• Sha-boom!
  • Book Club
  • Back to Shul/Shabbat Under the Stars
  • High Holy Days
  • GRAPES & Membership
  • Social Action: Manna
  • In Case You Missed It
  • In the Spotlight
  • Youth Voices 
  • Nachas Notes
  • Meet A Member
August 2018 Newsletter
Rabbi Elhanan ‘Sunny’ Schnitzer
Av/Elul 5778
CLICK for the Complete BJC August Events Calendar
Kriat HaRav—The Rabbi’s Call
Rabbi Elhanan “Sunny” Schnitzer
The month of Elul , which begins on the secular date of August 12, is the time of return—a time where we try to sensitize ourselves to our mistakes and work on rectifying them. Elul is a time of preparation. We prepare through the recitation of a group of prayers known as Selichot , a Hebrew word meaning “forgiveness.” Ashkenazi Jews recite Selichot beginning late at night on the Saturday of the last full week before Rosh HaShanah and again each morning on the days between the New Year and Yom Kippur . It is a solemn and fitting preparation for the days of reflection and self-examination.

The first day of this month of Elul also begins the 40-day period of the year referred to as Yemei Ratzon —Days of Favor.

Why 40 days?

The 11th century French rabbi, Rashi, links it with God’s call to Moses to ascend Mount Sinai on three different occasions, each time for 40 days.

On the first occasion, Moses received the Torah. Upon his return, he saw that the people had fallen into the sin of worshipping the Golden Calf. In anger, he destroyed the two tablets of the law on the 17th of Tammuz and burned the calf the next day (Exodus 32:19; Deuteronomy 9:11).

He then ascended the mountain for a second time to plead with God for forgiveness, returning after 40 days, on the 29th of Av (Exodus 32:30–31; Deuteronomy 9:18).

On the first of Elul , he ascended the mountain for a third period of 40 days to invoke mercy and complete atonement. Moses descended the mountain on the 10th of Tishri with the second set of tablets and the assurance of God’s forgiveness (Exodus 34:1, 27–28; Deuteronomy 10:1–5).

The number 40 has great significance in Judaism; in addition to repentance, it is associated with testing, judgment, renewal, and new beginnings.

Although Elul is a month of repentance, it is also a time to contemplate mercy and forgiveness. It is, in essence, a period of renewal—an opportunity to draw close to God and to each other by renewing our relationships.

This is a time to pause and consider our ways, to set goals for personal improvement for the coming year. In fact, the Hebrew root of the word “shofar” is the word “shaper,” which means to improve.

Sounding the shofar on the night of Selichot reminds us to look within ourselves to discover what needs development, what needs to be renewed, and what needs to be let go of. We can evaluate our achievements and consider where we may have missed the mark. 

This process of teshuvah (repentance) is not passive.

For teshuvah to be effective, we must set aside personal time away from distractions so that we can review the year, contemplate our accomplishments, and consider our relationships with others. We do this because we want to start the New Year fresh and because we know that holding grudges only hurts ourselves.

As the year draws to a close, now is the time to rid ourselves of resentments so we can face the New Year with a clean heart. The effect of a Selichot service can be quite moving. The mere gathering together of people at a time when they are usually asleep is impressive. We sense the extraordinary nature of the prayers and turn introspectively within ourselves. The prayers themselves are pleas for mercy. The melodies are full of longing. The self-deprecation contained in the words, which express the feeling of life’s fleetingness, and the burden of vanity that motivates so much of what one does, all cause us to ponder how we can break the cycle of our lives and change ourselves for the better. Join us this year for an evening dedicated to refocus, repentance, and renewal.

Rabbi Sunny Schnitzer
From the President—Shoshanah Drake
Have you heard about the exciting new things that are happening at BJC? Starting in September, the religious school is starting a new mid-week program with the use of ShalomLearning , a distance-learning opportunity, making it possible to remove the mid-week commute to BJC through our crazy traffic. 

Students will learn Hebrew in the comfort of their own home using technology and exciting lessons that will engage and interest them, while still having the in-person social aspect of being together at BJC on Saturdays as they learn in many different ways, including opportunities for family learning. 

PLEASE tell your friends and neighbors with kids to check us out! We want to spread the word. 

Another new and exciting thing is we have a new High Holy Days choir director. Our previous director had scheduling conflicts that made him unavailable; but don’t fret because our new director is amazing! After just one rehearsal, the choir is so energized and excited to be there. We are sounding better than ever, and it’s just the start! You won’t want to miss hearing us this season at High Holy Days. I think our High Holy Day services will be transforming and meaningful and help you start the new year off feeling connected to our community. 

