• Havdalah & S'mores
  • Gun Violence Prevention Film
  • Ask Maran
  • 6601 Opens!
  • Environmental Justice Series Concludes
  • Book Club
  • ICYMI: Understanding the Uyghurs
  • Youth Perspectives
  • Nachas Notes
  • Meet A Member
May 2021 Newsletter
Rabbi Elhanan "Sunny" Schnitzer
Iyar/Sivan 5781

CLICK for the Complete BJC May Events Calendar

Saturday, 5/1 at 5 PM for students; 6 PM for adults: Havdalah and S’mores

Sunday, 5/2 at 3 PM Gun Violence Prevention Film and Discussion

Sunday, 5/2 at 6:15 PM for Social Hour; 7 PM for the BJC Annual Meeting.
Kriat HaRav—The Rabbi’s Call
Rabbi Elhanan “Sunny” Schnitzer
What I learned from a Pandemic:
I am blessed to have known many great teachers in my time living on this earth. Sometimes the greatest teacher is an event more than an individual. Covid has been a great teacher. Covid has provided a great opportunity to learn if I can put my money where my mouth is. In fact, in lockdown the mouth has less opportunity to speak, so we learn more because we are listening—to the silence and to the noise. When we are talking, we are merely recounting what we already know. When we are listening, we are opening to the possibility of learning something new.
Adapting to this worldwide phenomenon has given birth to 14 months of late night runs to the grocery store to avoid crowds, discovering the wonders and the pitfalls of online shopping, more walking and watching, less kvetching.
As I talk to people, I learn that those whose spirits are calm and hearts are centered achieved this by letting go of the need to be the person they were before Covid came into our lives. Adaptation is evolution. We are always becoming.
Covid taught me these old lessons with new acuity.
That happiness lies in the ability to let go of the need to be as you were before.
That imperfect is ok.
Reflecting with gratitude calms the spirit.
You are blessed.
Once you are full of gratitude and blessing, pass it on.
It should go without saying that not everyone has what you have. Or maybe we do need to say it. To articulate it to ourselves, and often. And once reminded of our abundance and power, realize that sharing it is a requirement.
We need to bless each other more. My teacher and dear friend, Rabbi Shohama Weiner used to tell us when I was a student at the Academy for Jewish Religion that we need to bless each other more. We need to stop each other in the halls, in the streets, live or by electronic communication and actually say the words; “May you be blessed…”
So, be a blessing.
And remember the other great lesson of the pandemic that is now coming into focus -
Gam Zeh Ya’avor – This also shall pass.
President's Column—Sandra Walter
Will I See YOU?
I am pleased to invite everyone to BJC’s Annual Meeting on Sunday, May 2 at 7 PM where members in good standing will be called upon to vote for approval of both the budget and board. We’ll reflect on the year past, and put forth major plans for the year ahead.  Two weeks ago, on April 19 we sent all members an electronic official notice of the meeting from me with links to key documents you’ll want to review before the meeting. 

Please take some time now, if you’ve not already, to locate that email and review the budget and the proposed slate for the board, both of which have been reviewed and endorsed unanimously by the current board.

Last year, more than 70 members attended our first Zoom Annual Meeting. It was fantastic to see everyone engaged in and learning more about how our congregation works, and participating in the important decisions that have to be made annually. There are hundreds of decisions that get made each month, thousands each yearand I want to thank the BJC staff, current board members and committee volunteers for their contributions to all those decisions throughout the year. 

I’ll share the highlights at the Annual Meeting where I know you’ll share my pride in our BJC.

See you there.
Education Updates: A Great Year
By Maran Gluckstein , School Coordinator
As we come to the end of this most unusual school year, I want to thank the teachers, families, Education Committee, and congregation leadership for your flexibility, enthusiasm, and dedication. Our fabulous teachers are: Marina Milbert, Malka Ostchega, Glenn Siegal, Linda Blumberg, and Burt Bachrach. With everyone pulling in the same direction, despite the restrictions we faced, we have had successful educational experiences at BJC throughout the year.
As we move into planning for next year, we look forward to being able to meet in person once again. The Education Committee has proposed the following for the next school year: 

