• Hamentashen Bake
  • Purim Pandemonium & Video!
  • Chant & Spirit Spa
  • Book Club
  • Social Action: Show You Care
  • Social Action: PAL
  • Food to Eat
  • Meet A Member
March 2020 Newsletter
Rabbi Elhanan ‘Sunny’ Schnitzer
Adar/Nissan  5780

CLICK for the Complete BJC March Events Calendar
Kriat HaRav—The Rabbi’s Call
Rabbi Elhanan “Sunny” Schnitzer
In 1967, 60 plus households put down roots at 6601 Bradley Blvd as a new Jewish community. BJC’s founding families were looking for an alternative to the synagogues of the 1950s and 60s and created a place for Jewish culture, entertainment, intellectual stimulation, and occasional religious services. That model worked into the 1990s.
In 2001 the synagogue leadership, at a time when membership and enthusiasm were low, hired a new rabbi, instituted regular weekly services, new musical and cultural programs, a focus on social action, and found a new direction while always maintaining a link to its founding principles. We were successful. BJC grew. BJC became the “Cool Shul” with the “Rock n’ Roll Rabbi.”
But everything has a shelf life. And after many years of success, things began to slide. Like most American synagogues, our BJC community is shrinking. The American Jewish world has changed radically within a single generation.
We have come to a fork in the road.
For 19 years we have traveled together on a road building community and rich relationships. A road to a deeper appreciation of Jewish identity. But now that road must make a turn. The new generation of American Jews are not finding their way through our doors, or if they find the door they aren’t sticking around. Yet, national and regional studies of millennial populations tell us that there is still a yearning for spiritual expression. If we are to survive as a Jewish community, in this still young 21st century, we must find a new path both for young Jews and ourselves.
The answers to the question of what will be the next iteration of American Jewish institutions is not obvious or well known. If there was a “one size fits all” solution, we would be doing it.
There are a few success stories out there: some new models are attracting a new younger cohort of American Jews. We can learn from them, but we must realize that those answers may not fit our community. Bethesda is not New York or even Washington, DC.
To begin to understand what our local Jewish future might hold, the BJC leadership has commenced a multistage conversation. We have convened a task force of our past presidents and leaders in the hope that our past might hold clues to our future.
At the same time, I have begun participating in a Jewish Leadership Innovation Project, sponsored by CLAL (the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership). This is a five-month long process that, hopefully, results in a project with potential seed funding, to identify and then serve the 21st century needs of the local Jewish community.
You will be invited to be a part of this process at the appropriate moment. An opportunity to be a part of the work of creating something new. Stay tuned for that opportunity.
In the meantime, BJC must make some changes for the immediate future so that we can get to the next “thing.”
These changes are both institutional and personal.

First, with the enthusiastic support of the Board of Directors, I am taking a brief mini-Sabbatical beginning in May. A chance to travel, to relax, and recharge.
I last took a short break like this a decade ago. Another is long overdue.
I’ll be back by the middle of July. In my stead Rabbi Jennifer Weiner, Rabbi Mark Novak, and other guest rabbis will lead services. There will be music with various cantors, cantorial students, and soloists.

There will be continuity.
But, when I return there will be some changes in the rabbinic leadership model. These changes are driven by both our fiscal realities and my desire to have more time to smell the roses.
So, with the full support of the BJC Board, I will continue to serve as rabbi, but it will be with reduced hours, and a commensurate reduction in compensation, while maintaining most of the things that our members value. I will be scaling back my hours to ¾ time. I will be away for a few weeks at a time, similar to, but for periods not as long as, this summer. I will also take a week off in some months.
I’ll still be here leading services for the High Holy Days, major holidays, and the vast majority of Shabbatot . I will continue to teach our b’nai mitzvah and adult learners, but the schedule will have some breaks in it.
When I am not out of town, if a family emergency arises, such as a funeral, I will be there. If I am out of town, other rabbis will be on call. Most of our membership will not perceive a big difference in how BJC’s rabbinic services operate.
So, that’s what will happen when I am not here. More exciting is what will happen when I am here. We will find a new mix of activities that has the potential to attract more people. Some things may work, some may fail, but we will keep trying because that is what we do. We will find a new and brighter path.
Not long after I arrived at BJC, I shared this story with the community. It is instructive almost 20 years later.
A man, wandering in the forest for several days, finally encountered another. He called out: "Brother, show me the way out of this forest."
The man replied, "Brother, I, too, am lost. I can only tell you this. The ways I have tried have led nowhere; they have only led me astray. Take my hand and let us search for the way together." 
So it is with us. With continued unity of purpose, we will again find our way. Let us join hands and look for the way together.

