An engaging, vibrant, and inclusive synagogue



Our Mission

  • To advance the welfare of the Beth El Congregation and to assist in every way possible in all the purposes for which the Congregation is organized.
  • To assist the schools of the congregation. 
  • To further any religious activities as the clergy and members deem appropriate.

Our History

The Beth El Sisterhood was organized in the fall of 1947, the same year our Beth El Congregation was founded. At this time, we are proud to say we have over 400 members, and our Sisterhood is recognized as one of the largest and most active in the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond.


Sisterhood is affiliated with the Women’s League of Conservative Judaism and the Maryland Federation of Jewish Women’s Organizations.


The women of Beth El have the opportunity to participate in a myriad of dynamic and interesting events. Membership in Sisterhood offers many rewards. New friends, educational and cultural experiences and opportunities to provide support to Beth El, the Beth El schools and the community are in your future.  Contact Susan Hackerman at [email protected] or 410-486-2523 to obtain more information. To download a Sisterhood Membership Application, please click here.

Presenters and Topics for our 2017-2018 General Meetings/Luncheons

September 10 Natalie Smith Pilcher (Paid-Up)            Portrayal of Henrietta Szold

October 2       Bill Messenger                                       Presentation on Songwriters

November 6   Jim O’Hara                                             Topic: Justice Louis Brandeis

December 4    Rabbi Steven Schwartz,                       Panel Discussion on Islamophobia  

                        Dr. Rosann Catalano and Dr. Homayra Ziad

January 8       Rabbi Dana Saroken                             Topic: Soul Center

February 5     Eric Collier                                             Topic: Mercy Ships – A Floating Hospital

March 5          Ms. Max Weiss                                      Film and Pop Culture Critic

May 23           TBA

Sisterhood Luncheon Subscription Plan

Do you forget to make reservations for the monthly Sisterhood luncheons?  Solve this problem and save money by purchasing a luncheon subscription plan.  Payment of $120.00 will guarantee your reservation for all seven luncheons. The dates are: October 2; November 6; December 4; January 8; February 5; March 5; and May 23

For this subscription opportunity, send your check made out to Beth El Sisterhood for $120.00 to Mrs. June Sacks.

RSVP by Wednesday, September 20

Please note: there are no refunds for missed meetings.

Fall Fashion Fest
Sunday, September 10 – 1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The Beth El Sisterhood is planning a very exciting event for the fall.  “Fall Fashion Fest” will feature 11 of your favorite vendors who will be ready to help you shop for clothing, accessories and jewelry.  This event will be held on Sunday, September 10 from 1:30 – 5:00 p.m. in the Schapiro Auditorium.  On this day, we will have our opening Paid-Up Membership Brunch in the morning, and we look forward to a large crowd of shoppers in the afternoon. “Fall Fashion Fest” is open to all members of Beth El as well as family, relatives, neighbors, and women in the community. 

The following vendors will be with us to help you with your fall fashion needs: Barbara Brody Designs, Black Dot Creations, DG Designs, Glam Girls, Hip Klips, Ibhana Creations, Iris’ Essentials, It’s in The Bag, Lena Long Jewelry, Sababa Israeli Jewelry, and The Jewelry Lady. 

Mark your calendar for this first-time event!

Sisterhood Trips

Trip to Washington, D.C. : Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Trip to Frederick, MD. : Thursday, November 9, 2017

Trip to Signature Theater in Arlington VA : Sunday, December 10, 2017

For more information on Cultural Trips, please visit the Cultural Trips page.


Biblio meets in the Kolker Room at noon. Bring a brown bag dairy lunch and hear an outstanding book review that is timely and meaningful given by a member or guest.  A discussion follows the review. Drinks and dessert are provided at each session.

On Wednesday, September 6, David Golaner, an outstanding, insightful and experienced reviewer, will lead us through The Kosher Nation by Sue Fishkoff.  Today, American consumers are demanding food products that answer to "a Higher Authority."

For information, please call Barbara Berkowitz 410-296-8424, Carol Cummins 410-486-1504, Joan Flaks 410-486-6246, Gail Shugarman 410 486-1661 or Rita Silverman 410 484-1731.

