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Rabbi's Update 8/2/2023

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Dear Friends:

I return to work today after four weeks of vacation -- most of which was a “staycation” although we did travel to the Jersey Shore for a few days in mid-July. When I first came to Kehilat Shalom -- eleven years ago yesterday -- I was surprised to find that the established custom of the shul was to 1.) make sure that the rabbi actually got to take all of the vacation to which he or she was entitled and 2.) for the rabbi to take a solid month of vacation at once rather than a week or two here and there. Kehilat Shalom is the third congregation I have served but it is the first one which enabled me to actually take all of the vacation to which I am theoretically entitled. It speaks well of the congregation and its recognition that the ability to relax and take some down time is important to the rabbi’s wellbeing and ability to function and do their job well.

I also know that allowing me to take a solid four weeks in a row makes it that much more difficult to find people to fill in for leading services, reading Torah, giving Divrei Torah and so on. I am grateful to everyone who filled in during the month of July.

A lot has happened over the last month and over the next few days and weeks I will no doubt have a lot to say about some of these things. For now I just want to thank everyone for their support in large ways and small. I look forward to seeing you on Zoom at minyan and in person on Shabbat morning or during my drop in hours tomorrow afternoon.

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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