Again, SPREAD THE WORD! If you know someone who is looking for a place to come, tell them about BJC. Word of mouth is our most helpful way of enlarging our membership. How many of you came to BJC for the first time because of someone you knew? I know I did, and I still remember my first Yom Kippur service here. I knew it was the place I would want to call my home. Share it on social media, talk about it in your social groups, you can even have a birthday Facebook fundraiser with BJC as the recipient. 

We have a lot of great things happening and we want you and your friends to be there!    
From the Director of Congressional Education—Mindy Silverstein
“A year from now you will wish you had started today.”
The Karen Lamb quote titling my comments sums up my feelings regarding the partnership between BJC’s religious school and ShalomLearning —specifically the transitioning to a mid-week virtual Hebrew program. This means instead of driving carpool and sitting in traffic on Wednesday afternoons to get to Bradley Blvd., now you will only have to ensure a clear path to the home computer, as this is where your 4th-7th grader will be for Hebrew instruction.

The emphasis will continue to be on decoding Hebrew, increasing reading fluency, and understanding the themes of various prayers. Each session is a little over an hour and includes scavenger hunts, show ‘n tell, and other interactive breaks. 

Other changes to our program will take place on Saturday. I am currently taking a stop motion animation class and hope to be able to teach our students how to use that technology. Plans are being firmed up for Israeli dancing, cooking, and field trips throughout the year. Meetings with the staff are underway to ensure we have an amazing 5778-5779 school year. Of course, Hebrew and Judaics courses will continue to be taught on Saturdays. 

If you would like more information regarding the Bethesda Jewish Congregation religious school, please feel free to contact me at 301-469-8636 or To register for the school, visit our website at .

See you on Saturday, September 15 at 9 AM in Memorial Hall for the start of an amazing year at BJC.
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 August Events Calendar
Support NCCF's Back-to-School Drive
Wednesday, August 15, 6-7 PM, 6301 Greentree Road, Bethesda in the NCCF Bethesda Campus Gym

The National Center for Children and Families provides shelter, food, clothing, and counselling for homeless families in our community. Each year, we participate in a school supply drive for NCCF residents. This year, in addition to an ongoing drive, NCCF is sponsoring a special event, “Backpacks and Brownies.” 

Click here to get the details and a list of the age-appropriate supplies that are needed. 
Book Club
Wednesday, August 22 at 8 PM

The BJC Open Book Club meets in the Lounge at 8 PM usually on the 4th Wednesday of every month. 

On August 22 we will be discussing Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. This is the epic historical novel about a Korean family told over four generations beginning in 1910 during the time of Japanese colonialization and ending many decades later in 1989. From bustling street markets to the halls of Japan's finest universities to the pachinko parlors of the criminal underworld, Lee's complex and passionate characters—strong, stubborn women, devoted sisters and sons, fathers shaken by moral crisis—survive and thrive against the indifferent arc of history.

We haven’t yet decided on the September book. Anyone is welcome to join or just drop in for a particular book discussion. For more information, please contact Evelyn Ganzglass .
Our Biggest Friday Night Shabbat Celebration—Amazing Music, Inspiring Outdoor Service

Friday, August 24 at 6:30 PM at the Bender JCC, 6125 Montrose Rd., Rockville, MD 20852

Join us for an end-of-summer Shabbat like no other with a variety of local rabbis, cantors, and song leaders. BJC and The Jewish Studio join together outdoors under a tent for an evening of great music, wonderful community, and a beautiful end to your busy work week. We'll provide challah, wine, drinks, and dessert. Bring a picnic Shabbat dinner to share (dairy or vegetarian only please).

Free to all. RSVP Preferred.
Selichot Concert & Service
Songs of Love and Longing with The Kosher Hams : An evening of music and laughter with Joan Wolf, Leah Chiaverini, Karen Levy, and Rabbi Sunny Schnitzer

Saturday, September1, 9PM

The Selichot theme of longing for deep connection runs through not only the High Holy Days, but through popular music as well. “ Ta Sh’ma ” (as the rabbis of the Talmud say)—“come and listen,” to music that will make you laugh and cry as we explore the affairs of the heart as preparation for the High Holy Days season.

