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Contents

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Highlights

General Beth El Information

Beth El Judaica and Gifts

Education

Men’s Club

Mitzvah Projects

Passover

Refuah Shleimah

Senior Caucus

Sisterhood/Zhava

Youth Activities

Community Notes


 

 

 

Congregation Beth El

8215 Old Georgetown Road

Bethesda, MD 20814

Phone: 301-652-2606

Fax: 301-907-8559

 

Tikkun Olam

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS


AGE & STAGE PARENTING SERIES: “MAKING THE MOST OF HIGH SCHOOL: THE FIRST STEPS IN THE COLLEGE APPLICATION PROCESS”

Join independent college consultant and congregant Gail Ross on Thursday, April 3, at 7:30 pm, for an informative discussion about preparing for the college admission adventure.  This program is tailored for parents of 8th - 10th graders.  Event is free.  RSVP to Geryl, gbaer@bethelmc.org or 301-652-8569, ext. 352. 

GOOD DEEDS DAY – SUNDAY, APRIL 6***

Beth El is participating in a Washington, DC community-wide Good Deeds Day this Sunday, April 6.  Visit Good Deeds Day DC website for more of what’s going on in the area for Good Deeds Day.  Beth El will be participating in the following ways:

  • Sports equipment collection for KEEN and Leveling the Playing Field
  • Raincoats and umbrella collection for Shepherd’s Table.
  • Food and toiletries for A Wider Circle.

* Drop boxes for all collections are in the main lobby.

  • Zumba-thon to support JCADA (Jewish Coalition Against Domestic Abuse) from 1:30 to 2:30 pm.  Suggested donation is $15. 

To RSVP for Zumba or for more information on Beth El programs in conjunction with Good Deeds Day, email Geryl at gbaer@bethelmc.org or click here for the details.

  • Paper Shredding by OPSUS from 8:45 am to 1:00 pm.  There is no limit to how much you can bring.  Your documents will be loaded into a secured van and taken to OPSUS (Office Paper Systems U.S. in Gaithersburg) for shredding the next day.  All materials will be RECYCLED, not incinerated.  Acceptable materials are any kind of paper, including paper clips, staples, floppy disks, and/or CDs.  Contributions to the Green Tikkun Fund are welcome but not mandatory.  For more information, contact info@bethelmc.org.

CONCERT: SONGS OF LOVE AND FREEDOM

Come for first-class Jewish and opera music that explores the major themes of Passover, and return home with musical delights and deep spiritual ideas to discuss at your Seder on Sunday, April 6, at 4:00 pm.  This unique Beth El concert is a Passover journey through opera and the Jewish tradition, featuring Hazzan Matthew Klein, tenor Yoni Rose, and pianist/conductor Giovanni Reggioli. RSVP forms are available in the lobby lucite holders and on our website. Admission is $18 per person; max of $50 per family.

JCRC PRESENTS AN EVENING WITH AMBASSADOR GIDEON MEIR AT BETH EL***

Spend an evening with us on Thursday, April 10, at 7:30 pm to hear an enlightening conversation between Ambassador Gideon Meir and Ron Kampeas, Washington Bureau Chief of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, covering the many obstacles facing Israel in the international arena.  Ambassador Meir will share his expertise regarding Israel’s successes and challenges from his 45 years of service as an Israeli diplomat.  Please RSVP to www.jcouncil.org/AmbassadorMeir.  Presented by the Israel Action Center at the JCRC and co-sponsored by Beth El. All are welcome!

 

REFLECTIONS OFF THE BIMAH

Extending his discussion groups that meet in coffee shops, breweries, and classrooms, Rabbi Harris has launched a new blog, "Reflections Off The Bimah."  Here is the link to his latest blog post: http://gharris546.wordpress.com/2014/03/04/the-whole-truth-and-nothing-but-the-truth/ He writes: “Continuing to explore our relationship with God, this piece pushes us to look within ourselves.”  Feel free to share your comments on the site and share his blog with others.


GENERAL BETH EL INFORMATION


WEEKDAY MORNING MINYAN

Beth El's schedule of services includes a daily morning minyan, Monday through Friday, at 7:30 am.  Please consider attending services in the morning to assist with making a minyan.  Torah is read on Monday and Thursday mornings.  This is a good way to start your day; a light breakfast follows the service.

 

WEEKDAY EVENING MINYAN

Beth El members have always been asked (in alphabetical rotation) to attend at least one Evening Minyan each year.  Now, signing up is easier than ever!  When it’s your week, you will receive an email with a link directing you where you can easily sign-up online (click here to check out the link).  Please try to join us Sunday through Thursday at 8:00 pm for 15 - 20 minutes; Sundays and national holidays are especially helpful.  For the week of April 6 through 10, assignments are for those families with surnames from Polon to Rodner. 

