SPOTLIGHT ON . . .   

Jewish Renewal Shabbaton Weekend

The World of Islam:

Jews in the Muslim Orbit, the Koran
and the Islamic Interpretive Tradition

An Ecumenical Shabbaton with Rabbi David Shneyer,
Shaykh Dr. Tarek Elgawhary and Muaz Edriss.

June 17-18, 2016
at Sanctuary Retreat Center

19520 Darnestown Road, Beallsville, Md 20839
(20 minutes west of Rockville)

Commute or sleep over

Dr. Tarek Elgawhary  
Dr. Tarek Elgawhary, Iman at the Islamic Center of Potomac, received his PhD from Princeton University, focusing on Islamic law and has studied traditional Islamic sciences at al-Azhar Seminary in Cairo, Egypt. He works for World Organization for Resource Development and Education (WORDE)
Muaz Edriss  
On oud and vocals, will perform and talk about the music of the Arabic world. He is a peace activist, a very recent Syrian refugee whose family and friends have suffered much these past years.

Fees for Shabbaton
Participants may commute or sleep at Sanctuary

Friday night Dinner $25
Saturday Lunch and Programs $50
Saturday evening Seudah Shlisheet $20
Accommodation per night $35 per person.
All meals, accommodations for
two nights and breakfasts
Only $150.00
All meals, accommodations for
one night and breakfast
Only $120.00

Reserve by June 14

For reservations and payments, click here and choose Jewish Renewal Shabbaton in the drop down menu.

Click here to see flyer with schedule.

Membership Renewals

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.

Teachings from Jonathan Cahn - click here.

Fall 2014 All Inclusive News - click here.


Click here for general information about our High Holy Days 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


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


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


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


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