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.

April 2019

Special Note: The RJC Education program scheduled for Tuesday, April 16 has been cancelled.

Shabbat Services

shabbat-candles-150x150Shabbat services are conducted in the Riderwood Chapel the second and fourth Friday nights of each month. The prayer book we use is Gates of Prayer, and a Torah portion is read in Hebrew and English. An Oneg Shabbat follows, providing opportunities to mingle with friends and meet new neighbors. Shabbat services are also held at Arbor Ridge the first Friday evening of each month and on the second and fourth Saturday mornings of each month.

The following services will be held this month:

Friday, April 5  at 4:00 p.m. Rabbi Yaffa-Shira Sultan will conduct services in the Garden Room at Arbor Ridge. Please note new time.

Friday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m. Rabbi Stan Levin will conduct services in the Chapel.

Saturday, April 13 at 10:30 a.m. Members of Oseh Shalom will conduct services in the Evergreen Terrace 1st Floor Living Room at Arbor Ridge. Please note new time.

Friday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. in the Chapel. Rabbi Stan Levin will conduct services in the Chapel.

Saturday, April 27 at 10:30 a.m. Members of Oseh Shalom will conduct services in the Evergreen Terrace 1st Floor Living Room at Arbor Ridge. Please note new time.

If you are interested in participating in a Friday evening Shabbat service, please contact Mina Sweet. Honors include lighting candles, having a speaking aliyah, opening/closing the ark, kiddush, and hamotzi.

If you are in need of having Friday evening Shabbat services signed, please contact Sidney Kirschner.

Friday night services in the Chapel are simulcast on Riderwood TV Chapel Channel 976.

Ritual Roundup

This month, Sidney Kirschner discusses the links between Jewish tradition and taking care of our planet Earth.

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 Irv Slott (cubby CT-T08 at Montgomery Station).

Click here to read this month’s Ritual Roundup.

Click here for this month’s new column, “Looking Forward,” by RJC’s immediate past president Bert Kaplan.

“RJC Presents” Monte Mallin: “Amazing Stories: How Jews Built the Comic Book Industry in America”

Please join us on Sunday, April 14 at 3:00 p.m. in Maryland Hall at Montgomery Station as “RJC Presents” comics enthusiast Monte Mallin.  His topic will be: “Amazing Stories: How Jews Built the Comic Book Industry in America.”  We hope you’ll join us.  “RJC Presents” is a special program usually held the second Sunday of each month.  Contact Judy Gordon or Marilyn Tublin for further information. 


Pesach: April 19 & 20

Continuing our long-standing tradition, RJC will hold two Passover s’darim (seders), one each night on Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20.  Reservations are required and packets have been distributed.  The deadline for making any changes to your reservations is Friday, April 5.  For further information on Passover at Riderwood, please click hereA delayed Passover Yizkor (memorial) service to recall our deceased relatives, friends and Jewish martyrs and recite the Mourners Kaddish will be held on Saturday, May 4, following Rabbi Levin’s lecture.

Educational Opportunities


A variety of Jewish educational opportunities are available at Riderwood. Some classes are sponsored by the RJC; others are independent. All offer stimulating and exciting opportunities to learn and share.

The Secular Humanistic Judaism Social Group will meet for an informal lunch on Thursday, April 11 at 11:30 a.m. in the Classroom at Town Center.  The group meets for fellowship and fun, usually on the second Thursday of every month. Contact Milton Moskowitz for more information.

The RJC Education Program will NOT meet on Tuesday, April 16.  THIS PROGRAM HAS BEEN CANCELLED. Resident Arnold Band, Professor Emeritus of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at UCLA, will speak about the life and work of Amos Oz.  Oz, an Israeli novelist, journalist and intellectual, died on December 28, 2018.  He was a Professor of Hebrew Literature at Ben-Gurion University and author of 40 books  His work has been published in 45 languages. The RJC Education program usually meets on the third Tuesday of each month.  Contact Allan Lowe for further information.

The RJC Study Group will meet on Tuesday, April 23 at 11:00 a.m. in the Music Room at Village Square.  This month, we continue with our 24-part DVD lecture series entitled Between Cross and Crescent: Jewish Civilization from Mohammed to Spinoza. Featuring noted Jewish history professor David Ruderman, this series presents an overview of Jewish culture and society from its rabbinic foundations in late antiquity until the dawn of modernity in the 17th century.  It provides a unique perspective from which to examine the three major Western religions as they interact over time. The DVD programs for this month are: “Saadia Gaon and His World” and “The Philosophy of Saadia Gaon.” This class is usually held the fourth Tuesday of the month. Contact Allan Lowe for further information.


Rabbi Stan Levin’s Lecture/Discussion Series: Being Jewish in Modern America

jewish-in-america Rabbi Levin continues his twice monthly discussions on the topic “Being Jewish in Modern America.” The focus will be on looking at the modern world through the lens of the Torah.  These sessions are usually held on the first and third Saturday of each month at 10:30 a.m. in the Encore Theater at Lakeside Commons. All are welcome for these always engaging and thought-provoking discussions. Topics for this month are:

April 6: “Focus on Health” based on the Torah portion Tazria (Leviticus 12:1 – 13:59).  This week’s Torah portion deals with public health issues connected to birth and skin disease (mislabeled as leprosy).  In both cases, the Torah teaches how to restore ritual purity, but this information can also serve as a gateway to a discussion about health issues in the 21st century.