  • Grades 3-6 will meet from 9:30 – 10:30 AM two Saturdays a month. The third Saturday, there will be an all-school activity in the afternoon from 4:00 – 6:00 PM. 
  • The 7th grade will join the Tichon class, which will meet in person once a month, also on Saturday morning. 
  • Hebrew will continue to be virtual with each student receiving TWO private 20-minute lessons a week. (For the 7th graders, their second Hebrew lesson will be the Rabbi’s class.)
With this new schedule, we aim to move from a typical Religious School model to a Community of Learners model with components for learners of all ages. We also hope to expand the number of participants who take advantage of our unique educational offerings.
Between now and then, there is a summer to enjoy. I hope you continue your Jewish educational journey during those months through visits to sites of Jewish significance, reading books with Jewish content, playing Jewish-themed games online, listening to Jewish music and reaching out to help others in the spirit of Tikkun Olam. Here are two wonderful websites to help with your summer journey:


P.S. Don’t forget to send your everything-you-always-wanted-to-know-about-Judaism-but-didn’t-know-whom-to-ask questions to me  by clicking here.
Ask Maran: Mezuzah Mystery Solved
Dear Maran:
I’m a new homeowner and was given a mezuzah. I’ve seen them slanted, but in what direction should it point? I was given a photocopy of some Hebrew to go inside. Is that OK or does it need to be something else? Any insights about mezuzahs would be appreciated. Thanks in advance, Happy Homeowner
Dear Happy Homeowner,
Mazal Tov on your new home! The word mezuzah actually means doorpost, and the commandment is to place the words of the Shema on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. What we think of as the mezuzah is actually the case that holds the handwritten parchment containing the prayer which contains the commandment. The properly prepared scroll, written by a sofer (scribe) on parchment, should be rolled from right to left and put upright into the case. [Ed. Note: available from Amazon or a Judaica store. There are kosher (written by a sofer on parchment) and non-kosher texts.]
The case is then affixed to the right doorpost of the door 2/3 of the way up. Ashkenazi Jews affix it with the top slanting slightly toward the inside of the house; Sephardi Jews affix it vertically. Before nailing it (or gluing it if nailing isn’t possible), recite the following blessing: 
בָּרוּך אַתָּה אַדָנָי אֶלוֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶך הָעוֹלָם אַשֶר קְדִשָנוּ בְּמִצְווֹתָיו וְצִיווָנוּ לִקְבּוֹעַ מְזוּזָה
Barukh ah-tah ah-doh-nai eh-loh-hay-nu meh-lekh hah-oh-lahm ah-sher ki-deh-shah-nu beh-mitz-voh-tahv veh-tzee-vah-nu lik-boh-ah meh-zoo-zah.
Blessed are you, Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, Who has made us holy with His commandments and commanded us to affix a mezuzah.
6601 Updates: Comin' Home
By Rabbi Sunny
There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Lord I hope it ain’t another train.
This variation of a well-known joke is designed to hedge our bets about emerging from a dark period in our lives or a difficult event. Those of us who have been through other tunnels in the course of our lives know that the light is there, and the sun will be shining when we emerge. We are stronger because we made this arduous journey together.
As more of our local population is vaccinated and infection rates decline, we are making concrete plans to begin to come together in person again at BJC. Not only BJC, but also, the church, the madrassa, the nursery school, and Friends Club—our social club for men with early onset dementia, are all making plans to bring their programs, services, and events back into our shared space at 6601 Bradley Blvd.
At BJC, we have outdoor events on tap this month. Havdalah & Smores on May 1, Shabbat Under the Stars on May 7, and a Shavuot Celebration with live music on May 16.
Then, on Friday, June 4 we will begin again to cautiously observe Friday Shabbat services in Covenant Hall. Initially, we will restrict attendance to under 40 vaccinated people per indoor service. We’re not going to be checking vaccine cards. All will be on the honor system.
Masks for all in the congregation will be required. Seats will be appropriately distanced, and doors will be open to allow greater air flow. Initially, to stay within our 40-person limit, advance reservations will be required through the BJC website. If you can’t attend for any reason, no worries. Services will be streamed live online through Zoom.
As county restrictions, and infection rates change over the summer, so will our attendance policies, so watch the twice weekly BJC Now for changes.
For the time being, we will not be hosting an Oneg Shabbat after services in the Gathering Space, although when the weather allows we will gather outside before and after services on the Covenant Hall patio.
The other congregations and organizations using 6601 Bradley are coming back, too. The Nursery School has reopened at 50% capacity. The Nursery School summer program is projected to have 70 students. Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church and Maqaame Ibrahim Islamic Center will begin again to meet for worship in June. Friends Club is planning to reopen in a limited capacity in September, and the BJC Religious School will begin meeting on campus in October.
All of these plans are contingent on the continuing reduction in the number of Covid 19 cases in our area and vaccination rates.
If you visit our building on a weekday during office hours (TBA) you will notice other changes as well. A new security system has now been installed with multiple cameras and monitors that can be viewed from the BJC office and elsewhere. For services and events, the door at the bottom of the stairs near the BJC office will be open, as will the Covenant Hall Doors. The exterior doors near Memorial Hall will be opened only on an as-needed basis.
To visit BJC during our currently still limited office hours, please call ahead and confirm an appointment with one of the staff. When you arrive at BJC, you will see a touch pad by the door. Scroll down on the touch pad screen to BJC, press 04, and you will reach the office. You will hear a recorded message similar to our voicemail message. Press the number 2 and whoever is in the office will buzz you in.
Another new wrinkle—to protect our Nursery School students and in an attempt to discourage drivers from cutting through our property to travel between Bradley Blvd & Greentree Rd, new, higher speed bumps have been installed and during school hours some driveways will be blocked. Please drive carefully.
On this new road we are on, please drive carefully as well.
Please be in touch with me in times of joy, sadness, or illness in your life or in the lives of a loved one or another member of the congregation. HIPAA regulations have made getting information from hospitals extremely difficult. I greatly appreciate your help keeping me informed of the health needs of our congregation. If you have a pastoral need, please call the BJC Office at (301) 469-8636 or email me at
SNAP SHOTS: Getting Together for Worship & Fun
Click for the complete BJC May Calendar
Zoom links will also be provided weekly in BJC Now
Celebrate Spring at BJC: Havdalah & S'mores
(Resheduled from April 24)
Saturday, May 1, 5 PM for Youth; 6 PM for Adults

