• A Special Message
  • Sukkot
  • Riffin' with the Rabbi Redux
  • Simchat Torah
  • Movie Night: Chicago 7
  • Book Club
  • ICYMI: Challapalooza
  • Interfaith Family Needs
  • Food for Thought
  • Food to Eat
  • Nachas Notes
  • Meet A Member
October 2020 Newsletter
Rabbi Elhanan "Sunny" Schnitzer
Tishrei/Chevan 5781

CLICK for the Complete BJC October Events Calendar
Kriat HaRav—The Rabbi’s Call
Rabbi Elhanan “Sunny” Schnitzer
There goes my hero. Watch him as he goes.
There goes my Hero.
He’s ordinary. ~~ Dave Grohl & The Foo Fighters

There goes our hero.

Heroes are merely ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

She was extraordinary.

The Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a five-foot-tall giant costumed in lace collars, sparkling brooches, and oversized spectacles.

Nothing really special there. Perhaps even a bit cartoonish, a living caricature of herself.

But, she is our hero because she fought tirelessly for liberty, equality, an ever-expanding and evolving idea of what America is and could be, and the promise of a better tomorrow than today.

She had her own heroes. Her mother—of whom she said: She “told me two things constantly, one was to be a lady, and the other was to be independent.” When Ginsburg was nominated to the Supreme Court, it was her mother whom she thanked: “The bravest and strongest person I have known, who was taken from me much too soon. I pray that I may be all that she would have been, had she lived in an age when women could aspire and achieve, and daughters are cherished as much as sons.”

I have four daughters. I have thousands of students, girls and boys, men and women, past and present, and I want each of them to understand that the door Ruth Bader Ginsberg kicked down is open to them and they must walk, not walk, RUN, through it, so that it can never be shut again.

Because really, there are no rights, only privileges. Privileges granted to ordinary citizens by those with more power and more money and the only way to obtain more of these privileges, and hold onto the ones we currently hold dear, is to coerce those individuals and institutions through our activism and engagement.

We got to keep on pushin.’ We can never stop. Never take anything for granted. Never tire of the struggle.
We each need to be a hero.
But heroes are ordinary people, according to the song by the Foo Fighters and DC’s own Dave Grohl.

The Notorious RBG, was born an ordinary person from an ordinary immigrant family in an era where women were just beginning to be admitted to top-tier law schools. She went to Harvard. She entered the job market in the 1960s, where few— if any— women were hired by law firms as lawyers. As she recalled” “In the ’50s, the traditional law firms were just beginning to turn around on hiring Jews, but to be a woman, a Jew, and a mother, to boot, that combination was a bit much.”

But she persisted.

She moved from law clerk, to researcher, to professor, to the ACLU Women’s Project, leading the fight for equal rights for women under the law. She successfully argued six cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, and according to a 2018 article in the New Yorker magazine; “essentially taught the then all-male Supreme Court that discrimination against women existed.”

She caused the formerly blind to see. There is a little bit of Moshiachkeit – messiahship (small m) in that. The God in her shone through time and again and illuminated a world where before there had been darkness.

That alone qualifies her to be called a tsaddik (or a tsedekket for those who insist on gender-specific grammatically correct Hebrew). I make no such gender distinctions for one who repairs the world.

And Ruth Bader Ginsburg repaired our world. She embodied the highest teachings of Judaism. She is and will always be a source of pride and an example of heroism for our people.

As she passes from one world to the next, her neshama–a Bat Kol, a daughter’s voice, calls out to us and thunders - Be a Hero!

Does it have meaning that Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Rosh Hashanah 5781 while our nation is in the midst of a struggle for its soul. A struggle perhaps unmatched since the American Civil War? Hell, YES!

So, respond to this moment, respond to her call – Be a hero, and take RBG as your example because she’s ordinary.

As my father of blessed memory used to say about some of my heroes; “They still put their pants on one leg at a time.”

Heroes are ordinary. Heroes are us.

Everyone has the potential to be a hero. And, we don’t have to be heroes all of the time.

I dare say that most of us who have children at one time or another were heroes. And then perhaps we were not. But perhaps we can be again.