 

ARTHUR S. FELD LECTURE***

Join us on Saturday, April 19, during the 9:30 am Main Shabbat Service, for the Arthur S. Feld Memorial Lecture delivered by Ariel Y. Fishman, Ph.D, Director of Institutional Research at Yeshiva University and Assistant Professor of Management at the Sy Syms School of Business.  His topic: “Counting Blood and Blessings.”

 

BEGINNER BRIDGE CLASSES!

For those who've never played before or who haven't played in years, this beginner series is for you!  Six sessions beginning Tuesday, April 29, 7:00 to 9:00 pm, and continuing through Tuesday, June 10 (no session June 3 due to Shavuot) will be taught by certified master teacher Leslie Shafer.  Her humorous style of teaching bridge will provide a fun and entertaining way for you to learn.  Topics covered:  point count evaluation, opening bids and responses, basic play of the hand techniques.  Cost is $140 for Beth El members and $170 for non-members.  A minimum number of players is required, so please confirm your spot by Monday, April 14. Please make checks payable to Beth El. To RSVP or for more information, contact Ricardo Munster at 301-652-8569, ext. 316 or rmunster@bethelmc.org.

 

INFORMATION SESSION - BETH EL TRIP TO ISRAEL

Are you interested in joining Rabbi Rudolph and Gail Fribush on a trip to Israel in Spring 2015?  Please join us at the home of Ivy Fields and Don Gutman on Thursday evening, May 1, at 7:30 pm to hear about new and exciting places to visit in Israel.  This trip is geared towards active adults who have been to Israel before and want to see the many sights not included on standard first-timer trips.  RSVP to gbaer@bethelmc.org for address and directions.

 

SHABBAT EARLY MORNING MINYAN ANNIVERSARY***

The Shabbat Early Morning Minyan will hold its 30th Anniversary Service on May 3. The minyan began on the first Shabbat following Passover in 1984. It is a full service held each week in the Swoff Chapel, beginning at 7:30 am and concluding at 9:00 am, followed by kiddush in the Zahler Social Hall. The anniversary celebrates all the years the Shabbat Early Morning Service has been an integral part of Beth El.  It is open to everyone; children are welcomed. The anniversary celebration is always an enjoyable time.  Please join us for this festive occasion. 

 

2014 BETH EL MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORY***

Don’t forget to pick up your copy of the new 2014 directory.  Office hours are: Monday through Thursday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Friday 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, and Sunday (when Religious School is in session), 9:00 am to Noon. 

 

YOU SHOP, AMAZON GIVES!***

Shop online as you normally do and support Congregation Beth El at no additional cost.  Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your purchase to Beth El whenever you use AmazonSmile. Visit http://smile.amazon.com/ch/52-0698176 to get started.

 

SHABBAT KIDDUSH HOSPITALITY TABLE

Don’t forget to stop by the new hospitality table during Shabbat kiddush to meet and talk to board members, clergy, and other congregants.  With hundreds of people at Shabbat services each week, it is hard to welcome each and every person.  If you are a new member or looking to get more involved and meet more people, please stop by the hospitality table so we can properly welcome you into our shul.  Hospitality table begins 15 minutes after services end. 


WHAT’S HAPPENING AT BETH EL


BETH EL JUDAICA AND GIFTS

Enhance your flavor of Pesach! We are carrying a brand new product this Passover – Matzolah!  Matzolah has been named by Kosherfest as the “best new kosher for Passover product.”  The maple nut-free, and gluten-free Matzolah are now available in the shop.  Stop by and get yours today!  Kosher for Passover candy is also available.  We will be carrying Zelda’s Chocolate, lollipops, chocolate seder plates, and much more!  These make great hostess gifts, prizes for the afikomen, and delicious snacks.  Regular shop hours are when Religious School is in session on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 4:00 to 6:15 pm, and Sundays, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. 

Volunteer to work in the shop and receive a 10% discount on purchases you make during your shift.  For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact info@bethelmc.org.


CULTURE CORNER

UPCOMING EVENTS FOR APRIL/MAY:

