At a Glance
Established in 1964, BJC is a liberal Jewish congregation whose members engage in a wide spectrum of Jewish practice. All are welcome, regardless of religious background. BJC stresses equal participation of all its members in all aspects of congregational life. BJC currently has about 225 households from Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia, and continues to grow.
By choice, BJC is not affiliated with any of the major organized movements in Judaism. We are a trans-denominational congregation, predominantly using a Reform prayer book, plus additional liturgies created by Rabbi Schnitzer and drawn from traditional, Reconstructionist, Renewal and other sources. BJC is on the cutting edge of contemporary Jewish practice, yet maintains a strong connection to tradition.
Religious School: BJC’s school meets on Saturday mornings for classes and special programs, with additional Wednesday Hebrew classes during grades 4-7. On Shabbat, students in Grades 4 and up have the opportunity to observe and participate in Shabbat Morning worship several times each year. The school has an enrollment of approximately 70 students. Parents are welcome and encouraged to be active participants in school activities. Our program includes interactive, multi-disciplinary learning, experiential programs, tzedakah/social action engagement, music, dance, arts, field trips, and more.
Grades PreK-2 attend Saturdays from 10:00 am to 12:15pm. Grade 3 attends Saturdays from 9:00am -12:15pm. Grades 4-7 attend Saturday from 9:00am-12:15pm and Wednesdays from 4:30-6:00pm. Grades 8-10 meet once a month on Tuesdays from 6:30-8:00pm. For more information about our Religious School program click here.
Bar/Bat Mitzvah: The Rabbi provides personal instruction, leadership, and direction for each B’nai Mitzvah. At BJC there is flexibility in setting dates. The program includes family learning and social action components as well.
Adult Education: In addition to our including weekly Torah study, BJC offers various classes throughout the year including Adult Hebrew, Introduction to Judaism, and other specialized subjects, all at no charge to members. Annually, the congregation engages in joint study programs with the members of Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church.
Book Club: Our Book Club meets monthly on the 4th Wednesday evening at 8:00pm to discuss books of topical interest.
Family Education: BJC offers programs throughout the year, with a major annual event each spring. BJC celebrates all of the major holidays as a congregation. Examples include our Second Night of Passover Seder, Sukkot, Hanukah, and Purim events, a Tu B’shvat Seder, as well as many other exciting programs, often including guest instructors and entertainers.
Social Action: BJC is committed to social action. Tzedakah and Tikkun Olam are important values that shape our Congregation. We provide ongoing support to Cuba’s Jewish communities, especially in smaller, more isolated towns like Sancti Spiritus, Camaguey, and Santa Clara, by sending supplies and funding Jewish studies. In partnership with Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church, BJC also sends funds to Neve Shalom, a joint Palestinian/Jewish community and school in Israel. Closer to home, both congregations support the nearby National Center for Families and Children in Bethesda, as well as other organizations including A Wider Circle, Bethesda Cares, Bethesda Help Food Closet, Martha’s Table, Stepping Stones, the American Red Cross Blood Drive, Potomac Conservancy, Habitat for Humanity, Yachad, and others.
BJC’s Relationship with Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church (BHPC): Over the years, our two congregations have become spiritual siblings. We celebrate Thanksgiving together with a joint service, which also includes a local Muslim Imam, engage in congregational dialogues to further mutual understanding, and undertake joint social action projects. In 2004, the congregations reaffirmed this special relationship by reaffirming the written covenant between us.
Worship Space: BJC has always been housed at BHPC. Twelve years ago, the two congregations jointly embarked on a capital campaign to renovate and build dedicated sacred space. Covenant Hall is BJC’s permanent worship space, with an Ark housing our Torahs, and a ner tamid(eternal light.) High Holidays services are held in the church sanctuary, which is appropriately modified for Jewish worship.
Synagogue Support: Members enable BJC’s operations and activities through “Synagogue Support.” BJC does not have a “building fund.” We welcome everyone regardless of ability to pay and are pleased to make private arrangements with anyone for whom the level of synagogue support and/or tuition presents a problem. There are different support levels for singles, single parents, families, and retired couples. Synagogue support includes High Holiday tickets. First year members can receive a 25% discount on Religious School Judaic Studies tuition for their children.
High Holidays: In addition to the full complement of High Holiday services for adults, the Rabbi leads a family service for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Non-members are welcome to purchase tickets by contacting the office.