The performance of each participant was evaluated by a panel of three judges who are well respected professionals from outside the JSMW: Ustad Hamid Hossain, Sonal Patel, and Phanindar Srimath.
  • The attendees were able to purchase delicious food from Mumbia Masti (a local Jain vendor) throughout the event. Menu included Pav Bhaji, Methi na Gota, Pasta, Khichu and Tea.
    Soda and water bottles were sold by Shreyal Gandhi, and the proceeds were donated back to JSMW. After standing at the booth for several hours, Shreyal still participated in the Juniors’ category as NoVA Fusion.
  • Delicious sweet treats: Rabdi Boondi and Cupcakes were made fresh by Minal & Pinkesh Shah, and their lovely daughters, Yashvi and Harshvi Shah. All four of them were up since 1’o clock in the early morning preparing the fresh sweets. Even though the girls had little to no sleep, they both participated in the event as V-dancers, and ultimately won second prize in their category. All proceeds that the family raised were donated to JSMW.
  • Each participant received a medal to recognize their participation. There were trophies for first and second prizes within each of the four categories. Based solely on the judges’ evaluations, the winning performances within each of the four categories, were called upon the stage, and the first and second prize winners received trophies from the judges. All three judges were given a “Special Momento” in recognition and appreciation of their time and sharing their talents.
  • In the Minors (9 years and under) category, the first prize trophy was won by Vihaan Mehta and the second prize trophy was won by Dhriti Sheth.
    In the Juniors (10 to 20 years) category, the first prize trophy was won by Deesha Ajmera and the second prize trophy was won by V-Dancers: Yashvi Shah, Harsvhi Shah, Kashvi Mehta, Jaahnvi Shah, Kavya Zaveri, and Isha Rajani.
  • In the Adult Solo (21 years and over) category, the first prize trophy was won by Manisha (Kunal) Jain and the second prize trophy was won by Swati Jain.
  • In the Adult Group (21 years and over) category, the first prize trophy was won by Meeta & Kanti Gangar, Jhaver & Harilal Gangar and the second prize was also won by Meeta & Kanti Gangar.
  • We have received all pictures for the backstage, they can be viewed at: click here. All video files can be viewed at: click here. Manan Shah is currently working on processing all the front-facing pictures for professional quality. We will send you a link for all those pictures once we receive it.

D.C. VegFest Festival

For the fourth time, we are hosting a booth at the annual D.C. Veg Fest festival, just like last year, to promote vegetarianism, nonviolence and awareness for plant-based proteins.

Event Date: Saturday, September 24, 2016
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. – Rain or shine!
Address: Outdoors at Yards Park in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. Lot H/I, across from Nationals Park

Please support the program event by volunteering and / or donating towards the D.C. Veg Fest. We are looking for volunteers for the booth in one-hour shifts, starting from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. We also need your assistance in bringing daal and rice samples to give out at this festival. This is an excellent opportunity to do a community service project and promote public awareness about Jainism. For more information and donations, please feel free to contact Janak Rajani. If you are interested in volunteering, or someone you know would like to volunteer, please contact Ayush Jain at your earliest convenience.

Additionally, thank you to those who participated in our raffle during the Swapna Ceremony. We have raised over $300 to support our booth at this festival!

About VegFest: It is an annual festival that aims to promote animal-friendly cuisine, and the benefits of being vegetarian and/or vegan. D.C. VegFest will feature renowned speakers, good food, cooking demonstrations, and much more. For more information please visit the festival’s official website.

Here are a few reasons to attend this festival:

  • FREE admission
  • FREE food samples
  • The first 1,000 attendees receive a FREE tote bag full of samples and coupons!
  • More than 130 vendors
  • Live music
  • Cooking demonstrations
  • Presentations from renowned authors and celebrities
  • More than 15,000 attendees
  • Kids’ activity area

Please note: If you’re in school, we can provide community service certificate to help with your school community service requirements.

To view pictures from the past events, click on these links: 2015, 2014 and 2013.

Looking forward to seeing everyone soon!

