SPOTLIGHT ON . . .   

Membership Renewals

October 1st is the beginning our annual membership year and time for your membership renewal. Please renew online by clicking here (choose Membership from the drop-down menu). Current members will be receiving invoices shortly. New members, please visit the Membership section of this site.

Full membership includes high holiday tickets for the coming year as well as many other benefits and services.

Teachings from Jonathan Cahn - click here.

Fall 2015 All Inclusive News - click here.


Rabbi David Shneyer is the founder, director and spiritual leader of Am Kolel. Reb David studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary and in Israel, earning degrees in Judaic studies from Rutgers University and Baltimore Hebrew College. ...more

                           WHAT IS JEWISH RENEWAL?                       

We are pioneers in the movement for Jewish Renewal, a movement that was born in the late '60s and found it's expression in independent havurot, fellowships of young Jews around the country such as Fabrangen, the Bnei Or community, the Jewish folks arts revival movement, and new social and political activist groups such as Jews for Urban Justice and Naaseh.

The philosophical grounding for Jewish Renewal comes from the teachings of Martin Buber, Abraham Joshua Heschel and Mordecai Kaplan.  Other contemporary teachers include Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shlomi, Dr. Judith Plaskow,  Rabbi Arthur Waskow, and Rabbi Arthur Green, and Rabbi Michael Lerner just to name a few.  We draw much inspiration from the Jewish mystical tradition and the Hebrew prophets. ...more


Renewal communities have also embraced lessons from diverse spiritual traditions, Eastern philosophy and both Eastern and Jewish meditative practices. In this spirit we sponsor an ecumenical retreat center for the benefit of our members and others who seek spiritual renewal, communion with nature, learning and fellowship.

Open Shabbes - where individuals, youth groups, havurot and congregations celebrate the Sabbath, sing and dance, explore Jewish thought and culture in a casual and nurturing retreat setting. 

Spirit Days -  where religious and cultural groups explore their commonalities and their differences, to develop greater understanding and trust. The Spirit Days would also create bridges to Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Native American, Jewish, African-American, Hispanic, Asian and other ethnic communities. ...more

                             DECEMBER APPEAL                          

Over the past 26 years, with your support, Am Kolel has grown into a Jewish presence that has earned the respect of many people and many groups. We are known as a community that cares about and acts on social issues, human rights and the environment.

I sit on the Boards of various organizations and feel I represent all of us.

We pride ourselves in being an independent Jewish community dedicated to Jewish renewal by addressing spiritual needs in a welcoming, inclusive community and responding to social issues with a progressive Jewish voice. We are deeply dedicated to Tikkun Olam, the healing and repair of the world.

Our small staff includes Andres, our retreat manager, Jackie, our new office manager, and Judy, our bookkeeper. They work very hard. Gilah Rosner, our former retreat manager, coordinates the new Visitors Project for People with Dementia living in nursing homes who are rarely receive visits. We are always so grateful to you who volunteer throughout the year. But it is becoming more challenging to manage all our needs. We need an additional staff person to assist us in providing the quality programs that we offer.

With the December Appeal, we count on raising $30K. Without these Appeals we would not be able to continue. We are seeking additional funding for a new program staff person and need between $50K-$70K. It is our hope that by next summer we will have raised the funds for this position. A new restricted fund has been set up for this purpose. We welcome your additional gift in meeting this need.

If you have given in the past, thank you. Our voice is needed in the Jewish and larger community. Tell your friends about us.

May the Lights of this season continue to give us hope and blessings.

Sincerely, b'Shalom,

You may click here to see the overview of
Am Kolel services and programs.

Click here to download a
payment coupon for your donation.


Am Kolel is a welcoming and diverse Jewish Renewal community located in Montgomery County, Maryland and serving the Greater Washington, D.C. metro area. Shabbat services are held in Bethesda, MD and once a month at the Sanctuary and Renewal Center, Beallsville, MD.

Founded in 1990 by Rabbi David Shneyer in response to requests for a more personal and responsive Judaism,  Am Kolel is devoted to the revitalization of the Jewish heritage and the Jewish community, seeking to discover and rediscover a Judaism that is spiritually and socially meaningful.

Hebrew for "an inclusive people,"  Am Kolel was originally created as a "synagogue without walls" dedicated to meeting unmet spiritual needs in the Jewish community and responding to social issues with a progressive Jewish voice.  We are an inclusive and caring community welcoming anyone seeking Yiddishkeit ("Jewishness").  Am Kolel  seeks to bring creativity, relevance, joy, and an all embracing awareness to spiritual practice, as a path to healing our hearts and finding balance and wholeness - tikkun halev.  We are a unique voice in the Jewish community, expressing a Judaism that is joyful, spiritual and responsive to social issues, and engaged in tikkun olam, repairing the world. ...more


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