Beth Shalom Congregation 
8070 Harriet Tubman Lane
Columbia, MD 21044

Driving Directions 


Jessica Schultz 
Beth Shalom Congregation 

Shabbat and Holiday Programs

Selichot Movie Featuring: Menashe

Saturday, September 1 at 8:30 p.m. 

Let's prepare for the High Holidays with our annual Selichot movie and service.

In a Hasidic community in Brooklyn's Borough Park, a widower battles for custody of his son. A tender drama performed entirely in Yiddish, the film intimately explores the nature of faith, parenthood, and forgiveness.  Note: This movie is subtitled.

Before watching the movie, mark the end of Shabbat with a short Havdalah service.

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

Yummy snacks provided!

 Social Action Shabbat - Jewish Refugees

Friday, September 28 at 8:00 p.m. 

On Shabbat Sukkot, we will learn the plight of modern day refugees and asylum seekers with the help of the HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. HIAS started in NY in 1881, working with refugees and asylum seekers in the US, Israel and around the globe. The talk will address how we as a synagogue and individuals can help those in need. 


Jews in Sports

 Friday, October 19

5:45 p.m.: Dinner (pre-registration required)

6:45 p.m.: Tot Shabbat

7:00 p.m.: Youth Service

7:00 p.m.: Adult Education Program: Rebecca Schmidt, Senior Director of Sports and Director of the Maccabi Experience at the Baltimore Jewish Community Center, will speak about the Maccabi Games and the experience of the Baltimore Jewish community in these games. 

8:00 p.m.: During Sabbath Services, Rabbi Grossman will speak about Jews in Sports in Antiquity.

Celebrate everything related to sports, including Jews in Sports, in this sport-themed Shabbat with something for everyone. 

A separate email with registration will follow


Judaism’s Ten Best Ideas

Fridays, September 14, October 26, November 9, and December 14  

Join Rabbi Grossman and fellow congregants on this enticing monthly exploration of 10 of Judaism’s most timeless and inspiring ideas for leading a meaningful life. Each month Rabbi Grossman will explore one idea drawn from “Judaism’s Ten Best Ideas: A Brief Guide for Seekers, a small book filled with big ideas by Arthur Green (available through Amazon Smile). The topics explored during Friday night services this fall are:

  • Simchah – Joy
  • Tzelem Elohim – Creation in God’s Image
  • Halakhah – Walking the Path
  • Tikkun Olam – Repairing the World

The November and December programs are held the same evenings as Vatikim dinners for Beth Shalom empty nesters and mature couples and singles. (R.S.V.P. required for each dinner to liat.novek@beth-shalom.net.)


Ask the Rabbi

Fridays, August 17, September 21, and November 30

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, October 13  and December 15

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, September 7, October 5, November 2, and December 7

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



Adult Education 

Fall 2018 Course Offerings

      First and Second Aliyahs: Pioneers through the Lens of Fiction with Dr. Michal Cohen

DAYTIME!     Thursdays, October 4, 11, 18 at 3:00 p.m.

 Fee:$15 members; $30 non-members

The pioneers of the First and Second Aliyahs were fictionalized in romantic novels that depict their heroism and their victory over a hostile environment. “Valley of Strength” (Gai Oni) by Shulamit Lapid portrays the establishment of the village of Rosh Pina in 1882 by the First Aliyah pioneers. “Frontiersmen of Israel” (Anshei B'reshit) by Eliezer Smoli follows the life of the Second Aliyah pioneer Alexander Zad (1886-1938), the founder of the Hashomer defense organization.    

Next to the novels, there are the accounts of the pioneers in their own words. For example, Hannah Barnett Trager, whose parents were among the founders of Petach Tikvah, wrote the memoir Pioneers of Palestine. Ziporah Becker Zad, Alexander Zad's wife, wrote her account under the title “With Hashomer in the Galilee.” Rachel Katzenelson-Shazar of the Second Aliyah published the collection “The Plough Women: Records of the Pioneer Women of Palestine.”  

The lectures will include an analysis of excerpts from the two novels and a comparison with real-life accounts of similar aspects of the pioneers' life. Copies of the reading materials 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. 


