Wondering Where to Rekindle a Sense of Jewish Spirituality? Attend a Special Spiritual Weekend held by Join Beth Chaverim Reform Congregation – Building a “House of Friends,” One Family at a Time

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Beth Chaverim, a Reform synagogue in Loudoun County, VA, is excited to announce a special Scholar in Residence weekend focusing on music and spirituality. BCRC is the place to be to discover the Jewish perspective on meditation, enjoy a nosh with friends, or introduce your children to Judaism.

Building a House of Friends, One Family at a Time

We are...a house of community, a house of study, a house of social justice, a house of worship.
We are a "House of Friends"

Beth Chaverim – Hebrew for “House of Friends” – is a Reform synagogue in Loudoun County, VA, that offers a wide variety of worship, educational and social opportunities for those looking for a warm and welcoming Jewish community. In its sixteenth year, Beth Chaverim celebrates traditional Jewish rituals as well as creating many new ones for members to enjoy at their own comfort level. Full-time Rabbi Linda Joseph expertly leads memorable services and informative classes for all ages. There’s a place for you at BCRC whether you are single, partnered, married or divorced, young, empty nesters, or seniors – all are welcome.

The synagogue is proud to host a “Weekend of Spirituality featuring Cantor Robert Micha’el Esformes as the special guest. Ordained as Hazzan (Cantor) by the venerable Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi in the lineage of Jewish Renewal, Cantor Esformes has served as prayer leader, concert performer, and teacher of meditation for many years. He has performed and taught at congregations, retreat centers, concert venues and colleges across the US and abroad. He brings to his teaching and performance not only a rich voice and soulful presence, but broad experience in the mystical path and a love of ecumenical discussion. You can hear him chant on YouTube (search “Robert Esformes”).

The weekend will kick off on Friday, November 16th with one of Beth Chaverim’s regularly-scheduled Tot Shabbat services. Beginning at 6:30, this warm, fun and engaging service is geared toward families with children under 3rd grade. The half-hour service concludes at 7pm with Kiddush and Oneg Shabbat.

Cantor Esformes and Rabbi Joseph will lead a special Musical Shabbat service on the 16th immediately following the Oneg/Pre-neg at 7:00pm. Music plays an integral part in Judaism, with many prayers being sung or chanted rather than simply being read. Music can add an emotional aspect to prayer that might otherwise be lacking – and enable worshippers to make the spiritual connection to God and community.

A Shabbat Morning of Spirituality and Meditation will take place on Saturday the 17th starting at 10am. Join Cantor Esformes as the morning begins with a simple centering practice and proceeds to a general conversation about the various kinds of meditation practice (both secular and uniquely Jewish). There will be an opportunity to try out several of the practices and share the experience. The morning will end with Q & A about the session and practice in general, as well as a discussion of the place of a meditation practice within a full life.

From its beginnings, Judaism has sought to understand the realities of our inner life as well as the world around us. Jewish mysticism, now known as the Kabbalah, has been a primary approach for achieving that goal. Beth Chaverim is hosting an Introduction Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah class. Led by Dr. Michael Leavitt, the lecture series explores the history and meaning of Kabbalah, Judaism’s mystical tradition. Classes are held Tuesdays from 7-8:30pm. Contact Shelly Sheinwald (adulteducation@bcrcva.org) to RSVP.

A central tenet of Judaism is tikkun olam, the repairing of the world. Hurricane Sandy has left a staggering path of destruction in its wake. Both New York and New Jersey have been designated as disaster areas, more than 7.5 million people are without power, and the storm continues to ravage parts of the Midwest. As an affiliate of the Union for Reform Judaism we encourage you to donate to the URJ’s Disaster Relief Fund today to help with the relief efforts.

Beth Chaverim Reform Congregation is a dynamic synagogue that lives up to its name - House of Friends. Located in Ashburn, Virginia, the synagogue connects new ideas with centuries of Jewish tradition. They celebrate diversity by welcoming young families, seniors, singles, teens, empty nesters, interfaith families, same sex couples, Jews by birth and Jews by choice. Attend a service, educational session, or cultural event and you will want to become part of Beth Chaverim.

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Brian Giblin

Shelly Sheinwald
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