Rabbi Sunny Schnitzer
From the Director of Congregational EducationRabbi Jennifer Weiner
BJC Youth Program: Where It Happens 
Imagine…a room filled with happy voices, boisterous singing, loud laughter, and/or studious students. On any Saturday when the BJC Youth Program is in session, that’s what you will find here at Bethesda Jewish Congregation. 
The BJC Youth Program is unique. We begin with a communal hour of learning based on social action. We then study in grade level Hebrew and Judaica classes. On some Saturdays, our students fill Covenant Hall in Shabbat Services, while on other Saturdays they are cooking or making crafts to demonstrate knowledge of what they are learning. 
On the main floor, you will hear our 7th grade class chanting prayers from Shabbat services and relating current events to their Judaism. On the top floor, our 6th grade students may be involved in reciting their prayers, learning history, or delving into their family’s path to America. Down the hall, our young classes are learning their Aleph Bets and Torah.
On week days, we are offering individual 20-minute online Hebrew sessions to our 4th grade and older students. Twice a month, our Tichon students (8th grade through high school) are taught Torah and current events through discussion and student input. In this manner, our students’ and families’ needs are being met from a communal and individual perspective, and Hebrew lessons are being differentiated for all students. 
The BJC Youth Program is able to offer this program because of its caring staff. Each of our morim (teachers) have been teaching in our program or elsewhere for at least 20 years, most even more. It is rare to find such a wealth of experience and knowledge in one program.
Our Education Committee and parents enrich our program is. Having such a strong involvement from our parents is key. Our students benefit by seeing that there are active and caring learners and role models.
We began the year with an adult from each family volunteering at least once a month. As we head towards more holiday programs, we are tweaking our process. To increase family involvement, we will be sending around a new SignUp Genius inviting our parents to sign up for the holiday program they wish to help. We are so grateful to our parents for being involved and demonstrating the importance of doing Judaism and not just studying Judaism.
At BJC, we are a community of putting our values into practice and helping others in our greater community and world.
In the coming months, there will be many opportunities for parents and other adult members of BJC to be a part of BJC Youth Program. Please come join us!
Upcoming Events:
  • March 7—Purim Celebration and Carnival
  • April 4—Passover Model Seder and Activity
  • May 2—Yom HaZichraron and Yom HaAtzmaut
  • May 9—BJC Mitzvah Project
President's Column—Sandra Walter
Traversing a New Landscape
This month we march forward toward spring, with Purim to celebrate and Passover just over the horizon. Celebrations that will bring us together in laughter, stories of our heroes and heroines, and good spirits—literally and figuratively. This is also a time for remembering that the path to the future has hills and valleys to traverse, but given the vision and courage of leadership and the energy and power of community, we always get there.
As Rabbi Sunny mentioned in his column, he and I along with our board and past presidents, are working together to explore the challenges and opportunities we, as a congregation, are facing in the landscape of our broader Jewish community. You, as a valued part of our congregation, will be invited to get involved as we reaffirm our values as a community. We’ll also be asking you to help us reach out to people who are not involved in BJC—those who may be in search of a Jewish community where they feel welcome, a center for Jewish culture that connects them to back and forward across generations, a place for meaningful worship, and more. It is through our conversations with them—and with you—that we will give dimension and texture to our future.
As Rabbi Sunny also shared, he will be taking a well-deserved sabbatical over the summer months. Following that, he will be going to ¾ time as he continues as our spiritual leader. The board is fully supportive of this change, and appreciate Rabbi Sunny’s bringing this option to us as part of his road to retirement. He and I are working together to ensure clarity and continuity when he is away, and to underscore that you will continue to have available through BJC educational programs, holiday and Shabbat worship services, pastoral care, and rabbinical support during simchas and sorrows. 
BJC has to make some changes—but more importantly, it is in our best interest to embrace the changes we need to make. The board is working to right-size our budget to the current realities of our membership, which stands at just over 160 member units—singles, couples, retired, and families. But, more importantly, we are working to ensure that how we spend that money—your synagogue support and the generous tzedakah so many of you additionally provide—brings the maximum return on investment for our members, our programs, and the impact we want to make in our community and for the future of the congregation. You’ll hear more leading up to the annual meeting. 
Please join us Sunday, April 26 at 6 PM for a social hour, followed by a business meeting at 7 PM. In the interim, if you have questions or suggestions, please feel free to email me at .
See you for fun, food, dancing, laughter, and more at the Purim Pandemonium on Saturday, March 7!
From the BJC Administrator—Hal Bordy
Dear BJC Community,
It has been six months since I first joined the staff of BJC. It has been an incredibly busy time with much to learn and do. The most fulfilling part of my job are the wonderful members that I have come into contact with and have had an opportunity to schmooze and work with. Thank you for all of your support and patience.
I am happy to finally report that after many delays as we have tried to clean-up our accounting in preparation for the transition from maintaining our member records on QuickBooks to our new computer software, ShulCloud, the transfer started the end of February.