Archives Project

Our archives project is gathering and organizing material on the history of our organization for a video presentation.  It has been an enlightening and rewarding project for those who are participating.  If you are interested in participating in this project, contact Ilene Merenbloom at 410-486-6822 or [email protected] or Rae Shalowitz at 410-484-7437 or [email protected].

Jewish Theological Seminary

Our Torah Fund, which benefits the Jewish Theological Seminary, is off to a great start.  We have received many contributions supporting the seminary where our Rabbis, Cantor and Administrator have been educated.  The seminary is very gratified to have our support.

For a contribution of $180.00, you can become a benefactor and receive a beautiful pin and six simcha cards. As of now, we have over 30 benefactors.   You may purchase six simcha cards for $18.00. 

This year’s benefactor pin, inscribed with the phrase Mah Tovu, means “how good,” a phrase that originates in the Torah, in Numbers 24:5. Quoted in our prayer book, it forms the basis of the opening prayer that is sung when we enter the synagogue. The full phrase is Mah tovu ohalecha Yaakov, mishk’notecha Yisrael, How goodly are your tents, O Jacob, your dwellings, O Israel!” It is a spontaneous exclamation of joy and appreciation, said when gazing at the nation of Israel, dwelling in peace and mutual respect.

For more information, please contact Jane Krosin at 410-4184-4218, Hilda Dopkin at 410-486-4453 or Gail Shugarman at 410-486-1661.


We knit/crochet afghans to give as gifts for those who are home bound or in care facilities.  We do this in individual squares and then join these squares together to create an Afghan of Love. Sisterhood is looking for knitters/crocheters and anyone who wishes to learn how to do these crafts. If you are interested in joining us, please contact Susan Himmel at 410-484-7521 or email [email protected].

Library Lovers

Wondering what you are going to do during these cold winter days? The Agus Library has the answer for you; curl up and enjoy reading one of the following new books you can obtain at Beth El's wonderful library. You may check out a book from the library for three weeks. Contact Marlene Siegel at 410-484-1844 or [email protected] or Barbara Berkowitz at 410-296-8424 or [email protected] for more information

Judaica Shop

The Judaica Shop offers a variety of merchandise to meet every need or occasion.  If you are shopping for holiday gifts, Bar or Bat Mitzvah gifts, wedding gifts, something personal for yourself or family, you can’t go wrong by checking out the Judaica Shop.  All items are tax-free and all proceeds go to the projects of the Congregation and Beth El schools.  For information, please contact Beverly Penn at 410-486-2667 or [email protected] or Anita Steinberg at 410-653-2977 or [email protected].

The Gift Shop will close on Friday, June 30, for the summer.  We will open by appointment only.  Please call Beverly Penn or Anita Steinberg for an appointment.

During the year, the store hours are listed below:

Store Hours:
Sunday, 9:30 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, 11:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.
Tuesday, 11:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.
Friday, 11:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.


The Beth El Sisterhood has a special gift for brides and grooms.  Living a Jewish Life by Anita Diamant is a comprehensive book on modern Jewish living.  The book melds the realities of living in 2016 with centuries’ old Jewish traditions. Living a Jewish Life explains the traditions and beliefs of Judaism in the context of today’s world.  The book is available to members of the congregation, the Sisterhood and their adult children and grandchildren.  Please contact Marta Braverman at 410-358-6509 to receive a copy for a newly married couple. 

Beth El Sisterhood officers for 2017-2018

Co-Presidents: Ilene Merenbloom and Dale Kahn

Vice Presidents: Tammy Schnydman, Roz Kurman, Cherie Stewart

Recording Secretary: Harriet Weiner

Corresponding Secretary: Risa Gottlieb

Treasurer: Robin Kleiman

Comptroller: Bette Dahne

Budget Coordinator: Glenda Chernoff

Financial Secretaries: (A-G) Nancy Medin ; (H-O) Alice Kuryk; (P-Z) Gloria Luchinsky

Parliamentarian: Judy Schwartz