A few of your favorite BJC musicians have put together an evening’s entertainment that is sure to please. The concert will be followed by a fancy dessert reception and a Selichot service that ends just after midnight. The final hour of the Shabbat before Rosh HaShannah was deemed by our rabbis to be a time of special power with special prayers and songs.

Avoid the Labor Day traffic. Come party with us! FREE—Reservations Preferred
Back to Shul Night and Shabbat Under the Stars
Friday, September 7, 5:30–8:00 PM
Summer’s over, and the time is right for—back to BJC!

Don’t keep your love of BJC a secret. Share your passion for our unique expression of Judaism with others. Bring your friends to our outdoor musical Shabbat. Enjoy a free barbeque and activities for children. Let’s get the word out about our warm, inspiring, and exciting synagogue and school. We’ll be stronger for your efforts.

Please RSVP for the barbeque to the BJC office or HERE .

Last-Minute Opportunity to Join BJC's October Mission to CUBA 
October 7-14, 2018

We’ve had some cancellations, so the trip is open again. Don’t miss your opportunity to join us as Daniella Delgado Horrutiner becomes Bat Mitzvah.

$3600 per person double occupancy (single supplement $600). The fee includes roundtrip airfare out of Washington DC, all hotels, all breakfasts, 6 lunches, 3 dinners, air conditioned bus, full- time guide and translator, porter tips, visas, and transfers. The itinerary includes Havana, Vinales, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Sancti Spiritus, & Santa Clara. Act quickly! Call Rabbi Schnitzer for details.
Sneak Peek!
Chant Circle Schedule
Chanting is a form of meditation that can open the doors of the heart. Repetition of a sacred phrase can clear the mind of clutter and connect us to each other and the divine.

We chant on the second Shabbat of the month: September 8, November 10, December 8

Calling for Submissions for the 5779 BJC High Holy Day Supplement
Deadline: September 1
Each year we invite our members to bring their own thoughts and prayers as an offering to our services. We accept prose or poetry (poetry preferred), original or public domain authorship.

All writers have the option to read their submissions from the bimah at one of the 4 High Holy Day services OR you can designate someone else to read on your behalf.

Submissions must be limited to 300 words or less. Deadline for submissions is September 1.

Send to Rabbi Schnitzer at   

Make These High Holy Days YOUR High Holy Days
The Importance of Volunteering at the High Holy Days  

By Jim Korelitz, High Holy Days Coordinator

Simply put, without our volunteers we would not be able to mount our many services and activities at the High Holy Days. Thanks to all of you who have already returned your “pink sheet” or replied by email with your High Holy Day volunteer selections. I will be getting back to you with your assignments when they are finalized.

Many of you have not yet responded with your preferred task. No prior experience is needed, and you will be working with others who have done the task before. It’s easier to choose what you would like to do than to be assigned, although I will appreciate your willingness to fill in as needed.

Some of the main tasks for Erev Rosh HaShana , Rosh HaShana Day, Kol Nidre , and Yom Kippur include:

•       Returning the books to the pews
•       Parking (especially for Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur day)
•       Ushering at Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur
•       Helping with Tashlich (our event in the park)
•       Taking down the sukkah

Also, this would be a good time to let the office know when you would like to serve as a Friday night Oneg host. Remember, we depend upon each member to volunteer at least once at the High Holy Days and also once during the year at a Shabbat service.

For more information, get in touch with me at  or our BJC Administrator Diana Abadi at .
  • Saturday, September 1 at 9 PM

Rosh Hashanah
  • Sunday, September 9 at 8 PM, followed by Community Oneg
  • Monday, September 10
         10:00 AM Morning Service
         1:30 PM Family Service for All Ages
         3:30 PM Tashlich at Cabin John Park, 7400 Tuckerman Ln, Bethesda

Yom Kippur
  • Tuesday, September 18 at 8 PM Kol Nidre
  • Wednesday September 19 
         10:00 AM Morning Service
         1:30 PM Family Service for All Ages
         2:30 PM Yom Kippur Discussion
         3:30 PM Musical Meditations
         3:30 PM Chant Circle
         5:00 PM Reading of the Book of Jonah
         5:30 PM Yizkor and Neilah Services
Yizkor : Remembering Our Loved Ones
Who will you remember these High Holy Days? Add your special tribute to beloved family and friends in BJC’s Book of Remembrance/ Yizkor Book this Yom Kippur .