The next phased change will be to move from PayPal as our on-line payment processor to ShulCloud’s own service. This will help with accuracy because payments made by credit card or EFT will be automatically applied to your account and it will all be “in-house.” Members will be able to access to their accounts on-line and will have their own PIN that will restrict access.
I hope to re-design and develop a new webpage with ShulCloud later this spring that will tie everything together. I have volunteers ready to help with the writing. If there are members who have expertise in web design and the technology that goes with it, please consider volunteering to help by giving me a call at the BJC Office, 301-469-8636. I will appreciate your help.
I hope to see you at the Purim Pandemonium for a great time!

B’Shalom .
Rabbi's Message
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. This is particularly necessary now that 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. Please call: 301-469-8636 #3.

Click for the complete BJC March Calendar
Hamentashen Bake!
Thursday, March 5 at BJC at 7 PM
Friday, March 6 from 1-4 PM

Join BJC pastry chef extraordinaire Lauren Kline in a bake-a-thon to prepare for Purim. Our goal is to bake 300 hamentashen for the BJC Purim Pandemonium and the Youth Education Program, and for you to take home or give away as Shalach Manot ).
There are two different opportunities:

  • Thursday, March 5 at BJC, 7 PM
  • Friday, March 6 at Lauren's home 1 - 4 pm. As a bonus, we’ll be baking challah on Friday
Call the BJC office to make a reservation and receive an address for Friday's baking at Lauren's home.
(301) 469-8636
Purim Pandemonium!
Saturday, March 7 starting at 6:30 PM with Havdalah
This year—an all-new way to follow the commandment of Adar— BE HAPPY!  We’ve got an exciting evening planned. We’ll start at 6:30 with Havdalah and an irreverent Megillah reading. By 7:00 we’ll be getting in the mood. 
We’ll be celebrating with a “Haight Haman” —1960s and ‘70s Evening of dress up, live music, and dancing. BJC’s own Ken Fine and his band, Capital Groove, will lead us in a fantabulous party. Come thrill to the greatest hits from past Purim spiels. Play games.
And come in costume. Surely you must have something in your closet from your “hippie” days?! Or wear any other costume. 
There will be unlimited hot and cold hors d’oeuvres all night long, as well as beer, wine, and soft drinks. Rumor has it that some special slivovitz will be there, too.
It’s only $45 per person. Or save $5 per person by buying a table of 8. Reserve now! Send your check made payable to Bethesda Jewish Congregation or you may register on-line here .

Here's a peek at some of what you can expect. Click here for a great, short video.
Chant Circle: Opening the Heart & Spirit Spa
Saturday, March 14, 4:30 PM
Chant is an ancient form of meditation that can open the doors of perception.