We can be heroes at work. We may have been at various times the person others come to for wisdom, for guidance, for inspiration, for mentorship. And then we can find ourselves falling from favor, for a multitude of reasons.

Heroes are not heroes all of the time.

Heroes almost always know the sting of defeat and failure.

In fact, what often makes a hero is the perseverance to continue the struggle “in spite of….” In spite of failure, in spite of overwhelming odds against success. In spite of this—heroes still go forth to do battle.

That’s why they are heroes.

A hero doesn’t withdraw from the world because of obstacles or the feeling of being overwhelmed.

A hero finds ways to engage. A hero finds ways to win.

Even those whom we might think of as withdrawn from the world—take the Dalai Lama for example. We often consider Tibetan Buddhism as a contemplative practice, yet he is one of the world’s great activists on behalf of his people and the human race.

So, while we mourn the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, let each of us respond to her call. It is the call of the Shofar. It is the call to battle. It is the clarion sound of freedom.

Rabbi Emily Segal wrote a Facebook post that has gone viral about the passing of the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Rosh Hashanah and our traditions surrounding our inscription in the Book of Life, Sefer HaChayim. I can’t improve upon it and so I share it with you.

“I believe that we each write our own book of life, so to speak. And our actions write themselves in it, and our deepest truths are found within it. And every book has a conclusion. But the best books don't really end when you finish reading and sadly close the cover. They stay with you, linger in your heart, arise in your thoughts, and change you. They become a part of you.

So, it is with someone like Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her book may have closed, but her legacy remains with us as long as we allow it to.”

z"l May her memory be for blessing.
z"lt May her memory be for revolution.
May we become a credit to her name.

Rabbi Sunny Schnitzer
A Special Message from the Rabbi: Todah Rabah
It took so many people to make these High Holy Days a success.

Our High Holy Day coordinator Jim Korelitz who organized and re-tasked our High Holy Day volunteers, and with his wife, Liz Sloss, put out all those candles for Erev Kol Nidre.

President Sandra Walter, whose Yizkor video was a highlight for everyone who attended. Sandra had her hands on financials, publicity, website, board matters, and so much more. Leadership means putting yourself out there. She was waaaay out there.

Harri Kramer spent her spring and summer wrestling with getting the website up and running, all while continuing to edit the newsletter and serve as our Social Action chair. That website is, and will be, a cornerstone of our success in moving through our current isolation.

Treasurer Terri Reicher kept us on point financially all summer long, even working from her boat. Every time she put into port. Russ Hogya supported her work from the BJC office all summer long.

Lorrie Van Akkeren made sure that announcements, Mi Shebeirachs, and Yahrzeit notices came to me each week during the spring and summer, and her outreach to our community, with the members of the Chesed Society, brings us together day in and day out.

To Alan Lichter, my brother from another mother, who gave us the in-person support needed at every service.

To my new colleagues Alicia DePaolo and Billye Roberts, thank you for your "can do" spirit, coming in and making these unique High Holy Days happen with only four weeks on the ground. Shoshanah and Trevor Drake, Ken Fine, and the parking lot crew, Larry Walders, David Scott, Howard Berkoff, Jeremy Pelter, Alan, Russ, and Jim, for their work on Car Nidre, and to Olivia Fechter who went through three steamers to take the wrinkles out of our bimah fabrics. And how about Joan Kaufman Hecht and Diane Horn with Challapalooza?! Kudos to all.

To everyone who participated in the Zoom Choir, Karen Levi, Karen Levy, Shoshanah Drake, Andrea Hancock, Lorrie Van Akkeren, Judy Folsom, Maran Gluckstein, Nancy Allinson, Meryl Simon, Robin Banerji, Jeff Federman, Pete Hults, Rick Bell, David Artzt, Natalia Kajanova, and Alicia DePaulo, my deep gratitude. It was a very difficult and time-consuming project. You did it and it was gorgeous.

Physical distance didn't stop our readers of Torah and Haftarah: Karen Jerome, Maran Gluckstein, Yaffah Schnitzer, Linda Blumberg, Robin Doroshow, Cindy Bogorad, and Maya Johnson Fraidin. Their recordings made it possible for us to recreate our BJC custom of group aliyot in a new way. 