April 20: “Exploring the Haggadah.” Our focus will be on Passover, since April 20 is the first day of the holiday.  Our exodus from Egypt may be the defining moment for the Hebrews.  This is celebrated with more participation than any other Jewish holiday, with a seder and the reading of the haggadah.  We will “deconstruct” the haggadah and study the religious, political and even the mystical elements of it.

Additional Sharing Opportunities

Ramon Hadassah, part of Hadassah Greater Washington, will meet on Sunday, April 7 at 2:00 p.m. in the Music Room at Village Square.  The meeting will feature Peri Schuyler, former moderator of the Judaic Studies Group of Ruach Hadassah.  Peri will be speaking on “Wandering Jews.”  Where did we come from?  How did we get where we are?  When did it happen?  And the biggest question of all: WHY?  All are welcome to join us for our meeting.  The group usually meets on the first Sunday afternoon of each month. Contact Shirley Kahan for more information.


The Yiddish Interest Group usually meets the first and third Monday of each month at 11:00 a.m. in the Card Room at Village Square. This month, the group will meet on April 1 and April 15. Everyone is always welcome — the meetings are always interesting and always fun! Contact Milly Spector for further information.


caringRJC Cares Dinners are proving a very successful way to meet new people!  While the April dinner has already filled, please sign up for our dinner on Thursday, May 9 at 5:00 p.m.  It will be held in the Windsor private dining room at Montgomery Station.  Each person will use their Meal of the Day (MOD) number for their meal.  Because of space limitations, we are limited to the first 16 people who sign up.  Please contact Arlene Bennof if you would like to attend.


imagesCAWH1M93The RJC Book Club Club will meet on Saturday, April 27 at 2:00 p.m. in the Classroom at Village Square for its monthly meeting. We will be discussing the book Snow in August by Pete Hamill.  It is the story of an unlikely friendship between an 11-year-old Irish Catholic boy and a lonely rabbi from Prague.  Terrorized by a local gang of anti-Semitic Irish toughs, they are caught in an escalating spiral of hate for which there’s only one way out — a miracle.  Everyone is invited to attend. The Book Club usually meets the fourth Saturday of the month. If interested in joining or for further information, please contact co-chairpersons Marsha Price or Susan Samuel.


National Volunteer Week, observed this year April 7 – 13, is a time for organizations across the country to honor their volunteers and recognize the irreplaceable impact of their time and energy all year round. RJC is pleased to acknowledge our very own volunteers who give generously of their time and effort to make the Jewish Community at Riderwood a warm, vibrant place to call home.  Please click here to see a list of all our volunteers.


The Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA) Hospice will present a special program on hospice care on Tuesday, April 30 at 10:30 a.m. in the Encore Theater at Lakeside Commons.  This informative one-hour program is sponsored by the Riderwood Jewish Community (RJC) but is open to the entire Riderwood community and any interested family members.   Entitled “Myths and Facts about Hospice,” Hospice Nurse Maria Kaplan will cover nursing aspects and Hospice Interfaith Chaplain Rabbi Yaffa-Shira Sultan will address spiritual/religious topics.  Together, they will discuss the role of hospice, explain hospice philosophy and function of the hospice interdisciplinary team, review hospice coverage under Medicare, and describe basics of end-of-life symptom management.  For further information, contact Maria Kaplan at 301-466-4296.


RJC Archives

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.  An inventory of all these materials will be published in a future edition of this Bulletin.  In the meantime, please return any items you have borrowed to Judy Gordon so she can conduct a complete inventory.  You may also contact Judy if you have items you wish to donate to the RJC Archives.

Save the Date


Sunday, May 5: “RJC Presents” Celebrating Israel






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.

RJC Board meetings usually take place on the first Tuesday of the month. The next Board meeting will take place on Tuesday, April 2 at 10:00 a.m. in the Classroom at Montgomery Station. All RJC members are welcome to attend.

RJC membership is open to all. Annual dues are $30 per person per calendar year. Please consider becoming involved to make this organization even better!

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 April 13.

Click here to access the complete calendar for April.  

Click here to access the President’s Column for April by Howard Ledder.

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 Arlene Bennof. If you would like to volunteer to participate in this new RJC project and be available should a need arise, please call Arlene.


Being Prepared for the Journey’s End

CandleWhile 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.


RJC’s always a little crazy, always wonderful Purim Shpiel took place on Friday, March 22 after a brief Shabbat service. (Photos were taken at rehearsal.)  Kudos to the cast and crew:

Director: Rabbi Yaffa-Shira Sultan, Producer: Sidney Kirschner, Assistant Producer: Mark Montroll, Audio-Visual: Al Jacobs

So beautifully accompanied by musicians: Teddi Kaplan on piano, George Cohen on flute

Cast: Narrator: Barbara Ronis, Vashti: Gloria Goldstein,  King Ahashuerus: Mel Krupin, Esther: Amy Greenwood, Mordechai: Sam Krantzow, Haman: Sandy Nachenberg, Maidens: Regina Cohen, Janis Colton, Paula Del Gallo, Sandra Flank, and Leslie Montroll

Groggers provided by Leslie and Mark Montroll

Photo Gallery

Click on any photo to enlarge it.

Purim Shpiel
March 22, 2019

Photo credit: Mark Montroll
































2,016 total views, 6 views today