Jewish Community of Riderwood

Welcome to the website for the Riderwood Jewish Community (RJC). The RJC invites you to experience our warm and vibrant Jewish life at Riderwood Village. The RJC was established to provide a focus for the spiritual, cultural and educational activities for all Jewish residents. All are welcome to participate.

Mid-July – August 2020

In full compliance with Riderwood policy, ALL in-person RJC-sponsored services, classes and events are cancelled until further notice.  Any changes will be posted here and on RJCFlash.  We continue to pray for the health and welfare of all our friends, neighbors and loved ones and a speedy end to this scourge affecting the world.

RJC Calendar in Brief

July 24 at various times: Shabbat services

July 26 at 2:00 p.m.: Roy Stern Commemorative Lecture with Rabbi Stan: “The Bible’s Influence on the Founding of America”

July 31: Deadline for contributions to Book of Remembrance

July 31 at various times: Rebroadcast of July 24 Shabbat services

August 4 at 10:00 a.m.: RJC Board meeting

August 7 at various times: Shabbat services

August 14 at 4:00 p.m.: RJC Welcome Shabbat Get-together (Manischewitz Social Group)

August 14 at various times: Shabbat services

August 21 at various times: Rebroadcast of Shabbat services

August 22 at 2:00 p.m.: RJC Book Club

August 28 at various times: Shabbat services

September 4 at various times: Rebroadcast of Shabbat services

Shabbat Services

Broadcast times for all services: Services will be broadcast on Riderwood TV Channel 972 throughout the days indicated below.  Broadcast times are on Fridays at 8:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 5:00 p.m., 10:30 p.m. and early Saturday morning at 1:00 a.m.  As always, please check the Riderwood Reporter each week to confirm times.  If we know of a last-minute change, a notice will be issued via RJCFlash.

July 24 (and rebroadcast July 31): Rabbi Stan Levin will lead virtual Shabbat services.

August 7: Rabbi Stan will lead virtual Shabbat services.

August 14 (and rebroadcast August 21): Rabbi Stan will lead virtual Shabbat services.

August 28 (and rebroadcast September 4): Rabbi Stan will lead virtual Shabbat services.

Click here for a pdf of Highlights of Gates of Prayer siddur which Rabbi Levin is using for services.  In order to achieve the best copy available, and as knowledge permits, you may adjust your printer settings as follows:  From the pdf, select the printer icon and a box will come up.  Select: Print on both sides of paper; Flip on short edge; Click on Landscape (under Orientation).  Then click Print.  Your copy should look the same as the prayer books we use in the Chapel and the type should be the same size.

If you are interested in participating in the service doing a reading or a prayer, please contact Rabbi Stan no later than the Sunday preceding that service.  His email address is:  Rabbi Stan will contact you and provide login information for you to join him in his Zoom Room at 10:00 a.m. on the Monday before the service.

A Message from the RJC President

Don’t miss the opportunity to be part of the RJC’s 2020-2021 Book of Remembrance, our annual memorial tribute to deceased family members and friends. This book also includes prayers and readings used during the Yizkor (memorial) services performed throughout the year.

The Book of Remembrance is our major fund-raising event of the year. It provides RJC members, and others, the opportunity to perform two important mitzvot — to offer memorial tributes to deceased family members and friends and to provide a way to donate funds to support the RJC in conducting entertainment, education, spiritual and socialization activities for our community.

Published annually just prior to the High Holy Days, this book is lovingly created by a committee co-chaired by Harriet Cobern and Leslie Montroll.

Time for contributing to this opportunity is getting short, so please perform these mitzvot now. The deadline for donations to the Book of Remembrance is Friday, July 31. See page 14 for more information.

May we all welcome the coming year in good health, in safety, and blessed with happiness among family and friends.  — Howard Ledder

Ritual Roundup

Sidney Kirschner provides us with some deep background on preparing for Rosh HaShanah.  5781 is just around the corner! Click here for the article.

Residents are always welcome to submit material for publication in the Bulletin as well as this web page. Essays, poems, anecdotes, stories of interest, etc. will be considered for publication. Please submit your text for review to Elaine Mondschein  (cubby WC-514 in Village Square).

Click here for the August column, “Looking Forward,” by RJC’s immediate past president Bert Kaplan.

Roy Stern Commemorative Lecture
Rescheduled for Sunday, July 26

We are excited to announce that we have planned, with Sunny Stern and Rabbi Stan Levin, the first Roy Stern Commemorative Lecture. The program will be broadcast on Riderwood TV Channel 972 on Sunday, July 26 at 2:00 p.m.