  • Through May 4, at the National Museum of American History: “Camilla’s Purse.”  After the death of Holocaust survivor Camilla Gottlieb, her family uncovered a trove of documents in one of her purses.  Those papers are on display, chronicling her harrowing story, not to mention a happy ending when she was reunited with family in the United Sates after the war.  For more information:  www.americanhistory.si.edu.
  • Through April 6, at Theater J:  “The Admission.”  An Israeli homage to All My Sons set in Haifa during the first Intifada. Giora is a young professor engaged to Neta but in love with Samia, the Palestinian daughter of a family friend who becomes troubled when Giora's father's company begins building on the site of a battle that took place 40 years ago. Giora struggles to find the truth about his father's war-time secrets, confronting the causes of his brother's death and how Giora came to incur his own war-time injuries in Lebanon. As Giora's family presses him to look forward, not back, the play asks how we can move forward toward peace while still wrestling with the ghosts of war.  A Workshop Presentation produced in collaboration with the Cameri Theatre and the Arab-Hebrew Theatre of Jaffa.  For more information:  www.theaterj.org.
  • Through April 6, at Washington Hebrew Congregation (3935 Macomb Street, NW, Washington, DC): Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington’s newest exhibition, “Voices of the Vigil.”  This original exhibition tells the story of the Washington-area Jewish community’s efforts to assist their oppressed brethren behind the Iron Curtain—most notably through a 1970-91 daily vigil across 16th Street, NW, from the Soviet Embassy. Two Beth El congregants, Danny Mann and Jack Minker, were on the committee that helped to develop this exhibit.  For more information: www.jhsgw.org.
  • April 10 - 27, at Theater J: “Golda’s Balcony,” starring Tova Feldshuh.  A riveting portrait of one of the great women of our time, Golda Meir, “Golda’s Balcony” is the latest work from Tony® Award-winning playwright William Gibson (“The Miracle Worker;” “Two for the Seesaw”), and an award-winning smash that, in 15 sold-out months on Broadway, set the record for the longest one-woman show in Broadway history.  From the pogroms of Russia to the halls of the Knesset, the story of Golda Meir is the story of the State of Israel in the 20th century.  For more information:  www.theaterj.org.

EDUCATION

RABBI SAMUEL SCOLNIC ADULT INSTITUTE***

If you thought you missed the first week between the snow and cancelled classes, you did not!  It’s not too late to sign-up.  Just come a few minutes early and go to the registration table in the Gallery.  Spring classes are already in session and will continue through Tuesday morning, May 13, and Wednesday evening, May 14, with a two-week break for Pesach.    Detailed class offerings are here on our website or in the lobby. 

 

A TASTE OF TALMUD

This class, taught by Adjunct Rabbi David Abramson, meets every Tuesday morning year-round (except Jewish holidays) at approximately 8:15 am, following morning minyan.  There is no fee.  All are welcome. 


LIBRARY

READ ALONG WITH THE BETH EL BOOK CLUB***

This month, we are reading “Apples from the Desert,” a short story collection by noted Israeli author, Savyon Liebrecht.  Join us to discuss it at our Tuesday, May 20, book club chat at 7:30 pm.  Copies are available from libraries and booksellers.  For more information, please contact info@bethelmc.org.   


MEN’S CLUB

HEARING MEN’S VOICES

All Beth El men are invited to participate in this monthly discussion group specifically for men.   The next meeting is Thursday, April 3, at 8:30 pm, when Rabbi Harris will lead a discussion on “God in the Haggadah.” For more information, contact info@bethelmc.org.

 

MEN’S CLUB BREAKFAST AND PROGRAM***

Come to the Men’s Club for breakfast on Sunday, April 6, at 9:30 am, following the 9:00 am morning minyan.  At 10:00 am, John Glowienka, U.S. ITER program manager, U.S. Department of Energy, will speak about the ITER (latin for “the way”) Fusion Project.  ITER is an international scientific experiment that aims to demonstrate that commercial energy can be produced from fusion. 

 

YELLOW CANDLE DISTRIBUTION FOR YOM HASHOAH

The Men's Club is distributing yellow candles to commemorate Yom HaShoah. The candles are to be lit on Sunday night, April 27 (Erev Yom HaShoah), in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. Although the candles are distributed free of charge, we ask that you help underwrite the cost of this project. All funds received over and above our cost will go to the JSSA Holocaust Survivors Program. By remembering, we celebrate the ongoing life of the Jewish people even as we memorialize those who perished.  Candles are available in the shul office and will be distributed in the lobby at various shul events this month.


MITZVAH PROJECTS

RAIN GEAR COLLECTION FOR SHEPHERD’S TABLE

Help the homeless stay dry this spring and drop off raincoats, rain boots, umbrellas, and rain ponchos for adults and children to benefit Shepherd’s Table.  This collection effort is part of Amanda Miller’s Bat Mitzvah project, in conjunction with Good Deeds Day on April 6.  There is a collection box in the lobby.  Items can be dropped through Sunday, April 6.  For more information, contact info@bethelmc.org.     


PASSOVER HIGHLIGHTS

PASSOVER BEGINS MONDAY EVENING, APRIL 14, AND ENDS TUESDAY EVENING, APRIL 22

SELLING OF CHAMETZ

During the week of Passover, it is forbidden, according to Jewish tradition, to eat chametz or even to own the chametz that has been put away in your home.  Therefore, we annually observe the custom of Mechirat Chametz, selling the chametz to someone who is not bound by Jewish law.  If you would like to have Rabbi Rudolph sell your chametz, be sure to mail or drop off the form (available in the April Scroll) so that it is received by 9:00 am on Monday, April 14.  Donations are also being accepted for Maot Chittim, feeding the hungry.  Please make checks payable to Congregation Beth El.

