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Rabbi’s Update 6/14/2024

Dear Friends:


I was fortunate earlier this week to attend the American Jewish Committee’s annual Global Forum which was held at the Marriott Marquis in downtown Washington. I was also happy to be joined for part of the program by our Rabbi Emeritus, Rabbi Mark Raphael.


This is the first time that the Global Forum was held in DC since 2019 (2020 and 2021 were held virtually, 2022 in New York City and last year’s in Israel). The AJC generously makes it possible for rabbis to attend the program at very little cost although rabbinic participation was lower this year than I recall from prior years, most likely because the program took place right before the Shavuot holiday. (I previously attended this conference in 2015, 2016, and 2019.)


One of the speakers described the AJC as “the State Department of the Jewish people” and I found it an apt description, The AJC was founded in 1906 by a group of wealthy American Jews of Central European ancestry to press the US government to intercede with Tsarist Russia to stop the pogroms against the Jews of the Russian Empire. In the almost 120 years since then, the AJC has been the most prominent organization working to prevent persecution of Jews all over the world. On the domestic scene they work to promote equality and civil rights for all Americans -- I learned at the conference this week that much of the research which was cited in the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision of the US Supreme Court was sponsored and funded by the AJC.


I don’t want to write too much about the conference because on Thursday night Rabbi Raphael and I will be sharing our reflections on the conference. I hope you will join us at that time.


As a reminder, I am having drop-in hours on Thursday afternoons from 2 to 4 at the shul. 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 rabbi@kehilatshalom.org or 301-977-0768 rather than through the synagogue office. I am happy to meet you at the synagogue by appointment; 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.


L’shalom,




Rabbi Charles L. Arian




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