Har Shalom would not be a wonderful place to be Jewish without our volunteer committees. Each committee plays a vital role, whether focusing on youth or seniors, fun or finances, learning or playing, with all committees welcoming new members and new ideas.

Please consider joining one of our committees and taking on a more active role within our congregational family. For more information, call the Har Shalom main phone number, 301-299-7087, and then the extension listed with each of the committees, or be in direct contact with the chairpersons listed.

The Accessibility Committee works to assure that Har Shalom is accessible, in the broadest meaning of the word, to everyone. It plans activities for Disability Awareness Month, participates in the regional Opening the Gates of Torah conferences, and shares ideas with similar committees at other area synagogues.
Ext. 315  –  adultedcommittee@harshalom.org

The Adult Education Committee works to provide formal and informal Jewish learning opportunities for a broad spectrum of learners. A variety of courses and programs are listed including several mini series, single workshops and special events such as Scholar’s Weekends and other lectures.  The Adult Education Committee co-sponsors a number of programs with other synagogue committees and recommends adult educational initiatives for the synagogue.

Ext. 307 – bnaimitzvah@harshalom.org

The Bar/Bat Mitzvah Committee works to meet the needs of our B’nai Mitzvah children and their families as they approach this important simha. This includes working with the Rabbi and Hazzan to prepare children and their families.

Ext. 313  –  Robert Shapiro –  budget@harshalom.org

The Budget Committee is charged with working with the Executive Director to prepare the Budget for presentation to the Board.  Upon acceptance of the proposed budget, the forecast will then be presented to the full Congregation for formal approval.  Committee members will meet with the Executive Director and department heads during the year to understand current expenditure levels and future operating needs and to make priority decisions based on current forecasted revenues.  The Budget Committee chair will also work with the Executive Director under the direction of the Treasurer to develop meaningful financial information that can be reported to the Executive Committee and the full Board on a monthly basis, and allow for the analysis of trends and statistical data.

Ext. 306 – communications@harshalom.org

The Communications Committee seeks to enhance communication within the congregation and to the general public, using the website, listserv, Tablet newsletter, paid advertising and press releases. Committee members advise other committees on publicity needs, such as fliers and press releases.

Laverne Markowitz – FineArts@harshalom.org

The Fine Arts Committee is dedicated to the beautification of Har Shalom.  The committee works with other committees to help assess the acquisition of artwork, fixtures and other items that reflect the style and flavor of our congregation.


This Committee helps families deal with burial practices, the funeral and with shiva. The family is contacted by the committee as soon as we learn of the death. Members of the committee sit in the home during the funeral and attend the service if it is held at Har Shalom. The committee arranges for the meal of condolence, delivers prayer books, kippot and mourners’ chairs to the shiva house and arranges for minyan leaders. The committee also performs tahara (ritual preparation of the body) and are shomrim (sitting with the body) as needed.

Ext. 424  –  Ken Paretzky   –  hhd@harshalom.org

The central mission of the High Holy Day Committee is to meet the needs of congregants in preparation for and management of the Yom Tovim services. The Committee works year-round with clergy and professional staff to facilitate the running of the various services, ticketing and parking. The Committee also develops the High Holy Day guide and reservation form, distributes honors, addresses logistics and in general seeks way to facilitate a positive meaningful High Holy Days experience for all.

Ext. 308  –  Howard Menditch  –  house@harshalom.org

The House Committee maintains and oversees the upkeep of the interior and exterior of the Har Shalom buildings as well as the Trailridge property.

Ext. 320  –  Randy Goldel  –  membershipoutreach@harshalom.org

The central goal of the Membership Outreach committee is to facilitate links between congregants and the synagogue. The committee seeks to identify specific constituencies within our membership and provide opportunities for involvement within Har Shalom. We have identified various constituencies for which programs will be developed.  They include young families (with children in the Early Childhood Education Center and/or Religious School), young couples without children, dynamic empty nesters (DEN) as well as young professionals ages 22-35.  A new program gearing up for implementation is a Neighborhood Initiative whereby members can get to know their fellow neighbors in various kinds of fun, relaxed events.  Through member input, the committee will develop plans for addressing other constituencies and special interests.  If you are interested in being a member of our Membership Outreach committee or have an idea for a “special interest group”, activity or havurah, we welcome your participation.

Ext. 319  –  Betsy New-Schneider  –  newmember@harshalom.org

The New Member Committee is tasked with bringing in new members to the synagogue as well as welcoming these new members during the first year of their membership. Its goal is two-fold: reaching out to the Jewish community to invite prospective members to join the synagogue and experience the warmth of the Har Shalom family, and, after these individuals have become members, welcoming them to the Har Shalom community with the personal touch of welcome baskets, special Shabbat dinners, social events, New Member Shabbat events, and other ways to help them feel more connected to the congregation.

Ext. 304  –  Ken Paretzky  –  ombudsman@harshalom.org

This board member responds confidentially to congregant concerns that, in the view of the congregant, have not previously been responded to in a satisfactory way, and provides assistance to staff, lay leadership and the congregant in achieving a satisfactory resolution.

