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.

August 2019

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 on the second and fourth Saturday mornings of each month.

As you may know, due to a number of constrains including the very small number of Arbor Ridge residents who were able to attend services and RJC financial considerations, our once-monthly Friday afternoon Shabbat services at Arbor Ridge have been discontinued. We will be continuing our twice monthly Shabbat morning services at Arbor Ridge and look forward to Independent Living and Arbor Ridge community members attending those services.

We send a heartfelt Todah Rabbah (Thank You!) to Rabbi Yaffa-Shira Sultan for her inspirational leadership of Friday afternoon/evening services at Arbor Ridge for many years.  Her loving and joyful leadership of those services is deeply appreciated.  The kavanah (sincerity and direction of the heart) she brought to these services will always be remembered fondly.

The following services will be held this month:

Friday, August 9 at 7:30 p.m. Shabbat evening worship service in the Chapel led by Rabbi Devorah Lynn.  Come celebrate Sam Seeman’s 103rd Birthday!

Saturday, August 10 at 10:30 a.m. Members of Oseh Shalom will conduct services in the Evergreen Terrace 1st Floor Living Room at Arbor Ridge.

Friday, August 23 at 7:30 p.m. Shabbat evening worship service in the Chapel led by Rabbi Devorah Lynn.

Saturday, August 24 at 10:30 a.m. Members of Oseh Shalom will conduct services in the Evergreen Terrace 1st Floor Living Room at Arbor Ridge.

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.

Book of Remembrance: Deadline is August 8

The Book of Remembrance is our annual memorial tribute to our relatives and friends who have passed away. It is published and distributed in time for the High Holy Days each year and is used throughout the year as part of Yizkor services.  It is a beautiful way to welcome the New Year and also participate in a meaningful mitzvah.  It is RJC’s major annual fund raising event. We are now in the process of collecting information for this year’s Book of Remembrance. The final deadline is August 8.

Forms for submission of names were placed in the cubbies of all RJC members during the week of July 15.  If you have not already done so and would like to participate in this year’s Book, please return your form to your neighborhood representative as soon as possible.  Your representatives are Surrie Wilks (VSQ), Sue Lindner (MST), Nancy Simon (TNC), and Judy Friedman (LSC and Arbor Ridge).  They also have some extra forms, just in case you misplaced yours.

Your generous contribution enables the RJC to offer outstanding cultural, educational and religious programs throughout the year.  The RJC is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.  Your donation is fully deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. We appreciate your generosity.  For any additional questions, please contact Harriet Cobern.

High Holy Days Begin September 29

While many think the holidays are “late” this year, according to the Jewish calendar, they are right on time! Erev Rosh HaShanah will be observed on Sunday, September 29, with September 30, the 1st day of Tishrei, as the first day of Rosh HaShanah.  Yom Kippur will predictably follow ten days later, beginning with Kol Nidre services on the evening of October 8.  RJC is pleased to once again observe the holidays with both meaningful services and delicious food.  Meal reservation packets will be delivered to cubbies on August 15.  Meal reservations will be collected in the dining room lobbies on Wednesday, August 28 between 4 – 5:30 pm.  Please note this important change from the date printed in the RJC August Bulletin.  Please click here for further information and deadlines.

Meet Our New Rabbis

We extend a most sincere welcome to our new rabbis who will be serving the Riderwood Jewish Community: Reb Lisa Levine, who will be conducting most Friday evening services; and Rabbi Devorah Lynn, who will be conducting High Holy Day services this year.  Click here for further information on each of them.

Reb Lisa Levine

Rabbi Devorah Lynn









Ritual Roundup

This month, Sidney Kirschner offers us a delightful column on the history and some of the customs associated with Jewish weddings.

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: “A Classy Jazz Orchestra”

Please join us on Sunday, August 4 at 3:00 p.m. in Maryland Hall at Montgomery Station as RJC Presents “A Classy Jazz Orchestra.”  Embrace summer with a “hot” program of “cool” jazz featuring Cantor Josh Perlman, Jules Levine and the Classy Jazz Quartet.  We will be treated to a range of musical delights ranging from Jewish, Hebrew and Yiddish jazz to some of our favorite Golden Oldies.  Come ready to sing, dance and smile.  Please note the change of date for this month only due to the observance of Tisha B’av on August 11RJC Presents is a special program usually held the second Sunday of each month.  Contact Judy Gordon or Marilyn Tublin for further information. 


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, August 8 at 11:30 a.m. in the Seasons Lounge 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 meet on Tuesday, August 20 at 11:00 a.m. in the Music Room at Village Square. Have you ever thought the Jewish holidays were too late one year or too early the next?  Then come hear RJC member and resident Al Jacobs speak about “The Hebrew Calendar.”  Please join us for what will be a fascinating discussion.   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, August 27 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: “Patterns of Jewish Culture – Rabbinic Learning” and “Patterns of Jewish Culture – Kabbalah.”  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 has been suspended.  When a new rabbi is in place, the RJC Board will explore resuming this ever-popular program.

Additional Sharing Opportunities

Ramon Hadassah, part of Hadassah Greater Washington, will meet on Sunday, August 11 at 2:00 p.m. in the Music Room at Village Square.  The speaker will be Lynn Berk speaking about her recent (and legal) trip to Cuba, a country with a deep Jewish heritage.  Everyone is invited to attend for what promises to be a fascinating program.  Please note the date change for this month only due to a program switch with RJC Presents in observance of Tisha B’av.  The group usually meets on the first Sunday afternoon of each month. Please contact Milly Spector for further 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 August 5 and August 19. 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!  At press time, there were still a few openings for the dinner on Thursday, August 8 at 5:00 p.m. You may also sign up for the dinner on Thursday, September 12.  Both 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, August 24 at 2:00 p.m. in the Classroom at Village Square for its monthly meeting. We will be discussing the book The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish.  Set in London in both the 1660s and the early 21st century, this book is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect: Ester Velasquez, an emigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, just before the Plague hits the city; and Helen Watt, an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history.  This book tells the story of these two women and the choices and sacrifices they must make in order to reconcile the life of the heart and mind. 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.

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, September 8: RJC Presents Robyn Helzner “Bridge to the Balkans” concert

September 13: Deadline for changes to High Holy Day Meal Reservations




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, August 6 at 10:00 a.m. in the Art Studio 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 August 5.

Click here to access the complete calendar for August.  

Click here to access the President’s Column for August 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 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.

Photo Gallery

Everyone enjoyed singing and dancing along with the Baltimore Klezmer Orchestra at RJC Presents on June 9!
















































2,980 total views, 2 views today