Weekly Announcements

Announcements for the week of January 18, 2018

GENERAL BETH EL INFORMATION

FINGERPRINT/FOB REGISTRATION

We will go operational with our new access system no later than Friday, January 26. It is important that you register your fingerprints or receive a fob prior to that date. You can do this Mondays through Thursdays, 9:30 am to 4:00 pm, and Fridays, 9:30 am to 2:30 pm. Please call before coming to Beth El to make sure someone will be available to assist you. Unable to come during these hours? Call the office and we will work out a convenient time for you.

INSTALLATION OF HAZZAN ASA FRADKIN

Save Sunday evening, April 29, for the official installation of Hazzan Asa Fradkin at Beth El. Watch the listserv, website, and Scroll for details!

KOL HANESHAMA SERVICE

Join us this Friday, January 19, at 6:30 pm, as we welcome the joy and relaxation of Shabbat with great music and shared insights.  We begin with melodies that calm, songs that enliven, prayers that elevate, and silence to incorporate.  Enjoy both traditional melodies and the latest in contemporary and innovative Jewish music from around the globe, all used to connect with the delight of Shabbat and deepen the spiritual experience.  The service includes musical instruments. Please note: While Kol Haneshama typically meets on the third Friday of each month, in February it will meet on Friday, February 23, instead.

MINYAN CHAVERIM

This traditional, smaller, less formal, and more intimate service will meet on Shabbat, January 20, at 9:30 am. It features opportunities to follow along, sing, pray, and learn together.  We have an interactive Torah reading where brief discussions are common. The service is family friendly, welcoming tots, teens, and even adults! Following the service and congregational kiddush, there is a pot luck lunch hosted at a nearby home, offering opportunities to schmooze with other attendees (and for kids and teens to play or hang out together). Minyan Chaverim meets monthly on the third Saturday morning. If you are interested in having an honor/aliyah at the service, please contact us on Shabbat or in advance. Questions? Contact Mitchell Solkowitz by phone or at minyanchaverim@bethelmc.org or click here to visit Minyan Chaverim’s Facebook page.

JEWISH MEDITATION WITH HAZZAN FRADKIN

Experience Jewish Meditation, a blend of chant and silent and guided meditation that leads us to a more meaningful relationship with God and with those around us. Join us on Saturday, January 20, 4:00 to 5:00 pm. Spend an hour with nothing but mindfulness to distract you. Questions? Contact Hazzan Fradkin at afradkin@bethelmc.org.

ISRAEL MEDIA SERIES

On Saturday, January 20, 7:30 pm, we will present A Beautiful Valley. The film, directed by Hadar Friedlich, won the best Full-Length Debut Film Award in the Jerusalem International Film Festival.  It chronicles the “privatization” of a kibbutz as seen through the eyes of 80 year-old widow Hanna, a founder who remains devoted to the original egalitarian ideals of the community.  As always, M&M’s and popcorn are included in the $5 admission fee

DANIEL MANN LITERARY LUMINARY EVENT

This program on Sunday morning, January 21, with Professor Meital Orr of Georgetown University has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. Watch for a new date.

CHUG KRIAH

On Sunday, January 21, at 2:00 pm, the Hebrew Literature Reading Group, under the leadership of Professor Arnold Band, will begin it discussion of the novel by Meir Shalev, Shtayim Dubim. New participants welcome. For further information, please contact Bill Kanter or Neil Schechter.

INTERFAITH BIBLE STUDY

Join Beth El and Saint Mark Presbyterian Church members for a joint Bible study series led by Rabbi Harris and Pastor Howard. While it started Wednesday, January 17, everyone is welcome at the remaining three classes even if they did not attend the first class. We meet at Saint Mark (10701 Old Georgetown Rd, Rockville) for four Wednesdays (January 17, 24, 31, February 7), 12:00 to 1:00 pm, to study the Book of Ruth, a central story for both Christians and Jews. RSVP to Ricardo Munster at rmunster@bethelmc.org or 301-622-2606, ext. 316.