Repetition of a sacred phrase can clear the mind of clutter, and connect us to each other and the divine.
Join chant leader, Rebbetzin Yaffah Schnitzer , for a program designed to reach and strengthen your spiritual core. Experience the power and potential of this pathway to soul healing. No prior knowledge of singing, chanting, or Hebrew language is necessary

Please bring a mat or pillow, for your comfort, if you like. RSVP to:

Chanters may also be interested in an upcoming SOULIFT .
Also, from March 8-April 3, Rabbi Shefa Gold will be teaching an on-line course to help focus on the practice of chant. More information here .
Minyan Oneg Shabbat & BJC Join for Shabbat
Saturday, March 21, 10 AM
Spring Fling--Get Dirty!
Sunday, March 12, 2-4 PM
How do you think our synagogue’s campus always look so nice? Bradley Hills has a Garden Guild that works to make our outdoor space attractive. In addition to ongoing maintenance (a/k/a/ weeding), twice a year there is a special effort, the Fall Call and the Spring Fling activities.

Volunteers needed for the annual Spring Clean Up on Sunday, March 22nd, from 2 to 4 pm, of the grounds at 6601 Bradley Blvd. This is a joint effort by members of BHPC and BJC to beautify the outside areas.

Bring work gloves, leaf rakes and other garden implements or just show up and help.
Book Club
Wednesday, March 25 & April 22, 8 PM

The BJC Open Book Club meets in the Lounge at 8 PM usually on the 4th Wednesday of every month. Anyone is welcome to join or just drop in for a particular book discussion. For more information, please contact Evelyn Ganzglass    

March 25 : Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi, winner of the 2019 Man Booker International Prize, is a novel about three Omani women and their families told against the backdrop of a rapidly changing Omani society. Through the sisters, the reader glimpses a society in all its degrees, from the very poorest of the local slave families to those making money through the advent of new wealth.

April 22 : Talking with Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell examines the varying ways we misinterpret or fail to communicate with one another.
Early Friday Night Shabbat Service
March 27 & the Fourth Friday of Every Month, 6 - 7:45 PM
Join us for a nosh and a little ruach to enhance your Friday evening.
Our Shabbat “pre-Neg” features hors d’oeuvres, veggies, and dips from 6-6:30 PM. An intimate Shabbat service follows and finishes at 7:45 with kiddush . No after service Oneg Shabbat , and you will be home in time for dinner.
Second Night Seder
Thursday, April 9, 6:30 PM
J oin your BJC family for the seder you can’t make at home. Rabbi Schnitzer leads us on a joyous musical journey through the Pesach story. Buy a table and bring the “ ganze mishpocha .”
Cost: 1 potluck Kosher-for-Passover dish
  • What to bring: Last names beginning with A – M side dish, N – Z dessert.
  • $45 per adult until April 3rd, (add $5 for late reservations)
  • $20 children 7 – 12
  • $5 Children under 7
Good Deeds Day:
April 26, 1-3 PM at the Bender JCC in Rockville

Be a part of the Annual Good Deeds Day sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. Student who participate can earn SSL hours.
Instead of participating at the Bender JCC, because of a prior commitment, the BJC Youth Program will sponsor a Mitzvah Project for BJC on May 9, 2020 , from 9-10:30 a.m. The ENTIRE congregation is invited to participate! We will make no-sew hats and scarves to be donated to local community projects.
Come join us and “Show You Care—Do Your Share” for BJC!
Gun Violence Prevention Forum
By Karen Levi
On February 2, Karen Levi and Barbara Faigin, leaders of the BJC Gun Violence Prevention Interest Group, attended a Critical Issues Forum at Kol Shalom Synagogue. The forum was sponsored by a coalition comprised of representatives from three congregations—Adat Shalom, Kol Shalom, and Temple Beth Ami. 
The Critical Issues Forum's previous work (2015-2018) focused on food insecurity in Montgomery County and elsewhere in Maryland.
This year, they have formed an advocacy project to focus on gun violence prevention. They are partnering with Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence (MPGV) to support legislation strengthening Maryland's current gun laws. The February 2 panel included Jeff Waldstreicher, a Maryland state senator from Kensington, a gun violence researcher from Johns Hopkins University, and the President of MPGV. The panel discussed the current legislative session in Annapolis, specifically on closing the long gun loophole for background checks and other legislative proposals. Another Maryland state senator and Maryland delegates were also in the audience. 
WATCH FOR IT Along with BHPC, we are planning, a film/speaker program on gun violence prevention for a Sunday afternoon in early May. If you would like to add your name to the GVP interest group for the latest GVP news, e-mail Barbara at
A Note from A Part of our 6601 Family
By Brooke Kenny, Executive Director, Friends Club
This year, Friends Club , a social engagement program for men with early stage memory loss, celebrates 30 years of service to families facing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. We have been fortunate enough to be in the shared space of both Bradley Hills Presbyterian and BJC since 1994.
Through the years, we have enjoyed having Rabbi Sunny share music, knowledge, and his famous brisket with our members. We are also grateful to BJC member and longtime Friends Club volunteer Marty Ganzglass for all he (and his canine pal BJ) bring to our sessions.
We are a loving and accepting community and if there is ever a need for our services or simply our knowledge of the field of dementia care, please reach out to me at 301-469-0070. We are here to help.
We look forward to what the next 30 years at Friends Club brings!
Show You Care, Do Your Share Update
By Harri j. Kramer, Chair, Social Action Committee