We encourage every BJC member to include their loved ones in this keepsake book that will become part of the BJC archives. This book memorializes how our loved ones touched our lives spiritually and culturally We encourage you to remember loved ones who are family by birth, by marriage, and by choice.

BJC members may submit names of remembrance for complimentary listing in the Yizkor book. Tzedakah in your loved one’s names during the High Holy Days is a mitzvah , and your generosity to BJC is appreciated. Your generosity helps BJC fund programs, services, and operations. Help us raise at least $10,000 in donations—every gift makes an impact.    

The submission deadline is August 24 . To get ideas and see how you meaningful your tribute could be, look here through our 5778 Yizkor Book from High Holy Days. Click HERE If you would like assistance in creating your tribute, please ask.

Choose from these Family Memorial Page Options . Suggested donation levels are noted:

Name Listing Only: Suggested $36 minimum donation for the first 3 names; additional names $18 donation
  • Quarter Page: Suggested $72 minimum donation, up to 6 names (additional names $18 per), and one photo or dedication
  • Half Page: Suggested $118 minimum donation, up to 8 names (additional names $18 per), and one photo, and a poem or remembrance
  • Full Page: Suggested $172 minimum donation, up to 12 names (additional names $18 per), up to two photos, and a poem or remembrance
  •  Be a Yizkor Angel: $1000 minimum gift includes a cover page dedication, unlimited names and photos on multiple pages.

It’s easy to submit your material—just 3 easy steps.  The deadline is August 24 .
  1. Make your donation via the BJC website or by sending a check to the BJC office marked Yizkor Book. Click HERE.
  2. Complete the form here providing tribute names and type of listing/page you want. Click HERE.
  3. Submit your photos, dedications, poems, etc. to Sandra Walter at

For more information, contact Diana in the BJC office or Sandra Walter at
In Case You Missed It

by Harri j. Kramer

For the seventh time in its nine-year existence, on June 24, participants from New Story Leadership (NSL) came to Covenant Hall to talk to members of BJC, Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church, and members of our community.

NSL is a program that promotes peaceful change in the Middle East through the power of shared stories. Each summer, NSL brings five Israeli and five Palestinian young adults to Washington, DC for a 7-week journey, including opportunities to work together and share their stories, hopes, and visions for the future. These aspiring leaders are university students and young professionals aged 18-30 with many backgrounds including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. They spend their summer with a local host family in the metro area.

The Rabbi opened the program noting, that it was a day of hope, “Conversations happen here that can’t happen elsewhere,” and that “… these narratives break down the fear of the ‘other.’” Reverend Grey spoke of the courage, hope, and truth these young men and women represented, and the value they bring as they respect the truth in each other.

Each of the participants introduced themselves briefly, sharing their varied backgrounds. When asked about their hopes for their NSL experience we heard,

  • “NSL gives me hope that people will make policy based on personal experience, not the abstract.” “Appreciating differences and diversity is invaluable.”
  •  “NSL is not about erasing history, but sharing stories and making stories heard.” 
  •  “I dare to believe we can make a difference.”

During the Q&A session, there was one very poignant exchange. In response to the question about maintaining relationships once the program is over, a participant acknowledged sadly, “Making relationships important. Although we all live in the same region, it is very difficult to get together—there are check points, combats area, and often we are not permitted to go into the others’ territories.” However, in 2017 for the first time, the U.S. Department of State and the Israeli government worked together to host NSL alums together in Israel.

We learned that most of the interns are working on Capitol Hill; one is working for the nonprofit organization, Americans for Peace Now.

As part of their NSL experience, each participant has the opportunity to create a Project for Change. When asked about their goals, we learned one participant wants to create a genealogy app to connect Palestinians who are now scattered around the world. Another envisions teaching a course for Israeli and Palestinian teens about politics; another wants to get high school students working together on social issues, such as domestic violence. And one project will focus on using yoga and meditation in community centers with Palestinians and Israelis.

There are many ways for you to get involved. To learn more about this powerful program, which BJC supports through its tzedakah , go to
Photo credit to Washington Jewish Week.
Thanking Our Volunteers, Welcoming Our Board
Heading Here

by Helen Dalton
BJC is blessed not only with a wise, determined, and eloquent rabbi, but also with a congregation with an abundance of tzedakah spirit and a strong commitment to serve. At the June 29 Friday night Shabbat service, Rabbi Sunny paid tribute to the volunteers who have and continue to help make every aspect of BJC’s community meaningful and successful. The evening also recognized the service of the departing members of the Board of Trustees, those who will continue to serve on the Board, and the installation of the new members and officers.