KESHER NASHIM

Join us on Wednesday, January 24, at 7:30 pm, for our next meeting.  Kesher Nashim (Women’s Connection), supports female cancer survivors and those with a current cancer diagnosis.  Join other Beth El women for discussions, support, friendship, and more.  We meet every other month and cover many different topics related to a cancer diagnosis. If you have any questions or need to reach someone right way, please contact Naomi Greenwood.

ISRAEL DISTINGUISHED SPEAKER SERIES

Please join us Wednesday, January 31, 7:30 pm, for the next installment of Beth El’s Israel Distinguished Speakers Series, featuring former United States Ambassador to Morocco, the Hon. Marc Ginsberg, who will discuss The Titanic Sunni-Shiite Struggle Between Iran and Saudi Arabia and Its Impact On Israel’s Security. A widely respected expert on Middle Eastern Affairs, Ambassador Ginsberg held multiple official positions in both the Carter and Clinton Administrations. He appears frequently on cable news shows, and his analysis also is featured in print media. Having lived in Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon, he brings a unique perspective to the struggles roiling the Middle East. Ambassador Ginsberg will also discuss cyber-terrorism and social media in his talk. He will entertain questions from the audience following his prepared remarks. Dessert reception follows the program, which is sponsored by the Am Yisrael Chai Committee. Open to the community. Free admission.

JEWISH DISABILITY AWARENESS MONTH

February is Jewish Disability Awareness Month and this year’s theme is Mental Health. Please join us on Saturday, February 3, at 9:30 am, for Shabbat Services and special speaker, congregant Natalie Merkur-Rose. Natalie received her MSW from Columbia University and a master’s degree in Jewish Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary. She has worked in the field of Jewish communal service and mental health for over 25 years, specializing in work with interfaith families, parenting, grief, and premarital and couples counseling. In addition to her private practice, Natalie also oversees the Synagogue Liaison Program, clergy training, Jewish Chaplaincy Services, and volunteer programs at the Jewish Social Service Agency.

GEDALIAH, KENNEDY, AND RABIN: TRAUMA AND TURNAROUND IN SOCIETY

Please join Tzachi Levy, Federation’s senior shaliach, and Itsik Sayag, Beth El’s shaliach, on Sunday, February 11, 10:00 am, as they take a look at three historical times when Jewish society was torn apart by trauma: the assassinations of Gedialiah ben Achikam in 423 BCE; John F. Kennedy in 1963; and Yitzhak Rabin in 1995. The two shlichim will share their life experiences and observations of Israeli cultural upheavals. At a historical moment when Israel Diaspora relations are complex and perhaps filled with mutual misconceptions, this session will offer the opportunity to recall these historical events, discuss their dramatic effects, and hear how young Israelis have processed and continue to process historical events and apply them to their own lives. The discussion will be followed by a screening of the film Rabin in His Own Words at 11:00 am. Co-sponsored by Men’s Club and the Am Yisrael Chai Committee.

 ISRAEL MISSION JUNE 20 – JULY 1, 2018

Rabbi Rudolph and Gail will be leading an Israel Mission, mostly for first timers, and most will be from the Rabbi’s congregation in Warrenton. Empty nesters are the main population group, with a few teenagers as well.  We have a great itinerary, focused on Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, food, technology, and sacred sites, honed over many Beth El trips. Ofra Cohen, our tour organizer, has planned many previous Beth El missions. There is nothing like an Israel trip to forge strong ties with the Land and its people, and to build lasting community among those on the trip. Please register by Thursday, February 15. For more information, please contact Rabbi Rudolph at wrudolph@bethelmc.org.

DONATED STOCKS TO BETH EL?

Have you recently donated stock to Beth El that hasn’t been acknowledged? In late December-early January, we received several stock gifts, but the information we receive doesn’t include donors’ names. Please contact Sheila Bellack at 301-652-2606 or sbellack@bethelmc.org if you are one of the donors.