To my soul mate Yaffah, who had to endure six weeks of 10- and 12-hour days, 7 days a week, where I was in the same room—but was not—my ahavah rabbah.

And lastly to you, the members of this beloved congregation, thank you for being present. My biggest concern since we all went into lockdown in March has been keeping our community together and how to make these High Holy Days engaging and meaningful. You showed up, you stayed, and I pray that you took away something that sustains you in the days ahead. Please continue to make BJC matter. We will be stronger together.
Our Zoom High Holy Days
Unlike being at services in person, Zoom has allowed us to chat among ourselves during the service. Here are just a few of the wonderful things you wrote in the chat during our Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services that speak for us all:

Thank you all so much for this service. I didn’t know how much I needed this. I can only guess at the amount of effort this took…but it was worth it! Thank you everyone, especially Reb Sunny, Tom, and the Choir. Very uplifting at this challenging times.

Todah Rabah to all for a lovely service.

Beautiful service. So thoughtfully crafted & the technology was beautifully executed. 

I am so glad I participated today!

Thank you for an amazing service and beautiful choir. Shana Tova and a blessed New Year to all!

The choir is gorgeous! Most Beautiful! Inspirational!

The choir gives us voice!

This service is so resonant musically … it is so comforting.

The Zoom Choir is magnificent. You are what we need right now. Thanks to all of you.

Did anyone else get chills and teary-eyed by the beautiful sounds of the Rabbi with the virtual choir?

Sandra, the Yizkor book is beautiful!

I can feel my relatives in my heart through this outstanding homage.

This “alive” Yizkor book was so moving. What beautiful tributes from all.

And from an email,
Reb Sunny, Many thanks for the High Holy Days services to you & many others that made it possible. I was pleasantly surprised how problem free it was. The choir was amazing & I am still trying to figure out how you did it. Special thanks to Sandra for the Yizkor book. It was a beautiful way to remember & honor our loved ones. At this most difficult time, these services were a source of community, comfort but also challenge to try to be better people.

And one last email that speaks for us all,
Thank you, Rabbi, for your incredibly successful, warm, melodious, and personally satisfying virtual High Holy Days services. It was an emotional spiritual experience unlike any other and reflects your deep and caring connection that illuminated all those faces on all those screens. The Yizkor video was especially beautiful and we were so moved by the presentation.
President's Column—Sandra Walter
Looking Forward

Our hardworking president shares a message from a brief respite by the ocean. Click on the link below
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. While we're forced apart, please call the BJC Office at 301-469-8636.
Click for the complete BJC October Calendar
NOTE: Please consult the October Calendar for our regular Shabbat and holiday services. As a reminder, Friday Shabbat worship is at 7:30 PM and Saturday Shabbat worship starts at 10 AM.
Please continue to check BJCNow for links to Zoom and streaming services.  

Saturday, October 3, 2 PM
Grab a few cans from the pantry and bring them to BJC. Consider them your admission to BJC's Sukkot Celebration. All food donations go to MANNA.

Everyone gets to hang a piece of fruit and shake the Lulav and Etrog. We'll say the blessings and enjoy the mitzvah of B'sheiv haSukkah (to dwell in the sukkah).

We'll keep our physical distance while staying close to our BJC family.

Can’t Be There? Zoom on In!

Meeting ID: 845 1959 0208
Passcode: 2dGyaq

Riffin with the Rabbi Redux
Thursday, October 8, 7 PM

This year's Yom Kippur Riffin' with the Rabbi was as popular as ever, even in the online format. Still, with only an hour to unpack some very important topics, there was much left unsaid and undone.

