Beth El Hebrew Congregation

Beth El Hebrew Congregation


I started to watch this morning's service from the beginning. Almost immediately it disappeared. I assume there are still technical difficulties.
Shabbat Shalom,
Stuart, Nancy, Josh, and Leah Davis
The best day camp in Northern VA is looking for staff! Its not too late to sign up for the best summer of your life!
Camp Achva the best day camps around! my kids had great summers there -- and now one is headed to be a counselor. If anyone is looking for a great, fun, summer... apply to Achva to be among their awesome staff!!
Camp Achva is one of the best day camps around! my kids had great summers there -- and now one is headed to be a counselor. If anyone is looking for a great, fun, summer... apply to Achva to be among their awesome staff!!
Judaica Shop Spring Cleaning Sale
The Beth El WRJ Judaica Shop will be open on Sunday, May 2 from 10 AM to 12:30 PM during religious school hours and from 1:30 - 2:30 PM before the WRJ meeting in the tent.

ALL merchandise in the shop will be 20 percent off (except cards and books). Since the shop is small, we will allow only three shoppers inside at a time, so there may be a wait to get in.

In accordance with Beth El's COVID safety protocols, shoppers must wear a mask, use hand sanitizer, have their temperature taken, and sign a waiver (we will provide clean pens). Once the safety protocols have been followed, shoppers may "shop till you drop"!

We request payment with a credit card or check so no one from the shop staff has to go to the bank.

Think about all the Mother’s Day, graduation, confirmation, holiday, and b’nei mitzvah gifts you can buy, and get them at 20 percent off with no shipping! Any questions? Email me at [email protected].
Hi all Ya'all! Chag Semeach! to all!
Thank you, Cantor Jason Kaufman, for helping me to get a head start on my favorite Passover food: chopped liver!

What’s your favorite Passover food?
Anyone know where I can buy a local seder plate?
Eagerly awaiting the Purim Spiel this morning!
Just wanted to share this in case others are interested too! It's tonight at 7pm

We are Beth El, a sacred Jewish community for all who seek connection, meaning, and healing.

Operating as usual

[08/27/21]   Today's Jewel of Elul comes from the brothers and comedy duo Jason & Randy Sklar:

Randy: "Connecting with strangers can be an essential part of Tikkun Olam."

Jason: "Some of my earliest memories come from Dad taking us with him on Saturday mornings to run errands."

Randy: "He would go in quickly and leave us in the car..."

Jason: "While it was still running..."

Randy: "It was a different time."

Jason: "Yep. But whether it was at the cleaners or the bagel shop, or the gas station, no matter who was engaging with him, within seconds that person was smiling, and laughing with him."

Randy: "It was like a super power..."

Jason: "... the ability to make strangers laugh, to bring them instant joy. We were too young to articulate what fascinated us about it, but we were transfixed by these moments."

Randy: "And Dad was not a comedian. At the time he sold paper for a company called Tension Envelope."

Jason: "His job had 'tension' in its name!"

Randy: "Maybe this was his way to counteract that reality. A way to break other people’s daily tension at work."

Jason: "When we had the chance, we moved far away from St. Louis, and set out on a career trajectory that seemed to be completely divergent from our Dad’s path."

Randy: "And yet, as comedians, every time we step on stage, we find ourselves doing exactly what he did when he walked into The Bagel Factory on a Saturday morning in St. Louis in 1977..."

Jason: "We try to form a connection with strangers by making them laugh."


Join us Saturday evening at 8:00 pm for a beautiful S'lichot service. This special candlelight service offers prayers and meditation that encourage individuals to reflect on 5781 and the changes they wish to make in 5782.

Our S'lichot service will be held in the sanctuary and will not be livestreamed. Register at

Join us Saturday evening at 8:00 pm for a beautiful S'lichot service. This special candlelight service offers prayers and meditation that encourage individuals to reflect on 5781 and the changes they wish to make in 5782.

Our S'lichot service will be held in the sanctuary and will not be livestreamed. Register at

[08/26/21]   Today's Jewel of Elul: Lessons From My Parents comes from Representative Adam Schiff:

"As children, my father told us that 'If you are good at what you do, there will always be a demand for you.' We had little notion of what we wanted to do in the future, but he was telling us that — perhaps unlike many in his generation and before — we didn’t need to be consumed with making money. We could pursue our passions, not because we had wealth – we didn’t – but if we had sufficient determination. This was a very liberating idea.