  Living on a Prayer: Making Meaning out of Our Service, Part 1: Shabbat with Cantor Rebecca Apt

Tuesdays, October 23, 30, November 13, 20 at 7:45 p.m.

 Fee: $20 members; $40 non-members

Have you ever wondered how the Shabbat 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 Shabbat liturgy. Learn about Kabbalat Shabbat, the Shema and its blessings, the Shabbat Amidah, and more! Ability to read Hebrew ideal but not required. Open for all levels of Hebrew.


 Conversational Hebrew with Ora Fisch

Wednesdays, October 3 through December 12 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.


Israel: From Ancient History to Modern Headlines with Rabbi Susan Grossman

 Tuesdays, November 27, December 4, 11, 18 at 7:45 p.m.

Fee: $20 members; $40 non-members

Explore the intersection of history, politics, and polemics in this fascinating, fast paced series designed to provide participants with the myth busting facts and nuanced context to make sense of contemporary social and political challenges facing Israel today. Sessions will cover the unbroken history of Jews living in the Land of Israel from ancient to modern days; the building and establishment of the modern State of Israel relative to the Arab-Israeli Conflict; Israel and the Palestinians; and what you need to know to talk thoughtfully about Israel today.


Special program

Is Judaism Really Monotheistic? A Maimonidean Perspective

with Dr. Kenneth Seeskin, Professor of Jewish Civilization, Northwestern UniversityMonday,

December 10 at  7:45 p.m. 

Fee: In advance: $10 for members of the sponsoring groups including Beth Shalom congregants, $12 others at door: $15 for all.  Please see foundjs.org for registration. 

The first two commandments of the Decalogue are the primary sources for our Jewish monotheism. How do we understand the commandments? Is belief in one God all that is required to make one a monotheist? If not, what else is needed? Why does the third commandment prohibit us from making images of God? Professor Seeskin, a professor of philosophy and expert in Maimonides, will explore how these issues are more controversial than people might think. In fact, it is far from clear that we observe these laws in the ways that Maimonides and other sages understood.

Dr. Seeskin specializes in Jewish Philosophy, Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion. He uses classic history of philosophy texts to shed light on problems of perennial interest. His books include: Maimonides on the Origin of the World, Autonomy in Jewish Philosophy, Searching for a Distant God: The Legacy of Maimonides, Jewish Philosophy in a Secular Age, and Maimonides: A Guide for Today's Perplexed. He has won several teaching awards at Northwestern and has edited the Cambridge Companion to Maimonides.

This program, by The Institute for Jewish Studies, is co-sponsored by Beth Shalom, Columbia Jewish Congregation, Oseh Shalom, and Temple Isaiah.   



Genetics and Judaism

A weekend of exploration of the relationship between Judaism and science

Rebekah Rasooly, Ph.D., a renowned human geneticist at the National Institutes of Health, is the speaker for our 2018 Scholar-in-Residence program.


 Friday, November 2

  • 5:45 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Candlelighting and congregational Shabbat dinner (pre-registration required)
  • 7:00 p.m. -7:45 p.m.  Dr. Rasooly will speak about “Genetics and Judaism: From Moses to Molecular DNA”.  She will discuss concepts of inheritance from both traditional Jewish sources and from modern molecular genetics, including the relative contributions of genes and environment on human behavior and disease susceptibility.  She will explore the implications of these concepts for our understanding of an individual’s potential for redemption and repentance.
  • 7:00 p.m. Youth Program
  • 8:00 p.m. Shabbat Unplugged Services


 Saturday, November 3

  • During services beginning at 9:30 a.m., Rabbi Grossman will moderate a discussion with Dr. Rasooly and congregants on areas of convergence between the scientific and Jewish approaches to understanding human identity, behavior and traits. The relative contributions of innate potential and the shaping of the environment in developing this potential will be discussed.      
  • Kiddush Light Lunch: Congregants will have the opportunity to continue the discussion with Dr. Rasooly.


 Sunday, November 4

  • There will be Religious School activities relating to the intersections of scientific Genetics and Jewish teachings. Dr. Rasooly and Religious school faculty will lead these activities for Lower School students in the morning, and in the evening Dr. Stephen Seliger, MD MS, and Adult Education Co-Chair, will lead a discussion for Upper School students. 

A separate email with registration will follow