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Rabbi's Update 1/25/2023

Dear Friends:

This past weekend things did not go exactly as planned.

On Monday you probably received my Friday morning update.

On Friday you may have tried either to sign up for Shabbat morning services or connect to our Zoom for Friday night services and been unable to do so.

Why did these things happen?

To send bulk emails we use a service known as Vertical Response (hereinafter abbreviated as VR.) VR was down Friday for scheduled maintenance but the outage lasted much longer than anticipated. By the time VR came back online, there was such a backlog of emails from VR customers waiting to go out that my Friday email did not actually go out until Monday.

Regarding the difficulties signing up for Shabbat services or getting to our Zoom, here is what you need to know and how to avoid such a problem in the future. If there is a link in an email that is sent out from Vertical Response, when you click on that link it does not take you directly to that page. Your click actually goes via VR’s server and then takes you to the desired page -- sort of the way a package sent by FedEx or ordered from Amazon might go from DC to Richmond via Memphis. If you click on a link in a VR-sent message from the shul and it goes nowhere, what you need to do is “copy and paste” that link into your browser and you will get to the desired page. If you are reading this and don’t know what this means, hopefully you know a high school or college student you can ask for help.

Also on Shabbat morning, Hazzan Komrad woke up, was not feeling well, and was unable to join us for services. Fortunately she was feeling much better by the next day and she plans to join us this Shabbat as a makeup date.

Let’s hope things go more smoothly this coming weekend.

We are once again having a sponsored Kiddush after services this Shabbat. If you are planning to attend, it is really helpful for you to register at If you have not registered and decide at the last minute to attend, you will of course still be joyfully welcomed. However, advance registration helps us to determine how much food to prepare for Kiddush without being wasteful. Your assistance is appreciated -- from weekly experience I can tell you that filling out the registration form literally takes less than 30 seconds.

As a reminder, I am having drop-in hours on Thursday afternoon from 2 to 4 at the shul. You do not need to make an appointment -- that would negate the whole point of drop-in hours -- but I’d urge you to check and make sure I am there regardless as sometimes there are unavoidable pastoral or other emergencies which might take me away from the building.

As always, if I can do anything for you or you need to talk, please contact me at or 301-977-0768 rather than through the synagogue office. I am happy to meet you at the synagogue by appointment. I have been spending more time in the synagogue recently but if you want to speak with me it’s best to make an appointment rather than assuming I will be there when you stop by.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Charles L. Arian

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