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Welcome Back to our Sanctuary!

Dear Friends:

I’m departing from my usual “Rabbi’s Update” formula because I want to make sure you don’t miss the announcement that our Sanctuary will be open and we will be having our first hybrid (in-person and Zoom) service tomorrow morning, June 12. The calendar of events for the next week will be found at the bottom of this email.

The service will begin at 10 a.m. as usual. If you wish to attend in person you must register on this form by 4 pm this afternoon, Friday June 11. The COVID regulations we will be following can be found here and as part of your registration you will be asked to read them and affirm that you will follow them.

Since our first Zoom service on March 20, 2020, we have made a number of changes in how we do things and as we move into the “Hybrid Era” we will no doubt continue to do so. The regulations that we will be following tomorrow are far more stringent than CDC guidelines for fully-vaccinated people as well as Maryland and Montgomery County regulations. We will continue to reevaluate them as we gain more experience so that we can make as many of our congregants as comfortable as possible. As our COVID regulations evolve so may the conduct of the service. Because of the short lead time, tomorrow’s service will be conducted exactly as services have been for the past several months, including reading only three rather than seven aliyot of the Torah portion. The only difference is that if we have ten Jewish adults physically present tomorrow morning the Torah scroll will be taken from the Ark and three of those present will be honored with an aliyah. For subsequent Shabbatot we will be reading seven aliyot once again (assuming the presence of ten Jewish adults) and since this will make the service a bit longer, we will start at 9:45 rather than at ten.

As for the tech side of things, a lot of people worked very hard to make this possible. Thanks are due to Charlotte Strauss as chair and the other members of the Tech Committee and Bob Goldberg as chair and the other members of our Security Committee. Doug Baum and Terry Strauss liaised with our tenants and spent a lot of time schlepping ritual items to make sure that our building is ready for us to return in person.

Tom Loggie and I spent several hours in the Sanctuary on Wednesday and several more yesterday to set everything up and make sure it works as we need it to. We did several tech rehearsals with Tom and myself on two different Zoom devices in the Sanctuary with Administrator Andie Epstein and Secretary Joan Teich on their Zoom devices remotely, and as of yesterday everything was fully functional. That said, we cannot guarantee that there will not be tech hiccups as we gain experience, so please be patient. We also learned yesterday that after 15 months of not being used, the sound system in the Sanctuary does not work. It will be repaired but not by tomorrow morning -- and this also means that the closed-circuit system for the hearing impaired will not be available tomorrow morning. The HVAC system, however, is working; fans will circulate the air and if it is warm the air conditioner will be on. Due to cicadas, however, we cannot keep the emergency exit doors of the Sanctuary open as we would otherwise want to do.

I look forward to seeing many of you in person and welcome your feedback on our COVID regulations, our tech arrangements, the conduct of services or anything else.

Weekly Schedule

All Events are Online at:

Unless otherwise noted

If you are prompted for a passcode it is 9915

Friday, June 11 Deadline to register to attend in person Shabbat morning, 4 pm

To attend in person please register here

Shabbat Evening Services, 6:30 pm

Saturday, June 12 Shabbat Morning Services, 10 am -- in person and on Zoom

To attend in person please register here

Torah Reading: Parashat Korach

Numbers 16:1 - 18:32, page 860

Haftarah Samuel 11:14 - 12:22, page 877

Havdalah and Schmooze, 9:25 pm

Sunday, June 13 Morning Minyan, 9:15 am

Ben & Jerry’s truck in the parking lot, 12 - 2:30 pm

Zumba in the parking lot, 5-6 pm

Evening Minyan, 7:45 pm

Monday, June 14 No Virtual Lunch due to schedule conflict

Evening minyan, 7:45 pm

Technology Committee meeting after minyan

Tuesday, June 15 Sisterhood Sip ‘n Schmooze, 6:30 pm

Evening Minyan, 7:45 pm

Wednesday, June 16 Evening Minyan, 7:45 pm

Synagogue board meeting after minyan

Thursday, June 17 Evening Minyan, 7:45 pm

Rashi Class after minyan

As always, if you need to talk or I can do anything for you, please contact me via email at or via phone at 301-977-0768 rather than through the synagogue office as I continue to work mostly from home, although having been vaccinated I am available for in-person meetings in my synagogue office by request.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Charles L. Arian

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