"The Winter is Over, the Sound of Singing is Heard" ~~ Song of Songs

Sing in the new week, relax around the campfire, and toast some s'mores. Masking and social distancing will be observed.

5 PM - Youth Activities: Have fun together, bring your friends, stick around to sing, enjoy smores, and celebrate Havdalah

6 PM - Adult Schmooze, Fire Pit, and Sing Along

7 PM - Smores and Havdalah for All
Gun Violence Prevention Film and Discussion 
Sunday, May 2, 3 PM

BJC and BHPC will host the virtual presentation of a short documentary film on urban gun violence, presented by the Perceptions Film Forum/DC Area Interfaith Network for Gun Violence Prevention. This inspirational, 14-minute film, “Do-It-Yourself Gunshot Treatment on Chicago’s South Side,” sheds light on urban emergency first response training. 
Following the film, there will be remarks and Q&A's with the filmmaker and an urban health professional who deals with this major public health crisis on a daily basis. 

Click here to register. 
BJC's Annual Congregational Meeting
Sunday, May 2, Virtual Social at 6:15 PM; Meeting starts at 7 PM 

Join us on Zoom to socialize, celebrate our accomplishments, and look forward to the year ahead! The meeting will include remarks from board leadership and staff reporting on the state of BJC membership, programs, youth education, operations, and finances.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
  • The call to order, the Rabbi’s invocation, and approval of the minutes from last year.
  • Reports from President Sandra Walter, our Education Team, our Membership & Administration Coordinator Elizabeth Kirkpatrick, our Program & Worship Coordinator Alicia DePaolo, Rabbi Sunny, and Treasurer Terri Reicher

  • Two business matters: Ratifying the FY 2021-22 Budget & Ratifying the FY 2021-22 Board of Trustees Endorsed Slate  

All of referenced materials are in a special email sent to you on 4/19 from Bethesda Jewish Congregation entitled, "PLEASE OPEN - OFFICIAL NOTICE - BJC ANNUAL MEETING 5.2.21 AGENDA, BUDGET, SLATE."
Shabbat Under the Stars
Friday, May 7, 7:30 PM