Nominations for UHJT and JAINA Representatives

CALL: Nominations for UHJT and JAINA Representatives

On behalf of the Executive Committee, I would like to invite nominations for the position of United Hindu-Jain Temples’ (UHJT) Representative for one year term (Calendar Year 2017) and JAINA Directors for one term spanning over two years (Calendar Year 2017-18). The Past Presidents Council (PPC) will review all nominations received and send their recommendation to the Executive Committee by December 31st, 2016. The Executive Committee will appoint the UHJT Representative on or before January 31st, 2017.

A detailed guideline document and the nomination form for the selection of UHJT Representative and JAINA Director can be downloaded by clicking here: Guideline Document, Nomination Form for JAINA Director, and Nomination Form for UHJT Representative.

Please fill out the form(s) and send the filled form back to PresidentsCouncil@JainSocietyDC.org email address no later than midnight, December 23rd, 2016.

Policy Regarding Facility Usage

The Executive Committee has a new policy that will be enforced starting today, September 1st, 2016. As per this policy, we now welcome the use of our facility by our members. In order to provide for the equitable and prudent use of our facility, we request you to use the Facility Usage Form to rent the Jain Center for private Pooja and other events. You can also rent tables and chairs for your private events outside the Jain Center as well by filling out the Chair & Table Rental Form. The form(s) need to be filled out completely and sent it back to the Director of Facilities via an email, minimum two weeks prior to the event date. There are fee requirements that shall be enforced strictly. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation while we ensure the maximum use of our facility in an economic and efficient manner.

Formation of Youth Committee


JSMW is proud to share that a new Jain Youth Committee under JSMW is formally starting this year! JSMW Executive Committee approved the notion of a Youth Committee for ages 13 – 19 with the objective to promote Jain Awareness, Jain Unity, and Social Service.

On Sunday, November 6th, 2016, JSMW will be holding elections for the various Youth Executive Committee positions. JSMW encourages all parents and youth to read the attached Youth Committee Charter ( click here) to better understand the objectives and guidelines for each position.

Should your youth be interested in one of the positions, please fill out the nomination form located at this link: Click Here to View the Elections Nomination Form.

JSMW is proud of their next generation of energetic leaders and look forward to seeing your nomination to take on a Youth Group leadership role!

Summary: Summer Picnic & Fun 2016

Summer Picnic & Fun 2016Our very own vibrant, enthusiastic and energetic Ladies of the Society (Mahila Mandal) proved their superb planning skills and excellent teamwork by organizing another successful event: Summer Picnic & Fun 2016. This event was enjoyed by our members of all ages. The event was hosted by JSMW, on Sunday, July 17th, 2016 at Lake Fairfax Park located in Reston, VA. This park was conveniently located between Virginia and Maryland. The event received excellent response and feedback from its attendees.

This event would not have been possible without the selfless dedication, contribution, hard work, and tireless efforts put in by many individuals. Specifically, we would like to thank and recognize the entire Ladies Group; consisting of Jhalak Mehta, Keyuri Rajani, Manna Shah, Mily Mehta, Monali Shah, Monica Shah, Mina Shah, Padma Shah, Ripal Shah, Rupa Mehta, Savita Jain, Shilpa (Paresh) Shah, Shilpa (Manoj) Shah, Shraddha Jain, Swati Jain and Sujaini Shah. We apologize if we have missed thanking any one in person or listing their names here in this summary. Michchhami Dukkadum from the bottom of our hearts.

Listed below is the summary of the “Summer Picnic & Fun 2016” event:

