Jewish Community of Riderwood

Welcome to the website for the Riderwood Jewish Community (RJC). The RJC invites you to experience our warm and vibrant Jewish life at Riderwood Village. The RJC was established to provide a focus for the spiritual, cultural and educational activities for all Jewish residents. All are welcome to participate.  Please be sure to check the print or electronic version of the monthly RJC BULLETIN for a complete write-up and contact information for all our events and programs. Keep up with any last minute changes via RJCFLASH.

If you are thinking about making Riderwood your new home and would like additional information on the Riderwood Jewish Community, please send an email message to, Attention: Terrie.

December 2023

 “My heart is in the East,
and I am in
the far West.”
Yehuda HaLevi
We join with our brothers and sisters around the world in praying for an end to the war, a return of all the hostages,
and a lasting peace for all.

Shabbat Services

Shabbat evening services are conducted in the Riderwood Chapel on the second and fourth Friday evenings of each month.  They are led by Rabbi Robert Goldstein and Cantorial Soloist Shari Feldman.  These services are broadcast on Channel 977. The prayer book we use is the Reform Gates of Prayer, and a Torah portion is read in Hebrew and English.  An Oneg Shabbat follows, providing a special time to mingle with friends and meet new neighbors. Recordings of some of the prior services are on the Riderwood TV Showcases website, under Riderwood Jewish Community Services.  Check: .

Shabbat morning services are conducted in the Riderwood Chapel on the first and third Saturday mornings and are lay led. The prayer book we use is the Conservative Siddur Sim Shalom. Services are held on alternate weeks from the Kabbalat Shabbat services on Friday evenings. Please note these services are not recorded.

Click here for a pdf of Highlights of Gates of Prayer siddur which is used for Shabbat services.  In order to achieve the best copy available, and as knowledge permits, you may adjust your printer settings as follows:  From the pdf, select the printer icon and a box will come up.  Select: Print on both sides of paper; Flip on short edge; Click on Landscape (under Orientation).  Then click Print.  Your copy should look the same as the prayer books we use in the Chapel and the type should be the same size.

 RJC Calendar

Click here to see a listing of this month’s events. Please keep current with postings on RJCFLASH for the most up-to-date information on any event.

Opportunities to Connect, Share and Learn

RJC Presents

This special program is usually held on the second Sunday of each month.  This event presents speakers, movies and musical groups that feature Jewish themes of current or historical interest. For further information, contact Annette Graubart.

Education Programs

The Education Forum Committee typically schedules two programs each month, on the third and fourth Wednesday afternoons.  Diverse learning opportunities include classes, discussion groups, films, lectures and forums, all to engage participants in a meaningful and enriching Jewish life at Riderwood. For more information, contact Ferne Katleman.

Torah Discussion Series with Rabbi Goldstein

Join Rabbi Goldstein for a series of enlightening discussions on the Torah and how its messages resonate in contemporary life.  Discussions typically take place in the Chapel, twice each month on Thursday mornings.  No advance reservations or rsvp’s are necessary.

 Music, Prayer & Discussion Program at Arbor Ridge Led by Reb Lisa Levine  

Reb Lisa Levine, well known to many RJC members as Reb Lisa, offers a weekly program of music, discussion and prayer on Tuesday mornings at Arbor Ridge in the Evergreen Terrace 2 Living Room. Though intended primarily for members in Arbor Ridge, all are welcome to attend. Reb Lisa will also be available to meet with individual residents on an appointment basis.

 Exploring Judaism with Rabbi Helen Plotkin

Rabbi Helen Plotkin’s class is back! This lively discussion group covers diverse topics in Judaism and is held twice a month on Thursday afternoons. You may contact her at

Rabbi Helen is the founding director of Mekom Torah, a pioneering Jewish learning project in the Philadelphia area and also the co-founder of the Swarthmore College Center for the Study of Classical Jewish Texts, also known as the Beit Midrash. She is a popular teacher at Philadelphia-area schools, temples and retirement communities.


Riderwood’s Ramon Group is part of Hadassah Greater Washington.  Meetings are typically held the first Sunday afternoon of each month. Founded in 1912 by Henrietta Szold, it is one of the largest international Jewish organizations, with over 300,000 members, male associates and supporters in the United States, all united behind our powerful mission of healing the world. For more information on the Ramon Group, contact resident Adele Greenblatt or send an email to:, Attention: Marsha.

 RJC Book Club

The RJC Book Club meets monthly, usually on the fourth Saturday afternoon of each month.  Members discuss books of Jewish interest. Book suggestions for future discussion are very welcome. Please send them to Amy Greenwood. Everyone is welcome to attend any and all meetings!