 

SIYYUM FOR THE FIRSTBORN

On Monday, April 14, at 7:15 am, the Morning Minyan will include a brief study session so that firstborn can eat that day, and a special breakfast honoring our firstborn will follow.  Thanks to Debby and Menachem Shoham, who are sponsoring the Siyyum in memory of Sy and Barbara Wolf, Abraham and Sarah Krupsaw, Abraham and Dora Wolf, and Israel Shoham. 

 

CONGREGATIONAL SEDER

Our annual Second Seder will take place on Tuesday, April 15, at 7:00 pm, following the Festival Evening Service at 6:30 pm. RSVP deadline is Friday, April 4, or the first 150 people, whichever comes first.  Reservation forms can be found in the April Scroll, the Lobby lucite holders or online here on our website.

 

CAFÉ PESACH

Tired of eating at home every night during Passover? Join us on Friday evening, April 18, at 7:00 pm, following the Shabbat Evening Service at 6:30 pm, for a delicious meal. RSVP deadline is Friday, April 4.  Reservation forms can be found in the April Scroll, the Lobby lucite holders and online here on our website.

 

PESACH YIZKOR BOOK LISTING

The Beth El Pesach Yizkor Book will be available at the morning Festival services on Tuesday, April 22.  To have a listing included, please return the appropriate form to Beth El by Friday, April 4.  Forms will be available in the April Scroll and in the lucite holders in the Lobby.

 

HACHNASSAT ORCHIM

Do you have extra room at your Seder table?  If you would like to perform the mitzvah of hachnassat orchim (welcoming of guests) and open your home to one or more individuals for a seder, or if you would like to be invited to the home of another congregant for a seder, please contact Hattie Goodman in the Beth El Office at 301-652-2606 or hgoodman@bethelmc.org.

 

PURCHASE YOUR PASSOVER GROCERIES AND SUPPORT BETH EL

Regardless of where you buy your Passover supplies – KosherMart, Shalom’s, Giant, or Shoppers – you can do your shopping and support Beth El without any additional cost to you.  Just purchase gift cards/scrip for any of these stores at Beth El.  You receive full face value and Beth El receives 5% from each store.  This is an easy but important component of our fundraising; for more information, call the office at 301-652-2606 or pick up a flyer/order form in the lobby.


REFUAH SHLEIMAH

Refuah Shleimah:  Have you ever found out about someone’s illness or surgery after the fact and, if you had known earlier, you would have sent a card, called, visited, or helped them in some way?  In keeping with the Jewish value of bikkur cholim (caring for the sick), Beth El has a Refuah Shleimah (complete healing) list that is included in the Tuesday listserv announcements and in the hard copy Shabbat announcements.  Names will be included for the duration of the illness or for four weeks, whichever period is shorter.  While we hope congregants will participate, we recognize that not everyone may want his/her name included.  Therefore, we will accept names only from the person him/herself, or an immediate family member, and details of the illness will not be disclosed.  To be included on the list, please contact the clergy or the main office at 301-652-2606.  


SENIOR CAUCUS

ROUNDTABLE WITH THE RABBI

Join the Senior Caucus on Wednesday, April 2, at 2:00 pm, to celebrate April birthdays (yours and those of others) with desserts, coffee, and an inspiring discussion led by Rabbi Rudolph.  Birthday celebrants receive a special invitation, but all are welcome!

 

DOR L’DOR

Beth El Preschool (BEPS) 4’s class and a group of Beth El seniors blend together naturally to form Dor L’Dor.  Join BEPS and the Senior Caucus at Noon on Thursday, April 3, to share some delicious pizza and enjoy this special intergenerational program connecting children with seniors.  RSVP to Ricardo Munster at rmunster@bethelmc.org or 301-652-8569, ext. 316. 

 

BRIDGE MEETS TWICE A WEEK

Enjoy a friendly afternoon of bridge (almost) every Monday and Thursday, 1:00 – 4:00 pm.  The next sessions will be on Thursday, April 3, and Monday, April 7.  No partner or RSVP is needed. This program is sponsored by Beth El’s Senior Caucus. Please note that Bridge will not meet on Monday, April 14 and 21, due to Passover. For more information, please contact the main office at 301-652-2606.

 

NEED A RIDE TO SHUL?

A generous benefactor enables Beth El to offer free taxi rides to senior members to facilitate attendance at services, lectures, and other programs at the shul.  To arrange a ride, please contact Ricardo Munster at rmunster@bethelmc.org or 301-652-8569, ext. 316, at least four days in advance.  Our thanks to the donors, Senior Caucus, and the Center for Community Engagement for helping to maintain this important service for our congregants.


SISTERHOOD/ZHAVA

ZHAVA CRAFTERS

Bring your needles and yarn or thread and join us on Monday, April 7, at 9:30 am, for a little schmoozing and knitting.  For more information and/or to RSVP, contact info@bethelmc.org.

