October 1st is the beginning our annual membership year and time for your membership renewal. Please renew online by clicking here (choose Membership from the drop-down menu). Current members will be receiving invoices shortly. New members, please visit the Membership section of this site.
Full membership includes high holiday tickets for the coming year as well as many other benefits and services.
Renewal communities have also embraced lessons from diverse spiritual traditions, Eastern philosophy and both Eastern and Jewish meditative practices. In this spirit we sponsor an ecumenical retreat center for the benefit of our members and others who seek spiritual renewal, communion with nature, learning and fellowship.
Open Shabbes - where individuals, youth groups, havurot & congregations celebrate the Sabbath, sing & dance, explore Jewish thought & culture in a casual & nurturing retreat setting.
Spirit Days - where religious & cultural groups explore their commonalities & their differences, to develop greater understanding & trust. The Spirit Days would also create bridges to Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Native American, Jewish, African-American, Hispanic, Asian & other ethnic communities. ...more
WELCOME TO AM KOLEL
Am Kolel is a welcoming and diverse Jewish Renewal community located in Montgomery County, Maryland and serving the Greater Washington, D.C. metro area. Shabbat services are held in Bethesda, MD and once a month at the Sanctuary & Renewal Center, Beallsville, MD.
Founded in 1990 by Rabbi David Shneyer in response to requests for a more personal and responsive Judaism, Am Kolel is devoted to the revitalization of the Jewish heritage and the Jewish community, seeking to discover and rediscover a Judaism that is spiritually and socially meaningful.
Hebrew for "an inclusive people," Am Kolel was originally created as a "synagogue without walls" dedicated to meeting unmet spiritual needs in the Jewish community and responding to social issues with a progressive Jewish voice. We are an inclusive and caring community welcoming anyone seeking Yiddishkeit ("Jewishness"). Am Kolel seeks to bring creativity, relevance, joy, and an all embracing awareness to spiritual practice, as a path to healing our hearts and finding balance and wholeness - tikkun halev. We are a unique voice in the Jewish community, expressing a Judaism that is joyful, spiritual and responsive to social issues, and engaged in tikkun olam, repairing the world. ...more
ABOUT REB DAVID
Rabbi David Shneyer is the founder, director and spiritual leader of Am Kolel. Reb David studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary and in Israel, earning degrees in Judaic studies from Rutgers University and Baltimore Hebrew College. ...more
WHAT IS JEWISH RENEWAL?
We are pioneers in the movement for Jewish Renewal, a movement that was born in the late '60s and found it's expression in independent havurot, fellowships of young Jews around the country such as Fabrangen, the Bnei Or community, the Jewish folks arts revival movement, and new social and political activist groups such as Jews for Urban Justice and Naaseh.
The philosophical grounding for Jewish Renewal comes from the teachings of Martin Buber, Abraham Joshua Heschel and Mordecai Kaplan. Other contemporary teachers include Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shlomi, Dr. Judith Plaskow, Rabbi Arthur Waskow, and Rabbi Arthur Green, and Rabbi Michael Lerner just to name a few. We draw much inspiration from the Jewish mystical tradition and the Hebrew prophets. ...more
UPCOMING EVENTS See our Calendar Page for details.