Men’s Club

The Men’s Club is a regular and vibrant contributor to the Beth El community offering activities and support for all congregants. We offer a variety of spiritual, intellectual, athletic, social, and social action programs.

Join us for an hour on a Sunday morning for the Breakfast Speaker Series with timely and interesting topics. The Hearing Men’s Voices discussion group organized by Paul Horn meets the first Thursday evening each month. Join us and Rabbi Harris for the frequent “Jews and Brews” gathering. We sponsor book chats, a Chesapeake Bay fishing excursion, Mitzvah Day events, holiday programming, the World Wide Wrap, and Beth El’s Purim Carnival.

Please consider volunteering, speaking at an event, or suggesting new programs. With few exceptions, our programs are open to men, women, and children, the entire congregational membership, and the general public.

Financial support of Men’s Club events, through your contribution of annual dues ($36), sponsorships in honor or memory of a loved one, and voluntary donations, make our programming possible.

Contact Jeffrey Spector to learn more about the Men’s Club. We welcome your input and participation.

Jeffrey Spector, Men’s Club President

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Intellectual Activities

The Men’s Club very much enjoys engaging in learning. Whether it is listening to a speaker or challenging other groups in mental scrimmage, these activities engage us and enable us to grow together. Some of our intellectual activities include: Hearing Men’s Voices, Political Forums (especially in major election years), Sunday Breakfast & Speaker programs, It’s Academic, and our affiliation with the Beth El Library.

Social Activities

A community is created by the simple act of knowing one another. Knowing one another changes the way we make decisions since these decisions now impact a community we know in a more intimate manner.

Some of our social events may include:

  • Fishing on the Chesapeake Bay
  • Sukkah Hop and other holiday programming
  • Family Hikes
  • Jews and Brews, where Rabbi Harris leads spiritual/spirited discussions at a local bar or congregant’s home
  • Beer, wine, and spirits tastings
  • Bethesda Big Train game


Keeping fit rounds out the activities of the Men’s Club through physical activity. Currently, we field a team in the Suburban Maryland Synagogue Softball League that plays Sunday mornings from April through July and September through October/November.

Social Action

One of the most important responsibilities of being part of a community is helping members of the community that need us most. Not only does the Men’s Club contribute to this effort, we recognize our members that emulate the standard of which we should strive to achieve.

Some of our social action activities and projects include:

  • Yellow Candle/Yom HaShoah Observance
  • Mitzvah Day and Good Deeds Day Projects
  • Family Volunteering at Manna Food Center

Kavod Awards

The Kavod Awards, presented almost annually since 1972, are given for service above and beyond the call of duty to Beth El, the Jewish community, the community at large, or the Beth El Men’s Club.

Honorees are selected by the Men’s Club selection committee and do not need to be members of Beth El or the Men’s Club. Awardees must be present at the Kavod breakfast to receive their award.

Blue Yarmulke Man of the Year Awards

The Blue Yarmulke Person of the Year Award program of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs, Seaboard Region, was created for the “unsung hero of the Men’s Club. The member who is always there, contributes willingly and doesn’t get recognized.” The awardee is a hard-working contributor who might help in a daily minyan, create a successful program for our club, or work in the kitchen.

Yellow Candles Program

The Beth El Men’s Club invites you to join with other members of Congregation Beth El and Jews around the world on Erev Yom HaShoah, and light your Yellow Candle. The candles are distributed at the synagogue at various events. Or, feel free to grab one of the yellow candles in the bright yellow bags that will be available in the rotunda lobby. And, if you don’t get a Yellow Candle, you can still light a Yahrzeit candle, or any candle.

We light the candles in our homes in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. The act of kindling this flame and reading the following meditation can be a moving ritual to remind us of what happened to our people not so long ago:

As I light this Yellow Candle, I vow never to forget the lives of the Jewish men, women, and children who were martyred and are symbolized by this flame. They were tortured and brutalized by human beings who acted like beasts; their lives were taken in cruelty. May we be inspired to learn more about our six million brothers and sisters as individuals and as communities, to recall their memory throughout the year, so that they will not suffer a double death. May we recall not only the terror of their deaths, but also the splendor of their lives. May the memory of their lives inspire us to hallow our own lives and to live meaningful Jewish lives so that we may help to ensure that part of who they were shall endure always. – Rabbi Jules Harlow    

The timing couldn’t be better because this is today’s news. We live in a world of rising anti-Semitism, terrorism and violence, making memorializing the Six Million especially important for Jews. Placing the candle in your window is a way to help remind the community that the lessons of the Holocaust are as timely and relevant as they were 75 years ago. This moment also can be an appropriate opportunity to discuss the Holocaust, and the lessons learned, with your children and grandchildren because it is critical that these lessons ultimately be learned by the next generations.

The Yom HaShoah Yellow Candle Program is a project of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs, in cooperation with the Men of Reform Judaism and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.

Donate to the Yellow Candle fund

Men’s Club Executive Committee

PresidentJeffrey Spector
TreasurerJeffrey Grill
SecretaryVincent BenAvram
Immediate Past PresidentJosh Rosenstein
At Large Exec. Committee MemberJonathan Epstein
At Large Exec. Committee MemberCary Feldman
At Large Exec. Committee MemberHowie Stein