BETH EL BOARD OF DIRECTORS OPENINGS

In accordance with the bylaws, six at-large director posi­tions will become vacant at the annual meeting on Thurs­day, May 10, 2018. Adult members of Beth El who are in good standing may be considered for nomination. We ex­pect more members to apply than positions are available, and some current Board members are eligible to be con­sidered for a second term. Regular attendance at Board meetings on the fourth Tuesday evening of the month is expected. By January 26, interested individuals should contact David Mills, Nominating Committee chair, at dmills@cooley.com or executive director Sheila Bellack at 301-652-2606, ext. 306, or sbellack@bethelmc.org; they will then be sent a questionnaire concerning their background, experience, and areas of interest.

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.  For the week of January 21 – January 25, assignments are for those families with surnames from Olds through Pomerantz. Please try to join us at 8:00 pm for 15 minutes; click here to sign up or just show up at 8:00 pm.

SPONSOR A KIDDUSH

Celebrate a special day or remember a loved one by sponsoring a kiddush on a Shabbat or festival when there is no bar/bat mitzvah. Hospitality kiddush sponsorships run $350, $450, or $525, depending on menu, and include up to fifteen of your own guests plus the congregation. Available dates in the first half of 2018 are March 3, March 31 and April 1( 1st and 2nd days Pesach), April 6 and 7 (7th and 8th days Pesach), May 20 and 21 (1st and 2nd days Shavuot), June 23, and June 30. To sponsor a kiddush or to obtain more information and menus, contact Shoshannah Freilich at least two weeks prior to the kiddush you wish to sponsor.

WHAT’S HAPPENING AT BETH EL

BETH EL JUDAICA AND GIFTS

Looking for something special?  We have it!  Find the perfect Bar/Bat Mitzvah gift or special birthday present.  Shop hours when Religious School is in session: Tuesdays, 4:30 to 6:30 pm, and Sundays, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm.  Volunteer to work in the shop and receive a 10% discount on your purchases you make during your shift.  For more information, contact Michelle Gips or Debbie Olchyk or call the main office at 301-652-2606.

EDUCATION

A TASTE OF TALMUD

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

EMPTY NESTERS

BEENS AT THEATRE 

Join BEENs at the DCJCC Theatre J on Sunday, January 28, at 2:00 pm, for “Everything is Illuminated”, the stage adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s best seller about a young man who sets out – accompanied by an old man haunted by memories of the war, an amorous dog named Sammy Davis, Jr., and a young Ukrainian translator – to find the woman who might or might not have saved his grandfather. Tickets are $55, a discounted group rate. We will arrange an (optional) early dinner as well.  You do not have to be a BEENs regular.  For information, or to order tickets, contact Ricardo at rmunster@bethelmc.org.

TU B’SHEVAT SEDER WITH THE NUBEENs

Don’t miss this special opportunity to participate in a Tu B’ Shevat seder lead by Rabbi Bill Rudolph and Gail Fribush on Sunday, February 11, 4:00 – 7:00 pm, at the home of Janet Meyers and Mark Pollak, followed by a dairy pot luck.  A sign-up sheet for food and the address of the event will be sent to those who RSVP.  Please RSVP to Margie Hoffman or Lori Ross no later than Monday, February 5.

LIBRARY

BETH EL BOOK CLUB

Join us on Sunday, February 11, at 11:30 am, when we discuss All the Rivers by Dorit Rabinyan. Banned from classrooms by Israel’s Ministry of Education, this remarkable novel is a bold portrayal of the strains—and delights—of a forbidden relationship.  Published in Israel as Borderlife, it is a love story and a war story, a New York story and a Middle East story, an unflinching foray into the forces that bind us and divide us. For information about the book club, contact Robin Jacobson or Margery London.

A HOME FOR YOUR BOOKS!

The Beth El library is able to accept some donations of Jewish-themed books, but only with prior approval.  If you have books you would like to donate, please contact Lois Zuckerman at library@bethelmc.org to discuss which books we are able to take for the library or resale.

MEN’S CLUB

SORTING FOOD AT MANNA FOOD CENTER

Join Men’s Club on Wednesday, January 24, 7:00 to 9:00 pm, as we help sort food at the Manna Food Center in Gaithersburg. We are looking for dads, moms, sons, and daughters to help out. Contact Jonathan Epstein to sign up.  Children 10 and older are welcome and SSL credit is available.