As the Rabbi related, “Spreading the cream cheese, stuffing the envelopes, arranging the trays, proofreading the bulletins, showing up for the shiva minyan, calling the phone list, frying the latkes, serving the children, polishing the silver, greeting the visitor, playing in the band, singing in the choir, handling out the prayer books—these are ways of Jewish survival.”

He emphasized that we Jews are called upon to be a kehillah , a holy congregation that performs the deeds, small and large, that define us as a community. It isn’t too much of a stretch to realize that not just praying together, but working and volunteering together, form bonds that strengthen our desire to come together to make a difference.

Rabbi Sunny reminded us that our generation of American Jews is the most secure, most prosperous, the most fortunate generation in Jewish history. And while some do question our will, even our ability to survive our modern challenges, we hope that by our small examples future generations will be inspired to continue the work of building and sustaining a community. By honoring those who work for BJC in any capacity— by setting the tables, baking the cookies, sharing a seder—we hope to inspire and motivate others, perhaps just waiting in the wings, to seek and realize that same deep feeling of fulfillment.

Those leaving the Board were recognized for having accepted the challenge of leadership and for the level of caring and commitment they have shown over the years. Departing board and committee chairs are: Amy Kost , Bruce Busman , Robin Sorkin , Diane Blumenthal , Barry Cantor , Lorraine McMillen , and Youth Representative Aaron Kirkpatrick . Newly installed members are: Ted Posner , Jason Engle , Alan Grunes , Joan Wolf , Marty Ganzglass , Jim Korelitz , and Youth Representative Sammy Petersen . Say hello to them and, perhaps, ask them how you can help.

The complete list of officers and Board members are at the end of the newsletter. Each of them would welcome the opportunity to get to know you.
In the Spotlight

BJC’s Administrator Makes an International Impact
Did you miss our Administrator, Diana Abadi, for a few days in June? That’s because as a member of the international steering committee for Limmud, she went to Buenos Aires, Argentina to be a presenter at their conference.

Limmud is dedicated to Jewish learning in all its variety. It’s an ambitious and passionate organization with a global reputation for creating events with a lively approach to Jewish learning. It is inspired, led, and run by volunteers. Limmud is committed to harnessing the energy of people from across the Jewish community—all ages, all religious affiliations, and none—and from across the world.

Diana spoke at several sessions about “How the Panama Papers and other Tax Scandals Affected the Latin American Jewish community” and “Challenges to Traditional Jewish Communities Resulting from Massive Conversions of Christians to Judaism in Latin America.”

Limmud is 89 cities in 45 countries, with events every month of the year. Limmud is in several cities in the United States and is coming to DC soon. Anyone is welcome to go whenever or wherever there is an event. Learn more at

Committee News

The Importance of Grapes ….

By Joan Wolf, Membership Chair

Why do we belong to BJC? There are a multitude of reasons, including spiritual and social needs. We always NEED MORE MEMBERS to keep our community thriving. Did you know that YOU are our best recruiter?

People are drawn to groups that are organized, dynamic, and meet their personal goals. Prospective members want to know that we can meet those goals, so remember the, GRAPE Principle! Tell friends, family, neighbors, checkout line folks….

G is for Growth. BJC is not only focused on growing their membership, but also provides growth opportunities for leadership positions. A win-win!
R is for Recognition. BJC acknowledges and appreciates their volunteers on an ongoing basis and at a special Volunteer Shabbat Service—a very moving and special service. (Some people may not care about a pat on the back, but this may be of unexpected importance to others.)
A is for Achievement. We strive for team achievement through our vibrant Board of Trustees and by our community’s acts of service and commitment to Tikkun Olam (to name just a few).
P is for Participation. BJC provides varied opportunities to participate and welcomes new ideas—even if you are a new member!
E is for Enjoyment. We truly enjoy one another, our clergy, and staff, and spending time together. Ever notice how people hang around and chat even though the custodians are trying to gently escort us out of the building, LOL?

Enrich your own experience and be our best advertiser when you are “fluent” in what makes BJC such a special place. Be our best advertiser and help us THRIVE through the GRAPE Principle!
Social Action Wants You to Know: Manna

by Sheila Wolpert

Each year at the High Holy Days, BJC hands out bags to collect food for those in need. But do you know where it goes?