By now you’ve received a letter from the Social Action Committee describing (yet one more time) the Do Your Share—Show You Care initiative. I’m pleased to let you know that we’re starting to get your feedback. Thanks to our early responders.
Here are just a few comments we’ve received so far:
  • This is one of the most rewarding and amazing things I've done in my life. And I am using all my skills--soft and hard--to do it. The love, action (love is an action ), collaboration, imagination, resourcefulness and results are stunning.
  • It is very gratifying experience to visit with individuals who are lonely.
  • I am doing communications and planning. Everyone can participate in combatting anti-Semitism by going to to be a part of it. I'm so glad to lend my skills to something so worthwhile
Letting us know about your volunteer experience is simple. Use the reporting form (which is also accessible from the homepage) . This is a very short form that asks the basics questions: name, email, for whom you volunteered, for how long, and if this is regular activity or a one-time event. There’s a place for comments if you like. You can fill out the form as soon as you have volunteered or, if you volunteer regularly, submit the form once a month.
Do good now—it’s good for you! (And report it to us soon.) Any questions? Write to .
And here’s a reminder of an opportunity for you:
In the fall, Helen Dalton wrote about her experience with the Read Aloud Program at NCCF , the National Center for Children and Families on Greentree Road. We’re recently heard from members of Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church, who would welcome BJC members to partner with them in this meaningful experience. And what a great way to earn your 3 hours for Do Your Share—Show You Care!
Here are the Read Aloud program details:
The program takes place every Tuesday from 7 to 8 in the library at the Greentree Center. For each session, four people can sign up to volunteer although one person usually "takes lead." The lead organizes a theme/book/activity; there are pre-packaged sets, but mostly volunteers come up with their own session, such as The Five Senses with a related book and activities investigating those. Then, other volunteers assist. We are looking for a level of involvement—from once a week to once a month. We'd love to have people come assist or "take lead."
To volunteer, those interested need to go to a volunteer information session (by signing up at ) and then have a follow-up meeting with the volunteer coordinator. We are working on having a BHPC/BJC time slot for that meeting with the coordinator.

The children at NCCF range in age from 2 to 16 (obviously, it's different every week due to the clients at the shelter). BHPC Volunteer Maggie Spak said, “ I have found it a privilege to get to know these kids, and it's a delight to see them get excited about the book and task at hand.”
If you have questions about logistics, get in touch with BHPC member Suzie Walzer by clicking here BJC member Helen Dalton would also be pleased to tell you more. Get in touch with Helen by clicking here
People Animals Love
By Rochelle & Bill Banta

