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Our Synagogue

Our vision at Har Shalom is for everyone to feel included. There is a place for everyone without regard to religious observance, political views, gender, sexuality, age, race, or disability. We are blessed by the diversity of our congregants, and we are better for it.
Everyone belongs at Har Shalom.

Congregation Har Shalom, originally the “Seven Locks Jewish Community,” was founded in 1964 as Potomac was becoming a booming neighborhood in Montgomery County.  Several dedicated families began holding services in living rooms and local schools before there was even a building.  As more Jewish families discovered this special community, the congregation began to organize, and affiliated with United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism.  

Rabbi Morris Gordon was hired on a part-time basis in 1967 to advise the fledgling congregation during its formative years.  A part-time Cantor, Cal Chizever, was hired in 1968, energizing the congregation to sing and participate, eventually becoming the congregation’s first full time Cantor.  

Rabbi Leonard Cahan began his distinguished tenure at Har Shalom in 1974, leading the congregation’s rapid growth and astonishing array of programs, educational initiatives, and services.  Rabbi Cahan was also the editor of the major prayer book of the Conservative Movement, “Siddur Sim Shalom for Shabbat and Holidays,” which was his labor of love for many years.  After Rabbi Cahan’s passing in 2018, the congregation dedicated “The Rabbi Leonard Cahan Sanctuary” in his memory.  

The Seven Locks Jewish Community became Congregation Har Shalom in 1971, and several rabbis and cantors have led the congregation with distinction, including Rabbis Moshe (Martin) Levin and H. David Rose, and Cantor Arthur Shragg. Hazzan Henrique Ozur Bass became Har Shalom’s cantor in 1996, and he continues to serve the community with warmth and compassion.

In 2011, Rabbi Adam J. Raskin became Har Shalom’s spiritual leader, ushering in an era of renewal and vitality in the congregation.  In 2014, coinciding with the Har Shalom’s 50th anniversary, Rabbi Raskin spearheaded a capital campaign that refurbished and renovated the synagogue building.  Har Shalom is an exquisite sacred space that has won awards for architectural design and accessibility.

A talented team of professionals and dedicated lay leaders work together everyday to make Har Shalom an exciting center of Jewish life, learning, and celebration.  

Tue, July 23 2024 17 Tammuz 5784