So, we'll go deeper and come together again to talk about responding to rising racism, especially anti-Semitism, how to engage in meaningful ways in response to the brokeness of our world despite the challenges of physical isolation, and whatever else is on your mind

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 875 9310 5015
Passcode: 6C5FH2

One tap mobile
+13126266799,,87593105015#,,,,,,0#,,932640# US (Chicago)
+19292056099,,87593105015#,,,,,,0#,,932640# US (New York)

Dial by your location
       +1 301 715 8592 US
Meeting ID: 875 9310 5015
Passcode: 932640
Simchat Torah & Shabbat Under the Stars
Friday, October 9, 6 PM

BYOC: Bring Your Own Chair

Let's get it together while the getting is still good with Rabbi Sunny and the members of the BJC Simcha Band.

Space out your chairs and listen to the music!

Can't get to BJC, zoom on in!

Meeting ID: 840 3766 3346
Passcode: 3twYgu

One tap mobile
+19292056099,,84037663346#,,,,,,0#,,574483# US
Dial by your location
 +1 301 715 8592 US

Movie Night
Sunday, October 25, 6:30 PM
Join us for a virtual movie night! We will watch Aaron Sorkin's new film, "The Trial of the Chicago 7." Zoom discussion at 6:30 PM, Netflix Watch Party at 7:00 PM. 

To learn more about the film, click here
Check BJCNow for details.
Book Club
Wednesday, October 28 & November 18, 8 PM

Due to the social distancing guidance, the BJC Open Book Club will continue to meet virtually for the foreseeable future. We usually meet at 8 PM on the fourth Wednesday of the month, but note the change in November because of Thanksgiving. 

On October 28, we will discuss Apeirogon: A Novel by Colum McCann. The author uses the real-life stories of an Israeli and a Palestinian father—both of whom have lost their daughters to the ongoing conflict—as a starting point for a broader story that crosses centuries and continents, stitching together time, art, history, nature, and politics in a tale both heartbreaking and hopeful.

November 18 (3rd Wednesday), we will focus on Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler, a short, character-driven novel about misperception, second chances, and the sometimes elusive power of human connection.

Evelyn Ganzglass will send out the Zoom link prior to each meeting. If you are not already on the book club’s email list and would like to join us for any or all of these meetings, please let Evelyn know and she will add you to the list.
Annual Thanksgiving Interfaith Service and Online Brunch
Sunday, November 15, 10:30 AM
Live on Zoom: Let us join together to give thanks as communities of the three Abrahamic faiths. Details will follow.
In Case You Missed It: Challah Baking
By Joan Kaufman, Program Committee Co-Chair
On Thursday morning, September 17, the Program Committee held its first holiday food-related program, a challah bake-along, which Rabbi Sunny dubbed the Challahpalooza. 

Our own Betty Adler led the event on Zoom, and the rest of us baked along with her in our own kitchens. We measured, kneaded, braided, and baked, and came away with sweet apple and honey challah just in time for Erev Rosh Hashanah the next night.

We had a great group of participants, including two delightful men who both jumped right in with the rest of us women. We learned that Jack Guralnik has been polishing his skills as an artisanal bread-maker for a number of years, and we are hoping to coax him to share his skills and insights at a future food-oriented program. In between the instructions and activities, we all shared reminiscences of Rosh Hashanah preparations in our childhood homes and talked about cooking and other traditions that we picked up from our mothers and grandmothers. 

The Zoom room stayed open throughout the day, and we all wandered in and out as we waited for the dough to rise twice, and then waited again to see how everyone's challah turned out after it was baked! We had lots of great successes. 

For me, this was the first time that I baked challah for Rosh Hashanah, and I look forward to making this a Friday morning tradition as often as I can. The Zoom aspect of the program worked well, as everyone had enough room to work and was comfortable in their own kitchens. We ending up laughing a lot and enjoying a delightful Jewish tradition together.

Our recipe and its variations are below in Food To Eat!
By Harri j. Kramer, Chair, Social Action Committee

While the High Holy Days are now behind us, sadly, food insecurity in our community remains. We hope that you donated to MANNA this year in lieu of our annual food drive. If you haven’t donated, there is still time. 

Here’s a link to make donating easy:

To learn more about how MANNA is operating during the pandemic and how you can help, click here.
Facilitating voting for all Americans is essential to address social justice imbalances and to promote democracy in our nation. As a first step in launching a BJC congregational campaign to focus on social, economic, and racial injustice, BJC has been supporting the get-out-the-vote activities of Reclaim Our Vote, a project of the Center for Common Ground (a non-partisan 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization.