We have had dogs for as long as we’ve been married. Bill took his dog to work every day (college professors can get away with these sorts of things). In the ‘80s we started visiting elderly people as volunteers in nursing homes nearby, taking our dogs with us. Most of the residents had once owned pets, and their faces lightened when we walked in with our little Pekingese and big Shepherd-Collie. Even severely affected Alzheimer’s patients often responded to them. Once we had to intervene when a lady reached so low to pet Rosie that she nearly fell from her wheelchair.
We visited weekly for a year or so but then—you know—things happened, and we stopped going. Two dogs later we found ourselves with “Flora,” an 80-lb Catahoula. Catahoulas are gray-and-black herding dogs bred for hunting and harassing wild pigs in the Louisiana swamps. She was so mellow and obedient that we decided to resume our volunteer visits.
Through BJC’s Social Action Committee, we found “People Animals Love,” a non-profit organization centered here in the Washington area. PAL does now what we did back then but, thankfully, there’s now more structure. Pet owners nowadays are insured against unexpected injuries and there are more opportunities to help people who need help from pets. We googled PAL: People Animals Love (, and soon we were in touch with a volunteer who asked for Flora’s paperwork and scheduled a meeting with the organization’s only paid employee, James Haworth. We ponied up a one-time $100 fee to help cover insurance costs and other well-deserved expenses.
We found a dozen or so other dogs leashed in a big room where they could interact and be evaluated. Most were friendly, sweet and calm, although not every dog passed. Later, came two more visits on-site with other PAL volunteers and residents at client institutions to see how Flora does with other people and dogs. Once all our boxes were checked, we became pet volunteers and could choose from a large and growing list of PAL sites.
We started by visiting the psychiatric wing of a big local hospital treating teenage children for illness and additions. About a dozen patients showed up—some severely depressed, others more talkative. We threw a tennis ball and—off went Flora. Even the quiet kids seemed glad to see her. Some threw the ball for her; others wanted to embrace her; others just wanted to talk about their own dogs. An attendant told us later that our one-hour visit was almost the only interaction some patients experienced all day. We felt very good.
Then came visits in the Library at Silver Spring, where once a month parents bring their kids to a popular PET program. Volunteers divide up the time available and let the kids read to the dog. Parents are left outside the room while their children struggle to explain written language to a mute animal. Think this might be an ordeal? Kids love it. There’s a line waiting and, sadly, some are turned away or interrupted before they can finish. They all want to come back next time; one 8-year old has already picked out books for next time. More PAL volunteers are needed—both as dog owners and as gate-keepers—at this and other libraries in Montgomery County.
PAL lists plenty of other activities in their weekly newsletter, The PAL 10-day Furcast, including detention centers, emergency facilities for families and children, hospital rehab units, even high schools. For more information contact Executive Director, James Haworth at 202-966-2171 or email
Share your thoughts about what matters to you. We often see our members published in The Washington Post. Let the rest of us in on your thinking. Youth of all ages are encouraged to share. Send your thoughts to:
Editor’s Note:   Here’s where we share seasonal recipes. Please submit your favorites! Send to  
First, an unusual taken on Hamentashen for Purim. Then, a look ahead to a tasty Passover treat.

Pulled BBQ Brisket Hamentashen
Making pulled BBQ brisket is a cinch when made in a slow-cooker...and would you believe that BBQ pulled brisket and mashed potatoes make awesome savory-sweet yeast hamantaschen (not cookies)!? These make an awesome appetizer or side for the festive Purim meal, or even just a nosh. Yields: Approximately 20 hamantaschen
2 3/4 -3 lb. 2nd cut beef brisket
Hickory smoke/barbeque seasoning sauce
12 oz. Coca-Cola
2 cups barbeque sauce
1/3 cup beef broth (from brisket. see method)
3 lb. non-dairy prepared frozen pizza dough
1 egg, plus 1-2 tablespoons water for eggwash
Non-dairy mashed potatoes
Preheat oven to 350° F.
1. Place the brisket into a 5 qt. slow-cooker (or if you have a larger one, that will work too). Sprinkle the roast with barbeque seasoning and rub well into both sides of the meat. Cover the roast with water (just a little more than to cover), being careful not to wash the seasoning off the roast( let the water fill up around the brisket it-not on it)! Cover and cook on high for 8 1/2- 9 hours, or until an inserted fork comes out easily and roast shows signs of falling apart. (Slow-cookers perform differently, and cooking time may vary.)
2. Remove the brisket from the slow cooker and allow to cool slightly. Reserve 1/3 cup of the broth and discard the remainder. Using a fork, pull the brisket on the grain (not against) until the entire roast is pulled/shredded.
3. Return the pulled brisket to the slow cooker and add the barbeque sauce, Coca-Cola, and reserved broth. Stir all the ingredients together until fully incorporated and cook for another 45-60 minutes.
4. Prepare your mashed potatoes and defrosted pizza dough.
5. Flour your work surface and roll out the pizza dough to about of an 8th of an inch thick. Using a 5 1/4" round cookie cutter (or a small bowl), cut out the circles that will be used to form the hamantaschen.
6. Keep rolling and cutting until the dough is used up.
7. Spoon a layer of smashed potatoes onto the center of the cut dough rounds and smooth it out. Spoon about 2-3 tablespoons of the pulled brisket on top of the smashed potatoes.
8. Fold the dough into a triangle around the smashed potato and pulled beef filling, pinching the corners tightly to ensure the filling is well enclosed. If you feel there is too much filling in any of the hamantaschen, be sure to remove some so as not to force the hamantaschen open in the baking process.
9. Mix one egg together with a few tablespoons of water to create an egg wash. Generously paint the hamantaschen with the egg wash to give them that nice golden-brown look and keep the dough together.
10. Bake hamantaschen for 15-20 minutes, or until golden-brown. Enjoy!
Passover Macaroni & Cheese
From the kitchen of Shoshanah Drake's mom, Elaine Wolfe