We donate to the Manna Food Center, which is Montgomery County’s nonprofit food bank. Manna’s mission is to end hunger in Montgomery County through food distribution, education, and advocacy. Manna’s vision is that our community is a place where all people at all times have access to safe, sufficient, nutritious food to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to making Montgomery County, Maryland a place where all live in dignity.

The need is great. Although many in our county are prosperous, according to Manna, over 16 percent of our child are food insecure—more than any other county in Maryland. One-third of Manna’s participants are people living with disabilities or seniors living on a fixed income. Many are new Americans, often working in the service industry or in other low-wage jobs. Manna also supports those families referred to as the “working poor,” as well as residents experiencing a temporary crisis.

Last year Manna served over 40,000 clients. Manna provides food regularly with backpacks filled with food for hungry students to take home over the weekend, one-time emergency food boxes, as well as regular monthly boxes of food to those in need. To find out more, go online to .

Once again, BJC is running a healthy food drive between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Bags with a list of healthy non-perishable requested foods will be available at Rosh Hashana services, to be picked up, filled, and returned at Yom Kippur services. Although we will hand out paper bags, we encourage you to fill reusable bags that can be given to clients of Manna. To learn about the best foods you can provide, click here.

Comparing Chinese and Jewish Culture

By Martthew Kirschner
As a child of Chinese and Jewish parents, I’ve had the experience of growing up under the roof of a culturally diverse family. But the differences between these two seemingly unrelated cultures might not be as stark as one might think. In fact, over the years, I’ve come to see my Chinese and Jewish heritages less as two separate cultures and more as two complementing ones.

I still remember how surprised I was when I first heard Rabbi Schnitzer say something along the lines of, “Treat others the way you’d want them to treat you. This is the whole of the Torah. The rest is commentary.” I remember this because of how foolish I felt after devoting extensive time to studying the Torah in Hebrew school when there was apparently only one lesson to learn.

However, this wasn’t the first time I’d heard the expression. While touring Confucius’ home in Shandong, China, I remember a similar statement being made, “Do not impose on others what you do not wish for yourself.” Other versions of this same principle can also be found in religions ranging from Zoroastrianism to Hinduism.

Who was the first to come up with this golden rule and how did it spread? How did sentiments expressed in the Torah in 1312 BCE reach Confucius who lived in 5th-6th century BC China? While the Torah’s “Love your neighbor as yourself” implies acting graciously towards others, Confucius’ “Do not impose on others” emphasizes not harming others. The subtle difference suggests that these cultures may have simply reached a similar conclusion that reflected their own values. Should we be surprised that those made in God’s image should eventually stumble upon the same unequivocal moral truths? Even though the Chinese and Jewish belief systems may seem remarkably different at first glance, they both revolve around similar universal values.

Beyond religion, Chinese and Jewish people both share another, possibly even stronger, bond to tie their people together: food. One thing that always strikes me as unique on my trips to China is the infinite variety of foods. I’ve never been to a Chinese banquet where there wasn’t a new dish to try: fried grasshoppers, chicken feet, snake soup, etc. Although Jewish cuisine may not be as exotic, it certainly is as diverse as Chinese food. Jews’ unique history of moving around a lot has resulted in a truly international cuisine. Wherever Jews have traveled, they’ve been able to mix their recipes and kosher diets with local food traditions. From the shawarma, falafels, and hummus of Sephardic cuisine (in the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and North Africa) to the bagels, chopped liver, and gefilte fish of Ashkenazi cuisine (in Russia, Germany, and Poland), there are no limits to the regional diversity of “Jewish food.” With the numbers of Jews eating in Chinese restaurants today, we might soon see Chinese food become yet another subset of Jewish cuisine.

But a really special aspect of both Jewish and Chinese culture is not just the diversity of their cuisines, but their ability to unify over food. Both my Chinese and Jewish families stay strongly connected through the hosting of frequent family banquets. These banquets are far more than small gatherings; they are a way of reaching out and staying in touch with extended family. In the United States, my Jewish cousins are like siblings to me because of my frequent interactions with them. In China, my family banquets are attended by a minimum of 30 people. This emphasis on family and staying connected is no doubt a major factor in how these two cultures have been able to endure thousands of years.

Even though they developed in two different parts of the world, both Chinese and Jewish cultures share basic core values. Having grown up with these two ancient cultures has given me a broad perspective of the world. In a time of strife in the international community, it is important to remember that most cultures have more that links them together than tears them apart.

