Beth Chai: The Greater Washington Jewish Humanist CongregationBeth Chai: The Greater Washington Jewish Humanist Congregation

Shabbat/Havdalah Program

Beth Chai members of all ages are invited to gather together around the dinner table to celebrate the tradition of Erev Shabbat with joy and conviviality. What better occasion than this gentle, relaxing evening to catch up with friends we haven't seen, as well as to welcome newcomers to the congregation - among them, our new High Holiday cantor Susan-Lisa Gvinter, who will also be song leader for our Shabbat celebrations?

We alternate between Friday night Shabbat and Saturday night Havdalah.  Gatherings typically begin at 7:00pm at the Bannockburn Clubhouse (6314 Bannockburn Drive, Bethesda, MD).

The aim is to let food, song, and conversation erase the cares of the work week and send us home stimulated and refreshed. We'll start the evening with a song and a short reading by a member of the congregation, then turn to lighting the candles and saying the blessings for wine and challah and asking the children present to help pass out bread, grape juice, and wine. Next up is dinner, then more songs led by Susan-Lisa. Rounding out the celebration, Rabbi Art Blecher will lead a brief discussion of the weekly Torah portion and a memorial observance, and then there'll be some more songs.

We'll be providing beverages to go along with the meal. Participants are welcome either to bring their dinners with them or to join in a buffet. Beth Chai orders from a rotating selection of local restaurants. The price for the buffet is $12 per adult (those 13 and up) and $6 for kids 6-12; those 5 and under are free. To reserve your dinner, please contact Mark Israel by 2 PM on Friday.

Location of all Beth Chai Shabbat/Havdalah gatherings (unless otherwise indicated): Bannockburn Clubhouse, 6314 Bannockburn Drive,Bethesda, MD.

Click here to see the Beth Chai calendar, which includes upcoming Shabbat dinners/discussions.

Note:  We will be collecting canned and other nonperishable food donations at each monthly Shabbat.  All donations will go to the Jewish Social Services Agency to benefit those in need in the metropolitan area.

For questions about our Shabbat/Havdalah Service programming, please contact Mark Israel.

If you would like to attend one of our Shabbat/Havdalah services as a non-member, please contact our Membership committee beforehand to let us know you are planning to come so that we can make sure to greet you. Such visits are free of charge.