 RJC Chavurah Project

There are several exciting chavurot (plural) here at Riderwood, some long-established, and some just beginning. Examples include:

Tikkun Olam Chavurah: With fellowship and informal conversations, we’ll focus on relevant Jewish wisdom and how we can help create a better world for ourselves and future generations. Contact: Bill Blackman.


Dovrei  Ivrit – Hebrew Speaking Chavurah: Two levels of Hebrew speakers (beginners and intermediate/advanced) each meet once a month on a Monday evening. Contact: Don Goelman or Jonathan Tuerk.

Jewish Thought: Looking for a great and inspiring way to spend two Monday mornings a month? You’re invited to join an engaging, small group discussion on Jewish thought. The group meets in the apartment home of Joan Bardach.  Please contact her if interested.


Volunteer: Meet New Friends, Do Good!

Everyone is encouraged to play an active role in the RJC. The high quality of RJC events, programs and services is made possible through the volunteer efforts of our members. Come volunteer, make new friends and help make exciting things happen in our community!  Check out the list of possibilities here


The BULLETIN is published at the beginning of each month and distributed via e-mail or print version to each Jewish resident.  It is the source of information about Jewish events and activities at Riderwood.  Print copies are also available at the Riderwood Sales Office at Town Center and at the Pastoral Ministries Office at Village Square.

RJCFLASH: The Quickest Way to Communicate

RJCFLASH, a free email group, has been created as a vehicle for quickly notifying RJC members of urgent events and issues of immediate importance to the Riderwood Jewish Community.  In recognition of the purpose of the group — just-in-time communication to RJC members — the name of the group is RJCFLASH.  Please download the ground rules and instructions for joining the group here.

RJC Donations Information

The Riderwood Jewish Community is pleased to accept and acknowledge donations designated for our General Fund or for one of our several Special Purpose Funds. All of these donation opportunities are meaningful ways to note milestones such as the memory of a loved one, get-well wishes, a birthday, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, congratulations on an achievement, or other occasion you wish to commemorate. Click here for information on all these giving opportunities.  Click here for a Donations Form.

RJC Archives: DVDs & CDs Available to Borrow

The RJC has an excellent collection of DVDs and CDs.  Residents have an opportunity to check out items for their reading, viewing and listening pleasure.  Detailed instructions for borrowing or donating are available here.  The complete list of DVDs and CDs is available here.  Please note: books are no longer available.


The Riderwood Jewish Community was established in 2000 with the opening of the Riderwood community. It has a Constitution and Bylaws and is administered by an all-volunteer board. Officers are elected at the annual meeting held each December.

RJC Board meetings usually take place at 10 a.m. on the first Tuesday of the month in the Music Room at Village Square.

RJC membership is open to all. Annual dues are $100 per person per calendar year. Please consider becoming involved to make this organization even better!   You may download the current dues form here

This web page is updated monthly in conjunction with the publication of the RJC BULLETIN.  This page was last updated November 30, 2023.  To contact the web page editor, please email Leslie at   Contact information for any resident can be found in the Riderwood Resident Directory, available at your front desk or online at MyErickson.

Important Documents You Can Use

For a complete list of RJC officers, board members and rabbis, please click here. Contact information for the rabbis may be found each month in the RJC BULLETIN.

For the Constitution and Bylaws (all one document), click here. This document was approved by the membership on December 12, 2022.

For the Operations Handbook, an overview of responsibilities of each officer and committee chair, click here. Please note it is 75 pages long.

RJC Cares

The RJC Cares Committee offers support to any member of our community.  There may be a time when a member needs a friendly visitor (as we are allowed) or emotional support.  If you, or someone you know, would welcome some help during a time of need, please call Elaine Ross.  If you would like to volunteer, she would love to hear from you.

Other News You Can Use: Bikur Cholim of Greater Washington

Bikur Cholim offers a friendly visitors program to both independent living and Arbor Ridge residents; operates a kosher food pantry at Holy Cross Hospital and Adventist Medical Center-White Oak; and runs a free loan program of durable medical equipment.
To inquire or to make a donation, contact Leah Snyder, Services Coordinator, and the daughter-in-law of RJC members, Jerry (z”l) and Rose (Ronni) Snyder. Leah can be reached at (202) 331- 4481 Monday – Wednesday from 9 – 5 or register at

Being Prepared for the Journey’s End (2022 edition)

While none of us like to think about death – for ourselves or a loved one – we all know it is inevitable. To assist you with the many considerations in planning a Jewish funeral, and with gathering important information you should have on hand for your family, the Riderwood Jewish Community has just completed a report specifically written for Jewish residents of Riderwood. You may obtain a copy of this 14-page paper from Reverend James Bell in the Pastoral Ministries Office. Or, you may choose to print it yourself by clicking here.