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Rabbi’s Update 1/26/2024

Dear Friends:

Last night we had an interesting and well-attended discussion on trying to understand and define what Conservative Judaism is as opposed to what it is not -- i.e. “not Orthodox and not Reform.” If you’re interested in watching the video of the discussion, it can be found here

Since October 7 there has been much discussion on college campuses, in the political world, and elsewhere on the question of whether or not anti-Zionism is necessarily antisemitic. About ten days ago the NY Times ran a long article on what it called “Diasporism” and American Jewish thinkers who challenge the centrality of Israel in American Jewish life and thought. Subsequently a number of American Jewish organizations criticized the Times for even running the article, on the theory that it was giving prominence to a fringe perspective among American Jews. The article can be found here and whether or not you agree with its contents or whether it was appropriate to publish, it’s thought provoking and I encourage you to read it. Next Thursday for Adult Education I will discuss the whole question of anti-Zionism and whether or not it is inherently antisemitic.

As a reminder, I am having drop-in hours on Thursday afternoons 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. 

Additionally, if you know of a Kehilat Shalom congregant who could use a phone call, please let me know.


Rabbi Charles L. Arian

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