  • This event was attended by 266 adults, 39 children between ages 6 and 15 years, and 25 children between ages of 1 month to 5 years. We had reserved a large shelter at the park to accommodate all the guests. The festivities included plenty of fun games, Jain and Vegan lunch and a nice array of snacks and drinks.
  • The festivities started with fun activities and games for members of all ages. Kids felt very welcome as they came in and selected tattoos, they were kept entertained at the carnival stations which included face painting, mehndi, plastic egg hunt, kick ball into bunny box, to name a few. We also kicked off some informal games like “Find Someone Who?” while several older kids played soccer, volley ball, and other games.
  • Lunch options included 100% Jain and Vegan food. The scrumptious lunch included unlimited, all-you-can-eat, puri, chole, lemon rice, pickle, gulab jamoon, rava sheera (vegan) and drinks. This was followed by a nice array of snacks which included watermelon, popcorn, kachoris, banana chips, and most relished by all was unlimited cups of “chaas” (buttermilk) which was a big hit for a hot summer afternoon. Kids and adults also enjoyed cups of vanilla ice-cream.
  • Our members were also treated to different forms of entertainment including games like “Musical Topi”, Antakshri, which by the way exposed several talented individuals as well as bathroom singers. Several of our very own enthusiastic kids and adults played Cricket and Kabaddi. There were also hula hoop relay races and other games that kept everyone busy the entire afternoon. Water balloons and water toys also were a big hit amongst the kids.
  • This event was fully financed and paid through ticket sales. Also, we received generous donations from Giant and Wegmans grocery stores as well as from several of our members.
  • There was tremendous positive feedback for this event from the members who had attended, as well as members who could not attend, expressing a regret to have missed this event, and demanding more such gatherings be organized in the future.
  • We also had members participate in the “Mehndi event” for a nominal donation towards the temple funds.
  • Some pictures are located at this link: Click Here to View Pictures!.
  • In closing, the Ladies Group is appreciative and thankful to each and every one of you as we cannot continue these fun events without the support from all of you.

Summary: Panch Tirth Yatra 2016

Panch Tirth Yatra 2016 Group PictureIt is our pleasure to report back to you that we had a very pleasant, joyous, and successful religious bus trip to various Jain Temples in Pennsylvania and New Jersey area during the July 30-31, 2016 weekend. This trip was not possible without the contribution, hard work, and tireless efforts put in by the Planning Team: Mehul Doshi, Vishal Mehta, and Allap Shah. A big kudos goes to them for organizing such a successful trip that had three buses visit other Jain Centers around us.

Listed below is the summary of the Panch Tirth Yatra:

  • We had 125 yatris (48 families total) officially registered for this trip spread between three big buses: 97 adults (13 years and over), 26 children between 3 and 12 years, and 2 infants under 3 years of age.
  • We visited six Jain temples: Atlantic City Jain Temple, Cherry Hill Jain Temple, Philadelphia Jain Sangh of Samarpan Temple, Siddhachalam, Jain Center of Allentown, and Jain Society of South Central PA.
  • Our overnight stay for yatrees amongst first two buses was at Siddhachalam and for all yatrees in third bus was arranged at a nearby Super 8 Wyndham Hotel.
  • On our way back, we also visited the VRAJ Temple in Schuylkill Haven, PA.
  • We had at least one family who became a labhpati for each temple we visited: Jay and Rakhi Jariwala (Atlantic City Jain Temple), Moushmi Kothari and Jasu Doshi (Cherry Hill Jain Temple), Shantilal Shah and Bhadresh Mehta (Philadelphia Jain Sangh of Samarpan Temple), Dr. Sushil and Asha Jain as well as Parag and Nirali Mehta (Siddhachalam), Kanta Gada, Anila Shah, and Laxmi Mamania (Jain Center of Allentown), VRAJ, and Janak and Keyuri Rajani (Jain Society of South Central PA).
  • On Saturday, July 30th, we departed our Jain Center at 7:10 a.m. and on Sunday, July 31st, we returned back to our Jain Center at 9:50 p.m.
  • The yatrees’ age span ranged from 24 months to 79 years old. Despite this wide gap, each yatree had fun as well as had the chance to participate in various religious activities, including Seva Pooja at various temples, just to name a few.
  • The time in the buses were spent playing Jain Bingo, Jain puzzles, Antaakshari (with the youngest singing English songs and Jain stavans), and other games with prizes being distributed for the winners. The various activities/entertainment for young and adults were compiled and planned together by Jhalak Sandeep Mehta, Sheetal Allap Shah, Bela Hemen Gandhi, Megha Nilesh Doshi, Mily Vishal Mehta, Ami Mehul Doshi, and Keyuri Janak Rajani.
  • While we are wrapping up the expense versus income sheet, our initial estimates show a total expense of around $13,300 ($6,000 towards bus expenses, $900 hotel expenses, $400 towards snacks while in the bus, and around $6,000 general donations to all temples visited) against a total income of around $15,500 including misc. donations.
  • While at Siddhachalam, we celebrated birthdays of all those who were born in the month of July: Megha Doshi, Niyati Shah, Devang Ajmera, Monica Shah, Devika Shah, Asha Jain, Kanu Doshi, Kanta Gada, Laxmi Mamania, Aruna Shah, Bhauna Shah, and Harshad Shah. Thanks to Dr. Sushil Jain, we enjoyed delicious kalakand as part of the birthday celebrations.
  • I take this opportunity to thank many volunteers who dedicated their time and energy in making this yatra so successful, fun an enjoyable, specifically Allap Shah, Vishal Mehta, Mehul Doshi, and Manan Shah.
  • Some pictures are located at this link: Click Here to View Pictures and Videos!. Thanks to Manan Shah for being our official photographers for the entire trip.