Join us on the lawn at BJC for Shabbat prayers and songs under the stars! Bring your own blanket and/or lawn chair. No need to bring a siddursongs and prayers will be projected. Masking and social distancing will be observed.
Shavuot Evening
Sunday, May 16, 5:30 PM

Join us outside at BJC to celebrate the receiving of the Torah. Bring your blanket, lawn chair, and a picnic dinner! Masking and social distancing will be observed. Live music and other surprises for everybody.
Working Toward Environmental Justice: Part 3  
Sunday, May 23, noon

Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church reached out to the Intercongregational Partnership Committee (ICPC), to join the BHPC-sponsored first Interfaith Climate Summit. This series is examining our experiences and feelings about climate change in the context of our faiths. The sessions are being led by staff from BHPC and Interfaith Power & Light in the DMV.

The first session was Sunday, April 18 and involved students. The second session on April 25 was an Inter-Generational Zoom dialogue that focus on our young people’s ideas. 

The third part of the series, "Moved to Action" will be a Zoom Workshop that invites you to learn about the many steps you can take, from changing your personal habits to modifying your home and energy sources, subscribing to community solar fields, and advocating for government action at the county, state, and national levels.  
Book Club
Wednesday, May 26, 8 PM

Come every month or drop in when you like! Generally, it’s the 4th Wednesday.

May 26: The Topeka School by Ben Lerner. The novel, set in Topeka, Kansas in the 1990s, is a riveting prehistory of the present: the collapse of public speech, the trolls and tyrants of the new right, and the ongoing crisis of identity among white men. The book was a finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. 

June 23: Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell. In a bold feat of imagination and empathy, this novel gives flesh and feeling to a historical mystery: how the death of Shakespeare’s 11-year-old son, Hamnet, in 1596, may have shaped his play “Hamlet,” written a few years later. The novel is a portrait of unspeakable grief wreathed in great beauty.

Click here to get the Zoom link for the meeting or to join the Book Club. 

More about BJC's Open Book Club is our website. Click here.
In Case You Missed It: How to be an Activist Against Genocide--Understanding the Chinese Persecution of the Uyghurs
By Marty Ganzglass and Karen Levi
On the evening of April 12, more than 70 people, mostly members of Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church (BHPC) and Bethesda Jewish Congregation (BJC), attended a Zoom panel discussion on the genocide of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang Province, in northwestern China.
Attendees learned that the Uyghurs, a Muslim ethnic group indigenous to the area, were basically self-governing until the 1950s. The Chinese government’s ongoing oppression of the Uyghurs meets the internationally accepted definition of genocide.

The Uyghurs are subject to murder or serious bodily and mental harm; women are sterilized or subjected to involuntary abortions; children are forcibly separated from their parents and relatives; and measures are taken to wipe out the Uyghur culture and religion. Over one million Uyghurs are believed held in concentration camps or engaged in slave labor. 
Among the urgent actions suggested by the panelists to end the Chinese genocide of the Uyghurs were writing your Senators to support S. 65, The Uyghur Forced Labor Protection Act, and to ask your relatives and friends who live outside the DC Metro area to write their Senators as well. Other measures include boycott companies that use products produced by Uyghur slave labor (see below) and contact Jewish World Watch at for updates.
As a follow-up to the discussion, BJC will be sending out a list of specific actions you can take as a concerned individual. In the meantime, below are some additional sources to learn more:

  • Check out this link from the BBC for further information and insight:
  • Click here for more information regarding companies with supply chains tied to Uyghur forced labor.
Good Deeds Week: We Made A Difference

BJC joined with the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s Good Deeds Week with over 60 partners and thousands of participants across DC, MD, and Northern VA to address the year-round problem of food insecurity. We had three large bins parked in the church parking lot, and we filled them with nonperishable foods for Manna. All in all, we donated 940 pounds of food to support our community.