3 cups matzah farfel
½ lb. cheddar cheese
6T melted butter
3 eggs, beaten
¼ tsp. salt and pepper
2 cups milk
1.5 cups sour cream
Mix all ingredients together; pour into 2 quart casserole. Cover and bake 45 minutes at 350. Uncover and bake 25 minutes more or until golden brown.
 Editor’s Note: Here’s a spot to kvell with your BJC community. Let us know what you’re celebrating. An engagement? A new baby? Grandbaby? Got into that great college? A new job? Send your good news to:

  • Mazel Tov to Joan Kaufman Hecht, who celebrated her 70th birthday
  • Mazel Tov to Rabbi Sunny and Joan Schnitzer on their 18th wedding anniversary
  • Mazel Tov to Rabbi Sunny and Joan Schnitzer, whose grandson Brady (age 8) was accepted into the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth 
MEET A MEMBER: The Weidenfeld Family
By Jason Weidenfeld
When my wife, Virginia, and I were engaged, neither of us belonged to a place of worship, and we were looking for a Rabbi who would marry an interfaith couple with a Jewish groom. This was 1999, and Bethesda Jewish Congregation was one of the few temples where this was possible. About a year and a half after we were married by the BJC Rabbi, we had our daughter, Alexandra. 
When Alexandra was one, we began looking at temples and took her to BJC Tot Shabbat, expecting to see the Rabbi who married us. Instead, we saw then-Hazzan Sunny Schnitzer. His energy, personality, musicality, and puppetry hooked us immediately. Alexandra loved running and dancing during Tot Shabbat, and she even sat for the puppet show. And the 30-minute services were just the right length for my short attention span! As Alexandra grew out of Tot Shabbat, we continued to enjoy coming to BJC, hearing the Rabbi’s talks about meaningful subject matters, supporting Alexandra’s religious education and Bat Mitzvah journey, and meeting other families.
Our family is on the verge of empty nesting. Alexandra is taking a gap year before going to Wesleyan University in August. She worked on a kibbutz in Israel in the fall, in a chocolate shop and Busboys and Poets in DC in the winter, and travels to Paros, Greece in early March for an arts/academic semester. We like to travel when we can; the photo comes from a family trip to Quebec City in 2017.
In regular life, Virginia is a high school English teacher, and I am a rare breed—a federal government lawyer. My 15 minutes of fame (or at least TV time) occurred a little more than 10 years ago as a contestant on “Wheel of Fortune.” No, I didn’t make it to the Bonus Round, but it was a fun experience.
I am now involved in BJC as the Program Committee Co-Chair because the temple has welcomed and embraced our family throughout the years. We like being part of a congregation that invites couples who have different backgrounds and actively seeks a dialogue with people of other religions. We hope to see you at Purim Pandemonium and Passover!