The title of the program is “The Bible’s Influence on the Founding of America” and will highlight the direct, and even oblique, references to the Bible in the documents that created the United States of America – the greatest democracy the world has ever known.  Frequently, when the choice of our country’s founders was between English Common Law and the Bible, they opted for the Bible. We will take a look at how the Bible influenced the creation of our country.

Roy Stern was a past president of the RJC (2014-2015). Roy started to prepare this lecture several years ago. Roy passed away in July 2019 and we are honored to have completed the program and will deliver it in his memory. Rabbi Levin will pre-record a video of the presentation, which will include pictures. We hope you can join us in viewing what promises to be a fascinating and relevant program on Sunday July 26 at 2:00 p.m. on Riderwood TV Channel 972.

Book of Remembrance: Deadline is July 31

This is a reminder that the absolute final deadline for submitting names to this year’s Book of Remembrance is Friday, July 31.

The Book of Remembrance is our annual memorial tribute to our relatives and friends who have passed away.  It also contains prayers and readings which Rabbi Stan Levin will use to conduct the Yizkor service on Yom Kippur.  The books will be distributed to contributors between September 9 and 16.

Many thanks to all who have already contributed.  Your generous donations are gratefully acknowledged.  If you have not yet done so but would like to participate in this year’s Book, please return your form to Harriet Cobern, MG #603, Town Center. She has extra forms, just in case you need one, or you can find a form in the July Bulletin, or download one by clicking here.

One of RJC’s most treasured traditions, the Book is also our only major fundraising event of the year. Your generous contribution enables the RJC to offer outstanding programs year-round, whether virtually or in person. Participating in the Book of Remembrance is a beautiful way to welcome the New Year and also perform a meaningful mitzvah. Your donation is fully tax deductible. We appreciate your generosity.

— Harriet Cobern and Leslie Montroll, Co-Chairpersons, Book of Remembrance

A Blessing for Wearing a Face Mask

Excerpted from The Forward, April 13, 2020

Among Jewish tradition’s most cherished values is the sanctity of human life. Saving one life is regarded as the equivalent of saving an entire world, and consequently, taking a life is seen as tantamount to destroying an entire world.

Seen from this perspective, Jews ought to regard actions which help prevent us and others from contracting or communicating the novel coronavirus, like thoroughly washing our hands, wearing face masks, and remaining at home, as mitzvot, sacred obligations. These behaviors are more than wise acts of self-preservation and kind contributions to public health; they are holy deeds, religious requirements, with the force of divine injunction.

Rabbi Michael Knopf of Temple Beth-El in Richmond, VA has created a new blessing for the actions we take to keep ourselves and each other safe and healthy during a pandemic: “You are bountiful, Infinite our God, majesty of space and time, who has sanctified us with divine commandments and has commanded us about protecting life.” Or, in Hebrew: Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha-olam, Asher keed’shanu b’mitzvotav, v’tzeevanu al sh’mirat ha-nefesh.

Opportunities to Connect, Share and Learn

Check out these opportunities for us to stay connected during these times of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Information on each is located throughout this web page.

* Friday evening Shabbat services

* Chavurah Project

* RJC Book Club

* Hebrew Prayerbook Language Course (now underway)

*RJC Support (phone)

* RJC cares Shabbat Get-Together (aka the Manischewitz Social Group

* RJC Presents Programming.  Suspended for now.  Click here for some interesting links (to Moment Magazine Zoominars).

*RJC Flash


RJC Chavurah Project

 “Try to remember, and if you remember then follow, follow, follow …”
from the musical comedy “The Fantastics” (1965)

Remember those glorious days when we could meet for dinner at Riderwood’s restaurants and also enjoy classes and concerts together.  Back then we had started the Chavura Project to help newcomers to Riderwood and long-time residents meet people, form dinner groups, expand their circle of acquaintances, and make connections with people who have similar interests.

Several new dinner groups, a Torah discussion group, a Jewish history discussion group and a music group were all being formed when the Covid-19 virus changed our world.  We are now looking forward to a new world, closer to the one we had enjoyed and one in which we can meet again face-to-face in our chavurot.  The Chavura Project remains somewhat in suspended animation and will spring back to life as soon as possible.  In fact, we will try to get some study groups to meet by Zoom even now.  One study group that had started several months before the Covid-19 virus is meeting very successfully in that way.

If you are new to Riderwood, or a long-time resident and if the current restrictions make you want to meet more and more people, please click the link below to sign up and tell us about your interests.  Also, if you want to join a Zoom Happy Hour we will put you in touch with others with similar interests.

If you submitted the sign-up sheet recently or after the lock down, you are not forgotten and will be contacted when we open up.  If you once submitted a sign up sheet but did not hear anything, it means that your interest was not shared yet by at least three others.

Thank you for your interest in the Chavurah Project!  Click here for the sign up sheet link.