 

ZHAVA FAMILY SHABBAT DINNER***

Join Zhava for a family Shabbat dinner, on April 25 right after our 6:30 pm Friday evening service.  Dinner forms can be found here on our website or in the lobby lucite holders.  Cost for the dinner is $22 for members; $27 for non-members; children 6-12 are $10 and 2-5 are $5; children under 2 are free.  Dinner reservations can be made online here or you can drop off a check to the main office. We will be collecting donations for Bethesda Help.  Please bring any of the following: boxes of mac and cheese; canned beans; canned tuna; soup; bags of rice; canned fruit; canned vegetables; plastic jars of jelly; Safeway or Giant gift cards.    

 

MAH JONGG NIGHT

Join us (almost) every Tuesday evening at 7:00 pm.  Beginning and experienced players welcome!  RSVP to info@bethelmc.org.  


YOUTH ACTIVITIES

BONIM (K – 2nd)

  • Sunday, April 6, 11:45 am – 1:30 pm: Good Deeds Day Project Decorating Flower Pots for Residents of Ring House.   Join us as we help beautify the homes of senior citizens at Ring House.  Cost is $5.  Please bring a dairy or parve lunch; RSVP to Tali at Bonim@bethelmc.org

 

MACHAR (3rd - 5th)

  • Sunday, April 6, 1:00 to 4:00 pm:  Good Deeds Day Project.  Spend a beautiful afternoon outdoors and help a Montgomery County neighborhood get ready for spring and summer.  We will be helping clean up the Parklawn Park in Kensington.  The whole family is invited!  Cost is free.  RSVP to Adam at azeren@bethelmc.org

 

USY (8th - 12th)

  • Saturday, April 5, 8:30 pm: Let’s Go Curling!  What on earth is curling?  Learn how to slide the stone and find out what those brooms are for!  First, get a lesson in curling, and then we play the greatest game on ice!  Bus leaves Beth El at 8:30 pm and returns at 11:30 pm.  Cost is $20.  RSVP to Adam at azeren@bethelmc.org.  
  • Registration is open for USY Summer Trips to Israel and USY on Wheels/early bird discounts available: Whether touring across North America on USY on Wheels or exploring Israel and/or parts of Europe on our various Israel Pilgrimage programs, USY has something for everyone! USY Summer Programs provide an exciting way to explore your Jewish identity and tour North America, Europe, and Israel. Experience the beauty of Shabbat, learn about the power of tzedakah, and gain inspiration through creative prayer and engaging interactive Jewish learning programs. Get more information at http://www.usy.org/escape/.

 

BBYO (9th - 12th)

  • Sunday, April 6: Day of Service.  Day of Service is a chance for Jewish teens around Greater Washington to come together and make an impact on our community. This year we'll have different youth groups, synagogues, and faith-based organizations working together like never before in the name of tikkun olam. You even have a choice of what type of community service you'd like to participate in, based on your interests and values! Don't miss out on the fun! Lunch will be served at the event.  Register by clicking here.

·         April 5 - 6: DC Council’s Annual 8th Grade AIT/MIT Overnight at the JCC in Rockville.  Our Alephs in Training (AITs-boys) and Members in Training (MITs-girls) will gather at the JCCGW for a fun-filled event. Participants will get to know one another, become inducted into DC Council, and attend our Day of Service together on Sunday morning. All attendees must be registered members of BBYO.  Register by clicking here.


COMMUNITY NOTES

“POLITICS OF DEAD KINGS: DYNASTIC ANCESTORS IN THE BOOK OF KINGS AND ANCIENT ISRAEL” – PRESENTED BY THE BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGY FORUM (BAF)***

Join BAF on Wednesday, April 2, at 8:00 pm, at the JCCGW (6125 Montrose Road, Rockville) when they present “Politics of Dead Kings and Ancient Israel.”  Beth El is one of the co-sponsors of these forums.  General admission is $10.  For more detailed information, contact baf.jccgw@gmail.com or visit www.jccgw.org/BAF.

 

JSSA HOSPICE VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

Do you want to help people during their most challenging days? Make a real difference in the life of a patient or family by volunteering your time and compassion.  Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA), a non-sectarian community agency, is seeking volunteers over the age of 18 to help enhance the quality of life of individuals and families facing life-threatening or terminal illness.  The next 20-hour training course is scheduled for Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, April 27, 28, and 29, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 pm at JSSA's office, 6123 Montrose Road, Rockville. Applications and interviews will be required for those interested in the volunteer training. No walk-ins accepted. For more information and to sign up for the course, please contact Amy Kaufman Goott, Manager of Volunteer Services for JSSA Hospice and Transitions, at 301-816-2650 or agoott@jssa.org, no later than 5 days prior to the start of the course.