Manna can always use our help. To donate, click here.
With all that’s happening around the world, surely you have an opinion or perspective. Writers of all ages are encouraged to use this space to share your thoughts on what matters to you. Send to
Youth Perspectives: A Jew in A Jesuit World
By Sammy Peterson

This coming fall, I plan to attend Boston College, which is a Jesuit institution. When I first embarked on my college search process, I never anticipated that I would end up at a religiously affiliated school, much less a Catholic one.
Boston College surged to the top of my list after I won its prestigious Gabelli Presidential Scholarship. The award is given to about 15 students per class, and it covers full tuition plus four fully funded overseas trips. The offer simply seemed too good to refuse.
Yet, as amazing as the opportunity sounded, I still had to wrap my head around one major detail: the reality of attending a Catholic school as a Jewish person. I am very in touch with my Jewish identity, and I wasn’t sure how that could square with a Jesuit education and a school with a miniscule Jewish population compared to my other options.
The first step I had to take was to learn what a Jesuit education would entail. I had no perspective beyond a loose understanding that there was a Catholic affiliation.
What I quickly learned assuaged many of my worries. At BC, a Jesuit education is not teaching you what to think, nor what to believe. The idea is to teach you how to think. In practice, that means bringing consideration of ethics and morality into every discipline that I may encounter. From chemistry to finance, every course and department at BC encourages thoughtfulness and deep thinking about what you are learning and how it can help make the world a better place.
Most secular schools downplay the topic of religion. Of course, there is nothing wrong with having a religious identity at a non-affiliated university or liberal arts college; most schools in the United States fit under that umbrella, but it is also true that religious perspectives are often avoided entirely in classrooms outside of theology departments.
As Jews, we are always encouraged to think about how to make the world a better place. We consider where to give our tzedakah, and we are encouraged to ask questions. For all these reasons, having the opportunity to consider religion during my studies spoke to me.
One of the central tenets at Boston College is a commitment to service and helping others. The program I am entering features an entire summer with a sole focus on creating a service project. In many ways, I felt a parallel between the Jesuit model and many of the teachings I have absorbed from the Jewish faith.
On my visit to BC, they gave me their “Pocket Guide to Jesuit Education,” a document that laid out the core elements of the curriculum: be attentive, be reflective, and be loving.
And within that document, there was a comparison I had been grasping for, spelled out right on the page, “tikkun olam.” It specifically pointed to the Jewish idea of repairing and healing the world as analogous to what the BC curriculum seeks to accomplish.
Now, only time will tell how my education will actually play out, but I cannot wait to set sail on the next leg of my academic journey.
Editor’s Note:  Here's where we share recipes. Please submit your favorites! Send to

A spring treat: Cheese & Herb Rugelach
Cheese & Herb Rugelach

Click here for a pdf of the recipe.

This month’s recipe is by Samantha Ferraro from:

Yields about 4 dozen rugelach.


8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 lb unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp lemon zest
2 cups flour, sifted

12 ounces ricotta cheese, drained
2 heads of garlic, roasted
1 sprig of each: rosemary, oregano and thyme (or your favorite fresh herbs), removed from stems and chopped finely
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 egg, whisked
Sea salt

  1. To caramelize garlic, cut each head of garlic in half and wrap halves in tin foil. Roast garlic in the oven at 400 degrees F for about 30-40 minutes or until the garlic is tender and caramelized. When done, remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. To make the dough, use a stand mixer and beat together the cream cheese and butter until creamy on medium speed. Then add Parmesan cheese and lemon zest and continue to mix until incorporated.
  3. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the sifted flour and mix just until combined. Use a spatula to scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated. Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and roll into a ball. Cut the ball in quarters and wrap each quarter in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  4. For the filling, mix together the ricotta cheese, chopped herbs, and caramelized garlic. Make sure to remove the soft cloves by squeezing the bulb and adding the soft garlic cloves to the cheese mixture. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  5. Take one dough-ball out of fridge (leaving others chilled until ready to use) and on a well-floured surface, roll it out using a floured rolling pin. Roll it out to about 9 inches in diameter. Use a round object (a cheesecake pan works well) and outline a circle then use a knife to cut a perfect circle. Save scraps to roll out later.
  6. Spread 2 Tb of cheese mixture onto the dough in a thin layer, leaving a border. Then cut the circle into eighths.
  7. Roll the rugelach by starting at the outer end of the triangle and roll in making a little crescent shape. Place all rugelach end side down on a lined baking sheet and brush tops with egg wash and sprinkle each rugelach with sea salt.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 15-18 minutes until lightly golden brown.
  9. When done, remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
Editor’s Note: Let us know share in your happiness. New job? New baby or grand? Got into that college? Engagements or weddings? Send to:

Mazel Tov to:

  • Sandi & Michael Medlin, whose grandson Dylan Peter Miklas was born August 19, 2020 to daughter Erin Medlin and Andrew Miklas.
  • Dylan Schenker, who became Bar Mitzvah April 24, and to his parents Jodi Danis and David Schenker.
  • Harri j. Kramer & Russ Hogya, whose daughter Sadie married Trevor Stephens on April 11 in Emerald Isle, North Carolina.  
  • Sammy Peterson who will be attending Boston College in the fall, where he has been awarded a full-tuition Gabelli Presidential Scholarship.
MEET A MEMBER: Dan & Donna Goldberg
In their own words
Hello, we're the Goldbergs, we're a blended Jewish family, we're a page right out of BJC!
The Goldberg family is:
Dan Goldberg, who served on the BJC Board as trustee during several BJC Board terms from 2010 – 2017-ish and a BJC member from around 2002;
Donna Goldberg, who served as Program Committee Chair from 2005-2006, and one of the several developers of the original BJC name buttons, member of BJC since late 2004;
Jacob Goldberg (23) graduate of Temple University and now living the single life outside Philly as a computer software designer at First Data Corp; and,
Maddie Goldberg (22), our 2021 graduate from the University of Pittsburgh, who will be moving back home while employed at the NIMH as a research technical assistant in a 2-3 year post-baccalaureate position while she advances towards new adventures and a doctorate in neuropsychology.
We are very proud of both of them, and with Maddie soon back home, although, LOL, this ends our empty-nest; another chapter begins! Dan and Donna came to BJC as individuals, and in a few years, we became a blended family. Jacob and Maddie had been raised Catholic, an arrangement from Dan’s first marriage. As we attended BJC as a family, the congregation’s openness to and showing up with blended families, helped us feel comfortable during High Holy Days, holidays, and Shabbat Services, which also included opportunities for Jacob and Maddie to hear about and see their parents on stage during numerous Purim Spiels.
Donna: I was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley in Southern CA, came to the DC area in the mid-90s, and in 2004 found BJC through a traveling Shabbat singles group. I am a policy/procedure compliance analyst, working at Kaiser Permanente-Mid-Atlantic. In the early 2000’s, I was employed with the American College of Cardiology, which is nearby BJC. However, I wasn’t aware of BJC until I met one of the leaders of the DC area ‘Jewish traveling singles’ group who introduced me to this wonderful synagogue.
Fond initial memories include getting to know each other, other travelers like Jeremy Mendelson, Barry Dwork, and Sandra Walter, and speaking about sailing (a favorite hobby) with congregants Bruce & Wynne Busman. This was indeed a great discovery for me, and a lovely memory of another group that I previously attended from Beth El Hebrew in Northern VA, which like this one would also meet for Friday Shabbat Services. To my delight and surprise the BJC Hazzan (soon to be Rabbi) was the previous Hazzan Sunny Schnitzer from Beth El, who had and still has one of my favorite spiritual voices. I would come right after work on Friday evenings, dance around the sanctuary during the final closing (who remembers?) and attend Oneg with fellow travelers and congregation; this is where I met Dan, sitting often by himself.
Dan: I found BJC in 2002-2003, as a recently separated single, searching for a Jewish community, and was immediately taken in by the warmth and welcoming of the community, and of course the music. I was raised in Port Chester, NY and Acton, MA and came to Maryland in 2000. I am an electrical engineer and a project manager in the wireless telecommunications industry. I remember meeting Donna at Shabbat services in 2004. Donna came over to me, struck up a conversation, one thing led to another. After showing Donna my pictures from the 2004 BJC trip to Cuba, I asked her on our first date. We fell in love through BJC, and we were married by Rabbi Sunny in 2007. My favorite holidays and events at BJC have always been Purim Spiels, Passover community Seders, and Simcha Torah.
We both have fond cherished memories with people who are part of our current stories and, sadly, those no longer seen. We are so glad to be part of this congregation family, and happy to continue our support, history, and hellos to existing and new members. If anything sounds familiar to you from our intro above and or just because, please let us know! We are a page right out of BJC, thank you all!! Keep well, play safe and enjoy the summer!

