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.

Am Kolel is a community whose members find fellowship, guidance and support for all life-cycle events, in addition to celebrating Shabbat, annual holidays and festivals together. We offer adult learning opportunities throughout the year, Jewish renewal weekends at the Am Kolel Sanctuary & Renewal Center, guest speakers and performers, and a summer youth Kibbutz. 

Our services are upbeat, joyful and participatory, blending Hebrew and English song and chant with opportunities for reflection and sharing. In addition to reading the weekly Torah portion we discuss and try to understand it in the present world structure.

The Am Kolel Shabbat Havurah is affiliated with the Aleph Alliance for Jewish Renewal and with the Network of Independent Jewish Communities and Havurot of the Greater Washington D.C. Area. 

 We seek a Judaism that speaks to the heart and also the issues that we face in our daily lives; a Judaism that is compassionate towards others and towards this earth. At the core of the Jewish Renewal philosophy is a commitment to: Torah (Learning and Wisdom Seeking); Tefila (Prayerful awareness); Mitzvot (Doing right actions); Chesed (Loving and caring relationships); Simcha (Joyfulness); Ahavat Yisrael (Love of the Jewish people); and Ahavat Kol Yoshvey Tevel (Love for all humanity).

Am Kolel Jewish Renewal Community of Greater Washington
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