 

RECYCLE YOUR OLD CELL PHONE TO JCADA (JEWISH COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC ABUSE)

Save a life by giving victims of domestic abuse instant access to 911.  Drop your old cellphone, regardless of condition, in the purple box in the lobby. For more information, please call 1-877-88-JCADA or email phones@JCADA.org.

 

HEBREW FREE LOAN ASSOCIATION

Since 1909 the Hebrew Free Loan Association has been offering interest-free loans to members of the Greater Washington DC Jewish community to help them meet their financial needs with dignity. This philanthropic organization is maintained by the Jewish community of Greater Washington, DC. Loans are available for a range of legitimate needs, including, but not limited to, school or camp tuition, medical bills, emergency bills, and credit card debts. Student loans are available for students in their junior and senior years of college and graduate students.  The Hebrew Free Loan Association exists to enable individuals to meet financial challenges and advance their ability to support themselves and their families. Visit www.hebrewfreeloandc.org for more information.   


Follow Beth El on Facebook  www.facebook.com/congregation.beth.el  

WINTER BREAK SCHEDULE***

Morning minyan on Wednesday, December 25, and Wednesday, January 1, will be at 9:00 am.  Evening minyan on Wednesday, December 25, and Tuesday, December 31, will be at 5:30 pm.  It’s often hard to get a quorum this time of year; please come if you can.  Preschool and Religious School are now closed.  Preschool will resume on Thursday, January 2, and Religious School will resume on Sunday, January 5.  Beth El offices will be closed Sunday, December 22, Wednesday, December 25, Sunday, December 29, and Wednesday, January 1.  Friday Evening Service December 27, 6:30 pm; Kol Haneshama service (with musical instruments during Kabbalat Shabbat) in the Swoff Chapel and traditional service in the Library.

 

ISRAEL BIKE RIDE

Join us on Monday, January 13, at 7:30 pm to hear about the ride that was memorialized by Rabbi Rudolph in many exciting listserv columns this past fall. He hopes to repeat the experience with many Beth El bikers who will sign up for next fall’s ride. Learn about the ride, the financing, the bikes, the snacks, and more. Questions? Contact Rabbi Rudolph at wrudolph@bethelmc.org.

 

SHABBAT KIDDUSH HOSPITALITY TABLE

Don’t forget to stop by the new hospitality table during Shabbat kiddush to meet and talk to board members, clergy, and other congregants.  With hundreds of people at Shabbat services each week, it is hard to welcome each and every person.  If you are a new member or looking to get more involved and meet more people, please stop by the hospitality table so we can properly welcome you into our shul.  Hospitality table begins 15 minutes after services end. 


GENERAL BETH EL INFORMATION


WEEKDAY MORNING MINYAN

Beth El's schedule of services includes a daily morning minyan, Monday through Friday, at 7:30 am.  Exception: Morning minyan on Wednesday, December 25, and Wednesday, January 1, will be at 9:00 am. Please consider attending services in the morning to assist with making a minyan.  Torah is read on Monday and Thursday mornings.  This is a good way to start your day; a light breakfast follows the service.

 

WEEKDAY EVENING MINYAN

Beth El members have always been asked (in alphabetical rotation) to attend at least one Evening Minyan each year.  Now, signing up is easier than ever!  When it’s your week, you will receive an email with a link directing you where you can easily sign-up online (click here to check out the link).  Please try to join us Sunday through Thursday at 8:00 pm, for 15 - 20 minutes; Sundays and national holidays are especially helpful.  For the week of December 29 through January 2, assignments are for those families with surnames from Estrina to Fishman.  Please note that evening minyan on Wednesday, December 25, and Tuesday, December 31, will be at 5:30 pm.   

 

YEAR-END GIFTS

Every December, we see a marked increase in contributions to Beth El, as members wish to support the congregation and also take advantage of the tax-exempt status of such gifts. You might also want to consider donating appreciated stock, mutual funds, or bonds, as Federal tax law offers special incentives for gifts that appreciated in value. Please note that stock must be received in Beth El’s stock account by December 31 in order to qualify as a 2013 tax-exempt gift. Perhaps your donation could be doubled if you work for a company that matches charitable contributions of employees.  Please review the mailing sent out in late November. For further information, please contact Andrea Glazer at aglazer@bethelmc.org or 301-652-2606, ext. 328.  

 

BRISKET AND BEYOND – UPDATED

Brisket and Beyond, Beth El’s food blog has a new update with a recipe to keep you warm this winter.  Try a new recipe and post comments!  Be sure to check it out at www.brisketandbeyondbethel.blogspot.com.

 

HOSTS NEEDED FOR LIGHTEN UP: FRIDAY NIGHT INVITES

Lighten Up: Friday Night Invites is a program in which volunteer families invite other Beth El families to their home for a warm and relaxing Shabbat meal.  Last year, Beth El members hosted 40 dinners, introducing more than 80 families to new friends and new Shabbat traditions.  Our goal for Lighten Up is to have 60 dinners in February 2014.  To accomplish our goal, we need additional host families.  If you would like to be a host, please contact Geryl Baer at gbaer@bethelmc.org or 301-652-8569, ext. 352.

