Purpose: This committee plans educational courses, workshops, lectures, and other learning opportunities for our community. The courses are generally 3-6 sessions in length. The longer courses may be designed for members who are unfamiliar with traditional services and customs, or for members who are well educated and comfortable with Conservative Judaism. Single-day workshops and events are designed to appeal to all TI members.

Seeking new members: Anyone interested in planning and executing events for our committee, whether a one-time lecture or an on-going class.

Contact person:  Judy Stern. 

Purpose: Jewish law and tradition have endowed funeral and mourning practices with profound religious significance. A Chevra Kadisha, literally “a holy society”, such as the one at Tikvat Israel, is made up of volunteers who aid the bereaved and, together with the Rabbi, ensure that appropriate practices are followed. Assisting in the preparation and burial of the deceased is an important mitzvah.

Activities: Tikvat Israel and the Bereavement Committee can provide these services when death occurs in a congregant’s family:

  • Advise congregant in making funeral arrangements
  • Arrange for the professional services of the Rabbi and Cantor
  • Bereavement counseling
  • Arrange forTohorah by the Chevrah Kadisha.
  • Arrange funeral services in Tikvat Israel’s Sanctuary or at graveside
  • Provide Shomrim before the funeral at the Synagogue
  • If necessary, prepare the mourners’ house prior to their return from the cemetery (e.g., cover mirrors; set out water for ritual hand washing after returning from funeral) This may be done by friends of the family.
  • Arrange for a fruit basket or a meal of condolence for up to 10 mourners sometime during the shiva period.
  • Coordinate shiva minyanim and supply the shiva house with siddurim, if desired
  • Arrange for yahrzeit reminders to be sent out by the Tikvat Israel office
  • Arrange for a dignified funeral at a reasonable cost through funeral contracts with Sagel Funeral Direction and the Jewish Funeral Practices Committee of Greater Washington DC (currently with Hines-Rinaldi, MD). Tikvat Israel does not have a contract with Torchinsky but many members have used them for funeral arrangements.
  • Provide members with the option of purchasing from Tikvat Israel grave sites at Judean Gardens or Garden of Remembrance at reduced cost.

The following resources can be downloaded:

Committee contact: Elissa Schwartz or Anna Robbins

Purpose: Bikur Holim literally means visiting the sick. TI tries to do more than that. We help members of the congregation and their families that are under duress due to illness or other hardship.

Activities: We provide meals when needed and transportation to the doctor or synagogue. We run errands and do what we can to help our fellow congregants.

Seeking New Members: We always can use more volunteers to cook a meal, run errands, make phone calls, visit, and provide rides. People available during the day on weekdays are especially helpful.

Contact: Hope Levy Kott

Purpose: This committee helps maintain a connection between the Tikvat Israel community and its college students.

Activities (past and present): Sending holiday packages, care packages before final exams, and birthday wishes by email. Packages have included snacks and holiday-specific food and items (including hamantaschen and groggers).

Seeking new members: The committee needs individuals to assist with baking, assembling, and mailing packages and to help with minor administrative duties. The committee meets approximately three times during the academic year. Enthusiasm and a few hours of time are all that is required.

Contact the office for more information.

The Education Committee organizes, administers, and supervises education programs, curricula, and activities for children, youth and adults.

Contact: Judy Stern

Purpose: Decrease Tikvat Israel’s greenhouse gas and energy footprint in a financially beneficial manner. Educate synagogue members regarding the way their individual lives affect the Earth’s future. Provide templates that other faith organizations can follow and learn from other faith organizations through membership in GWIPL (Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light).

Activities (Past and Present): Decrease the synagogues use of electricity and natural gas by programming heating and ventilating equipment to operate in zones and provide comfortable space conditions only when people are present. Sold more efficient light bulbs and installed them throughout the synagogue. Posted signage to remind users to turn off lights when they leave the room. Joint project with an environmental investment company to construct a solar electric plant on the synagogue roof. Replace grass with more sustainable trees and bushes . This was a colossal failure due to lack of knowledge regarding establishing plant growth. Participate in operation of CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture). Procure Electricity for Synagogue building and members homes through group purchasing to subsidize power generation.

Seeking new members: Anyone interested in helping Tikvat Israel and its members emulate native Americans by planning for seven generations forward.

Contact: Art Fabel or (301)802-2535 (cell)

Purpose: Plan for each year’s high holidays including set up of social hall, educational sessions, children’s services and other high holiday related programs.

Activities: The committee begins planning in the spring of each year to implement each year’s services. Responsibilities include planning, creative thinking, interacting with office and educational staff and clergy, contractors, and appropriate committees.

Seeking new members: Anyone with logistic and political skills and enjoys creative problem solving is encouraged to join.

Contact: Mark Diamond

Purpose: Tikvat Israel encourages a deep appreciation and understanding of Israel and Jewish history and their centrality in our lives as Jews. The Israel Affairs Committee provides education and programming on Israel and advocates on her behalf.

