Beth Shalom Congregation 
8070 Harriet Tubman Lane
Columbia, MD 21044

Driving Directions 


Jessica Schultz 
Beth Shalom Congregation 

Shabbat and Holiday Programs

Combating Extremism in Israel: Modern Voices  

Dates: Friday evenings, February 8, March 8, April 12, June 14

How does the rise of religious, political and social extremism in Israel affect the vision of Israel as a light unto the nations and as the homeland of the entire Jewish People? What can be done to combat the rise of such extremism in Israel? These are some of the questions that will be discussed in this stimulating guest speaker series featuring Israeli thought leaders during Friday night services beginning at 8:00 pm.

 Vatakim Dinners for empty nesters and mature singles and adults proceed services on these evenings.  (RSVP required for each dinner to liat.novek@beth-shalom.net.)


Ask the Rabbi

Fridays, February 22, March 22, May 24, June 21

Saturday, April 13 (Passover questions)

Bring your questions about Jewish belief, customs, history, and current events for a spirited discussion with Rabbi Grossman on a wide variety of topics during Friday evening services.

Torah Talks with Rabbi Scheinerman 

Saturdays, January 19, February 9, April 6 & June 1 

Rabbi Amy Scheinerman leads a Torah study on the weekly parsha (Torah reading) as part of Sabbath services. Come for an interesting discussion.


 Shabbat Unplugged 

 Fridays, January 4, February 1, March 1, April 5, May 3, June 7

Enjoy upbeat Friday night services with song and spirit (ruach).


Yom Ha’atzmaut Movie 

Featuring:  Disengagement

  Sunday, May 5 at 7:30 p.m. 

Let's celebrate Israeli Independence Day with our annual movie night.

In the wake of their father's death, Ana (Juliette Binoche) and her brother Uli are reunited in France. When Uli reveals that he will be traveling to Gaza to evacuate Israeli settlers, Ana insists on joining him to search for her long-lost daughter.  Directed by Israeli director Amos Gitai, this movie was described as “..nothing short of brilliant”  by Variety magazine.

After watching the movie, join in a discussion of the movie, facilitated by Rabbi Grossman.

Snacks provided!


Adult Education 

Spring 2019 Course Offerings

 Conversational Hebrew with Ora Fisch

Wednesdays, January 30 through May 15 at 7:45 p.m.

Fee: $40 members; $80 non-members

This intermediate level class, with emphasis on grammar, conversational Hebrew, and vocabulary acquisition, is led by master teacher and native Israeli Ora Fisch. This class continues previous classes, but newcomers are welcome. Even if you attended in the fall, you must register for the Winter/Spring session to continue in the class.

Living on a Prayer: Making Meaning out of Our Service, Part 2: Liturgy of the Holidays with Cantor Rebecca Apt

Thursdays, March 7, 14, 21 & 28 at 7:45 p.m.

 Fee: $20 members; $40 non-members

Have you ever wondered how the High Holiday service came to be? Ever attended a service and wondered where it all came from, who composed it, and why is it important? Now is your chance to find out! Come and learn about the beautiful Poems, Prayers and Psalms of High Holiday Liturgy! In this class we will learn about Aleinu, Rosh Hashanah Musaf, the Avodah Service and more! Ability to read Hebrew ideal but not required. Open to all levels of Hebrew!


Two Novels by Yochi Brandes: "The Secret Book of Kings" and "The Orchard"

Mondays, May 13 & 20 at 7:30 pm

 Fee:$15 members; $30 non-members

Israeli author Yochi (Yocheved) Brandes grew up in a Hassidic family. She earned a BA in Biblical Studies and an MA in Judaic Studies and has taught Bible and Judaism. Her writing is rooted in her upbringing and her education, but she created new and bold interpretations of well-known Biblical and Rabbinic narratives.

Brandes published ten novels, of which two were translated to English: "The Secret Book of Kings"; (Melachim Gimel, 2008) and "The Orchard"; (Ha-Pardes shel Akiva, 2012). The first offers a counter-narrative of the biblical events depicted in the books of Samuel and Kings, from the establishment of the Kingdom of David to its splitting into the Kingdoms of Judea and Israel, from the perspective of the descendants of the House of Saul. The second offers a retelling of the life of Rabbi Akiva from the perspective of his wife Rachel.  The two sessions will compare each novel to its Biblical or Rabbinic origins and will also compare the extent of deviation and subversion of the original narratives. Copies of the excerpts discussed will be provided.

Dr. Michal Fram Cohen received her Ph.D. from Bar-Ilan University in 2017. She wrote her dissertation on the Hebrew writer Sarah Feiga Foner and lectured about her in Israel and the U.S. She currently works as a seminar paper advisor at Open University in Israel 


Jewish Author Series*

Join us for one or all of these amazing authors.  They come to us from Roanoke, New Brunswick, and Columbia.

Sunday, March 3, 7:30 p.m.: Elizabeth S. Poliner, author of As Close to Us as Breathing.

Elizabeth S. Poliner is the recipient of the 2017 Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize in Fiction, finalist for the Library of Virginia’s People’s Choice Award in Fiction and the Ribalow Prize for Jewish fiction.  Her novel was also an Amazon Best Book of 2016.  She has also authored a poetry collection, What You Know in Your Hands, and a novel-in-stories, Mutual Life & Casualty.  She teaches at Hollins University where she directs the Jackson Center for Creative Writing.

Sunday, March 24, 11:00 a.m.Brigitte Goldstein, author of Death of a Diva.

Brigitte Goldstein is the author of four historical novels and a fifth one in the pipeline. She holds a Ph.D. degree in European History from New York University. In the past, she has translated several German literary works into English, notably the notebooks of a Viennese writer from the Ghetto Lodz, In the Beginning was the Ghetto. Before turning to writing full-time, she taught college history and worked in publishing. She lives in New Brunswick, New Jersey.  Bagels and coffee will be served beginning at 10:45 a.m.

Sunday, May 19, 7:30 p.m.: Rabbi Amy Scheinerman, author of The Talmud of Relationships.

Rabbi Amy Scheinerman is the hospice rabbi in Howard County, Maryland. She serves on the Responsa Committee of the CCAR and as editor of the Torah Commentary column of the CCAR newsletter. In addition, she is the past president of both the Baltimore Board of the Rabbis and the Howard County Board of Rabbis. She has served Conservative, Reform, and unaffiliated congregations. Rabbi Scheinerman received her bachelor’s degree from Brown University; studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Princeton Theological Seminary; and was ordained at HUC-JIR in New York, where she also received a Doctor of Divinity in 2009.

*This series is a fee separate from the multiclass fee.

Fee:  Members:  3 sessions for $25.00; 2 sessions for $18.00; 1 session for $10.00;

Non-Members:  3 sessions for $50.00; 2 sessions for $36; 1 session for $20.00