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This year’s High Holiday season will include a combination of in-person and online experiences. We have put together several creative, powerful ways to engage during the High Holidays that will enrich our spiritual lives, reinforce our sense of community, and remind us of the power of Judaism. We know that High Holidays 5781 will be different from any that we’ve experienced before. However, we believe that together, we will create a memorable, creative, and spiritually meaningful experience.
Click Here to Register for High Holiday Services
Once you have registered and received your confirmation, you may go directly to the virtual lobby by clicking here. The password you received when you registered is required to access the virtual lobby.
Erev Rosh Hashanah
Friday, September 18
Rosh Hashanah Day 1
Saturday, September 19
Rosh Hashanah Day 2
Sunday, September 20
Sunday, September 27
Monday, September 28
Access at Any Time
Our clergy, lay-leaders, and staff have been working together to cultivate in-person experiences that are both meaningful and safe. For these in-person activities, we ask that if you participate, please wear a mask and respect social distancing guidelines.
In-person shofar blowing leading up to Rosh Hashanah
Sunday-Thursday, September 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17
9:30 am and 6:30 pm
Leading up to Rosh Hashanah, there will be multiple opportunities to hear the shofar in person, safely from your car. Shofar will be blown in the Beth El parking lot every 20 minutes until no cars are waiting to enter the lot.
In-person shofar blowing on Second Day Rosh Hashanah
Sunday, September 20, 3:00 pm
Drive to any of these parking lots to hear the shofar in person, safely from your car.
Beth El Parking Lot (8215 Old Georgetown Rd.)
Walt Whitman High School Parking Lot (7100 Whittier Blvd.)
Walter Johnson High School Parking Lot (6400 Rock Spring Dr.)
Carderock Spring Elementary School Parking Lot (7401 Persimmon Tree Ln.)
Seven Locks Elementary School Parking Lot (9500 Seven Locks Rd.)
Silver Creek Middle School Parking Lot (3701 Saul Rd.)
Please join us for a Tashlich service, led by Rabbi Fabián Werbin, on the second day of Rosh Hashanah, Sunday, September 20, at 4:30 pm and 6:00 pm. We will meet at the big NIH field entrance by Glenwood and Maple Ridge Road, behind Beth El. Please wear a mask and respect social distancing guidelines. Space is limited.
Registration for the 4:30 pm service is now closed.
Register for the 6:00 pm Tashlich Service
Our annual Kol Nidre Food Drive for Manna Food Center is still an important part of our Tikkun Olam efforts. The need for non-perishable food has skyrocketed in Montgomery County due to Covid-19.
Please bring your non-perishable food items to Beth El now through Sunday, September 27.
Contact-free drop-off instructions: Drive up to the blue bins, place items in the blue bins, and drive off. One car at a time, please wear a mask and respect social distancing guidelines.
On Sunday, September 27, from 10:30 am-2:30 pm, as the bins fill up, Manna drivers will be on site to put the filled bins in the truck and replace them with new bins.
Questions? Contact the main office at 301-652-2606.
Traditionally Rosh Hashanah is a time of introspection and reflection. We look back at the year that is closing and think about our hopes for the year ahead. Join us for these online experiences as we prepare for the new year.
Thursday, September 10, 8:00 pm
We’re celebrating Rosh Hashanah in a whole new way this year. How do we make space for holiness when the High Holidays are happening in our homes? In this webinar, we are partnering with Haggadot.com to learn fun and easy ways to get the whole family involved in transforming your home into a spiritual sanctuary.
Click Here to Sign Up
Saturday, September 12, 11:00 pm
Join Hazzan Fradkin and Hazzan Hinda Labovitz as we celebrate Selichot together with our friends at Ohr Kodesh. The hazzanim will lead individually and also share prerecorded collaborations. Registration is required.
Along with all of our service options, we will be providing a number of ways for our community to come together online. When you sign up for High Holiday services, you will be given access to our Virtual Lobby, where you will be able to access all High Holiday services and virtual experiences.
Friday, September 18 at 7:30 pm
Just like other years, stick around after services to schmooze with your friends!
We are hosting a virtual schmooze where you can talk to everyone or split into smaller groups to catch up and wish everyone a Happy New Year!
Please note: The schmooze can be accessed through a computer and most tablets running Chrome (preferred browser), Firefox, or Safari. It cannot be used with Internet Explorer or mobile phones. Please make sure that your camera and microphone are not being accessed by another program such as Zoom, otherwise you may have difficulties connecting.
All through the High Holiday season, our Virtual Lobby Schmooze will be open for anyone who wishes to join! Catch up with old friends and make some new ones, all while celebrating the High Holidays together. The Virtual Lobby Schmooze is open 24/7 for early birds and night owls to grab a morning virtual coffee together or enjoy a late night chat.