Matthew will be entering his senior year at Walt Whitman HS this fall. He's also been a student leader of BJC's High Holy Day family services since his Bar Mitzvah 4 years ago.   
Nachas Notes
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 Barbara and Marty Faigin on their 50th Wedding Anniversary on June 9, which they celebrate with BJC the evening before.

  • Mazel Tov to Zoey Hanrahan and her family on Bat Mitzvah on June 2.

  • Mazel Tov to Max Goldstein and his family on his Bar Mitzvah on June 9.

  • Mazel Tov to Heather Neisser and her family on her Bat Mitzvah on June 16.

  • Mazel Tov to Reina & Asha Lande and their family on their B’not Mitzvah on June 23.

  • Mazel Tov to Aklilu Blumberg and his family on his Bar Mitzvah on June 30.

Meet a Member
Issie Resti

By Issie Resti
My husband, Justin, children —Micah (10) and Josh (8)—and I joined BJC five years ago. But for me, it was a homecoming, since my family belonged to BJC when I was younger. I had many wonderful memories of my own Jewish education here and wanted to give my children the same experiences and opportunities. I'm the chair of the Education Committee, and I love getting together with the rest of the committee to plan the Purim Carnival, brainstorm new field trips, and trade brisket recipes. I feel lucky to be able to raise my kids in such a welcoming community.

Herman Cohen, grandfather of Donna Goldberg
Noah Cohen, nephew of Nancy Glassman
Adrian Curtis, sister of Richard Fogel
Minnie Druckman, grandmother of Linda Blumberg and Mark Blumberg
Howard Faigin, father of Marty Faigin
Edward Goldstein, father of Dana Goldstein
Charles Hollander, father of Jill Camp
Milton Kochman, grandfather of Richard Kochman
Isadore Kornfield, father of Judy Folsom
Bernard Kramer, father of Harri Kramer
Kenneth Mandeville, husband of Dawn Mandeville and son-in-law of Lorrie Van Akkeren
Phil Schneider, father of Cindy Bogorad
Rosalie Shiffman, mother of Sheila Wolpert
Jack Silberman, father of Paul Silberman
Lillian Rosenberg Silbert, mother of Earl Silbert
Rosella Silverstein, mother of Ken Silverstein
Thank You

The following list recognizes those donations made through July 15, 2018.

To the General Fund
Susan Liebenhaut & Joseph Gootenberg
Diane Blumenthal & Craig Winslow, in memory of Doris Rauch
Judy & Al Folsom, in memory of Ida Kornfeld
Sheila & Ira Wolpert, in memory of Michael Wolpert & Jerome Schlossenber

To the Enhancing the Flame Fund
Lorrie Van Akkeren

To the Cuba Fund
Susan Liebenhaut & Joseph Gootenberg   
To the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund
Edward Elson
Susan Liebenhaut & Joseph Gootenberg 
Jack Guralnik
Lorrie Van Akkeren
Martha Schrenk
Ted Posner, in honor of his daughter’s Bat Mitzvah
Sharon and Stephen Lande, in honor of their grandaughters’ B’not Mitzvah
The Smith Family, in honor of their son’s Bar Mitzvah

In honor of Shoshana Drake’s leadership as President, Board of Trustees
Howard Berkof
Diane Blumenthal
Helen Dalton
Marty Ganzglass
Harri Kramer 
Ruth Magin
Rachel Mosher-Williams
Lance Pelter
Ted Posner
Lorrie Van Akkeren
Sandra Walter
A Special Thank You
All who “rounded up” their Synagogue Support payments
All who continuously donate their time to volunteer at BJC
Board of Trustees

President Shoshanah Drake
Vice-President Sandra Walter
Treasurer Lance Pelter
Secretary Lorrie Van Akkeren

Howard Berkof 
Helen Dalton
Jason Engel
Alan Grunes
Ted Posner
David Slacter
Committee Chairs
Communication Helen Dalton
Financial Advisor [An Opportunity!]
High Holy Days Jim Korelitz
Student Representative Sammy Peterson Intercongregational Partnership Liaison
Marty Ganzglass
Membership Joan Wolf
Past President Rachel Mosher-Williams
Programs Ruth Magin
Social Action Harri j. Kramer

BJC Administration
Spiritual Leader Rabbi Sunny Schnitzer
Director of Education Mindy Silverstein
Synagogue Administrator Diana Abadi

BJC News
Interim Newsletter Editor Harri j. Kramer

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