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Rabbi’s Update 9/29/2023

Dear Friends:

Services for the first day of Sukkot this Saturday morning will be in person and on Zoom. For those attending in person, services will be followed by “Pizza in the Hut”, a pizza kiddush in the Sukkah. Services Sunday morning are on Zoom only.

Because the first day of Sukkot is on Shabbat, the lulav and etrog are not used on that day. If you have ordered a lulav and etrog set through the synagogue, please make arrangements to pick it up by closing time on Friday.

The synagogue sukkah will be open for you to use throughout the holiday.

Next Saturday night October 7 at 7 pm in the Anita Levine Chapel, we will be having our first in person Simchat Torah service since 2019. We will be meeting in the Chapel rather than the Sanctuary in order to accommodate our renters who hold their prayer service in the Sanctuary on Saturday nights. On the morning of Yom Kippur, one of the points I made in my sermon was that post-WWII American Judaism has been largely child focused and as the demographics of our congregation and community change, we have to refocus and not assume that synagogues will be kept alive by a pipeline of families looking for Hebrew school and Bar/Bat Mitzvah. This is by way of saying that Simchat Torah is not just for kids or for families with kids at home, and Hazzan Komrad and I look forward to celebrating with you next Saturday night.

As a reminder, I am having drop-in hours on Thursday afternoon from 2 to 4 at the shul -- after a hiatus of two weeks for High Holiday prep. 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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