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Our Community in Pictures

2020 Annual campaign


It is hard to believe that it has been close to two months since we have been together in Shul. We are all struggling to make sense of the meaning of the Coronavirus pandemic and the implications it will have on our lives. During these difficult days we have been able to draw much strength from our Netivot family and hope that the Shul has been a source of comfort for you as well. We have gathered together virtually to celebrate lifecycle events, learn Torah, hear stories read by Ms. Annette, remember Israel’s fallen soldiers, discuss films, and celebrate Yom Ha-Atzmaut. Our Shul continues to provide the religious, spiritual, and social nourishment that distinguishes us throughout the year.

Last year our Shul launched an annual campaign during Sefirat ha-Omer. During Sefira the Jewish people excitedly counts toward the holiday of Shavuot – the holiday on which we received the Torah. In preparing for the recreation and reexperiencing of the revelation at Sinai, it is also a time when we focus on our interpersonal relationships (bein adam le-chavero). This is best seen by the tradition to study one chapter of Pirkei Avot each week of the Omer. I believe that our Shul continues to thrive during these most unusual times because our commitment to the two ideals of the Omer – love of Torah and love of our fellow human being – is strong. This commitment was strong before the virus struck and will continue to be strong once the pandemic is over.

But as the Mishnah from last week’s chapter of Pirkei Avot teaches אם אין קמח אין תורה – if there is no flour, there is no Torah. Our Shul depends on the generous donations of our friends and members to allow us to operate. There is no doubt that the intimate nature of our Shul makes it special. But that very intimacy also means that our numbers are small and our financial resources are limited. Membership dues do not even cover our operating budget, which consists primarily of salaries and building-related matters, let alone pay for any programming. Our policy has always been that no one will be excluded from any Shul activity for financial reasons, and we have worked to ensure that everyone is able to participate in Shul programs.

We respectfully request that you participate in our annual campaign. Please give what you can, whatever the amount. As we look forward to receiving the Torah on Shavuot and a return to “normal life,” please help to support our Shul.

Please consider participating in the campaign at one of the following categories (inspired by Shemot Rabbah 2:4 and Bamidbar Rabbah 1:8):












Rabbi Elliot Kaplowitz

Dr. Howard Lederman, President

Marcia Wagner, Chair Fundraising Committee


First name
Last name
Phone number
   Sinai - $5000
   Chorev - $3600
   Moriah - $1000
   Bashan - $540
   Gavnunim - $360


upcoming events

Shavuot Learning Program – Six Rabbis Reading Ruth. 
Tuesday May 26,  7:30pm
Following on the successful Multi-Shul Musical Kabalat Shabbat, we will join with B’nai Israel, Moses Montefiore Anshe Emunah and Beth Tfiloh for a pre-Shavuot learning program where we will focus on the study of Megilat Rut.  Please save the date and make every effort to join for what promises to be a thought provoking event.
Please also stay tuned for details on a Netivot Shalom pre-Shavuot reading of Megilat Rut and Yizkor service.

Important health update


As we are all following the rapidly changing developments with the COVID-19 novel coronavirus health crisis, the shul leadership has been in constant communication over the past few days. 

There is now evidence for community transmission of this virus in Maryland. That is, people are being infected by other people in the community, not from going on a trip to a country with a high rate of infection or from being within the confined space of a cruise ship for a week or two. When there is community transmission, the CDC recommends that people stay home as much as possible, avoid being in groups of even 25 people, and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others at all times.

After much deliberations we have come to the difficult decision to close all activities at Netivot Shalom for this coming Shabbat.  We further recommend that all of our members heed the advice to stay at home as much as possible this weekend.

We hope and pray that the tides will turn quickly and that we can resume our normal communal activities and gatherings.

As difficult as it was to make this decision, it is our strong feeling that this is the correct course of action to take medically, ethically and halachically.    We encourage our members to do their part to help minimize the spread of the virus and to protect themselves and all members of the broader community.  To that effect, it is strongly recommended that folks remain home and avoid large gatherings.  The halachic concern of avoiding potentially harmful situations overrides the requirement to daven with a minyan, hear Torah reading or even to say kaddish.

Those individuals in the year of mourning or who have a yarzheit are encouraged to take on an extra mitzvah in the merit of their loved one.  The study of Mishnah is an especially appropriate mitzvah.

While the closing of shul is a drastic step that will certainly create challenges to our routines and Shabbat experience, we also want to ensure that we continue to meet our standards of warmth and concern for our community.  Please make extra efforts to reach out to members of our community who are vulnerable to provide social and logistical support.  If anyone is need of assistance please be in touch with Rabbi Kaplowitz or Lisa Lederman, the head of the Chesed Committee.  As always, Rabbi Kaplowitz is available to address any pastoral or halachic questions that may arise. 

The board has committed to continue to pay Ms. Annette her regular salary even as our doors are closed.  Rabbi Kaplowitz will send be sending a separate email with Divrei Torah and resources for families observing Shabbat at home with smaller kids.

We will make future decisions week by week, adjusting to the most up-to-date data on the epidemiology of COVID-19 in our community and consulting with experts in infectious diseases.

May all who have become infected with COVID-19 enjoy a rapid and complete refuah shleimah!

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Elliot Kaplowitz                         Dr. Howard Lederman

Sunflower Bakery - sweets of the month club

Hi Everyone,
I'm excited to share with you that Netivot Shalom will once again be partnering with Sunflower Bakery to bring the Sweets of the Month Club to Baltimore. Sunflower Bakery is a kosher bakery in Gaithersburg that employs people with cognitive and developmental disabilities (and makes really delicious baked goods).  Basically, once a month from September through June, you'll get a delivery of delicious (and often holiday-themed) baked goods conveniently delivered to our shul!  Click here  for more info, and to see the monthly offerings.  
Additionally, this partnership serves as a fundraiser for Netivot, with the shul getting a percentage of every subscription. To me, this is totally a get to support an amazing organization and support the shul, all while taking home delicious baked goods. You can sign up by going to and selecting Netivot Shalom on the dropdown for delivery location.  You need to sign up by September 1st for the full subscription.  Definitely feel free to share with friends...I hope you are as excited as I am!

Fri, June 5 2020 13 Sivan 5780