Reclaim Our Vote (ROV) has been targeting districts with substantial numbers of voters of color who had been deregistered (purged) from the voting rolls, those who may not have registered, and those who would be good candidates for early voting – all done with a campaign led by thousands of volunteers to send these voters post cards. The colorful ROV post cards, with hand-written messages, urge recipients to register and to vote, and provide needed information specific to where they live. Research shows that the postcards work in increasing the vote among recipients. 

As of the last week in September, ROV has sent out over 6.3 million post cards to voters, mostly in swing states. About 25 BJC members and friends of BJC wrote about 4,400 of those cards.  Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church participated in a similar initiative.

As the election draws closer, ROV is shifting its focus to text and phone banking. ROV reports over a half million calls made so far in 2020, with over 55,000 just in the past week. According to ROV, their sponsored phone calls make a real difference—57,610 of the voters contacted before the June Georgia Primary voted, and of those, just about 45% were first time or infrequent voters. 

Here’s a quick link where you can connect with training or events related to text or phone banking.

You can find general information from ROV here.  
By Eliot Sternfeld

A friend of mine is friends with Rabbi Peter Stein, senior rabbi of Temple B’rith Kodesh of Rochester, NY, who had been working on various ways to express solidarity with the Black Community and Black Lives Matter. Working with local ministers and community leaders, he came up with a sign that my friend Kristina Lloyd thought would interest me. She shared a picture, which I shared with Rabbi Sunny, thinking we might be interested in doing similar.

Rabbi Sunny was very enthusiastic, as was our Social Action Committee chair Harri Kramer and our President Sandra Walter. After getting permission from Rabbi Stein, I prevailed on another friend, Dawn Cavilieri of NY, NY. to change the logo to BJC’s. We decided that, if at all possible, we should use a Black-owned printshop. I found three that were interested enough to submit bids.

The winning bid was submitted by Savvy Designs of Clinton, MD, which is a small business run by Angela Lewis, who was terrific to work with. Savvy Designs underbid a national, well-known printer by a substantial amount, and delivered the signs early. (If you have print work, I’m happy to share her contact information.) 

We are asking for a $18 donation for each standard sized 18” x 24” sign. The modest income over cost will be used by the Social Action Committee to support our various projects and initiatives. If you have priced yard signs, you know this is very a reasonable price. And if you support Black Lives Matter and are proud to be a Jew, this is close to a no-brainer.

You can mail at check to BJC—please put “Social Action/BLM” on the memo line. Or, you can go through your Shul Cloud account, where there will be an obvious entry.

I would like to see these signs all over the DMV. Delivery will be at the Sukkot and Simchat Torah celebrations at BJC in the next two weeks. After that, they will be delivered to your home as a no-contact delivery. Other arrangements may be possible as well. Please take this opportunity to make me work harder than I want to. If you have any questions, or are interested in helping with delivery, you can contact me at 240-274-6702 or

Wishing you and all of your friends and families lives of blessing and peace in the year 5781.
Time to Renew Our Support for Refugee Families
By Evelyn Ganzglass
Now is the time to step up and renew support for refugee families. 

What we’ve done so far:
Since 2016, moved by the worldwide refugee crisis, Bethesda Jewish Congregation, Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church and Idara-e-Jaferia have collaborated in helping two Afghan refugee families rebuild their lives in the United States 

The Karimi family moved to Virginia in June 2019 to be closer to their extended family and is doing well. We continue to mentor and tutor the Yousufy family, who live in Rockville. The husband, Mubarak, is now working for the Montgomery County Public Schools, and his wife, Olfat, who spoke no English when she arrived, is talking, reading and writing English. She continues to attend a two-generation mother and child program with almost 2-year-old Farhat, and she helps her 5-year old daughter, Gulan, with her school work. 

In March 2020, just before the Pandemic lockdown, through KindWorks, a local non-profit, we furnished an apartment for a newly arrived refugee family. Many of you contributed household items to this effort.