"My brother and I could pursue a calling, and merely concentrate on being good at it, and the rest would take care of itself. My brother felt free to pursue his passion and write plays, and I pursued mine in public service.

"We are both very grateful that we had the confidence to do so, and our parents gave us that."


Bailey Romano (she/her/hers)'s Zoom Meeting

HaMakom: Perpetual Crossings


Adult Hebrew classes begin September 19th. 10:00 - 11:00 am beginner; 11:00 - 12:00 intermediate. Classes are offered in-person and online. More information and registration at

Adult Hebrew classes begin September 19th. 10:00 - 11:00 am beginner; 11:00 - 12:00 intermediate. Classes are offered in-person and online. More information and registration at

[08/24/21]   Today's Jewel of Elul: Lessons From My Parents comes from Dr. Myron A. Gordon:

Last Stop first Stop, Elul Station

"Jews around the world have used the spirit of Elul to mark the season of connection – with God, with other humans, with the world. In a long life I’ve made many stops at Elul Station in temples and synagogues. Yet, amidst the spiritual feast of the High Holy Days, I always experienced surging, contentious feelings that filled me with insecurity and a sense of abandonment.

"Strangely, I discovered that the clue to these feelings lay in the lighthearted Dreidel Song for which my father, Samuel E. Goldfarb wrote the melody in 1926. Although he managed to perform some of his fatherly duties, he had one foot out of the door to start a new family on the West Coast. 'I have a Little Dreidel' was always a threat to me because of the built-in yearning and rejection it held. I would never be that child or adult who would enjoy that song in the presence of the composer.

"The pieces of my life’s puzzle gradually came together to initiate a process of forgiveness: a bat kol of great wisdom; my life as a practicing psychologist; and a wonderful family.
During Elul, we hear a litany of sins of omission and commission. But there is another area in which the worshipper has failed to pay enough attention to the damage that was done to the self. If not, then how can the traces of darkness and pessimism be confronted and overcome? How can we free ourselves to right wrongs against others and the world? How can we forgive? Elul opens the curtain from where we explore insights that can be translated into action.

"There is immense power of change behind that curtain that we can access in our own unique manner."

[08/23/21]   Today's Jewel of Elul: Lessons From My Parents comes from singer, songwriter and producer Kinneret:

Wisdom From My Parents

Must remember that I’m holy
The stars above know me
The sky wants to hold me
When land feels too lonely

Must remember that I’m sacred
A song by King David
Melodically complicated
Like dough that’s been braided

All the answers are waiting
For questions to be asked
Every brush will start painting
When we stop moving fast

Bright sun will always remain
Triumphantly brighter than screens
And fresh crops will never taste plain
As long as we know what is sweet


Bailey Romano (she/her/hers)'s Zoom Meeting

Shabbat Shalom!

[08/20/21]   Psalm 27: An Elul Text Study (for Shabbat Evening services)

(1) Of David. The LORD is my light and my help; whom should I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life, whom should I dread? (2) When evil men assail me to devour my flesh— it is they, my foes and my enemies, who stumble and fall. (3) Should an army besiege me, my heart would have no fear; should war beset me, still would I be confident. (4) One thing I ask of the LORD, only that do I seek: to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD, to frequent His temple. (5) He will shelter me in His pavilion on an evil day, grant me the protection of His tent, raise me high upon a rock. (6) Now is my head high over my enemies roundabout; I sacrifice in His tent with shouts of joy, singing and chanting a hymn to the LORD. (7) Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud; have mercy on me, answer me. (8) In Your behalf my heart says: “Seek My face!” O LORD, I seek Your face. (9) Do not hide Your face from me; do not thrust aside Your servant in anger; You have ever been my help. Do not forsake me, do not abandon me, O God, my deliverer. (10) Though my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will take me in. (11) Show me Your way, O LORD, and lead me on a level path because of my watchful foes. (12) Do not subject me to the will of my foes, for false witnesses and unjust accusers have appeared against me. (13) Had I not the assurance that I would enjoy the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living… (14) Look to the LORD; be strong and of good courage! O look to the LORD!