Yahrzeits: May 2021

Arthur Barrios, father of Rochelle Banta
Pauline Borden, mother of Victoria Bailer
Tony DiStefano, husband of Helen DiStefano
Bernice Dubin, mother of Alan Dubin
Meyer Dubrow, father of Davi Walders
Blaine Eig, father of Jonathan Eig
Sonia Gold, mother of Judith Scott
Hilde Hirsch, mother of Evelyn Ganzglass
Harry Jerome, father of Karen Jerome
Mary Klauber, mother of Martin Klauber
Samuel Klauber, father of Martin Klauber
Abraham Kraus, father of Mitch Kraus
Dorothy Moyer, mother of Barbara Faigin
Frances Oppenheim, sister of Herbert Bixhorn
Vera Poogach, grandmother of Robert Poogach
Harvey Rabin, husband of Evelyn Rabin
Linda Ratner, wife of Richard Ratner
Mozart Ratner, father of Gary Ratner
Irving Roger, grandfather of Robert Poogach
Rose Scott, mother of David Scott
Marvin Schnitzer, father of Rabbi Sunny Schnitzer
Goldie Slifman, mother of Larry Slifman
Dorothy Stein, mother of Helen DiStefano
Leo Stern, father of Ed Stern
Julia Ullmann, grandmother of Ted Posner
Barbara Wilansky, mother of Robin Sorkin
ShulCloud 101:
Tips from Treasurer Terri Reicher
In addition to general support of BJC (which is always welcome and needed), we have several dedicated funds that members may support. This month we are focusing on the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund
What is it? The Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund, as its name suggests, is a fund overseen by Rabbi Schnitzer and used to support those in need and institutions that serve the larger Jewish community, as well as unbudgeted items that support BJC. The Fund is held in a separate bank account that is administered by Rabbi Sunny and periodically reviewed by the Board President.
Who receives money from the Fund? Recent recipients include the Ugandan Jewish Community, the Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education, the Jewish Community Relations Council, and last summer’s online Shavuot concert with Neshama Carlebach and Menachem Creditor.
How can you donate? Two ways: First, you can send a check payable to Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund directly to BJC—those checks are deposited by Rabbi Sunny into the Fund bank account, which is completely separate from BJC’s bank accounts. Second, you may donate to BJC through check or online via ShulCloud and designate the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund as the intended recipient. BJC in turn forwards these donations to Rabbi Sunny. In either case, your donation is tax deductible and will appear on your BJC tax statement.
Is the Rabbi's discretionary fund the same as the Cuba Fund? No—there is no longer a “Cuba Fund” within BJC. The Cuba American Jewish Mission is a separate 501(c)(3) charity overseen by Rabbi Schnitzer. CAJM is completely separate from BJC, although the address is the same. Donations should be mailed to CAJM at 6601 Bradley Blvd, Bethesda, MD 20817.  

As always, no question is too insignificant or silly. Get in touch with Elizabeth at, and she'll help. You can also click here to link to the instructions on our website,

It's not too late to honor our mothers for Mothers' Day, and soonin Juneit will be time to remember and honor our Dads, not to mention our high school and college grads.

Why not also honor them with a donation to BJC?

We’ll run a special section next month to continue to honor and remember our moms.

Each month we promote Amazon Smiles as an effortless way to give BJC 0.5% of your purchases of eligible products without any cost to you. As you look at the budget for the upcoming fiscal year, consider that donations matter and every bit helps. Please take a minute and sign up.

