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Rabbi's Update 6/14/2023

Dear Friends:

After two weeks of COVID isolation, I am looking forward to holding my drop-in hours tomorrow afternoon and having services in person on Shabbat morning. Out of caution I will continue to wear a mask when I am in close proximity to other people and we will follow our previous practice of asking those with an aliyah to do so from their seat rather than coming up to the reader’s desk. While I hope that we will have an in-person minyan Shabbat morning, I’m also cognizant that folks have different health concerns and risk tolerance levels, and everyone should do what they feel is most appropriate or what they have been guided by their own health care provider to do.

I’m also looking forward to resuming our adult education classes -- although after these final two classes we will take a summer hiatus. Our last Talmud class will be tomorrow evening. A week from tomorrow I will be looking at the question of why the Conservative movement seems to be in such a crisis. If you would like to do some advance preparation for that class, I would encourage you to look at this article by Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove of Park Avenue Synagogue in Manhattan. I got to know Rabbi Cosgrove some years ago when we were both on a Conservative movement solidarity trip to Israel during one of the periodic flare ups between Israel and Hamas. Besides rabbinic ordination he has a Ph.D, from the University of Chicago Divinity School. Rabbi Cosgrove’s article analyzes the gap between the official rhetoric of the Conservative movement and the actual lived lives of Conservative-affiliated Jews, and offers some suggestions as how to respond appropriately to our current reality.

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.


Rabbi Charles L. Arian

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