Walking in the Footsteps of History in Selma

Written by Rabbi Uri Topolosky on . Posted in Community News

Local rabbis and maharat lead group on three-day journey to learn about the civil rights movement.

SELMA (AL) ––– The Jewish community here has only seven remaining members, but for one weekend their numbers swelled to over 150, filling the old wooden pews of historic synagogue Mishkan Israel to near-capacity.

To mark the weekend before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, 125 members from Jewish communities throughout the Greater Washington area traveled to Selma to learn about the civil rights movement. Their journey included stops in Montgomery and Birmingham, Alabama and Atlanta, Georgia.

The Past Is Not Behind Us Yet

Written by Maharat Ruth Friedman on . Posted in Community News

Over MLK weekend, over 100 members of our community traveled to Selma, Alabama for Shabbat to learn about the civil rights movement. We stopped in Montgomery, Alabama on Friday, enjoyed a melava malka (post-Shabbat meal) in Birmingham motzei Shabbat, and spent time in Atlanta on Sunday at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.

Our trip was an unforgettable experience. On Shabbat, local Joanne Bland led us on a civil rights walking tour. Joanne was a child activist in Selma and participated in the marches when she was just 11 years old. She told us of the ways that she repeatedly fought for her rights as a child, and shared the brutal violence that she witnessed against the marchers, and how she is still haunted by the sounds of the beatings today.

KMS Event Shines Spotlight on Local Authors

Written by Ezra Troy on . Posted in Community News

SILVER SPRING (MD) ––– Kemp Mill Synagogue hosted a literary reading and book sale on Jan 14. The event featured books by five authors from the Kemp Mill community: Dr. Michael Auslin, Dr. Elliot Cohen, Leah Cypess, Michael Eisenstadt, and Dr. Tevi Troy.

The books covered a variety of genres and topics, from the US military to a fantasy world, and the audience was able to ask questions of the authors and buy signed copies of their books. DC retailer Politics and Prose handled the night’s sales.

Speaking first, Troy discussed his latest book, Shall We Wake the President? The book explores how disasters have shaped (or reshaped) presidencies and what can be done to prepare them.

TEAM Shabbos at Am HaTorah Informs and Inspires

Written by Deborah Scheinberg on . Posted in Community News

BETHESDA (MD)–– On January 14, Am Hatorah joined 400 shuls in 163 cities participating in TEAM Shabbos, a program developed by the National Association of Chevra Kadisha (NASCK).

The “team” in the TEAM Shabbos stands for “Traditional End-of-Life Awareness Movement,” a national movement dedicated to educating and guiding the Jewish community on end-of-life decisions through positive awareness. TEAM Shabbos is meant to be an opportunity for learning and dialogue about topics such as the Torah’s perspective on the value of life, preparing for illness, traditional burial choices, and end-of-life decisions in accordance with Jewish law and ethics.

Young Professionals Learn Adulting 101, Mingle at DCJCC’s Life Hacks Workshop

Written by Ben Wacks on . Posted in Community News

WASHINGTON–– It’s hard out there for an adult, especially if you don’t really feel like one. The expression “to adult” and “adulting” has become a popular term to describe navigating day-to-day task one imagines a competent adult would engage in without fanfare–– but for you, it feels like a genuine accomplishment.

The Edlavitch DCJCC’s young professionals group, EntryPoint DC, hosted an event January 15 entitled “Adulting: An afternoon of Life Hack Workshops” geared toward people in their 20s and 30s looking to rise to the occasion with regularity. In a series of sessions, speakers discussed topics including career planning, modern dating, managing finances, and the 2016 presidential election.

למה חייל מחזיק בנשק

Written by Super User on . Posted in Community News

במסגרת מסעות ההרצאות שלי ברחבי ארה״ב אני נשאל לא מעט על פרשת החייל היורה בחברון. פרשה שקיבלה את השם פרשת אלאור עזריה.

רוב השואלים, כך ניתן להבין מהשאלות, לא בקיאים בפרטי המקרה מחד ולא יודעים כלל מהם התנאים והסיבות להפעלת נשק בצה״ל מאידך. לכן יש מקום להסביר בצורה פשוטה את מהות השימוש בנשק על ידי חיילי צה״ל. רוב השואלים מניחים הנחות שונות ומשונות שמובילות אותם לשאלות שהם שואלים ולביקורת כלפי הצבא ובית המשפט.

בישיבה התיכונית בה למדתי, ישיבת נתיב מאיר בירושלים, היו שולחים את התלמידים לשבוע לישיבות גבוהות שהם היו בוחרים. כך קרה שמספר שבועות בשנה למדתי בכל מיני ישיבות גבוהות מהשורה הראשונה בישראל. שבוע אחד נפלא למדתי בישיבת כפר חסידים. נכנסתי לאחד משיעורי הגמרא של ר״מ שהיה מחשובי מגידי השיעור בישיבה.

Beth Joshua Congregation Welcomes New Families to Aspen Hill

Written by Beth Joshua Congregation on . Posted in Community News

ROCKVILLE, MD –– Three new Jewish families closed on homes in Rockville’s Aspen Hill neighborhood this month, representing the 21st, 22nd and 23rd families that have joined the Beth Joshua Congregation family in the past two and a half years.

Their presence brings the total number of the congregation’s participating households to over 50 in one of the Washington, D.C. area’s fastest-growing Jewish communities.

JCRC of Greater Washington Opposes Ban on Refugees

Written by Rachel Kohn on . Posted in Community News

ROCKVILLE (MD) –– “We will fight these new policies with everything we’ve got.”

This was the response of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington to President Donald Trump’s then-anticipated executive order to restrict many refugees from seeking safety in America and bar visas from being issued to anyone from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

In their statement, released on Thursday January 26, the JCRC said that such policies would betray “the Jewish and American values we cherish” and that welcoming refugees is, in a spin on the President’s catchphrase, “part of what has truly made America great.”

Am HaTorah in Bethesda Promotes Rabbi to Full-Time, Expands Educational Programming

Written by Deborah Schneinberg on . Posted in Community News

BETHESDA (MD)–– Tucked away on a quiet street, an unassuming-looking house is home to a community of dedicated Torah learners, and has been for 34 years. Like-minded professionals came together for fellowship, learning and davening back in those days and have kept it going ever since. While the numbers of men and women learning and growing in Judaism have waxed and waned over the years, commitment to growing a Jewish community here has remained steadfast and resolute.

Am HaTorah Congregation, in its present location on Marbury Road, is now at a crossroads, preparing to grow and serve the community for many more years to come.

Yad Yehuda of Greater Washington

Written by Super User on . Posted in Community News

The young mother of 5 stared past me sadly while we talked. “Until recently, we really had to choose between paying our PEPCO bill and serving chicken and wine for Shabbos”, she said softly. “It’s been a rough time.   My husband has been out of work for almost a year and my salary barely covers the necessities.”

In that moment, I knew that I wanted to learn more about the Tomchei Shabbos program of Yad Yehuda, the organization that had been there to help this woman and her family. Yad Yehuda of Greater Washington is a critically important part of the Greater Washington Jewish communities’ social safety net.   Providing a range of confidential services, Yad Yehuda has helped over 500 individuals in the Greater Washington area with some form of community assistance during 2016 alone.