Shabbat Services


Visit us at

Visit us at

[08/20/21]   Today's Jewel of Elul: Lessons From My Parents comes from Hilda L. Solis, Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and former Secretary of Labor under President Barack Obama.

"My mother, Juana Sequeira Solis, was a stunning example of resiliency. From a very young age, she instilled in me the desire to serve others, especially among those less fortunate than us. I remember vividly her sending my siblings and me to bring cooked meals to the neighbor’s house down the block because she was worried they were going hungry and wanted to check up on them.

"Throughout my public service career, my mother was right by my side cheering me on. I still feel her presence and hear her voice pushing me forward, saying tienes ganas – you have the strength.

"Whether opening a housing site or launching a vaccination site, I know my mother is with me, encouraging me to keep fighting so that the values of equity and compassion that she championed in word and deed, can carry us forward in all that we do."

[08/19/21]   Today's Jewel of Elul: Lessons From My Parents comes from interior designer and best-selling author Nate Berkus:

"My father had a way of living big…you knew when he was in the room. And he could see through everyone’s defenses and get to the heart of what was going on. Sometimes his directness was on the brink of being rude, but he was so charming and funny that it was disarming.

"I aspired to be like him; he was so witty and vibrant. He taught me that humor makes good experiences better and bad experiences digestible. We found the same things funny, and that ability to laugh - at myself most of all - I learned that from him.

"That, and how a little bit of grace and charm goes a long way in this world."

[08/18/21]   Today's Jewel of Elul: Lessons From My Parents comes Simone Zimmerman:

"My mom never let me go to bed angry at her. If it could not be mitigated with a funny face, she insisted on talking it through. Now that I don’t live at home, hurt that hasn’t been sufficiently addressed is sure to come up in our annual pre-Yom Kippur chat — which she ensures we don’t miss.

"I often roll my eyes at my mom’s stubborn refusal to let our hurts pass quietly. But I also know that it is perhaps her greatest gift to me, both in my personal life and in my activism.

"The ability to engage with and confront our pain, regardless of how uncomfortable it is, is a muscle that must be strengthened through practice. It requires commitment.
The Kotzker Rebbe said that, “there is nothing so whole as a broken heart.” This idea is part of the spiritual core of justice work — similar to the idea of tikkun olam, a commitment to repairing the brokenness in our world. This year, in particular, we experienced too much heartbreak and devastation — personally and societally. Hiding from it, letting it fester, or clinging to it so tightly that we have no energy to do anything else makes it impossible for there to be room to grow. Seeing it and engaging with it offers us the possibility of making space for something else on the other side of it.

"From within the brokenness is where the real work happens."


Bailey Romano (she/her/hers)'s Personal Meeting Room

HaMakom: Walking the Path of Elul

[08/17/21]   Today's Jewel of Elul: Lessons From My Parents comes from social worker, educator, author and mother and child Erika Jacoby as told to her son Jonathan:

"I think the most important thing I learned from my mother was to never give up. Giving up was a no-no, it was not a choice. She didn’t teach me with words – but with action. She would say, 'You're right' and that was enough, because praise was not in our family. We didn't positively acknowledge each other.

"This lesson helped me tremendously in the camp. It’s interesting that in the camp, my mother was the weak one and I became the strong one. I don't know if psychologically it makes sense but perhaps I needed my strong mother to be weak in order that I could be strong. I could not give up because I didn't want to lose her. It had consequences.

"I remember marching in the snow, I organized it so there were five in a row. We put the one who couldn't walk in the middle and carried them so they would not fall. If you fell, it was the end, they would shoot you.

"To fall was not a choice. In ordinary life we always have choices and that was something I had to learn as an adult. We have choices, and we give choices to others. That was a difficult lesson to learn."

[08/16/21]   Today's Jewel of Elul: Lessons from My Parents comes from director and choreographer Jacob Jonas:

"There was a large shift in my life when I learned my parents had imperfections.
"I was told by someone close to me that you’ll have had a successful relationship with your parents if, after they pass, you can look in the mirror and only see the good that was passed down.