JEWS AND BREWS

Join us on Wednesday, January 24, at 9:00 pm, at Rock Bottom Brewery in Bethesda.  Jews and Brews is a gathering for young dads and dads with young kids who get together for an informal session with Rabbi Harris for socializing and a topical conversation.

HEARING MEN’S VOICES

All men are welcome to join us on Thursday, February 1, at 8:30 pm, for our discussion, “What is Happiness?” led by Ross Bettinger.  Hearing Men’s Voices meets monthly and drop ins are always welcome.  For more information contact Jon Shields.

SISTERHOOD/MEN’S CLUB HAVDALAH

Please join Sisterhood and Men’s Club on Saturday, February 3, 7:30 pm, for a special spiritual and musical Havdalah service and social evening at a private home. RSVP by Monday, January 29, to Margi Kramer and Wynne Sitrin at sisterhoodevent@bethelmc.org

SCROLL

WHAT DID YOU SEE OR DO IN ISRAEL?

The Scroll, Beth El’s award-winning monthly newsletter, wants to hear your stories.  Please send us 300 words or fewer about something special or unusual you saw or did when you went to Israel. As the synagogue’s theme for the year is Israel, we will be accepting articles on this topic all year long.  Please send your submission to scroll@bethelmc.org.

SENIOR CAUCUS

SENIOR CAUCUS BROWN BAG LUNCH

Bring a dairy or pareve brown bag lunch and join the Senior Caucus on Thursday, January 25, at 12:00 pm, to socialize with your friends and enjoy refreshments and dessert.

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.  Share some delicious pizza on Thursday, February 1, at Noon, and enjoy this special intergenerational program. Please 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, 12:00 – 3:00 pm.  No partner or RSVP is needed. Bridge is sponsored by Beth El’s Senior Caucus. For information, contact Ricardo Munster at rmunster@bethelmc.org or 301-652-2606, 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 301-652-2606, 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

EAT IN GOOD HEALTH, the Sisterhood /Zhava Community Cookbook

Looking for new recipe ideas?  Need a holiday gift?  Our community cookbook is now available for $25. Buy your copy in the Beth El Office, the Judaica Shop, or online Here!

SISTERHOOD/ZHAVA SOCIAL ACTION TEA: JEWISH PERSPECTIVES ON IMMIGRATION AND REFUGEES

Join Sisterhood and Zhava members on Sunday, January 28, 2:00 pm, at a private home to sip, schmooze, and learn about Jewish perspectives and initiatives on refugee and immigration issues. Speakers include Sharon Fine, co-chair of Beth El’s Refugee Response Team, and Sarah Beller, community engagement director for HIAS. RSVP by January 22 to sisterhoodevent@bethelmc.org for the address. This is a popular event so RSVP early!

SISTERHOOD/MEN’S CLUB HAVDALAH

Please join Sisterhood and Men’s Club on Saturday, February 3, 7:30 pm for a special spiritual and musical Havdalah service and social evening at a private home. RSVP by Monday, January 29, to Margi Kramer and Wynne Sitrin at sisterhoodevent@bethelmc.org.

MAH JONGG TOURNAMENT

Sign up for our tournament on Sunday, February 11. Entrance fee is $36/ members and $40/non-members.  Lunch is at Noon and play starts at 1:00 pm.  There will be door prizes and a 50/50 raffle along with prizes for first, second and third place winners!  Fee includes lunch and snacks in between rounds.  Please RSVP by Sunday, February 4.  To register, click here. Questions? Contact Nancy Kay or Sheryl Karlsberg.

MAH JONGG

Join us (almost) every Tuesday evening at 7:00 pm. Beginning and experienced players welcome! No RSVP required. Support Sisterhood/Beth El and purchase 2018 Mah Jongg Cards. Order forms available in the lobby and the Scroll.  Questions? Contact Nancy Kay.

ToBE TIKKUN OLAM AT BETH EL

ToBE Tikkun Olam at Beth El: Start 2018 by Volunteering with Bethesda Help!