Moving Forward:
Although the pace of refugee arrivals has slowed under this Administration, families are still arriving and they are in as much, if not more, need of assistance as before. Therefore, the Inter-Congregational Refugee Project (IRP) is renewing its partnership with Lutheran Social Services (LSS) to help with on-going refugee resettlement efforts. Because of social distancing requirements necessitated by COVID 19, we will be providing assistance virtually.

With funds remaining from your previous generous contributions, we will purchase new mattresses and bed frames, as needed, for arriving families. According to federally funded program guidelines, although good condition used furniture and household items can be used for apartment set-ups, all mattresses must be new.

We also are seeking volunteers to serve as virtual tutors and mentors for refugee families. Tutors are especially needed now that school has started, as are professional career mentors who share similar professional experience or background knowledge to support LSS’s highly skilled immigrant clients. Specific information about these and other volunteer opportunities can be found on LSS’s website. You can sign up here as a volunteer to jumpstart the onboarding process of orientation, background check, and matching.

You can further assist with apartment set ups by purchasing new items off the Comprehensive Refugee Home Supply List. Only items on this list will be accepted. You can purchase these items online and have them delivered directly to LSS’ Maryland office at 3799 East-West Hwy Hyattsville, MD 20782.

We are planning to collect good condition household items (no clothes or large pieces furniture) for LSS to be used to furnish apartments for new refugee families. We don’t have a date yet, so, if you can, please hold on to your pots and pans and other household items for now.

For questions or more information please contact Evelyn Ganzglass who co-chairs the IRP.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Toward Our Best Tomorrow
By Steve Turow
With hope for a better social, economic, and public health future, I ask that you consider taking three steps to reverse our current course that pits Americans against each other, damages our cherished institutions, and adversely affects the health and safety of our citizenry.

As I communicate with voters in swing states asking them to exercise their right to vote, it strikes me that we also should be communicating explicitly with our own family members and friends.

Thus, I ask that you consider taking the following steps:

  1. Make a plan for the manner in which you will cast your vote on or before Tuesday, November 3;
  2. Speak to your immediate and extended family members to encourage them to vote; and
  3. Communicate with at least 10 friends and ask that each of them do these three things.

As I engage during the time of COVID-19 and protests for social and racial justice, and as our country suffers, I am struck by the power that each us have to stand up for what is right and to act in a manner that positively furthers our communities and our nation. Indeed, I witness and appreciate your efforts and those of so many other Americans each day.

In that essential spirit, let’s re-double our efforts to do what we must do in the coming days to:

  • more effectively achieve social, economic, and racial justice
  • educate and engage all of our children
  • address environmental and climate concerns and face so many other challenges that can be surmounted with national determination and citizen participation.

With hope for the future and with my sincere appreciation to those who regularly make a difference ….
Editor’s Note:  Here’s where we share seasonal recipes. Please submit your favorites! Send to 

This month we share the Challah recipe from the Challahpalooza.  This recipe yields 2 medium challahs.

½ cup warm water
1 pkg dry yeast (instant works too)
2 Tbsp sugar

½ cup warm water
½ cup canola oil
1/3 cup sugar
2large eggs
Pinch of salt
4-5 cups flour – depending on the humidity. Not more than 5!
¼ cup honey
1 egg for egg wash
Optional: 3 granny smith apples, ½ cup golden raisins, cinnamon, cinnamon sugar, sesame seeds.

Suggested Equipment

Bowls (1 large, 2 medium), fork, bench scraper (optional), basting brush, measuring cups and spoons, rolling pin, plastic wrap, 2 baking sheets, parchment paper or silicone baking mats, wire cooling rack and clean light weight kitchen towel or cheese cloth.

Adding Apples
There are several ways to add apples if you desire. Granny Smith apples are great because they add a little tartness to the recipe. Otherwise, any other good baking apple is fine.