Who knew? BJC has an amazing array of published authors right in our midst. 
Marty Ganzglass, well known for his historical novels about the American Revolution, has recently released Goats and other Stories, 10 short stories of unusual viewpoints: the perfect crime with a twist, a college student returns home due to the pandemic and reacts to the Black Lives Matter movement, an aging Italian living out his years in Somalia, a publisher dealing with a college classmate who believes he has written the greatest novel since Harry Potter, and others. 
Diane Horn, R.D.H. , C.H.H.C, and Certified Wellness Coach, published 7 Simple Ways to Rediscover Your Wow Factor, a guide for women over 50 who want to enter the second half of their life with purpose, passion, and play. This book will show you how not to let age define you and how to avoid feeling small and invisible. It's about rediscovering your best and reinventing the rest!
Karen Levi’s most recent book, A Smile That Lasts Forever, examines the difficult questions her grandparents faced as they left a well-established life in Germany, helped other family members escape from certain death, and how those traumas affected them and the next generations in a new country.
Karen Levy’s first book, Lulu Lamby, is the enchanting, illustrated children’s story of Sam and that special stuffed friend, Lulu Lamby, who often gets left behind. The book was reviewed by Kirkus Reviews in January 2021, and it was called “a relatable tale about comfort items for young readers." BJC Past-president, Shoshanah Drake, has developed music education curriculum materials using the book.

Show your support for our BJC authors! During May and June, these authors will donate $5 to BJC for every book purchased.
All published BJC authors are invited to share information about their books. BJC reserves the right to select books that reflect the spirit and mission of BJC. Click here to learn more about the authors and purchase copies of their books.


Linda & Bruce Baum, in memory of Linda’s father Sam Schwartz
Linda & Bruce Baum, in memory of Miriam, Larry Walder’s sister 
Cathy Bernard
Mark Bernkopf, in appreciation of the Seder and Jeremy Mendelson
Wynne & Bruce Busman, in appreciation of the Seder
Phyllis Cassell, in appreciation of the Seder
Helen Dalton, in memory an exceptional father, Solomon Feldman
Hannah Friedman Elson & Edward Elson
Diane & Dennis Horn
Cathy & Tilden Mendelson
Lisa & Jonathan Peters
Stacey Rose-Blass, in honor of the lives of beloved mother Priscilla Goldman Rose and father Myron “Mike” Rose
Norma & Edward Stern, in appreciation of the Seder
Judith Welles


Linda & Bruce Baum, in memory of Bruce’s mother Edith Baum, Bruce’s grandmother Rose Klein Levine, and Linda’s grandmother Rebecca Schwartz
Wynne & Bruce Busman, in honor of Phyllis Cassell
Laurie Dubrow, in memory of her mother, Rose Werner Dubrow
Harri Kramer & Russ Hogya in memory of Harri’s mother, Bernice Kramer, and in memory of Julia Hogya, Russ’ mother
Liz Sloss & Jim Korelitz in memory of Liz’s mother, Bernadine Sloss, and in in memory of Freda Korelitz, Jim’s mother


Diane Blumenthal & Craig Winslow, in honor of Micha Resti becoming a Bat Mitzvah
Diane Blumenthal & Craig Winslow, in memory of Fritz Gluckstein
Judy & David Scott, in appreciation of Maran's Hebrew tutoring


Diane Blumenthal & Craig Winslow, in honor of the birth of Lorrie Van Akkeren’s grandson, Graham
Dawn Pettebone and Lorrie Van Akkeren, in memory of Gordon Goldstein
Lisa & Jonathan Peters
Robin & Stuart Sorkin, in memory of dear friend Helda Sheldon, and in honor of Rabbi Sunny officiating at her funeral.

And to all of our members who “round up” their synagogue support and donate their time.
Board of Trustees (as of 7/1/2020)
President Sandra Walter
Vice-President Jeremy Pelter
Treasurer Terri Reicher
Secretary Lorrie Van Akkeren

Ken Fine
Karen Levi
Karen Levy
Alan Lichter
David Slacter
Steve Turow
Committee Chairs
Education Issie Resti
Financial Advisor
High Holy Days Jim Korelitz
Student Representative Sammy Peterson Intercongregational Partnership Liaison
Marty Ganzglass
Membership Diane Blumenthal
Past President Shoshanah Drake
Programs Diane Horn & Joan Kaufman
Social Action Harri j. Kramer

BJC Administration
Spiritual Leader Rabbi Sunny Schnitzer
Program & Worship Coordinator Alicia DePaolo
Membership & Administration Coordinator: Elizabeth Kirkpatrick
School Coordinator: Maran Gluckstein

BJC News
Newsletter Editor Harri j. Kramer


Bethesda Jewish Congregation
6601 Bradley Boulevard
Bethesda, MD 20817-3042
Tel: 301-469-8636