Stewart Remer  – personnel@harshalom.org

The Personnel Committee develops synagogue staff personnel policies, facilitates reviews of senior staff, and periodically reviews employee benefit options.

Ext. 321  – Susan Grant  –  program@harshalom.org

The Program Committee is responsible for planning and overseeing special events at Har Shalom. The goal of the Program Committee is to provide a variety of events that energize and engage our members. Programs may be either religious or social in nature. Some examples are potluck Dessert Nights Out at members’ homes, Share Shabbat, Progressive Dinner, musical cabaret performances, annual Back to Shul weekend, special Congregational Shabbat dinners, and more. Volunteers are always needed to join the committee!

Ext. 325  –  David Marcus  –  rac@harshalom.org

The Religious Activities Committee (RAC) focuses on enhancing the spirituality of Har Shalom members’ involvement with the synagogue, during both religious services and other times. RAC works with our Rabbi as he makes halachic decisions for our congregation, the committee sponsors Shabbat dinners and other activities intended to nurture our congregation’s religious needs.

Ext. 335  –  Steven Susswein  –  schoolboard@harshalom.org

The School Board meets monthly with the Direction of Congregational Learning to work towards fulfilling its mission: “The Har Shalom School Board will act as advocates for the students and parents of our congregation and school. We will ensure quality Jewish education in accordance with the philosophy of Congregation Har Shalom for all of our children. The Board will set policies for the school, support our professional staff, oversee and support the Director, lobby for the school budget, and identify and address school-wide issues.” We value your input. If you are interested in joining, please contact us.


Sharing Your Blessings is an opportunity for those who have been blessed with the financial means to become stewards of the congregation – to help Har Shalom make up the difference between actual costs and the money brought in by dues and tuition. Committee members run the annual Sharing Your Blessings campaign, plan informational events and develop “thank you” social events for those congregants who join the Sharing Your Blessings program.

The Sherman ECC Parent Association is comprised of all Sherman ECC parents.  The Parent Association meets monthly to plan and create the parent-provided programs that supplement the Sherman ECC curriculum.  For more information, e-mail the committee at the address above.


The Sherman ECC Steering Committee meets on an as-needed basis, and serves as a liaison to the Har Shalom Board of Directors. Its primary goal is to work with the Board to set strategy and direction for the Sherman ECC, work with the director to execute that direction, and define the Sherman ECC’s role as a vital part of the Har Shalom Community.

Ext. 314  – SATO@harshalom.org

Social Action Tikkun Olam, formerly Gemilut Hasadim, means Acts of Loving Kindness. The Committee works to promote and to create opportunities for congregants to help those in need within our community, both within our Har Shalom community and reaching out to the larger community. Throughout the year, the committee offers many opportunities to help others who are less fortunate. The committee welcomes new members and new ideas. We want everyone to get involved and help others.   You can make a difference.


The committee provides congregants with information about, and opportunities to support, programs that help repair and heal our world. The committee has advocated for social justice in Darfur by participating in the Save Darfur Coalition rally and visits to embassies, promoted environmental awareness through education about global warning, encouraged conservation of energy at the synagogue and in congregants’ homes, and participating in the Green Tikkun network of local synagogues and havurot.  We have facilitated the purchase of fair trade coffee grown in Uganda by a collective of Jews, Muslims, and Christians.

Ext. 318 – Jack Markowitz – waysandmeans@harshalom.org

The Ways and Means Committee has the responsibility of raising money for the normal operating funds for the synagogue in a fun and family-friendly manner. The Committee seeks to develop programs that engage the Har Shalom community and welcomes your participation both in committee operations and events.

Ext. 311  –  worldjewry@harshalom.org

The mandate of the World Jewry Committee is to provide to the congregation a variety of learning experiences, opportunities for advocacy, and other activities that will help affirm our solidarity with the Jewish people within our Greater Washington Jewish community and worldwide, with particular focus on the people and State of Israel.  We face significant issues in Israel at this time and there is much going on around the world, including the growth of Masorti, the Conservative movement outside of the U.S.  During the coming year the World Jewry Committee will continue its three-fold focus on Israel and World Jewry through Educational opportunities for our Congregants, Communication of interesting information, articles and issues, and Advocacy of important causes, including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the American Jewish International Relations Institue (AJIRI).

Jennifer Stier  –  youth@harshalom.org

The Youth Commission focuses on connecting and integrating youth into the Har Shalom community and throughout the region. Its goal is to help our youth develop their Jewish identity in an informal, peer environment with meaningful Jewish experiences outside of the formal educational environment. The Youth Program consists of 5 age groups, each focusing on a different stage of Jewish identity: Bonim (K-2), Machar (3rd-5th), Kadima (6th-8th), USY ( 9th – 12th) and College. The Youth Director, Advisors, Parent Liaisons and Youth Commission work together to ensure that fun, creative and developmentally appropriate programs meet the needs of all our children. The Commission meets frequently to discuss and develop programming that enhances our youth’s experiences.