It is not necessary to peel the apples. You’ll need 3 cups of chopped apples – chopped to about ¾” size.
  • After chopping, spread the apples on paper towels to dry and add cinnamon sugar. 
  • Next roll out the 3 strands of dough. 
  • Flatten the strands a little with a rolling pin. Add apples along the middle and pinch the sides and ends together to keep the apples in the dough. Some will escape…don’t worry!
  • Braid as you normally would, being gentle so the pinched pieces of the braids don’t separate. 
  • Gently move the challah to the baking sheet covered with silicone mat or parchment paper.
You may braid your challah with any number of strands of dough and create a traditional or round challah shape. Check out some excellent demonstrations on YouTube.

1. Preheat oven to 200/lowest temperature your oven will go. Turn off the oven when it reaches that temperature.
2. Mix water, yeast and sugar in small glass bowl; set aside. The mixture will bubble up.
3. Mix water, oil, sugar, eggs and salt in large oven-proof bowl. 
4. Add the bubbling yeast. Add the first 4 cups of flour to the bowl in portions and mix well, until the dough comes together. The goal is to use as little flour as possible after the first 4 cups; you will need to add additional flour sparingly until the dough is not too sticky to turn out onto your counter.
5. Flour the counter and turn dough out.
6. Knead until the bread is elastic, about 8-10 minutes. The dough should feel like “a baby’s bottom” and spring back when you poke it. Raisins can be kneaded in now, if desired. 
7. Lightly oil a large bowl, put the dough in and turn it all around to oil it. Cover with a light-weight moist kitchen towel and place the bowl in the TURNED OFF but still warm oven. Let the dough rise about 1 hour until doubled in size. You may leave the oven door open if it feels too warm.
8. Remove dough from oven and bowl. Punch the dough down, roll it out a bit, divide it into 2 equal sized pieces and set 1 piece aside. 
9. Divide the remaining half into 3 equal pieces and form each piece into a strand about 1 foot long. Braid the 3 strands together to form your challah, place on a baking pan lined with parchment, and repeat with the second piece.
10. Let the challahs rise for 45 minutes in a warm location or in the slightly warm oven.
11. Place the loaves on silicone mat or parchment paper on baking sheets. Just before baking, mix the egg, 1 Tbsp water and a pinch of salt to make the egg wash and brush on the challah gently. If you wish, sprinkle a topping of sesame seeds or cinnamon sugar over the challahs.
12. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until the top is golden.
13. Let cool and serve or freeze. Enjoy!
Editor’s Note: Now, more than ever, we all need some good news. Send to:

  • Mazel Tov to Jacob and Sam Goldstein on becoming B'Nai Mitzvah, and to their parents Pam Gully & Brett Goldstein

  • Mazel Tov Zach Wishod on becoming a Bar Mitzvah, and his parents Jennifer Lowe & Steve Wishod
MEET A MEMBER: Gary Sampliner and Ling Chin
In his own words
My wife Ling and I came to BJC in 1998. BJC was recommended by a friend as a place where, as its cohabitation and partnership with BHPC would suggest, non-Jewish spouses would feel welcome. Ling came to the United States from Singapore shortly before college, where we met. She is a physician who spent most of her career as a medical officer at NIH Institutes and FDA before she retired, and now does part-time consultation. I’m a lawyer, who worked for a private law firm and then for the International Affairs section of the U.S. Treasury Department before retiring last year.

Our children, Aaron, Daniel, and Sarah, had their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, where they experienced Rabbi Sunny’s considerable talents as a presider over such mixed family events, as well as their confirmations at BJC.

Shortly after 9/11, inspired by BJC’s then-existing interfaith families group, I got the idea to try to develop a relationship between BJC/BHPC and a local mosque. Starting in 2002, with this primary purpose in mind, I became the co-chair of our Inter-congregational Partnership Committee (ICPC) with BHPC. Although neither I nor the other like-minded BJC and BHPC members in the ICPC knew anyone at any local mosques, we kept our ears open. In 2003, we found the Idara-e-Jaferia Islamic Center in Burtonsville, which was looking for Jewish and Christian partners, and we were off to the races. After some preliminary joint events, we invited the Idara to join our joint Thanksgiving service in 2006, and they have hosted us for Ramadan events since that time. I have led several three-way Habitat for Humanity build days, and Ling and I (as well as several other congregants of our three congregations) have hosted nearly annual three-way pot luck dinners in their homes.