Bethesda Help needs five “Officers of the Day” volunteers to work from their homes one day a month in a valuable and fulfilling way. Bethesda Help is a local, all-volunteer non-profit organization that provides emergency food as well as financial assistance for rent, utilities, and prescriptions to needy residents in the Bethesda area.  Officers of the Day check for and respond to client messages during Bethesda Help’s operating hours (9:00 am-4:00 pm). All you need is a telephone and a computer with an internet connection to perform simple duties of determining the location of callers and referring their needs to our food deliverers and financial consultants. Volunteer phone numbers remain private. We provide all the training. If you are able and willing to join us in serving the Bethesda community, please contact Tobie Bernstein at info@bethesdahelp.org.

TIKKUN OLAM AT BETH EL’S REFUGEE RESPONSE TEAM

Beth El has filed an application to adopt a refugee family and help them become self-sufficient in our community.  We have established six subcommittees: Employment, Food and Clothing, Housing and Furnishings, Transportation, Financial Planning, and Welcome. To get involved, please email Refugee Response Co-Chair Michael Kieval.

YOUTH GROUPS

BONIM (K-2)

Annual Havdalah, Pizza, and Movie Night will be on Saturday, January 20, 6:30 to 8:15 pm.   It’s a great way to end Shabbat. Come in your pj’s, bring your favorite stuffed toy, and be ready for some fun.  Cost is $10. Please rsvp to bonim@bethelmc.org.

MACHAR (3RD-5TH)

Let’s go Snow Tubing!  Save the date – Sunday, January 21.

USY (9TH-12TH)

USY Formal is on Saturday, January 27, 8:00 – 11:00 pm, at Ohr Kodesh Congregation, Beth El 9th-12th graders, find your bangin’ outfits, your hottest kicks, get ready for elite grub, and music that’s on fire! Register here for USY formal 2018!

COMMUNITY EVENTS

HUMOR ME

Check out this heartfelt father-son comedy on Monday, January 22, 7:30 pm at the Edlavitch DCJCC.  The movie is about a struggling playwright who is forced to move in with his joke-telling dad in a New Jersey retirement community and learns, as his father often says, “life’s going to happen, whether you smile or not.” Humor Me is Sam Hoffman’s directorial debut, inspired by his web series Old Jews Telling Jokes, which also sparked an off-Broadway play, a bestselling book and a lecture series. Click here to purchase tickets. Presented by the Washington Jewish Film Festival.

STRANGE FRUIT: MUSIC FROM – AND INSPIRED BY – THE AMERICAN CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT

This project – presented with Levine Music – examines the musical legacy of the Civil Rights Movement. The performance, on Monday, January 29, 7:30 pm, at the  Edlavitch DCJCC,  pulls from traditional spirituals and extends to the work of Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, Gil Scott Heron, and Billie Holiday. The 10-person jazz and R&B outfit promises an evening of big sound and revolutionary culture. Presented by the Washington Jewish Music Festival. To purchase discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more, contact Alexis Rodriguez at alexisr@edcjcc.org.

AIPAC POLICY CONFERENCE – MARCH 4-6

Join Rabbi Harris, Rabbi Werbin, and fellow congregants for these important days impacting the U.S. – Israel relationship. 750 speakers share their knowledge; 535 Congressional appointments to advocate for a safe and secure Israel; 1 opportunity to make your voice heard and strengthen the U.S. – Israel relationship. Registration forms are available in the Beth El Lobby, or contact Rabbi Morris Zimbalist at AIPAC: 410-223-4190 or mzimbalist@aipac.org.

J STREET NATIONAL CONFERENCE – APRIL 14-17

This conference in Washington, DC, promises to be an excellent avenue for deepening engagement and knowledge about Israel just six months before the critical 2018 midterm elections. Past conferences have included speakers such as Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Senator Tim Kaine, Senator Bernie Sanders, and members of the Israeli Knesset. For information and to register, go to www.jstreet.org/conferenceSign up by February 1 to get the early bird rate. Register with code “BethElB18” to receive a 20% discount. Questions? Contact Tali DeGroot at talid@jstreet.org or 202-448-1617.