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.


Hanukkah or Chanukah?  Professor Google says there are 16 different ways to spell the name of this holiday!  No matter how you spell it, the Riderwood Jewish Community wishes you a warm and happy holiday, filled with family and friends — and just the right amount of latkes!

Annual General Membership Meeting

Please join your friends at the RJC Annual Membership Meeting on Monday, December 10 at 11:00 a.m. in the Chesapeake Room at Montgomery Station. The agenda includes the election of officers for 2019 and a review of the past year as we look forward to the next. This is a great opportunity to meet new residents and other RJC members and discuss your interests with Board members. Please show your support for the Riderwood Jewish Community by attending this meeting. Coffee and light refreshments will follow.

The Nominating Committee has proposed the following slate of officers to serve in 2019: President – Howard Ledder; Vice President – Mel Krupin; Treasurer – Annette Graubart; Recording Secretary – Lenore Cohen. Additional nominations will be accepted from the floor.

As we welcome in a new Board, we thank Bert Kaplan for his tireless efforts and good cheer in leading the Riderwood Jewish Community for the past three years.  We appreciate his care, concern, and his warm, heimish approach.  Although he is retiring as President, Bert plans to remain active in the RJC.  We wish Bert and his wonderful wife Teddi all the best as we say Todah Rabah! (a Big Thank You!)

Shabbat and Holiday 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, December 7  at 7:30 p.m. Rabbi Yaffa-Shira Sultan will conduct services in the Garden Room at Arbor Ridge.

Saturday, December 8 at 11:00 a.m. Members of Oseh Shalom will conduct services in the Evergreen Terrace 1st Floor Living Room at Arbor Ridge.

Friday, December 14 at 7:30 p.m. Rabbi Stan Levin will conduct services in the Chapel.

Saturday, December 22 at 11:00 a.m. Members of Oseh Shalom will conduct services in the Evergreen Terrace 1st Floor Living Room at Arbor Ridge.

Friday, December 28 at 7:30 p.m. Rabbi Stan Levin will conduct services in the Chapel.

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 holiday of Chanukah (December 2 – 10) and ways to celebrate at Riderwood.  He also recalls the tragedies that are remembered on the 10th of Tevet (December 18 this year) and why it is a fast day.

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.

“RJC Presents” Chanukah Music with Rabbi Yaffa-Shira Sultan

Please join us on Sunday, December 9 at 3:00 p.m. in Maryland Hall at Montgomery Station as “RJC Presents” a joyous, freilach and heimish Chanukah program with Rabbi Yaffa-Shira Sultan.  Well known to us all, she will lead us in songs and stories to celebrate the Chanukah season. Come ready to sing along, stomp your feet, and most of all, just have fun with your friends and neighbors.  We will light Chanukah candles and of course, latkes will be served.  Always a Riderwood favorite event, be sure not to miss it! “RJC 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 on Thursday, December 13 for an informal lunch 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. Please note the location change for this program due to ongoing renovation at Lakeside Commons. Contact Milton Moskowitz for more information.

The RJC Education Program will meet on Tuesday, December 18 at 11:00 a.m. in the Encore Theater at Lakeside Commons. We will present the first of a four-part talk about the life of Jewish author Isaac Bashevis Singer (1909-1991), an icon of Jewish literature.  These talks will be presented by new resident Dillies Pilevsky, who recently retired as an English and History instructor at the college level.  Please note the time and location change for this program due to ongoing renovation at Lakeside Commons.  Contact Allan Lowe for further information.

The RJC Study Group will not meet in December.  We will resume our regular meetings on January 22. This class is usually held the fourth Tuesday of the month. Contact Allan Lowe for further information.

The Reconstructionist Chavurah will not be meeting this month.  The group meets quarterly, on Saturday afternoons throughout the year.   Contact Sam Seeman 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:

December 1: “The Power of Dreams” based on the Torah portion Va’yeshev (Genesis 37:1 – 40:23).  In the Torah, dreams are among the ways that G-d communicates with people.  Because they are from a Divine source, they must come true.  We will explore the power of dreams then and now.

December 15: “Confession, Forgiveness and Redemption” based on the Torah portion Va’yigash (Genesis 44:18 – 47:27). Although Joseph, Jacob’s favorite son, has become the second most powerful man in Egypt, he has a sense of loss of his Hebrew family.  Why didn’t they try to find him?  Did they abandon him?  Judah, one of Joseph’s brothers, steps forward.  What does he say, how does he relieve Joseph’s anxiety, and can we muster the same courage that Judah did?

Additional Sharing Opportunities

Hadassah Ramon Group, part of Hadassah Greater Washington, will meet on Sunday, December 2 at 2:00 p.m. in the Music Room at Village Square. The guest speaker will be Tracy Rezvani, Investigative Program Administrator at the Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection.  She will provide us with important information about scams.  Her talk is entitled: “Scams – They’re All Around Us!  Are You at Risk?  Can You Avoid them?” All our welcome to join us for our meeting.  The group usually meets every other month on the first Sunday afternoon of the 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 December 3 and December 17. 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!  The next one will be held in the Windsor private dining room at Montgomery Station on Thursday, December 13 at 5:00 p.m.  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, December 22 at 2:00 p.m. in the Classroom at Village Square for its monthly meeting. We will be discussing the book, Walking Lions by Ayelet Gundar-Gershon. The story revolves around a hit-and-run accident and a blackmailing widow that spark a triangle of moral dilemmas.  The book reveals an aspect of Israeli life rarely seen in its literature.   All are welcome to attend. The group 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, January 13: “RJC Presents” the DVD: 50 Children, about how a Philadelphia couple rescued children from Germany




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, December 4 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 November 29.

Click here to access the complete calendar for December.  

Please note this is the Corrected Calendar from the printed Bulletin.

Click here to access the President’s Column for December by Bert Kaplan.

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.


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