I co-chaired the ICPC and was a member of BJC’s Board until 2013. Since then, I have continued to function as BJC’s main liaison with Muslim groups, as its relationships have grown to include the Islamic Community Center of Potomac and the Maqaam-e-Ibrahim Islamic Center, the new smaller congregation that had been meeting in our building until COVID hit.

Since retiring, I have been active as a volunteer lobbyist for an interfaith coalition that supports the Muslim community called the Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign, as well as for J Street, and in work as a mediator. I also serve as a director of a new social action organization in the DMV area called JAMAAT (Jews and Muslims and Allies Acting Together), which most recently has become heavily engaged in working towards the fall election.   

We mourn the recent passing of:
Skip Evey, brother of Bunny Roufa

Yahrzeits: October 2020

Morris Arovas, father of Edward Arovas
Saul Bixhorn, father of Herbert Bixhorn 
Freda Blumenthal, mother of Diane Blumenthal 
Leonard Busman, father of Bruce Busman
Bessie Cohen, grandmother of Donna Goldberg
Mitchell Cooper, father of David Cooper
Evelyn Dwork, mother of Barry Dwork
Fanny Dwork, grandmother of Barry Dwork
Alvin Fensterheim, father of Robert Fensterheim
Molly Friedman, mother of Hannah Friedman-mother
Samuel (Sol) Gordesky, father of Joan Kaufman
Cliff Hecht, husband of Joan Schnitzer
Rosalind Klein, mother of Abby Horwitz
Vivian Kramer, grandmother of Harri j. Kramer
Lillian Landaw, aunt of Lance Pelter 
Ethel Levine, mother of Leslie Levine
Rose Mandel, aunt of Lois Maiman
James Posner, father of Ted Posner
Samuel Rein, father of Susan Kraut
Myron Silbert, uncle of Earl Silbert 
Rhoda Turow, grandmother of Stephen Turow
Bruce Scott, brother of Davd Scott
Julius Spiro, father of Dan Spiro
Diane Szczepaniak, wife of Allen Grunes
Matthew Tarker, father of Lisa Tarker
Florence Wolpert, mother of Ira Wolpert
On behalf of the staff and the Board, we thank you for your patience as we not only convert from one system to another to manage our databases, but also have new staff. Many of you have let us know you have been receiving multiple copies of BJC Now and the Newsletter. We’re actively working on “de-duping” our lists, and you can expect improvements later in October. 

We hope to be able to manage this without involving your further. But, feel free to get in touch with Billye Roberts or Harri Kramer to let us know if you’re receiving too many of the same emails. Also, don’t forget to tell us when your email address changes.
Here’s an easy way to help BJC. By signing up for AmazonSmiles, BJC gets 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products—and it doesn’t cost you anything. AmazonSmiles is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as 
Editor’s Note: Because of the transition in office staff, the following may be an incomplete list of those who have contributed so generously. We will recognize other donors next month. 


Nancy Allison
Robin Banerji
Annie Cifarelli
Monique Darvish
Martin Dickinson
Carol Neustadt & Barry Cohen
Susan Noel
Terri Reicher
Ruth Salinger
Libby Short
Lorrie Van Akkeren

Peg & Burt Bachrach, in memory of the Taiero family twins
Wynne & Bruce Busman, in memory of Kenneth Stein
Judy & David Scott, in memory of Judy’s father, Frank Gold
Diane Blumenthal & Craig Winslow, in memory of Len Bogorad
Wynne & Bruce Busman, in memory of Len Bogorad
Maran Gluckstein, in memory of Len Bogorad
Harri Kramer & Russ Hogya, in memory of Len Bogorad
Ellen Gleberman & David Laufer, in honor of their twin grandsons Jacob & Zachary
Lorrie Van Akkeren, in memory of Kenny Mandeville’s yahrzeit


Judy Dash
Lorrie Van Akkeren
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 DePaulo
Synagogue Administrator Billye Roberts

BJC News
Newsletter Editor Harri j. Kramer


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