Seeking new members: Anyone interested in Israel Affairs is encouraged to volunteer their time.

Contact the Synagogue Office for more information. 

Purpose: This committee sets guidelines for the use of the kitchen and menus and pricing of kiddushim. Additionally, working with the mashgiachs, the committee acts to ensure that our kitchen adheres to the Tikvat Israel kashruth policies.

Activities (past and present): Set up and clean up of kiddushim each Shabbat and as needed for other events.

Seeking new members:  We are looking for members with an interest in learning about TI’s kashruth policy and volunteering in the kitchen as a mashgiach as well as members with some experience and knowledge to provide input to update menus, prices, and kitchen policies.  We also need someone to help coordinate volunteers for the weekly kiddush.

Want to help out with Kiddush? Use our Sign Up Genius page to volunteer!

Contact: Marsha Lyons email

Purpose: To plan, raise funds and implement ideas to beautify the synagogue landscape.

Activities (past and present): Planted flowers and trees in the front of the synagogue.

Seeking new members: Anyone interested in landscaping for the synagogue is encouraged to volunteer.

Contact: Debra Diamond

Purpose: to support the activities of Tikvat Israel and its committees through promotion of events and programs that serve the congregation and the larger community. Working with synagogue committees, our purpose is to increase the visibility and participation in Tikvat Israel’s diverse offerings of educational, religious, social, and cultural programs.

Seeking New Members:
Anyone interested in helping is asked to volunteer. No specific skills or experience are required other than a desire to help assure the success of synagogue events and programs.

Contact: Bob Silverstein

Purpose: to address the programming and education needs of Tikvat Israel’s pre-school age population (infants through 5-year-olds).

Contact persons: Debbie Ungar

This committee coordinates volunteers for all religous and bereavement services and functions. It also organizes events and activities and the schedule of events and activities planned by all synagogue committees and auxiliaries.

Contact Rachel Laveer at 240-750-3478.


Purpose: to provide feedback to the Rabbi on his activities, help the Rabbi set goals, and help the Rabbi determine whether those goals are being accomplished. The RAC will act as a liaison between the Rabbi and individual congregants, where congregants are reluctant to bring matters to the Rabbi’s attention directly.

Activities: this committee was created in 2020 by TI’s board of directors at Rabbi Israel’s suggestion and serves as a sounding board for the rabbi and to keep the rabbi informed about congregant concerns and desires. The RAC meets quarterly.

Membership: by invitation only.

Contact persons:

Pending appointment. Contact Sally Kram or Beth Smith for immediate need. 

Purpose: Provides support to the clergy for the many religious observances planned at Tikvat Israel, including services for Shabbat, Festivals, High Holy Days, and weekdays. Encourages individual and synagogue community religious practice, observance, education, and enrichment. Serves as an advisory committee to the clergy (and in some cases the Board of Directors and congregation) on policy regarding religious practices within Tikvat Israel.

Activities (past and present): Working in tandem with the clergy and Executive Director in arranging details for holiday and Shabbat observances and services, including special programs. Responsible for assigning ushers, Gabbaim, Torah, Haftarah, Megillah readers, and leaders for services as needed. Discussion and research of religious practices issues and policies including alternative Shabbat services and daily minyanim. Planning educational programs and other learning opportunities for the congregation to enrich participation in services and Jewish life. Provided training session for Bimah Gabbaim and mentoring for Gabbai Gadol. Selection of Hattan Torah/Kallah B’reshit honors for Simchat Torah.

Membership: by invitation only. However, we welcome volunteer assistance with programming and other activities.

Contact persons: Jason Schwartz

Purpose: To improve safety and security at Tikvat Israel and to respond to the concerns of the Tikvat Israel community on safety and security problems.

Activities (past and present): We are currently working on improving parking lot safety and other activities. We are planning a comprehensive site assessment to identify unaddressed needs.

Seeking new members: We are seeking new members. Religious school parents are not currently represented on the committee and are especially encouraged to join.

Contact persons: ">Neil Sbar

Purpose: Tikkun Olam, healing the world, is one of TI’s core values. Our members organize and participate in a variety of one-time and ongoing projects to benefit organizations in our community. There are many worthy projects happening at TI; come find out which ones speak to you!

Focus areas: Economic Insecurity, Vulnerable Populations, Education, Advocacy, and Community.