Dr. Kamala Mehta’s Lectures: Friday, July 8, 2016

We are very glad to inform you that Dr. Kamala Mehta is visiting our Jain Center and will bless us with Pravachans on Friday, July 8th, 2016.

Dr. Kamala Mehta is an acclaimed Jain scholar with core knowledge in various Jain Agams, Shastras and deep knowledge in Jainism.  She is completely dedicated and has devoted herself to learning & exploring Jainism, presenting lectures, arranging shivirs(camps), conducting pathshalas and teaching sravak and sravikas as well as sadhus and sadhvies, exposing them to the vision, ideals and core concepts of Jain Dharma.  All her services are free at no cost.  She also teaches Art of Jain living, Yoga, Acupressure and Meditation.  For more than 28 years she has sacrificed roots (Jamikand), normal water (Sachit jal), she has been practicing chauvihaar and eats only before sunset.  As a senior swadhayae, she has been conducting programs and giving pravachans for more than 28 years and have been invited to JAINA conventions as the speaker.

She lives a Jain life by example and limits herself from worldly pleasures.

Lecture timings are as follows:

Date: Friday, July 8th
Time: 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Topic: Jainism in day to day life
Language: Hindi

Summer Picnic and Fun 2016

Event Date and Time: Sunday, July 17th, 2016
Event Location: 1400 Lake Fairfax Drive Reston, VA 20190

On Sunday, July 17th, 2016, 2016 (times to be announced via email), we will be hosting our annual summer picnic at Lake Fairfax Park located at 1400 Lake Fairfax Drive Reston, VA 20190. This is a great park with great facilities: 20-acres lake, boat rentals, carousel, athletic fields, a playground, restrooms, trails and a skate park. We expect this to be a fun-tastic day with activities for all age groups!

Note: If you RSVP and PAY by Sunday, May 1st midnight, you will receive an Early Bird discounted charge of $10.00 per person for ages 6 and above. Kids 5 and below are FREE. Starting Monday, May 2nd, the regular charge will be $12.00 per person for ages 6 and above. Kids 5 and below are FREE.

Payment must be done in cash or check only. You can pass the payment during Pathshala on Sunday, April 17th or Sunday, May 1st to one of the members listed below:

  • Monali Shah, 443-564-7279
  • Manna Shah, 240-498-6183
  • Sujaini Shah, 703-362-6836
  • Rupa Mehta, 703-501-3949

You can also mail your check in to the mailing address listed below:
Manna Shah
5812 White Pebble Path
Clarksville, MD 21029-1664

Lectures by Samani Vikas Pragyaji and Samani Maryada Pragyaji

It is my immense pleasure to invite you to Samani Vikas Pragyaji and Samani Maryada Pragyaji’s lectures at our Jain Center.  Both the Samanijis are well educated and possess immense knowledge about Jain scriptures.  They have conducted various shibhirs for various age groups including youths and children.  Below is their complete schedule:

Friday, June 17th, 2016:

  • 7:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.: Meditation.
  • 7:30 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.: Lecture for adults on “Non-Violence” and Lecture for kids on “Jainism and My Life.”

Saturday, June 18th, 2016:

  • 10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.: Meditation.
  • 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.: Lecture for adults on “Discover Yourself” and Lecture for kids on “How To Become Big?”

On both days, the lectures for adults will be in English/Hindi and the lectures for kids will be in English.

We look forward to seeing you at these lectures at our Jain Center.