Jewish-Themed Music Chavurah

Join one of the newest chavurot!  We’re having a great time exploring a wide range of Jewish-themed music ranging from klezmer, Israeli and Yiddish to current and past popular music and Broadway musicals by Jewish singers and composers.  If you’re interested in learning more about this chavurah, please call Mina Sweet.

RJC Book Club

The RJC Book Club meeting will take place on Saturday, August 22, at 2:00 p.m. via Zoom.  You can join the Zoom meeting by computer or phone.  To join by computer, enter this link:  Once connected to Zoom, enter Meeting ID 894 9937 2101.  By phone, call 301-715-8592 and follow the prompts.  It is Meeting ID 894 9937 2101.

We will be discussing the book The Art of Leaving by Ayelet Tsabari.  The book is an intimate memoir of essays by an award-winning Israeli writer who travels the world, from New York to India, searching for love, belonging and an escape from grief following the death of her father when she was a young girl.

Please contact Susan Samuel if you have any problems connecting.

ALL PARTICIPANTS: This connection information will be used for future Book Club meetings held via Zoom so you may want to keep it handy.  It will be repeated in subsequent issues of the RJC BULLETIN until we can resume face-to-face meetings.

Anyone who is interested or has questions about the group, please contact one of the Co-Chairpersons, Marcia Price or Susan Samuel.

Manischewitz Social Group aka RJC Cares Welcome Shabbat Get-Together

RJC CARES will have our second get-together, via Zoom, on Friday, August 14 at 4:00 p.m. prior to Shabbat services.  The get-together will be a way for people to socialize through Zoom since we can’t meet in person.  If you are interested in joining the Zoom group, contact Al Jacobs.  Although highly unlikely, if we are permitted to meet in person on August 14, we will cancel the Zoom get-together and alert everyone through RJCFlash.

RJC Cares Support

The RJC Cares Committee offers support to members of our community.  There may be a time when a member needs a friendly visitor (as we are allowed) or emotional support.  If you, or someone you know, would welcome some help during a time of need, please call Marilyn Tublin.

A New Way to Communicate: RJCFlash

A new email group has been created as a vehicle for quickly notifying RJC members of urgent events and issues of immediate importance to the Riderwood Jewish Community.  In recognition of the purpose of the group — just-in-time communication to RJC members — the name of the group is RJCFlash.  Please download the ground rules and instructions for joining the group here.

RJC Archives: Now Updated and Available

The long-awaited inventory of the RJC Archives is now available!  The RJC has an excellent collection of Judaica books, DVDs and CDs.  Residents have an opportunity to check out items for their reading, viewing and listening pleasure.  Detailed instructions for borrowing or donating are available here.  The complete list of DVDs, CDs, and books is available here.  It will be updated periodically.



pencilThe Riderwood Jewish Community was established in 2000 with the opening of the Riderwood community. It has a Constitution and Bylaws and is administered by an all-volunteer board. Officers are elected at the annual meeting held each December.

For a complete list of officers and board members, as well as contact information on our rabbis, please click here.  For the Constitution and Bylaws (all one document), click here.

RJC Board meetings usually take place on the first Tuesday of the month.  The next Board meeting will take place on Tuesday, August 4 at 10:00 a.m.  To join, please contact Al Jacobs to receive a link to Zoom.  Virtual meetings will be held via Zoom until further notice.

RJC membership is open to all. Annual dues are $54 per person per calendar year. Please consider becoming involved to make this organization even better!   You may download the form here.

This web page is updated monthly in conjunction with the publication of the RJC Bulletin. The Bulletin is published at the beginning of each month and distributed via e-mail or print version to each Jewish resident. Print copies are also available at the Riderwood Sales Office at Town Center and at the Pastoral Ministries Office at Village Square. This web page was last updated July 22.  To contact the web page editor, please email to Leslie Montroll at

Volunteer Opportunities

For a complete list of volunteer opportunities, please click here.

RJC Cares

caringRJC Cares is here to provide a friendly visitor or emotional support to any member of our community.  If we can be of help, please contact Marilyn Tublin or Arlene Bennof. If you would like to volunteer to participate in this RJC project and be available should a need arise, please call Arlene.


Being Prepared for the Journey’s End

While none of us like to think about death – for ourselves or a loved one – we all know it is inevitable. To assist you with the many considerations in planning a Jewish funeral, and gathering important information you should have on hand for your family, the Riderwood Jewish Community has just completed a report specifically written for Jewish residents of Riderwood. You may obtain a copy of this 12-page paper from Reverend James Bell in the Pastoral Ministries Office. Or, you may choose to print it yourself by clicking here.


5,338 total views, 2 views today