This year, we are offering three yoga classes for adults, one on each day of Rosh Hashanah and one on Yom Kippur. These classes are for participants of all levels. No prior yoga experience is required.
Saturday, September 19, 7:30 pm
In addition to the regular Rosh Hashanah evening services, we are continuing Ma’ariv and Meditation. We will have a second chance to look back, look within, and settle ourselves on the path of spiritual renewal.
Along with several streaming options to watch services live this High Holiday season, Beth El is offering prerecorded content that can be accessed any time through our High Holiday virtual lobby.
Join Rabbi Fabián Werbin in this prerecorded teaching session to learn about the history of the shofar. In this class, Rabbi Werbin will take us through a journey that starts on Mount Sinai and ends in the days of the messiah. The shofar that we hear in Rosh Hashanah was blown in different occasions throughout Jewish history: going to war, calling for Shabbat, and even during funerals. Join us for this eye opening shofar experience.
Monday, September 28, 3:30 pm
Join Rabbi Harris in dialogue with Reverend Sari Ateek from St. John’s Episcopal Church during Yom Kippur as they explore concepts of social justice in their respective faith traditions.
Join Rabbi Fabián Werbin in a profound reading of the Book of Jonah in this prerecorded session. Every year Jonah the prophet is chosen to symbolize the epitome of Teshuva. Did he really repent? Was he the personification of teshuva or exactly the opposite? If you really want to understand the message of this book, you cannot miss this learning experience.
Monday, September 28, 2:00 pm
Make your High Holidays days of awe, mindfulness, and introspection. Join Hazzan Asa Fradkin for a prerecorded Yom Kippur meditation that will bring meaning to this High Holiday season.
Now, more than ever, our neighbors in need seek help. Tikkun Olam is a core value at Beth El. Please join our efforts!
Please email the social action leaders below to get involved or learn more about these impactful projects. If you wish to pilot a new project, please email Sheryl R. Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now, more than ever, we need your help!
Sunday, September 13: Rosh Hashanah Project for Russian, Jewish Immigrants. Rebecca Edelson is leading a project to deliver 35 bags from JSSA with challah, wine, and cake to Russian Jews for the High Holidays. Contact email@example.com to contactlessly deliver food bags.
Sunday, September 27, 10:30 am-2:30 pm: Kol Nidre Manna Food Drive. The need for non-perishable food has skyrocketed in Montgomery County due to Covid-19. Please bring your non-perishable food items to Beth El to donate to Manna Food Center. You should drive up to where the blue bins are (one car at a time, please wear a mask), place items in the blue bins, and drive off. As the bins fill up, Manna drivers will put the bins in the truck.
Save the Date! Sunday, October 25 is Mitzvah Day. Look for more details in the October Scroll and Beth El announcements. Contact chairs Jon Polon at Jonpolon@hotmail.com, Donna Shimshi at firstname.lastname@example.org, and Geoff Chesman at
email@example.com for more information.
Bound to Help: Once schools shut down, Beth El teen Sam and Evan launched a program to help those in need by collecting gently used and new clothing to donate to Interfaith Works. Six teens have been helping them pick up and deliver clothing, but they critically need more volunteers. Email Sam and Evan at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Save Moses Cemetery by helping prevent the demolition of sacred remains of Black American ancestors. As Jews, we know all too well how Jewish cemeteries were desecrated during the Holocaust and in recent times. Attend press conferences, sign petitions, make calls to the government and more! Contact email@example.com to learn more.
Bethesda Help provides emergency food, rent, and more for three days to those in need. Shelley Ducker at firstname.lastname@example.org is collecting food donations (contactless) and seeks drivers. Bethesda Help also seeks volunteers to retrieve client messages from their homes via the organization’s voicemail and also needs drivers. Contact email@example.com or 301-365-2022.
Save a Life! Contactless Swabbing for Bone Marrow Registry. Sadly, many leukemia patients have not found an exact match to receive life-saving, bone marrow transplants. Ezer Mizion is the largest Jewish bone marrow registry and affiliates with the National Marrow Donor Program. 18 to 45 year-olds who haven’t already joined the registry may email Ryan Hyman at firstname.lastname@example.org for a simple swabbing kit that will be mailed to your home. Contact Fran Rubin at email@example.com for more info.
One of the ways we will make this year’s holidays uniquely engaging is to provide you with a High Holiday “virtual lobby.” This lobby serves as your portal, allowing you to enter and exit different services, virtual experiences, engage with our clergy, and be with your friends throughout different prayer communities. It is essential that you register for the High Holidays to receive access to the High Holiday virtual lobby.
We are looking forward to being together spiritually and hope to be with you in our sanctuary soon.