 

AGE & STATE EMPTY NESTER PROGRAM: “HOUSING CHANGES AS WE CHANGE”

Join us on our new date, Tuesday, January 21, at 7:30 pm, for this workshop designed to educate and enlighten people when considering individual living styles as we grow and change.  We will discuss adapting your existing home to fit current needs, downsizing, and other important topics.  Please RSVP to Geryl Baer at gbaer@bethelmc.org or 301-652-8569, ext. 352.

 

AGE & STAGE PARENTING SERIES: “MAKE EVERY MOMENT COUNT: ENRICHING READING TIME WITH YOUR KIDS”

Come on Thursday, January 23, at 7:30 pm, and welcome Sarah Rabin Spira, the new PJ Library Outreach Associate.  Learn how children’s books, even those that aren’t explicitly Jewish, can communicate Jewish values. RSVP to Geryl Baer, gbaer@bethelmc.org or 301-652-8569, ext. 352.

 

SIXTH ANNUAL LITERARY LUMINARY EVENT***

Join us on Sunday, January 26, at 10:00 am, for “Backstage at Theater J: Jewish Art and Community in the Nation’s Capital,” featuring Ari Roth, Artistic Director of Theater J, and Carole Zawatsky, CEO of the Washington DCJCC.  Sponsored by the Library Committee, Men’s Club, and Sisterhood.  All are welcome!

 

LAWYERS BREAKFAST AND STUDY***

Join your fellow congregants and Rabbi Rudolph on Tuesday, January 28, at 8:30 am, for the Beth El Lawyers Breakfast at Paley Rothman offices (4800 Hampden Lane, Bethesda). Rabbi Rudolph will lead us in a discussion of Jewish perspectives related to ethics and the practice of law. Space is limited and preference will be given to non-downtown lawyers.  These breakfasts present an opportunity for lawyers who are Beth El congregants to meet one another, informally network, and learn more about the congregation. RSVP to info@bethelmc.org by Thursday, January 23.  A light, dairy breakfast will be served.

 

YOU SHOP, AMAZON GIVES!***

Shop online as you normally do and support Congregation Beth El at no additional cost.  Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your purchase to Beth El whenever you use AmazonSmile. Visit http://smile.amazon.com/ch/52-0698176 to get started.

 

LARGE CALENDARS FOR THE HEBREW HOME

Beth El is collecting 2014 large-sized wall calendars for residents and patients of The Hebrew Home complex.  If you have extra calendars, please bring them to the main office.  For more information, contact info@bethelmc.org.


WHAT’S HAPPENING AT BETH EL


BETH EL JUDAICA AND GIFTS

We are here for all of your Judaica and gift needs!  Great hostess gifts for any occasion and items for all ages.  Now carrying rainbow looms and bands!  The shop is now closed and will re-open on Sunday, January 5.  Regular shop hours when Religious School is in session are Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 4:00 to 6:15 pm; and Sundays, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. 

Volunteer to work in the shop and receive a 10% discount on purchases you make during your shift.  For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact info@bethelmc.org.


EDUCATION

A TASTE OF TALMUD

This class, taught by Adjunct Rabbi David Abramson, meets every Tuesday morning year-round (except Jewish holidays) at approximately 8:15 am, following morning minyan.  There is no fee.  All are welcome. 


LIBRARY

READ ALONG WITH THE BETH EL BOOK CLUB

This month, we are reading Dara Horn’s The World to Come,” a National Jewish Book Award winner.  Join us to discuss it at our Sunday, January 26, book club chat at 11:30 am.  For more information, please contact info@bethelmc.org.   


MEN’S CLUB

MEN’S CLUB BREAKFAST

Join the Men’s Club for breakfast on Sunday, December 29, at 9:30 am, following the 9:00 am morning minyan. The breakfast will be sponsored by John Rosenthal in honor of his birthday, and by Michael Kay in memory of his mother, Diane Kay.  There is no post-breakfast program this week; programs will resume on Sunday, January 12.


NITZANIM

NITZANIM TU B’SHEVAT***

Join Nitzanim on Sunday, January 19, from 10:00 to 11:30 am, at the Audobon Naturalist Society’s Woodend Nature Center (8940 Jones Mill Rd., Chevy Chase) for a special program in honor of Tu B’Shevat.  We will learn about trees, enjoy special snacks, and an activity to celebrate the holiday.  Please RSVP to jonpolon@hotmail.com with the number of children attending.  Cost of event is $5 per child.


SENIOR CAUCUS

BRIDGE MEETS TWICE A WEEK

Enjoy a friendly afternoon of bridge (almost) every Monday and Thursday, 1:00 – 4:00 pm.  The next sessions will be on Thursday, December 26 and Monday, December 30.  No partner or RSVP is needed. This program is sponsored by Beth El’s Senior Caucus. For more information, please contact the main office at 301-652-2606.