MARCH 2020

Herman Bachrach, father of Burt Bachrach
Bernice Cahan, grandmother of Sandra Walter
Susan Cahan Ferguson, mother of Sandra Walter
Esther Chabot, mother of Herbert Chabot
Harold Coplan, uncle of Lois Rose
Florence Dubov, mother of Sharon Sinalevich
Curtis Evey, father of Wilma Roufa
Naomi Fagin, mother of Marty Faigin
J. Gleberman, father of Ellen Gleberman
Beatrice Haber, mother of Miles Haber
Louis Hecht, father of Louis Hecht, Jr.
Shirley Hecht, mother of Louis Hecht, Jr.
Saul Horn, father of Joan Schnitzer
Bessie Hurwitz Shay, mother of Wendy Shay
Pauline Jerome, grandmother of Karen Jerome
Dorothy Kaufman, mother of Emily van Agtmael
Donald Kerwin, brother of Aleen Chabot
Minnie Kerwin, mother of Aleen Chabot
Gerald Killian, remembered by Richard Fogel
Marvin Kotz, father of Gary Kotz
John Krettmeyer, father of Nancy Glassman
Belle Kretz, mother of James Kretz
Theodore Landsman, father of Sandra Medlin
William Levine, father of Leslie Levine
Daniel Moyer, father of Barbara Faigin
Morris Pelter, father of Lance Pelter
Morris Poogach, father of Robert Poogach
Shirley Ratner, mother of Gary Ratner
Sarah Roger, grandmother of Robert Poogach
Benjamin Rouse, husband of Wilma Roufa
Herman Slachter, father of David Slacter
Ernest Schmalz, father of Lorraine McMillen
Estelle Schneider, mother of Cynthia Bogorad
Diane Schnitzer, mother of Rabbi Sunny Schnitzer
Sam Schwartz, father of Linda Baum
Shirley Selditch, mother of Renee Asher
Molly Shaikun, grandmother of Stephen Turow
Shtylla Tahir, father of Gentiana Arovas
Reve Sugarman, mother of Elsa Weinstein
Judith Taylor, mother of Lyne Taylor-Genser
Lolly Toll, wife of Steve Toll
Goldjean Turow, mother of Stephen Turow
Miriam Winkler, mother of Robin Doroshow  
Thank You

A Shout Out to our Oneg Hosts in February
Linda Blumberg & Stephen Turow 
Gary Sampliner
Davi & Larry Walders
Judy Welles
Sheila and Ira Wolpert
Donations to the General Fund/Good As We Give

Shoshanah Drake
Edward Elson     
Jeremy Mendelson     
Lorrie Van Akkeren    
Margaret & Burt Bachrach, in memory of Polly Winslow, mother of Craig Winslow
Ron Bloch, in appreciation of Shabbat services and a caring community
Wynne & Bruce Busman, in memory of Irving Cassell, father of Wynne Busman
Wynne & Bruce Busman, in memory of Mildred Busman, mother of Bruce Busman
Wynne & Bruce Busman in memory of Polly Winslow, mother of Craig Winslow
Maran & Fritz Gluckstein in memory of Polly Winslow, mother of Craig Winslow
Harri Kramer & Russ Hogya in memory of Polly Winslow, mother of Craig Winslow
Harri Kramer & Russ Hogya in memory of Bernice S. Kramer, mother of Harri Kramer
Harri Kramer & Russ Hogya in memory of Abe Sherman, grandfather of Harri Kramer
Alan Lichter, in memory of Harry Cohen
Donations to the Cuba Fund

Lorrie Van Akkeren, in memory of Polly Winslow, mother of Craig Winslow

Donations to the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund

Rabbi Mark Novak, in appreciation of Bethesda Jewish Congregation
Lorrie Van Akkeren, in memory of the yahrzeit of her mother, Ida R. Goldstein
A Special Thank You

And to all of our members who “round up” their synagogue support and donate their time, as well as donate their time to volunteer.
Board of Trustees

President Sandra Walter
Vice-President Jeremy Pelter
Treasurer Terri Reicher
Secretary Lorrie Van Akkeren

Jason Engel
Ken Fine 
Alan Grunes
Alan Lichter
Ted Posner
David Slacter
Committee Chairs
Communication [An Opportunity!]
Education Issie Resti
Financial Advisor Jason Engel
High Holy Days Jim Korelitz
Student Representative Sammy Peterson Intercongregational Partnership Liaison
Marty Ganzglass
Membership Diane Blumenthal
Past President Shoshanah Drake
Programs Jaon Weidenfeld
Social Action Harri j. Kramer

BJC Administration
Spiritual Leader Rabbi Sunny Schnitzer
Director of Congregational Education Rabbi Jennifer Weiner
Synagogue Administrator Hal Bordy

BJC News
Newsletter Editor Harri j. Kramer


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