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Rabbi’s Update 5/1/2024

Dear Friends:

MiSheberach List “reset”:

The Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of Conservative Judaism (CJLS)  recently passed a responsum dealing with communal MiSheberach lists.

The list we read on Shabbat mornings has become extremely long to the point where it comes close to violating the halachic prohibition of tircha d'tzibura, over burdening the community. This problem is common in many synagogues because people call or email to add names to the list but often do not ask for names to be taken off the list when the person recovers or, God forbid, passes away.

The CJLS suggests "resetting" the list twice a year, at Pesach and Rosh Hashanah. If you have put a name on the list, please email or call Joan in the office ( or 301-869-7699 by tomorrow to renew the name.

Thank you to the many people who have already contacted the office to keep the names of loved ones on the list or to take them off. Any names not renewed will be taken off the list as of Shabbat morning, May 4.

Resumption of saying Mincha as part of evening minyan:

The end of April or beginning of May is when we generally resume saying Mincha (the afternoon service) as part of our daily 7:45 minyan. The rule is that we need to finish saying Mincha by dark and since it takes us about 15 minutes to recite Mincha, we can start including it in our minyan at the same time that candle-lighting is 7:45 or later. This Shabbat candle lighting is at 7:46 so as of this coming Sunday, May 5, we will be saying both Mincha and Maariv for a few months. This means that daily minyan will end at around 8:15 rather than 8 pm, so take that into account for your planning purposes.

Quick thoughts on the campus situation:

I am sure that many of you share my concern about the anti-Israel demonstrations and “encampments” taking place on many college campuses and the varied responses of the different administrations. I may have more to say about this later this week but sometimes it is better to say nothing than to say something glib and simplistic.

You may have noticed that when we say the Yizkor prayer as we did yesterday, we pledge to donate tzedaka in memory of those we recall. One of my successors as Hillel Director at U.Va., Brian Cohen, is currently the Director at Columbia-Barnard Hillel. He and his staff are doing incredible work providing a hospitable space for Jewish students and among other things making sure that kosher food is available when the dining hall has been closed or inaccessible when either the Columbia or Barnard campuses have been closed to students who do not actually live on that particular campus. I decided this morning, after seeing the news of what went on at Columbia last night, to donate my Yizkor tzedaka to Columbia-Barnard Hilell. If you would like to follow suit, please visit this page:

As a reminder, I am having drop-in hours on Thursday afternoons from 2 to 4 at the shul. However, due to other commitments I will not be holding drop-in hours tomorrow, May 2. For my drop-in hours, 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 or another member of our Jewish community who could use a phone call, please let me know.


Rabbi Charles L. Arian

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