Interest Groups and Havurot

In a synagogue as large as Beth El, it can sometimes be nice to connect to each other in small groups. We are creating some new Beth El small groups to bring more people together based on shared interests, and we will also help people identify existing small groups that they may not have known about. Click here to learn more and fill out a questionnaire to help us to connect you with other like-minded community members.

Interest Groups

Books, cards, choirs, camping, gardening…if a group doesn’t already exist to match your interest, think about starting one! If you would like help starting a group, contact Geryl Baer at or 301-652-8569 x 152.

Some examples of interest groups include:

  • Beth El Choirs: Beth El has adult, teen, and children’s choirs.
  • BEENS (Beth El Empty Nesters): Beth El Empty Nesters are people in their late forties to early sixties who have in common that they no longer have children at home.
  • Beth El Professional’s Breakfast and Study: Throughout the year, we offer breakfast study sessions with our clergy based on your profession.
  • Bridge: The greatest card game ever! Every Monday from 1:00-4:00 pm in the Family/Bride’s Room. No partner or RSVP is needed. Sponsored by Beth El’s Senior Caucus. For more information, contact Ricardo Munster at 301-652-8569, ext. 116.
  • Conversational Hebrew: This friendly, informal drop-in group, led by congregant Art Salwin, meets twice monthly at Beth El. It is a way for participants to practice and keep fresh their Hebrew conversation skills. You don’t need to be fluent in Hebrew to join. No RSVP required. If you are interested in learning more or want to know the date of the next meeting, please contact the Beth El main office.
  • Family Camp: Beth El Family Camp is a group of about 25 families that spend Memorial Day weekend together having services, study groups, family sports, campfires, and lot of other fun activities.


Havurah is derived from the Hebrew word for friend – havurot is the plural of havurah – and havurot provide a way to become a part of a more intimate shul experience.

These groups are formed around common interests (such as opera) or stages in life, meeting outside the synagogue to engage in Jewish learning, socialize, and develop a deeper feeling of friendship and community within the larger Beth El congregation.

If you’re interested in starting a havurah, please contact Geryl Baer at or 301-652-8569, ext. 152.