 

DOR L’DOR***

Beth El Preschool (BEPS) 4’s class and a group of Beth El seniors blend together naturally to form Dor L’Dor.  Join BEPS and the Senior Caucus on Thursday, January 9, at Noon, to share some delicious pizza and enjoy this special intergenerational program connecting children with seniors.  RSVP to Audrey Berger at 301-986-9257 or Ricardo Munster at rmunster@bethelmc.org or 301-652-8569, ext. 316. 

 

NEED A RIDE TO SHUL?

A generous benefactor enables Beth El to offer free taxi rides to senior members to facilitate attendance at services, lectures, and other programs at the shul.  To arrange a ride, please contact Ricardo Munster at rmunster@bethelmc.org or 301-652-8569, ext. 316, at least four days in advance.  Our thanks to the donors, Senior Caucus, and the Center for Community Engagement for helping to maintain this important service for our congregants.


SISTERHOOD/ZHAVA

MAH JONGG NIGHT

Join us (almost) every Tuesday evening at 7:00 pm.  Beginning and experienced players welcome!  RSVP to info@bethelmc.org.

 

MAH JONGG CARDS

Sisterhood is selling Mah Jongg Cards.  Forms can be found in the lobby lucite holders.  Save the date for the Third Annual Tournament on Sunday, February 9!  If there are any questions, please contact info@bethelmc.org.


YOUTH ACTIVITIES

KADIMA (6th -7th)

  • Kadima Saturday Night Live, Saturday, January 4: 7:30 – 10:00 pm at B’nai Israel, Montrose Road at Executive Blvd., in Rockville: Don’t miss the BIGGEST Middle School Party of the Year!  Join more than 250 other Jewish kids from our area for a night of video games, inflatables, in-synagogue laser tag, a DJ, gaga, ice cream, and much more! To register in advance, send a $15 check made out to Seaboard Kadima to 6010 Executive Blvd, Suite, 705, Rockville, MD 20852.  Or you can pay $20 at the door. This is open to all Kadima members.  If you’re not a Kadima member, please email Adam at azeren@bethelmc.org.
  • Registration for Kadima Basketball Team now open: Sign up now to play for the defending Seaboard Kadima League champions! Only $60 gets you eight games with referees. The season starts mid-January and runs through mid-March. Games are late Sunday afternoons or evenings. It’s a very laid back league; you don’t have to worry about practice. To register, please email Adam at azeren@bethelmc.org.

USY (8th - 12th)

  • Registration for USY Basketball team now open: Sign up now for to play in a fun winter basketball league against teens from other area synagogues. Only $60 gets you 8 games with referees.  The season starts mid-January and runs through mid-March.  Games are late Sunday afternoons or evenings.  It’s a very laid back league; you don’t have to worry about having practice.  To register, please email Adam at azeren@bethelmc.org
  • Registration is open for USY Summer Trips to Israel and USY on Wheels/early bird discounts available: Whether touring across North America on USY on Wheels or exploring Israel and/or parts of Europe on our various Israel Pilgrimage programs, USY has something for everyone! USY Summer Programs provide an exciting way to explore your Jewish identity and tour North America, Europe and Israel. Experience the beauty of Shabbat, learn about the power of Tzedakah, and gain inspiration through creative prayer and engaging interactive Jewish learning programs. Get More Information at http://www.usy.org/escape/

COMMUNITY NOTES

JSSA HOSPICE VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

Do you want to help people during their most challenging days? Make a real difference in the life of a patient or family by volunteering your time and compassion.  Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA), a non-sectarian community agency, is seeking volunteers over the age of 18 to help enhance the quality of life of individuals and families facing life-threatening or terminal illness.  The next 20-hour training course is scheduled for Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, January 12, 13, and 14, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 pm at JSSA's office, 6123 Montrose Road, Rockville. Applications and interviews will be required for those interested in the volunteer training. No walk-ins accepted. For more information and to sign up for the course, please contact Amy Kaufman Goott, Manager of Volunteer Services for JSSA Hospice and Transitions, at 301-816-2650 or agoott@jssa.org, no later than 5 days prior to the start of the course.

 

OVER 50 AND LOOKING FOR WORK?

The Jewish Council for the Aging (JCA) is pleased to announce two new sessions of The Career Gateway.  This innovative job search training program comprises 30 hours of small-group instruction over five non-consecutive days, comprehensive take-home materials, and one-on-one mentoring – all for only $75!  Nearly three-quarters of our participants who are actively looking for a job find employment within four months after graduating – why not join the club?  The next session begins January 13, and the second begins on February 10.  For more information, contact Ellen Greenberg at egreenberg@AccessJCA.org or call 301-255-4215.


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Congregation Beth El is affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism

 
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