SPOTLIGHT ON . . .   

June Appeal 2016

Dear Members and Friends,

Welcome to the June Appeal!

In this world where "larger" issues occupy our attention, we can lose sight of our own needs, and the needs of institutions that benefit us and our immediate community.

Am Kolel continues to honor the ethical teachings of our heritage. Recently, we cele-brated Sanctuary's 10th Anniversary where Councilmember Roger Berliner presented a Proclamation recognizing us for our "continuing commitment to interfaith relations, social justice, life celebrations, spirituality and wellness, and to the environment."

Your support over the years has helped to create a community and organization that has impacted countless others.

This past year we ventured into a new area of Jewish cultural appreciation with monthly Yiddish sing-a-longs and poetry readings called Lomir Ale Zingen, generously supported by the Marinus and Minna B Koster Foundation. We are spearheading an effort to create a Center for Interreligious Studies, as well as a Faith Faculty Speakers Bureau in the fall.

We just received approval for a grant from the County to create a Visitors Project for folks with dementia. The project will serve County residents in low income nursing and assisted living facilities who receive little visitation other than from hired caregivers. If you would like to be involved with any of the above efforts please let me know.
Our staff is small. Our retreat manager is Andres Aparicio. We are seeking a new office manager, administrative assistant and a program assistant. Additional funding is needed.

We are grateful for the handful of strong donors who support our operational needs. However, it takes a community of supporters to provide us with all the financial support needed.

Your ideas are always welcome. Your volunteerism is needed, too. It is a blessing to represent you and serve you,

Sincerely, with blessings,

Rabbi David

Read the June 2016 Annual Report online.

To donate online, click here.

Want to mail your donation? Click here for Payment Coupon.

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 2014 All Inclusive News - click here.


Click here for general information about our High Holy Days services.


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 & congregations celebrate the Sabbath, sing & dance, explore Jewish thought & culture in a casual & nurturing retreat setting. 

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


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 & 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


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


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


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