Economic Insecurity and Vulnerable Populations

Manna Food Center strives to eliminate hunger through food distribution, education and history. TI collects nonperishable foods year-round. Volunteers sort, pack and distribute food 4-6 times per year. Contact Marilyn Greenwood  

Potomac Valley Nursing Home: Enrich the lives of elderly Jews by leading or assisting in abbreviated worship services. Volunteers participate in monthly Shabbat services alongside our longtime coordinators and/or pitch in during special Chanukkah and Passover programming. Bonus: there’s always a nosh! Contact Rebecca Salon    or Jay Goldman  

Shepherd’s Table serves the most vulnerable in our community. In any month that has a fifth Monday, TI volunteers serve a hot dinner to the clients who frequent the Silver Spring location. Giving 3 hours of your time about four times per year helps our unhoused and food-insecure neighbors.  Contact Sherman Eisner  

Stepping Stones Shelter provides wraparound services to unhoused families with children. TI volunteers plan menus and prepare hot dinners 4-6 times per year. Meals are cooked in volunteers’ own homes, dropped off at the synagogue by 4:45 PM on the designated date, and then delivered to the shelter by program leaders. Contact Ellen Eisner  


Harmony Hills is a Title I school in Silver Spring where 76% of students are eligible for free or reduced price meals. Participate in Linkages to Learning to provide homework help, tutoring, translating services and more. Our congregation holds an annual back-to-school supply drive, coat drive, and collects gift cards for school families ahead of the holidays. Contact Sandra Sheskin  


SEAChange (Study, Engage, Act, Change) is a program of JOIN (Jewish Organizing Institute & Network) for Justice that trains congregations to organize and tackle racial injustice within and beyond their communities.

TI has joined with several other local congregations and social justice organizations, including Interfaith Power & Light (IPL) and Action In Montgomery (AIM) to work together to address issues of racial, economic, and social justice. Contact Lynne Benzion  

Jews United For Justice (JUFJ) educates and mobilizes our Jewish community to advance economic, racial, and social justice locally and to take action on issue-based campaigns that make real improvements in people’s lives. Contact Anna Levy  


Adopt-a-Road – Baltimore Road:  Volunteer outdoors for an hour or more to help clean up our neighborhood and keep the roads safe. Contact Stu or Molly Turkewitz or  

Red Cross Blood Drives: TI holds multiple blood drives each year. Donate blood or help in other ways, such staffing the reception table for a few hours. Contact Robbi Cohen  

Everyone has something to offer

Skills : There is work to be done that could benefit from your special skills. Some projects call for creativity of all kinds, including cooking. Other projects call for organizational skills or literacy skills. What skill set can you share?

Money: There is work to be done that calls for financial resources. Some that could use small donations of goods or money. Other projects call for deeper pockets. What financial commitment works for you?

Time: Some projects can be done in one hour or two a month. Some projects can be done on your own time with no set schedule. Some projects are of limited duration, while others involve long-term commitments. What time commitment works for you?

Have an idea for a project? Contact:  Amy L. Sanders  

Purpose: This committee raises the visibility of Tikvat Israel in the broader Jewish community. It works with other committees to provide advance publicity for specific events (e.g., cantor’s concert, scholar’s weekend speakers). It also assists the Membership Committee in its recruitment efforts. The committee oversees electronic communication, through the synagogue’s website and social media. The committee is responsible for the publication of the bimonthly Bulletin.

Activities (past and present): This committee has developed a set of publicity procedures for use by individuals or other committees. It also has created and reproduced a four-page membership recruitment brochure that now is used to respond to requests for information by prospective members. The committee just completed a major upgrade to the look and content of the TI website (the results of which are what you see!).

Seeking new members: Anyone with an interest in communications, social media, promotion and marketing. The committee seeks individuals who have some skills or experiences in:

  • public relations
  • publications
  • social media
  • advertising
  • marketing
  • publicity
  • photography
  • graphics and design

Contact: Jay P. Goldman

Purpose: The Ways & Means Committee was created to encourage voluntary giving through targeted and ongoing fundraising campaigns. Fundraising helps ensure that our Congregation has the resources necessary to meet the needs of our community.

Activities (past and present): The synagogue’s main fundraisers are the Chai Campaign during the High Holidays and the Cantor’s Concert in the spring.  The Ways & Means Committee also oversees other fundraisers that celebrate events, people, and causes important to the Tikvat Israel community.  The Ways & Means also oversees planned giving campaigns and fosters a culture of giving in the Tikvat Israel community.

Seeking new members: Anyone interested in ensuring a thriving Congregation coupled with a sense of humor is encouraged to volunteer their time.

Contact persons: Aaron Mannes

The Education Committee is composed of parents and congregants representing a cross-section of Tikvat Israel’s K-12 education activities, including parents of Religious School students, parents interested in Shabbat Programming for youth, and parents of children participating in Youth Groups. 

Netivot is a religious school program held on Sunday mornings at Tikvat Israel Congregation in Rockville, Maryland. Students engage in learning through hands on activities, the arts, role playing and stories. Our goal is to cultivate a love of Judaism through experiential, play-based instruction. Students are introduced to the Hebrew language, Jewish holidays and history, understanding of mitzvot and prayers. We are now accepting enrollment for students entering Kindergarten, First Grade and Second grades in the 2024-2025 academic year. For further information and to register, please contact Judy Stern at or 301-633-9986.

Contact person: Judy Stern at j.

Get involved in the lay leadership of our community!