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Connecting & Caring

BJC is more than a synagogue, it's a community. Learn here about the ways we reach out.

Chesed Society

The Chesed society was formed several years ago to assist the Rabbi and expand his role in the "good and welfare" of the members of the Bethesda Jewish Congregation.  

As such, the Committee has:

  • Visited or otherwise kept in touch with members who are ill 
  • Provided assistance to people observing Shiva
  • Provided rides to religious services or other congregational events
  • Provided rides for occasional appointments or errands
  • Provided meals for people recovering from surgery
  • Sent cards for major events such as illness/surgery, bereavement, births, weddings, engagements, and special anniversaries and birthdays

Most of the people who have received help have been members who live alone and do not have local family members to help out.

If there is something this committee can do for you, please contact the Rabbi in cases of serious illness or deaths. Otherwise, please contact the Rabbi or the Chair Lorrie Van Akkeren by clicking here or the BJC office. If you would like to let us know of an occasion to send a card or to join the Chesed Society, please contact Lorrie Van Akkeren.

Intercongregational Partnership

Members of Bethesda Jewish Congregation and Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church nurture connections between the two congregations throughout the year through joint service projects and interfaith activities. The Inter-congregational Partnership Committee, or IPC, was formed in 2002 and now often includes members from area mosques.


  • Thanksgiving service led jointly by the clergy of BJC and BHPC and by clergy or lay leaders of an area Muslim community (these have included Idara-e-Jaferia Islamic Center of Burtonsville, the International Cultural Center of Montgomery Village, the Islamic Community Center of Potomac)—for adults and children, including a children’s service and fundraising for a charitable organization, followed by lunch
  • Pulpit exchange-  BHPC’s Reverend Gray or Reverend Phillips gives a sermon on the bimah at a Friday night service at BJC, and the Rabbi speaks from BHPC’s altar during a Sunday church service
  • Speaker and discussion programs on subjects of national, international, and interreligious interest, such as the program New Story Leadership
  • Joint service projects such as house building and renovation projects with Habitat for Humanity of Metro Maryland, grounds cleaning and planting at the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda
  • Awareness-raising programs in support of the people of Darfur and gun violence prevention
  • Grounds cleaning and planting at 6601 Bradley Boulevard, where BJC and BHPC share a place of worship and learning

The IPC invites you to join in conceiving, planning, and executing events that nurture connections between BJC and BHPC and advance our shared interests. To learn more or find out about our next meeting, please contact the chair of the IPC, Marty Ganzglass.


Tue, June 18 2024 12 Sivan 5784