Last Friday night, Oct. 15, Hazzan Komrad led services with me for the first time since early June. I’m pleased to let you know that for the next three months she will be leading Shabbat morning services once a month but for now she will be doing so from home over Zoom. Since a hybrid or “multi-access” service really only works well if the person leading the service is physically present in the Sanctuary, the services she leads will be Zoom-only and there will be no in-person options on those Shabbat mornings. The first of these three services will be this coming Shabbat morning, Oct. 30.
The following Shabbat, November 6, Jacob Sheib, son of Amy and Michael Sheib, will be called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah. Jacob and his family will be joined by many of his classmates from Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School (CESJDS). Because CESJDS has its own mask mandate which is stricter than County regulations, masks will be required for all in attendance on November 6 even if the County mask mandate has been lifted by then. Please make a note of this and prepare accordingly. Please also note that for those who plan to attend via Zoom, a different Zoom link will be used that morning which will be publicized in next week’s announcements and updates.
I will be resuming my class on “Contemporary Jewish Controversies” this Thursday night after minyan. During the first class I will be looking at the recent controversy over Ben and Jerry’s decision to cease operations in the West Bank (but not Israel proper) and the response to this move by American Jews and Jewish organizations.
One of my main concerns about the suggestion that American Jews and other supporters of Israel boycott Ben and Jerry’s is the fact that local Ben and Jerry’s Scoop Shops are not owned by the company. They are owned by individual local business people, many of them Jewish, including the Rockville shop which is owned by our congregants Marc and Bonnie Sosin. It’s one thing to avoid buying this product at your local supermarket, or for kosher supermarkets to cease carrying it. But regardless, I believe that we should continue to support the local individually-owned shops which are run by our friends and neighbors. Marc Sosin will be joining us that evening and will address the controversy from his perspective as a Jewish owner of a Ben and Jerry’s franchise. I want to thank Marc in advance and invite you to join us for what promises to be a very interesting and enlightening discussion.
As always, if I can do anything for you or you need to talk, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-977-0768 rather than through the synagogue office. Although I am working primarily from home, I am happy to meet you at the synagogue by appointment.
Rabbi Charles L. Arian