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Rabbi’s Update 6/5/2024

Dear Friends:

From Sunday afternoon through Tuesday afternoon of the coming week, I will be attending the American Jewish Committee’s annual Global Forum in DC. This will be my fourth time attending this program and it is the first time since 2019 that it is being held in Washington. I’m very grateful for this opportunity and I am also grateful to the AJC for making it possible for rabbis to attend the program at a very reduced rate.

The Global Forum is, in my opinion (and not only mine) the most significant annual conference for those who are concerned about the wellbeing of Jews throughout the world. It is fairly small compared to, for example, the AIPAC Policy Conference (roughly 2,000 attendees versus 20,000 for AIPAC) but it is far more substantive and attracts participants from all over the world. One of the focuses this year is anti-Israel and antisemitic expressions on campus and in social media, and there will be many Jewish student leaders from Europe and Latin America participating in the conference. I’m also looking forward to hearing from actor Michael Rapaport, who will be speaking about his social media activism in support of Israel during the opening plenary Sunday evening.

After my first Global Forum in 2015, I wrote that I found the experience somewhat disorienting in that in over thirty years (at the time) of attending Jewish conferences, this was the first time I attended one where sessions began on time and ended on time. I attribute this to the fact that the AJC was founded in 1906 exclusively by American Jews of German background (although today it is much more diverse). The AJC was founded at the time to pressure the US Government to do more to try and protect the Jews of Czarist Russia and to keep the gates of the United States open to immigration. It’s approach has often been one more of “quiet diplomacy” rather than making a lot of noise. The AJC is also probably the most significant Jewish organization involved in interreligious diplomacy, and played a large role in the development of the Jewish-Catholic rapprochement following Vatican II.

I do regret that my participation in the Global Forum precludes me from attending the Karaoke Night this coming Sunday, although your ears may be rejoicing that as a result you will not hear me singing that evening.

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. There will be no drop-in hours on Thursday June 13 nor will there be Adult Education that evening due to the Shavuot holiday.

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; 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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