"I am a product of divorce. My parents' conflict towards one another was difficult. They shared the bad about each other, but I tried to only acknowledge their strengths. The pain they are in as a result of how they treated each other runs deep in me. I am the product of that pain.

"Oftentimes this pain is the motivation for my work. The more work I make, the more I heal. I am grateful to have found dance as it is my vehicle and outlet. It has allowed me to externally create a family of artists needing a sense of belonging.

"When I think about what lesson was most learned, it seems to be embracing pain. Use it as a vehicle to share vulnerabilities and foster a community of like-minded people to support one another."

[08/15/21]   Today's Jewel of Elul: Lessons From My Parents comes to us from Rabbi Rachel Timoner:

"I’ve saved his voicemails over the years, each one sweeter than the last. "'I love you Rachie. You are magnificent. I’m proud to be your dad.'

"My dad started an airline. For ten years, it was the fastest-growing airline in the world. In 1982, he had a stroke, the airline went bankrupt, he lost all of his wealth, and he was paralyzed for the rest of his life. Since then, hundreds of his employees continue to hold reunions at which they describe the rare environment of respect and teamwork he built. They revere and adore him. Meanwhile, in those remaining 40 years, he became pure love.

"My son Eitan sat next to my dad’s bed as he was dying. We were gathered for the last few days to say goodbye, and the grandkids had questions. Some asked for business advice, some for his favorite jokes. Eitan sat down quietly and, after a long silence, asked, 'Poppop, do you have advice for how I should live my life?'

"My father closed his eyes and opened them again.
'Respect people you don’t know and love people you do.'

"That’s it. That’s how he lived. That’s what he taught."


Shabbat Morning Services 8.14.21

[08/13/21]   Shabbat shalom! We’ll begin in a moment.


Shabbat Services 08/13/2021

Today's whimsical Jewels of Elul comes from artist Alex Zohar. Shabbat shalom!

[08/12/21]   Today's Jewels of Elul:Lessons from our Parents comes from HUC rabbinical student Hannah Ellenson:

"I never knew that family was not chosen.

"For all I knew, the people we ate shabbat meals with every week might as well have been my real aunts and uncles. While I am extremely lucky to have been raised in a family where an extended web of grandparents and aunts and uncles are extremely loving and supportive, the people I saw most often were not related to me, but they were definitely my family.

"My parents were often busy, and while there was no substitute for my Ima and Abba, I was close with so many adults that I knew I could always get what I needed from someone. Helping with a special school project in the area of their expertise, teaching me how to dive into the pool, and shopping for shoes were all things that happened with my tantes and uncles at various points.

"My parents’ deep friendships taught me that with the right people, family can be formed anywhere. I have made many friends that have become family to me and I can only hope to raise my children with such a strong sense of community that they can form a family wherever they go."

[08/11/21]   Jewels of Elul: Lessons from my parents comes from artist and performer Ben Platt:

13 is hard enough, so busy growing up
Now you’re sitting on a secret no one knows
You see him after school, he barely looks at you,
cause you’re both afraid that people might suppose

I’ll see you in the mirror when you’re older,
For now just keep your head up on your shoulders

Life goes too fast, heart breaks in two
Tough times don’t last, tough people do
So wipe those tears from your crying eyes
Cause you only see the light shine
in dark times

We’re 27 now, don’t have it figured out
But at least no one can say we haven’t grown
Scars turn to memories, they keep us company
And it’s nice to know we’re not in this alone

Life goes too fast, heart breaks in two
Tough times don’t last, tough people do
So wipe those tears from your crying eyes

Cause you only see the light shine
in dark times

Photos from Beth El Hebrew Congregation's post 08/10/2021

Blooming (and visiting) in our Chapel-in-the-Woods this week.

Videos (show all)

Bailey Romano (she/her/hers)'s Zoom Meeting
Bailey Romano (she/her/hers)'s Zoom Meeting
Bailey Romano (she/her/hers)'s Personal Meeting Room
Shabbat Morning Services 8.14.21
Bailey Romano (she/her/hers)'s Personal Meeting Room
Jason Kaufman's Zoom Meeting
Zoom Host -Saturday Morning Services




3830 Seminary Rd
Alexandria, VA

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 3pm
Saturday 9am - 12pm
Sunday 10am - 12pm
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