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upcoming events

  • Friends please join us for the following events this week.  Separate emails with times for Pesach and halachic overview/guidance will be sent.
    Please note that all Zoom meetings will not require passwords for access.

    1.  Netivot Film Series  Streit's: Matzo and the American Dream
    Monday April 6, 8pm
    Robert Shaprio will lead the first discussion in the film series.
    Join Zoom Meeting

    Meeting ID: 865 950 325
    Password: 435076

    2.  Siyum Bechorot
    Wendesday Arpil 8, 7:15am
    All are welcome to join as we make a siyum.  As discussed previously, the joy of sharing a siyum, even when done over the internet, suffices to exempt a first born from fasting.  A siyum does not require a minyan or to be phyiscally in the same place.
    Feel free daven before the siyum or to join the siyum and then daven.
    Please note that the Zoom platform does not allow to start meetings on the quarter hour.  The meeting will open at 7, but we wil not begin until 7:15

    Topic: Siyum Bechorot
    Time: Apr 8, 2020 07:15 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

    Join Zoom Meeting

    Meeting ID: 509 024 493
    Password: 229293​​​​​​​

Mechirat Chametz

As indicated in an email sent last week, due to the ongoing social distancing and concerns over the Coronavirus/COVID 19 I will not be arranging a separate sale of Chametz for Netivot.  A number of national organizations have offered to include local shuls in their mechira.  The sales are being conducted under strict guidance from Medical professionals and will ensure that the halachic concerns are met in the safest and most responsible way possible under these trying circumstances.  I have arranged for Rabbi Yona Reiss, Av Beit Din of the Chicago Rabbinical Council to sell the chametz on behalf of our shul.  I have studied with Rabbi Reiss and am grateful to him and the staff at the CRC for opening this up to us and so many others. 
Before completing the form, please read through this email in its entirety.
To complete the form PLEASE CLICK HERE (the link is provided again at the bottom of this email)

Due to the added logistical complications this year, the deadline to submit forms is Monday April 6 at 11:30pm.  Chametz will be bought back and available for consumption on Thursday April 16, 2020 at 10:30pm EST 

For a review and basic explanation of Mechirat Chametz PLEASE CLICK HERE .  Please note that there are several things to be aware of this year due to the current circumstances.

  • As most of us have been at home for the past several weeks, there is likely chametz that we would have normally taken care of that we did not deal with this year.  This would include Chametz in the office, vacation homes, etc.  Please take extra care in completing the form to account for all chametz in your ownership.
  • There are varying customs that individuals and families have around mechirat chametz.  Under normal circumstances there are those who do not rely on the sale at all or who do not rely on it for Chametz Gamur (True chametz/items containing a majority of chametz).  While there is strong basis for these minhagim, they are added chumrot (stringencies) and need not apply given our extenuating cricumstances.  An overwhelming majority of psoekim have advised that even those who normally would not sell such items can do so this year even without hatarat nedarim.
  • Rabbi Reiss' form looks very different than mine.  The instrucions should be very clear.  Please note that he does provide a copy of the sale contract he will complete with the non-Jew as he feels it is best for people to review it.  I have reviewed the contract and feel fine with it.  Anyone not wanting/able to review the contract can take my word that it is acceptable.  Similarly he prefers that everyone make a symbolic kinyan (act of sale) as part of the process to appoint him as a shaliach.  Please follow the instructions.  Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.
  • ​​​​​​​The form contains 6 sections in total.  You must complete all 6 sections (the final is a confirmation that your response has been submitted). 
  • ​​​​​​​ There is a longstanding custom to make a donation to the rabbi conducting the sale on one's behalf.  I have never asked for any donations, neither has Rabbi Reiss.  If you would like to make a donation, I suggest one of hte emergency funds established Ahavas Yisroel , the Associated or the Orthodox Union .

To complete the form and be included in the sale of chametz, PLEASE CLICK HERE

Wishing everyone a Chag Kasher ve-Sameach

Rabbi Kaplowitz

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!

Mon, April 6 2020 12 Nisan 5780